Tomato varieties.

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Greetings,
Not all my varieties are even ripe... yet still I'm planning what to grow next year.
What are your favorite early varieties? I grew a variety named 'Glacier' this year. Nice looking tomatoes, but no flavor whatsoever.
Next year I'd like to try a yellow variety, and a black/purple variety. Any suggestions?
Suggestions for large, bold flavored heirlooms are always appreciated.
Here's a list of what I'm growing this year:
1884 - 2nd year growing this one. Large, and great flavor. This one has earned a lifetime residency in my garden.
Rose De Berne - One ripe so far. Great flavor. Russian Rose Sweet Millions - 2nd year. Produces a boatload, and very sweet. Green Zebra - 2nd year. Makes a mean salsa. Aussie - None ripe yet... but they're HUGE.
Hungarian-Italian Paste - Picked the first ones today. Good flavor. Indeterminate... makes a good substitution for Roma, which I don't much care for because the fruit seem to fall off the vine very easily, and it's sometimes hard planting them where they won't get shaded by the big indeterminates.
Brandywine - 'Nuff said. Brandywine Red, Landis Valley Strain - See above. Costoluto Fiorentino - Remarkable flavor. Drubza German Giant - Not so giant, as of now... Though it bears some nice size fruit. Glacier - Bland. Pantano Romanesco Violacium Krypni-Rozo - Very good flavor.
This is my 3rd year gardening, and my 2nd year starting my plants from seed.
Ah... another question. I read that you should sow tomato seeds 6-8 weeks early when starting them indoors. At the 6th week, the plants were gigantic, and it was still too cold to plant. They weren't leggy.. just HUGE, with the roots growing through the sides of the 3" diameter peat pots.
I think I may know what I did wrong. I started them in my basement, which is kinda cool.. as basements tend to be. I left them on the heat mat the entire time. I'm thinking those seedlings may have grooved a little too much on all that heat. The light was always withing a couple inches of the top of the seedlings. They just got happy.
Next year, should I remove the heat mat right after they germinate?
Thankya, Gary NorthWest Ohio
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Don't have much in the way of experience but
Fourth of July from Burpee did really well last year. Slightly larger than cherry sized. About 2-2.5 oz. I liked them, got about 18 lbs from one plant. My friend had a very meaty cherry tomato growing. Very good--cherry sized but more like a meaty plum inside. She hasn't divulged the variety yet. I don't care for fruit that are like balloons of juice. Health KIck, a plum style, from Burpee seems to do well for me. Big bush, productive. I screwed my flas this year and lost my first batches. I ended up buying plants form Home Depot in May. For giggles I planted Healthy Kick seed in late april(after last frost). I now have two healthy plants each about 18" tall and spreading 2'+ out from the tiny pot I put them in. I thought the flavor was good and I experienced none of the falling off the stems as you have. About 23 lbs from one plant.
Grew Sweet 100 (grape sized) this year. Flavor is decent, but there is a slight flavor that doesn't strike me as tomato in them. Not bad...just different. About 80% of them split on me so far. They do fall off the plants easily. Hard to pick ripe ones without knocking off the next not-ready one. I will not grow this one again.
Burpee Burger tomatoes were okay. But they were fightig a wilt all season so the bearing was light and the tomatoes smaller than they were supposed to be.
My beefsteak is a "SuperSteak VFN" I think--have to go out and see. Got it at Home Depot. It is growing well, 7 feet tall with 3-4 major vines off the central stem. (I just suck at pinching out!!) I got two ripes from this last week which were very good. Meaty and they were eaten with a little salt and a little mayo...nothing else. I'm low carbing so a tomato sandwich is a little rich for a snack.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 2nd year gardener http://photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier /
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Thanks for the suggestions.
I may try the 4th of July next year in addtion the Sweet Millions. As you mentioned with the 100s, it can be difficult to pick the ripe ones without knocking off the green ones. .
I may try the Health Kick as a potted plant, since you're having good luck with yours. I tried conainer varieties the two previous years, but they did poorly. Thin foliage, which was causing some sun scald. I probably wasn't getting the watering just right. My peppers, on the other hand, love the containers.
Good luck with the low carbing. I dropped 40 pounds on low carb.
Gary NorthWest Ohio
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I wanted to try Sweet Millions but I was very disorganized at the start of the year and did a horrendous job on getting seeds and starting my seedlings. Better next year!

