Thursday, August 30, 2007

Which tomato is the best?

I have learned a lot about tomatoes by reading other people's blogs this summer. I don't know what the blog etiquette is about mentioning other people's blogs, but it has been fun to see and learn about new varieties of tomatoes, especially Hanna's This Garden is Illegal .I have grown tomatoes for years and years, they are easy to grow, and I have always felt like I had a 'sure success' with tomatoes in my veggie garden. I just grow the more common varieties, though, nothing very exotic. I usually use my tomatoes for fresh eating and cooking, and can some salsa. I especially like to grow Roma-type tomatoes, because they are heavy producers. This year I bought seeds for Siberian and used some old seeds from our seed collection to start plants: two cherry tomatoes, super sweet 100 and Sugary (grape-type), Roma and Viva Italia, Early Girl, and Brandywine. I messed up the labels and have a few plants I still am not sure what variety they are : (. Then I felt like I needed a few more plants (I ended up with a total of 20 plants), so I bought a few- a Big Beef and a Lemon Boy. Last year, I had too many cherry and Roma types, so this year I only planted two cherry tomatoes and made sure I had a variety of the 'regular' types to try out. Here are my thoughts at this point in the tomato season-
This is Brandywine, they have done ok. My DH likes this variety, they are ok. Not heavy producers, but ok.
Lemon Boy was an impulse buy at IFA (Intermountain Farmers Association). It has been fun, because it has produced well and has a different flavor as well, obviously, as color.
This is a Utah or Western tomato with the unglamorous name of DX5212. It has produced the most unblemished 'regular' type tomatoes. Good flavor, medium volume of fruits.

Mass quantities of Roma and Viva Italia. I have not seen much difference between these, heavy production, which is important to me.7 of my 20 plants are Roma-type, and they are doing just what they should be doing, giving me lots of tomatoes! Next year I want to try San Marzanos.

Hard to say whether these are Early Girls, Big Beefs or Siberian. Smaller size round fruits than I'd like, small to medium volumes of fruits. Siberian was just a hedge against a cool summer, which has not happened.
So, to summarize, I am pleased with the number of tomatoes I've grown. I will try a different grape tomato next year; DH says Sugary's skin is too tough. I will try a few Siberians next year, jsut in case we have a cool spring/summer, and keep the Romas going. I'll have to look around and see what else I might try. I will move them to a different part of the garden, though. I haven't explained how some production suffered because they are in too shady of an area. OH, and label my seeds better, obviously!!!!
Any recommendations of varieties?


Emily said...

wow, so many tomatoes! they look great. :)

we've been enjoying as many as we can eat, too!

chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tomato update.
Your garden looks as though it is producing nicely.
I actually have the best luck with early girls here. I've tried many, many other varieties and I find that early girls are the best all around tomatoes for me.

Gardenista said...

I don't know about "Sugary" having a tough skin, as your DH says. Mine all split in the recent rain and Carol from over at May dreams garden ( said she had the same experience.

diane said...

I only grew cherry tomatos this year. I think they were called Celebration 100's I think.

Anonymous said...

If you like cherry tomatoes then you should try the sun sugar variety they are golden when ripe and an award winner for taste in the cherry tomato category and the best part is they are thin skinned