Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tomato Varieties Update

Since it's time to think about what to grow this year, I spent part of one evening this week going through my seeds, tossing the oldest packets and noting what I needed to find more of for this year's garden. I am still waiting on the Last Seed Catalogue, the one from my favorite seed source - Sand Hill Preservation Center - before submitting any seed orders, but I have just about worked out what I want to plant. When I have the varieties all chosen, I'll post those, but this post is about Tomatoes.

In April of 2010, I wrote a post that listed most of the tomato varieties I had tried in my garden, along with a note about each variety's relative success in my yard. Going through my stash of seeds reminded me that I should probably update the list.

These are the tomato varieties for which I found seed packets (some of which were empty) and that I have grown two or more plants of since the last tomato variety update:

Akers Plum - Large paste-type tomato that produced well and remained healthy in my yard.
Wuhib - My favorite paste/plum tomato. Amazing productivity and disease resistance.
Old Ferry Morse Beefsteak - Good flavor, reasonable productivity (only grown one year so far). Will grow it again this year to verify its hardiness.
Jaune Flammee - Orange-red tomato, medium size, not super productive in my yard, and its flavor, though pretty good, didn't beat the flavor of some of my favorites.
Yellow Out Red In - An heirloom long-keeper, but I liked Burpee's Winter Red Hybrid better.
Burpee's Long Keeper - Its name says it all, but I liked Burpee's Winter Red Hybrid better.
Burpee's Winter Red Hybrid - The one I will continue to include in my last planting of tomatoes in June, to provide tomatoes into November and beyond.
Rutgers - Reliable, productive, and good to eat.
Costoluto Genovese - I tried a packet from Cook's Garden, and it wasn't like the original I had tried many years ago. It may be that the entire strain has changed, but I might try to find yet another packet from another source..
Cherokee Purple - The seeds I got from Fedco weren't quite as hardy in my garden as seeds I had used previously (from Sand Hill Preservation, I think). I'm going to go back to a different (non-Maine) supplier.
Olivette Jaune - A cherry-sized, yellow, plum-looking tomato. Very tasty, but the plants don't survive beyond the end of August in my yard. I will probably be trying a different cherry-type this year. There are so many from which to choose!
Red Chinese - Died in my yard.
Yellow marble - A tart, yellow, cherry tomato. Hardy and productive, but I think I'm going to look for something a little sweeter to try. One very good thing about the yellow varieties is that the color confuses some potential competitors for the fruits - birds and children both seem to be looking for that red ripeness indicator!
Amish - These are seeds I saved, from plants given to me by a tomato-growing friend in Kennesaw. He has saved seeds for this variety for more than thirty years. The tomatoes are yellow with red swirls; they are large, meaty, and delicious, but they are not very productive. However, I will be growing them every year for the foreseeable future. Did I mention the amazing flavor?



  1. I haven't heard of some of these. Thanks for the tip! We're growing Cherokee Purple for the first time this year. My girls are excited that we're also going to attempt Pink Brandywine's.

  2. Hi Mia! I hope the Cherokee Purple produce as well for you (or better!) as they do for me! They are super-delicious tomatoes. I tried Brandywines in the past, and they died, but they may do better for you. Every yard is different! Sounds as though your little family is having fun with the garden planning. I hope the fun continues right through the gardening year!


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