I've had very decent production with peppers in plants too. There are some products I rely on with containers: Terrasorb - a potassium crystal/gel that holds water. They last 3-5 years then break down into potassium. Hydromats - I call them "plant diapers". You line the bottom of the pot with them. They hold water and the roots even grow into them some. Extends the moisture holding. I've given up on clay pots--dries out too fast for me. Needs to much attention. Self watering are nice but expensive during the heat spells
Healthy Kick isn't meant as a container variety. I just didn't have the heart to kill off the seedlings once they started. They were the healthiest of the May seedings. I had this round bowl planter, 9-10" round, 5 inch deep. I stuck them in there since I wasn't using it. Because it is shallow it dries out pretty quick. I water it deeply twice a day on warm days. The plants just grew admirably. Last year's were remarkable--in size and crop. I'm thinking the variety is just a good strong one.
here you can see the shallow pot they are in but much of the growth and tomatoes are obscured.
http://photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/detail?.dir=/c8d7&.dnmPe6.jpg
Here you see better how it has grown--only 10-12 weeks from seed.
http://photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/detail?.dir=/c8d7&.dnm Ļa2.jpg&.src=ph

That's great. I'm down 70-75 pounds and on maintenance for the rest of the summer to enjoy my harvest!

DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 2nd year gardener http://photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier /
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ground.
I tried a Sweet Millions for the first time this year, in a large container. I don't have any cracking but the leaves are beginning to turn yellow. I don't know much about tomato disease--could it be some kind of blight? There is plenty of fruit and it tastes great. I planted tomatoes in the same container the past two years and only mixed in some compost this year so I imagine it's time to completely wash it out and replace the soil for next year.
Here's a picture of the plant though I'm a little embarrassed to post it because they look so sad! http://tinyurl.com/4xvcy
LauraJ
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though
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though.
container.
I had the same problem with the yellow leaves on my Sweet Million that I potted last year. As far as what actually causes it... I really don't know. Last year I also had one in the ground, and it did incredible, as is the one I planted in the ground this year. as of now, it's a little over 6'.
I've pretty much given up on potted tomato plants. I even had some kind of 'patio' tomato variety last year, that didn't fare well either. Foliage was thin, and yellowed. Fruit were sunscalded, and had a couple instances of blossom-end rot. The only thing I can think of would be improper watering, in my case.
Your Sweet Million is doing considerably better than the one I potted last year.
Gary
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Thanks for the vote of confidence, Gary. The plant is still producing fruit which looks and tastes great so I'm not going to worry about it too much. I don't really care what it looks like as long as the results taste good!
As far as planting tomatoes in containers, I've been doing that the past 3 years with mixed results. We always get a ton of rain in the spring (which can last into June here in Boston) and I've found that the containers I place under a slight overhang of the roof do far better than those out in the open. I had a gorgeous Muskvitch (sp?) in a container in that location last year which grew > 6 ft tall and produced well. The other ones I planted out in the open did nothing (I think I got 1 Yellow Taxi all season). I will probably continue planting one cherry-variety on the porch since it's much more convenient that walking down 3 flights of stairs to the garden :).
Good to hear that the Sweet Millions did well in the ground though. The only cherry I have out there is a Sungold which is trying to take over the entire garden. Very prolific and very sweet. I definitely want to plant it again next year but I'll have to reconsider my lay-out since it takes up a ton of space (I only have a 15 sqft plot,unfortunately).
Those two plants are the only ones that have ripened for me so far. I'm waiting on Black from Tulia, Muskvitch, Old German, Paul Robeson and an heirloom plum (name escapes me right now). I'll report back if anyone is interested.
LauraJ Zone 6a (Boston, MA)

