Archive for October, 2014

2014 Tomato Review

Not sure why I need the date- ‘snot like I do this every year…

Anyway- brand new garden with tons of space for tomatoes, and we got a ton of varieties at the Seattle Tilth plant sale to try out. I think most of them can be found through Territorial Seed Co. Growing conditions: each protected by a wall-o-water until it was 2-3ft tall, periodic deep watering, mulched with straw, pinched out suckers at the beginning of the season then let them go wild, fertilized with 4-10-10 at transplant and first ripe fruit. Here are my thoughts on some of them:

Sungold: Still my all time favorite. Most productive, tastiest, prettiest, earliest to ripen, etc etc. If you can only plant one tomato, plant this one.

Black cherry: May have even better flavor than Sungold- it’s more… complex. Not nearly as productive, but a good one to try if you have the space.

Austin’s red pear: great taste, terrible texture. All of these went into the bloody mary mix. Seemed a shame not to eat them whole/fresh because they are so cute, but the texture was mealy and unbearable.

Red grape: powerhouse producer, good taste, fruits hold up well after picked, don’t fall apart in lunch box or left overs. Good for both fresh eating and juicing/saucing.

Isis candy: beautiful, but really thick skinned and hard to tell when they are ripe- consequently, I don’t know how I feel about the flavor.

Gilbertie sauce tomato: I don’t have much experience with sauce tomatoes. Are they all mealy?? These plants were super productive, huge tomatoes, but they turned out kind of hollow or “foamy” and were prone to rot. I expected them to be solid slabs of meat. Then again, we got this variety to pick green and serve as a cucumber substitute for pickles, so…

Jaune flame: gorgeous and tasty and pretty productive. My new favorite orange tomato.

Japanese black trifele: Um… these didn’t ripen until the season was over. Those three tomatoes were pretty tasty though!!

Momotaro: beautiful strong vines, perfect-looking tomatoes, good meaty flavor, and really split resistant when the rains came- this plant still looks perfect now when every other vine looks post-apocalyptic. Moderate production.

Mortgage lifter: produces humongous photo-worthy fruit. Quite meaty and tasty. Have prepared myself multiple dinners that consist solely of one of these beastly tomatoes. Moderately productive. Vines and fruit totally fall apart come rainy season.

Volunteer tomatoes: these came up in the patch where we dumped the worm bin as fertilizer. We let them go wild- no watering, no fertilizer, minimal trellis support. They all turned out to be cherry-size and they were amazingly productive!!! They are seeds from last year’s plants, which were all grown from Territorial Seed. I think 2 of the 6 plants made tomatoes tasty enough to eat fresh, the rest were mealy and watery. However, I picked a bazillion green tomatoes to pickle, and I’m sure those will turn out great because they have good, firm texture and cute shapes.

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