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tomatoes i have known

September 5, 2008

zora naki

The tomato harvest is coming in droves as summer winds down around here – it’s back to school and rainy with it. I had big plans for tomato planting this year – I was going to grow a number of heirloom tomatoes (black krim, amish paste, etc.) from seed, as well as plant some robust starter plants to get me going.

Fast forward a few months – starting tomatoes from seed is harder than i thought (who knew?), and a late frost killed off my first 20 plants. I restocked with the pickings of a big box garden centre, and I’m making notes for next year.

Sungold cherry: These are the most fabulous orange-yellow cherry tomatoes I have ever tasted – sweet, juicy and slow to split. If only I had planted more than one of these puppies!

Sweet millions cherry: Dependable and bountiful. The kids eat them like candy.

Yellow pear: They look really cute – and that’s the best thing i can say about them. The taste is mealy and mushy and they split very easily – before even ripening fully. Yuck.

Roma: Beautiful strong tomatoes, great for cooking with. A bit boring on sandwiches, but i already knew that.

Big Boy: A cliché  tomato.  Round, red – you know the drill.

Cherokee Purple: I loved the name (exotic – colourful), and bought about 5 of these plants with great hopes. What a disaster! They attract insects like nobody’s business – slugs, pillbugs, etc., find easy access through all of the furrowed lobes of these tomatoes. They drop off the vine before ripening fully, they don’t seem to ripen on the counter, and the taste is nothing special – hardly worth depriving my garden pests of their new homes. Never again.

Next year: Find an Italian neighbour to beg some seeds off of. Plant indoors early. Harden them off before transplanting outside, sometime around mid-May. Compost those babies like there is no tomorrow. Lessons learned…


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  1. ourfriendben #
    September 7, 2008

    Whoa, Zora! ‘Sungold’ and ‘Sweet Millions’, yes! But we love ‘Yellow Pear’, and don’t find it flavorless or mealy (ours don’t split, either). Think you’re waiting too long to harvest them? (You might want to give ‘Yellow Plum’, which is more flavorful, a try next year instead.) Next year, try ‘San Marzano’ instead of ‘Roma’. We think it’s the best paste tomato, with fabulous, full-bodied flavor. It’s great in sandwiches, too—tons of tomato flavor without the juice sogging down the sandwich!

  2. September 7, 2008

    Do you think the problem could be that the yellow pear was one of the plants that was downed by frost and then resurrected itself? Or maybe i just got a bad one…

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  1. this year’s garden: hits and misses part one « gardenopolis

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