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I grew Sweet 100's this year (Northern Virginia USA). Nearly 100% of them are split and I don't even harvest them any more - I'll eat a few as I'm harvesting other varieties, but I'm letting the rest just fall off the vine. I had already decided weeks ago that I'll try something different next year. Maybe it's all the torrential rain we're getting this year, but they have been a disappointment.
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Dr. wrote:

I would (and in fact I do) use the heat only to get them to germinate quickly. Then they go under the basement lights with no heat added. I think providing that heat not only makes them grow too big but also makes them more tender. Maybe it didn't happen this year but sometimes the weather might turn cold right after you get them into the garden. Plans that grew slower under cooler conditions would be less stressed by cooler weather.
Steve
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Thanks for the reply.
Next year I'll remove the seedlings from the mat as they germinate.
The tomatoes didn't seem to shock much, if at all. My peppers, however, are a different story. Most of the ones I started are very stunted. I bought some other seedlings of varieties I didn't have seeds for, and they're all doing great.
Gary
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Steve wrote:

I can't tell you how glad I am to hear you say that. I had a helluva time starting my seedlings this year and resorted to a heating pad. Then I put them in the cool window until I planted them out. It's been a very cool and wet season here, but the tomatoes are handling it very well. The fruit is plentiful, if behind in ripening, but the plants are very healthy.
EV
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Consider a currant tomato for your salads. They're prolific, pea-sized and potent. I've grown 'Hawaiian' for many years and recently purchased a yellow currant for next year.
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Thanks... I'm always looking for something new to try. The source I've been buying my seeds from offers a red currant variety, however it notes that it crosses easily with other plants, so I'd have to segregate this one from the rest.
Maybe I'll plant a couple at work. The property is huge, with much wooded and field area, and I should be able to conceal a few plants quite easily.
Gary
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I forgot to mention 'Matt's Wild Cherry' is a good one too.
Conceal them? The groundkeepers should thank you. Currant tomatoes are beautiful! Besides, are also big sprawlers.

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On 30 Jul 2004 21:22:49 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Pen) wrote:

Oh! Where did you get it? I *love* current tomaotes, but I've never seen anything but generic gold or red.
The gold current tomato is one of the few survivors of The War of the <spit!> Thrips this year.
Penelope
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Yikes! I hate thrips! I got 'Hawaiian' through a seed exchange, I haven't seen it offered since. They are red and an heirloom, I don't know if the red ones available to you might be the same thing. If only there were white, black or a tangy green currants. :) Anyhow, I just did a search and came up with a couple of sources:
http://www.groworganic.com/cgy_449.html http://www.earthfuture.com/gardenpath/Tomato_Party.htm

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On 2 Aug 2004 21:11:41 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Pen) wrote:

People don't believe me when I tell them how great currant tomatoes are. I love converting them.

Thank you!
Penelope
--
"Maybe you'd like to ask the Wizard for a heart."
"ElissaAnn" < snipped-for-privacy@everybodycansing.com>
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I experimented with different varieties for about 5 years before finding one that satisfied me enough to stop trying new varieties. I like Black Krim. It's got a great taste. The color and mottled pattern is interesting, but once you taste the flavor, those plastic tomatoes you buy in the store will never taste the same. ;)
(snip)
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one
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you
taste
Thanks for the suggestion.
The place I've ordered my seeds from for the last couple years carries that variety. I'll give it a shot.
Gary
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Dr. said:

Don't start them any earlier than 6 weeks before...unless you have a greenhouse and plans to pot them up into bigger containers.

Yes. And run a fan (or fans) on them to give them a little movement. Toughens the stems.
Planning for potting them up bigger at least once might also be in order.
I've been picking SunSugar and 4th of July for a couple of weeks. Also Ruby (which I like to dry).
Also had my first hornworm in years. YUCK! It was bigger than my index finger and I have pretty big hands.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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