Five years ago, I purchased some oxheart tomatoes from an old farmer at a
local flea market. They were, unquestionably, the best tasting tomatoes I
have ever "experienced". They were VERY dark red, almost burgundy, in
color...very meaty with little juice and only a few seeds. I went back the
next week for more, but it was the end of the season and there were none
The next spring, I decided to grow my own. However, it took contacting over
20 nurseries before I could find one that had oxhearts for sale. I
purchased and planted 3 dozen plants, nurtured and cared for them on my
hands and knees every morning, pinched suckers and watered and fertilized
By mid July, about 75 days later, I had magnificent plants about 6-7 feet
tall with 5 or 6 tomatoes on each plant. I figured the low yeild might be
the price I had to pay for these jewels. They ripened from the bottom up,
but by the time the tops were almost ripe, the bottoms began to get soft and
mushy, so I began to harvest a little sooner, however, the tops of these
weren't edible. Of the 36 plants, I probably had a dozen or more tomatoes
that weighed in at 2 pounds or more, the rest being a half pound or larger!
But the taste was nothing near what I had experienced the previous year and
the color never got any darker than medium pink.
All summer long I tried to locate the old guy who had sold me the originals.
I wanted to know what I was doing wrong. He was no where to be found, but
some other old timers told me that there were both Pink and Red oxhearts. I
had planted the wrong thing.
For the last 3 years, I have planted only what has been lableled Red
oxhearts, but each year I get the same results, large, pink, half ripened,
not so tasty tomatoes.
Can anyone with some "oxheart" experience point me in another direction? Is
there a Burgundy oxheart? I've found white and purple.