Here in the Pacific Northwest we had a terrible year for tomatoes. This
next year we'll be trying again but will be a little more seletive in what
Does anybody know of a good variety for canning that grows 'somewhat
easily' in the Pacific Northwest? This year I will be growing them covered
longer - I'm thinking our wet Spring had a lot to do with the dismal
results of 2005.
ANY suggestions, advice, etc. will be greatly appreciated.
Depending on how you are going to can them, you may need to ensure that the
ones you select are acidic enough.
How long is your growing season? You need to pick some that will mature
before your winter sets in. How many batches do you want to put up.
Determinate will set on one time and then it is over. Indeterminate will
set on continually until it gets too cold.
Some companies can tell you which tomatoes ripen early, mid season, and
late. Select from their choices.
I can't speak specifically to canning. But in general, if you want decent
tomatoes in the PNW, you have to plant varieties that will fruit early:
Early Girl, Wilamette Spring, First Lady, Oregon Spring are a few that come
to mind. Every time I've done something different, I've been disappointed.
One of the problems is that the big national home and garden retailers (Home
Despot comes to mind) don't seem to stock these as starts. Either that, or
they're always sold out by the time I get there. I got my Early Girl starts
last year at a farmer's market in Centralia.
I second what others have said -- you need to grow short-season plants. Take
a look in the Territorial catalog, for example. Another good source (for
seeds) is the Tomato Growers Supply Co. While they're in Florida, they stock
a wide variety of short-season varieties.
About the longest-season tomato I regularly grow is Champion. Last year my
Champ plants almost didn't mature in time. They're big and flavorful, though.
For canning, they really cut down on prep work compared to the mostly small
fruit from faster producers. Personally I find Early Girl bland, but everyone's
taste buds are different. There's no substitute for doing your own taste-test.
Of course, different seek companies will quote completely different timespans
before harvesting. Beware!
I have found that Sausalito do well in cool and damp spring/summers here
in NE GA US.
Very tasty, can/freeze well.
Check your County Extension Office, they may have local recommendations
I live in the PNW but in the hot part in NE Oregon, however I believe the
best early, cold hardy and great tasting variety is Stupice, Czech
heirloom, winner of taste tests and in my experience two weeks earlier that
Early Girl. Pretty widely available from places like tomatogrowers.com. I
use wall'o waters and usually have good red toms in late June.
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