Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tomato Results

So the tomatoes I grew this year were a mixed batch of older and newer varieties. Some more successful than others, and here's what I decided about each:

Yellow Pear Tomato: Decent tasting tomato and pretty prolific. Fun mostly because of it's colour and shape, but at end of season it drops a lot of the tomatoes and the flavor gets a bit hit or miss. It was one of the varieties that lost a plant mid-way through the season due to wilt followed by blight, and although the other Yellow Pears tried to hold on they were heavily hit and are now all pulled out. For next year, if I plant any, One should be enough and it can be ripped out when the late blight hits before it gets all messy like they did this year.

Thai Pink Egg Tomato: Fun shape and colour. That's it. It was an average producer until it was wiped out with blight and some sort of tiny dark tomato eating worm that obviously found it way better tasting than I did. Should have ripped out all the vines when I had to rip one out mid-season from the bight. Didn't really get much more after that from the other vines and it attracted the worms which spread to the rest of the tomato patch then. Will not be growing again.

Sunrise Bumblebee Tomato: This year's Taste Winner. Fun striped cherry tomatoes that pretty much always got eaten straight from the vine, never making it into the house. Did have problems with it initially as it was VERY attractive to the slugs and I lost all but one of the plants I set out. That one plant, once protected with diatomaceous earth, produced heavily though to make up for it. Ironically, I had started too many plants and given several away (before I realized they were such slug candy) so I have report from my sister that in her garden Sunrise Bumblebee was a winner for them also. Her boys loved the taste and the fact that they were striped, and kept the plant picked clean. One of the little ones very cutely thought there might be "bumblebees inside, but there weren't." Will definitely grow again. And next year I'm going to try the Pink Bumblebee and Purple Bumblebee tomatoes also.

Oregon Spring Tomato: This small beefsteak type tomato was just not brilliant. It wasn't a bad tomato, but it wasn't anything special either. The pronounced ridging did make it easier to chop into sauces but that's hardly a reason to grow it again. Especially since in my garden, my mom's garden and my sister's gardens it seemed to be a bit of a poor performer. For me, it just didn't set very much fruit. The plants succumbed the blight and have been pulled from my garden already. My sister, I think got more fruit set but it was plagued with assorted rots and wilt and blight. Will not grow again.

Money Maker Tomato: Mistakenly thinking it was the same as Mortgage Lifter, I bought this tomato variety. This is a salad size tomato, not beefsteak. I think if it was not named Money Maker I would not have expected it to be better tasting than it was, or a more prolific bearer than it was. So although this is a good little tomato, really, and held on fairly well through the blight... I'm just not into it. It didn't live up to its billing so I won't be growing it again next year.

Mountain Princess Tomato: Heirloom variety that is supposed to be blight resistant. Good flavor, good size. Not really blight resistant, but held on pretty well and kept producing tomatoes -- which is pretty decent. I will grow a few of these again next year.

Iron Lady Tomato: F1 Hybrid developed specifically to resist blight... and the first to get it out of all the plants. Though I am forced to add, it has yet to succumb to blight and the plants are still holding on in the garden even now.  It was also one of the first to set fruit, but then it was the last to ripen. Seriously, tomatoes that hadn't even flowered yet when Iron Lady was sporting green golf balls, still were ripe sooner. In theory they should have a good shelf life. Which brings me to the major problem, Iron Lady Tomatoes taste like supermarket tomatoes. Exactly like supermarket tomatoes. That's a major fail. Will not grow these again.

Indigo Apple Tomatoes: Happy. Happy. Prolific, yummy, still going strong despite some blight damage. These were the best performers in the garden this year, and second runner-up for best flavor. Will definitely be growing these again next year.

I have a few Silver Fir Tree Bush Tomatoes in pots planted for the fall garden which have already set fruit but are not ripe yet, and (garden trialing is addictive) I have about 20 more new-to-me varieties in seed packages ready to try in next year's garden... including one that is supposed to get over 15 foot long/tall. I'm thinking I want to build a tomato arbor to train it over. Won't that be fun?

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