Sunday, March 12, 2017

2017 Tomato Selection

    I really like tomatoes but only in summer and only those open pollinated varieties bred for great     optimum flavor.  In my opinion there is no point in spending time growing your own tomatoes if the varieties you select are meh in flavor, and meh in texture.  Great tasting tomatoes are so good that in the summer I have been know to make up a quick batch of low cook salsa and just eat the bowl of salsa for lunch.  No chips required.

Compared to the willy nilly selection I often do with other varieties of vegetables, I spend a lot of time picking my tomato varieties each year.  I do most of my research at Tomatoville which is the best planting community on the internet.  There is no comparison.  The expert breeders hang out here, the community does its own experimentation and they share results and often seeds freely.  If you do some reading and want to read about tomatoes you heard about and what zones of the country are growing them, the best place it Tatianas Tomatobase wiki.  Warning.  There are thousands and thousands of varieties here from all over the world.  Its the most comprehensive list of tomatoes you will find with excellent reviews.  You can spend hours or in my case days here.

I planted my 2017 varieties a few weeks ago.  They are up and looking great.  Here is who made the cut for 2017 and why.

Chocolate Stripes:  Favorite tomato Pictured above.  I plant it every year.  It grows great for me here (Chicago burbs).Its gorgeous but more important it tastes great produces well, resists diseases better than others and does really care about our whacky weather.

Gajo de Melon: Favorite cherry  This is a very productive, very sweet cherry.  The fruits are sort of red and orange swirled together.  It stays on the vine (unlike sungold) and tastes awesome right off the vine.  Fruit flies LOVE this one so dont leave it hanging on the counter.

All of these have good to great taste in common.  Other awesome qualities are noted.

Amazon Chocolate  black tomato, very rich complex taste.  Up to a pound.
Illini Star  Earlier, does not crack, no BER, does fine in high heat, very productive, smaller size
Sherrys Sweet Heart  slightly pointy end but not really a heart.  Delicious sweet flavor 
Anna Russian heirlom pink, early for a heart.  productive for a heart.  delicious. wispy leaves
Marizol Bratka aka Purple Brandywine:  Very big, rich and productive for a brandywine.  Big plant
Katja from siberia, early producer of big pink 1 pound fruit.  Productive

Pork Chop:   Favorite Yellow tomato  True yellow with faint green strips, citusy notes.  medium

Indian Stripe Maroon purple with green shoulders, high yields, outstanding rich, sweet flavor
Shuntuski Veilikan  Russian.  Huge fruit.  Earlier.  good for short seasons.  Excellent taste
Midnight in Moscow  Russian.  purple/black medium fruit with excellent flavor

Persimmon: Favorite Orange tomato:  Persnickety as a seedling but worth it.  High yield, delicious

Darbys Orange and Red:  Earlier.  Medium Red with Orange stripes.  Tasty  
Eva PurpleBall  x Big Beef  Productive disease resistant.  My seeds F3 so not yet stable

Forest Fire:  Favorite Early:  Early, 60 Days with very good flavor and productivity.   

Crnkovic Yugoslavian:  mid-season.  reliable.  large pink sweet beefsteaks, excellent flavor
Hege German Pink:  Big pink very tasty
Black from Tula:  Heirloom from Ukraine.  Brownish red.  Very dense foliage.  Rich taste

Woolly Kate:  Favorite Weirdo:  Rare:  Yellow with purple shoulders and fuzzy
Orange Russian 117   Bicolor 8 oz oxhearts. Meaty and very delicious.  Mid-season. 
Gary O Sena  Earlier purple brandywine with good production.  Some disease for me though
Brads Black Brandywine:  Planting because I dont remember anything about this plant
Black Seaman Attractive brown/pink marbled.  potato leaf determinate
Cherokee Purple:  awesome.  read about this very old variety here

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