If it is not already obvious, I really love growing tomatoes. To the point of obsession. I wander the greenhouse rows tending to my plants, lovingly pruning them, winding them up their trellis, pinching off new growth to encourage ripening. And this year my babying has paid off, as we’ve enjoyed a lovely harvest of large, sweet, beautiful tomatoes.
Like many, I keep a garden journal with notes about seeds ordered, dates I transplant, etc. But while I’m a very detail oriented kind of gal (I love Excel spreadsheets and making lists and all that fun stuff), for some odd reason, I have never been able to keep a harvest record. So each year I scratch my head and think, “hmmm…which tomato did I really love last year?”
No longer, my friends! I am here to share my tomato harvest notes, for my sanity and your enjoyment!
Cherokee Purple (seed from Territorial Seed Company) – I really enjoy this maroon-tinged tomato for its rich, wine-y flavor, but it is prone to cracking and molding on the vine. Pick just short of ripe and bring indoors to finish ripening.
Pineapple (Territorial Seed Co.) – Large, beautiful red-yellow striped fruits. Delicious, low acid, sweet taste. This was my number one slicer this year. With home-cured bacon, these tomatoes made the best BLTS ever.
Oldenhorf Red (Adaptive Seeds) – A new one for me this year. These were the first ripe tomatoes in my greenhouse. The fruits are early, perfectly red, round, and blemish-free. But the flavor is somewhat unimpressive. I call it a “work horse” tomato.
Kellogg’s Breakfast (Territorial Seed Co.) – Perfect, huge, bright yellow-orange fruits with a sweet/slightly tart flavor. Nice addition to salsa.
Rose de Berne (High Mowing Seeds) – Beautiful pink fruits of uniform size and shape. Intensely sweet & delicious flavor (my mother-in-law gives it a 10). But, the fruits crack consistently at the first hint of ripeness. Pick early!
Pruden’s Purple (High Mowing Seeds) – These are really not purple at all, but big, pink, meaty fruits. Some cracking on larger fruits, but the flavor and texture are nice.
Baylor Paste (Adaptive Seeds) – If I had to tell the world about a tomato that I grow and love, this would be the tomato. It has everything going for it – looks, texture, flavor, abundance. And best of all, each and every tomato is PERFECT. No end rot, no cracking. Just dozens of perfect, ripe, tomatoes on every plant. Grow this tomato and you won’t regret it!
Gilbertie Paste (High Mowing Seeds) – This is a nice paste tomato. Large, nice meaty flesh with few seeds, no blossom end rot problems. But I don’t find it to be especially prolific.
Principe Borghese (Territorial Seed Co.) – Abundant, perfect, small oval shaped fruits. Great in salsa, or roasted, or cut into pasta, or dried. You get the idea!
San Marzano Paste (High Mowing Seeds) -Some gorgeous and large fruits, others (even on the same plant) are small with blossom end rot. Very disappointing – I won’t plant these again.
I’d love to hear…which tomatoes did you grow and love?
Deb Bischler says
We have a definite love affair with Church beefsteaks and Amana Orange. Our German Giants are quite prolific so far this year, we are eagerly awaiting the first ripe ones to slice down for sandwiches and share with friends!
Teri Page says
I have not tried either of those! Thank you for the recommendations!
My favorite tomato by far was “Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter.” Consistently 10-14 oz beauties, that were fleshy, so tasty and a very interesting pinkish color. I can’t wait to get more this year!!!! I don’t know if the link below will work, but it’s a picture of my daughter holding the season’s winner: a 14 1/2 ounce beauty that was quite, quite yummy!!! (if the pic does work, ignore the floor in the background, we were in the midst of reflooring when I took it.)
Teri Page says
wow! That is quite a tomato! I have grown Mortgage lifter before, but it never did well for me. I think our prior homestead didn’t have enough direct sun.
Dani Meyer says
Love this post Teri! This is exactly the kinds of posts we are looking for to add to the Homestead Resource Guide!! Thank you for submitting it!
You’re most welcome! I’ll see what else I can find for the guide! It’s a great idea.
Love the variety and can’t wait to try growing some … especially the Pineapple as we’re really big on toasted tomato sandwiches here.
The year we grew a heirloom variety, the Red Brandywine from Burpee. Unfortunately, we and all of the other gardeners on our block got struck with blight, but from the tomatoes that I did get off our crop, they were the best I’ve tasted in years. I’m hoping to try the seeds again next year (keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t get blight).
Blight is something I have not yet experienced, although from what I hear, it is devastating! Brandywines are so yummy. I should try them again. Last time I grew them I didn’t have the greenhouse yet, and I got so discouraged when they didn’t ripen!