Nov 4, 2009

Tomatoes on Parade 2009

Sorry I am so very late in posting the results of this years tomato garden. It was a bad season (and I know you are all tired of me repeating that HaHaHa. Even with all of the nasties I encountered, I still had an okay sized tomato harvest. Not nearly as many good tomatoes as I was able to pick last year(and I absolutely hated having to pick at breaker stage thanks to the vermin), but compared to some growers in my area who lost every plant, I shouldn't complain any more :). here goes, my critique of this years tomato varieties. I will try to take the crappy weather into consideration wherever I can.

Opalka - Could have fooled me...but I don't believe these were Opalkas. Just based on what I have read and the pictures I have seen these could not have been Opalka.

Black Krim - Again...I am not sure if I received the correct seeds. Out of three plants grown, one was a pink beefsteak...clearly not Black was a Potato Leaf plant with small to mid sized, round, black fruit that was nicely flavored with the typical black fruit smoky earthy flavor.Sadly it didn't survive the blights for long and I didn't get too many fruits off it, but I wish I had. The last was an oblate black, similar in flavor to the Potato Leaf one. Although maybe not as flavorful, and truthfully it succumbed even more quickly to blight, and I didn't eat enough to make a real comparison.

Gregory - Gave a few unremarkable fruit and just dried up and died. I am not sure if it was the season , or the plant itself. I will grow it again and see what's up with it in a good season, then determine it's worth.

Alyx Little Yellow Sun - A sad little plant. Again, it could have been the season, or maybe the plant ...I know I did have a whole lot of trouble getting the seeds to germinate back at the very start. The plant did hang on throughout the entire season giving me little oblate lemon-gold mild flavored fruit. I have had better tasting cherry types...but this one struggled so hard to keep up under stress that I will definitely give it a shot again, and see what it can do under ideal conditions.

Mr. Brown's - Big healthy plant despite the season. Large 1 pound + , raspberry colored, absolutely gorgeous beefsteak fruits. Kind of an unusual flavor that I can only describe as fruity, smoky with maybe a hint of wine flavor. Great as an eat alone tomato , even better in a salad. But too overpowering and exotic on a sandwich.

Dona - Nice , big, healthy plant. A really nice producer of perfect oblate-ish medium sized red fruit. Tangy in flavor. Not great, but not bad either. Definitely better than store bought, but I have definitely tasted better. I think this one is probably grown more for it's looks than it's flavor.

Brown's Jubilee - Golf ball sized , round saladette type, red tomato. Fairly mild in flavor and prone to radial cracking(could have been all the rain). Flavor is better with a little salt.

Primrose Gage - Beautiful plant worthy of the flower garden ,with lacy ,gray-green foliage. But an odd little tomato. Translucent and pale yellow in color. They almost feel like they are fake and hollow, or made out of rubber. They aren't though, and they really have a nice, sweet, and traditional tomatoey flavor.

Orange Strawberry - Gorgeous, vibrant, golden orange, heart shaped beauties.Very meaty, and lovely mild sweet flavor. They may have more flavor during a hotter drier summer, so I will grow them out again before I decide if they will take a spot on my permanent list(although they were good, they didn't quite hit that high note needed for the short list)

Evergreen - Very tasty, medium sized beefsteak with that typical tangy sweet green tomato flavor that I love. This one is high on my list, but I still rank Aunt Ruby's German Green as my absolute favorite green.

Cherokee Green - Perfect, oblate, medium sized fruit.Not my favorite green, but still better than most of the others grown this season.My first impression of this tomato was that it tastes like an entire salad in one bite. I really did like it a lot, and I will grow it again to see if it is better in a better season.

Green Grape - Large sized green when ripe cherry. This one is at it's best when it is an amber color. It has full size tomato flavor in a cherry size tomato.It is good, but maybe could be better.

Whippersnapper - I grew these in hanging baskets.They were full of aphids early on and took an extensive amount of damage to the foliage. Even still, they put out tons of small , round, dark pink cherry tomatoes. They had a nice sweet tomato flavor, but still managed to taste like an old timey full size tomato. I really liked these a bunch and plant to grow them again for myself and as gifts.

Olena Ukrainian - This one I actually grew last year, and it came back as a volunteer. I plopped this volunteer into a 5 gallon bucket, and it grew like wild fire. It was a fine producer of 1 to 2 pound beautiful pink beefsteak fruit. They were so much tastier this year(which leads me to believe they do better in cooler areas and seasons)They were tangy and sweet ,juicy and silken...they are becoming one of my favorites.

I did have 2 more cherries that I grew as an experiment this season and will grow out again next season. So I will wait until then to describe them.

All in all , not a horrible year. And the nice thing about growing tomatoes is that there is always next season to try again and thousands of different varieties to play with.