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recommended tomato varieties

 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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It's tomato-starting season soon, for some, and here's a few of my favourites.
Jaune flamme: an old French salad tomato. Bright orange, early, tangy and madly productive.
Tommy toe: small golf ball-sized red trusses. Tasty, and indestructible plants.
Black cherry: Best Cherry Ever, as far as I'm concerned. Be prepared for 8ft+ plants...
Tomatillo These are so cool! Apparently they must cross-pollinate to set fruit. I have a few plants and they're going bonkers.
I'm still waiting for my 'Cherokee purple' to ripen, but the look awesome!
 
wayne stephen
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Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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We are buying seed this week. Drought last year and we have no good seed saved. Our favorites : Black Krim , Cherokee Purple . We are trying the Black Cherry and Purple Calabash - supposedly the "ugliest tomato ever , resembles the tomato pictured in 16th century herbals." We also will grow Amish Paste for canning sauce. I am jealous of those in the southern hemisphere right now.
 
Rion Mather
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I currently have Black Krim, Golden Jubilee, Earl of Edgecomb, Black Pearl, Juliet, Sun Gold, Green Zebra, Better Boy, Italia, and Thessaloniki at various stages. I am thinking of adding in a couple more in late Spring for the heck of it.
 
John Polk
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Some comments on some of the above mentioned varieties:

Sun Gold Truly an amazing flavor, and prolific producer. Unfortunately, it is a hybrid (not open pollinated), so seed saving is out of the question for this variety. In my opinion, it is worth buying seed each year, as it is a great 'cherry tomato'.

Amish Paste Reliable producer, but not a true paste tomato...too much juice & seed. Very mild flavor. Because of its sparse foliage, the tomatoes are prone to sun scald late in the season. Shade cloth may be in order in scorching weather.

I prefer Opalka, which has fewer seeds, and less juice...it takes fewer of them to produce a paste. It has a much more robust tomato flavor than the Amish Paste. Opalka ripens at about the same time. Produces a richer sauce.

Black Cherry One of the truly amazing cherry tomatoes. Great flavor. If you haven't tried it yet, do so. One of the heirloom gardener's all time favorites.

Set your lawn chair between a Sun Gold and Black Cherry plant, and you won't move all summer!

 
Rion Mather
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Sun Gold seems to get positive ratings across the board. If I am lucky I will get to sell some extras. I haven't tried saving seeds in years. I do clone though. The three I am most interested in seeing how they turn out are Earl, Golden, and Thess.
 
John Polk
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I used to hang out with some real tomato nuts. Most of them planted 10, 20, or 30 varieties each year.
They were die-hard OP fans, but most of them did include the F-1 Sun Gold in their gardens.
It is a hybrid from Japan, of all places.

EDITED to add: Sun Gold is one of my best producers here in the Pacific NW, where we don't get enough summer sun for most good varieties. Around here we are pretty much limited to "Early" and "Mid-season" varieties. Not enough heat to do any of the "Late" ones. Good peppers are a lost cause.




 
Rion Mather
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I am getting that nutty too. Yes, I grow a mix of heirlooms and hybrids. I have my own outlook on hybrids which I won't bore you with. I'm also growing a bunch of varieties of peppers.

I am located on the Eastern edge of the Great Lakes. We have short summers, overcast skies, and lots of precipitation. It rarely gets to 90 here. Last summer was a fluke. That is why I am always playing around with extending the season and trying to grow plants indoors.

What about you, John? Are you growing any tomatoes?
 
John Polk
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Hybrids certainly have their place.

I have a market gardener friend living in the Gulf Coast region. He typically puts in a dozen or more heirloom varieties. Between the heat & humidity, sometimes diseases can decimate his crops. He always plants one crop of hybrids (last I heard, he was using Jet Setter) as insurance. In some years when all of his heirlooms produce poorly, the hybrids come through and keep his stand profitable.

I'm in the Seattle area, but planning to move. So, I probably won't get any 'maters in this season. By the time I get 'there', it will be too late for starting any. With 1st frosts likely the first half of September, timing will be critical for tender annuals. If I can get a few tons of green manure plus wildflowers going, I'll be satisfied. Then, I'll have 3 seasons to watch the patterns before serious food plots needs to go in.

 
Leila Rich
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More tomatoes...I've got green zebra plants that are looking really, really healthy and productive, as well as 'Matt's wild cherry': bombproof plants, tiny fruit ideal for kids.
And keeping it oldschool with 'mortgage lifter'.
I let my plants sprawl for the most part this year; space and harvesting issues aside, they look really happy.

I don't purposely grow hybrid anythings: I save a lot of seed, and I'm just happy tomatoes basically don't cross, unlike Cucurbits...
All I ask for is a costada romanesco, but this year I have spherical, deeply ribbed 'pumpzini' on one plant, and another with fruit that blow up into ginormous, seedy blimps overnight
 
Rion Mather
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I picked up two more. Patio Princess and Long Keeper. I'm waiting on starting the Long Keeper. I only had a couple of the Italia and lost those. I won't start those again this year.
 
Nechda Chekanov
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Location: Zone 7a
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Does anyone have enough black cherry seeds to share a few? I'd love t try this one, but 10 seeds online is 2.99... Ouch!

I have some French heirloom pumpkin that I'd be glad to share!
 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Nechda, maybe post here.
Black cherries are well worth seeking out. If you like a tangy tomato, I recommend looking for jaune flamme. They're really tasty and very pretty.
My Cherokee purple's ripe. Meh. Really impressive production, but I mustn't have the heat it needs to develop good flavour. It's not bad, but it's certainly not great.
 
John Polk
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You might be right Leila. Cherokee purple have been a disappointment here in Seattle...not enough summer warmth to grow a decent tomato.
Black cherries do fine here...I think they'd do well anywhere...one of the best out there.

Almost all cherries do well here, but full sized toms are another story...we're lucky to get 2 weeks over 20* C (68*F) here.
(Peppers are even worse...they want several weeks over 30*C...the locals would be in the Emergency Room with heat stroke before I could get a decent crop of peppers...Grandma Gladys [native of Arizona 30 years before it became a state] would roll over in her grave if she knew I wasn't growing peppers at home.)

 
Rion Mather
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The short season tomatoes don't work either? I know there are varieties that were developed for the PNW. Off hand, I think one is named Oregon Spring.
 
Ralph Repoli
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wayne stephen wrote:We are buying seed this week. Drought last year and we have no good seed saved. Our favorites : Black Krim , Cherokee Purple . We are trying the Black Cherry and Purple Calabash - supposedly the "ugliest tomato ever , resembles the tomato pictured in 16th century herbals." We also will grow Amish Paste for canning sauce. I am jealous of those in the southern hemisphere right now.


hello Wayne:

I just joined Permies.com today and read your above post.

I also live in Zone 6 B and would be very happy to send you some Black Krim, Cherokee Purple seeds and others if you wish. I don't have Black Cherry or Purple Calabash but have some extremely tasty Italian heirlooms.

If interested, please email me w/your address and I'll gladly help you get re-started.

Good luck and good growing,

Ralph
 
Steve Flanagan
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Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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I am trying purple tomatillos this year. I love salsa verde, maybe Salsa p├║rpura will be good too. I think it would be fun to do all purple ingredients. Purple tomatillos, purple onion, purple peppers, and uh... do they have purple cilantro?
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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