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Can we talk about heirloom tomatoes?

This is my second year growing heirloom tomatoes, and have several varieties in the garden. Several are new to me this year, and I really don't know how they taste. Here is my list:

Cherokee Purple - I grew this last year, and it's #1 in my book!
Brandywine, red - grew it last year, it was just "ok"

First time this year:
Neves Azorean Red - I've heard it's one of the best.
Black cherry - It's supposed to be one of the best cherry toms, I certainly hope so.
Giant Oxheart - I guess it gets big, but don't know about taste
Paul Robeson - Comparable to cherokee purple?
Stupice - what's your feelings on this one?
Kellogg's Breakfast - I hope yellow tomatoes are good!
Dagma's Perfection - it came as a bonus pack with my order
Atkinson - it was a free transplant from the county extension office
Jelly bean - gosh, I love these little things....
Early girl - can you believe i've never tried it before?
Carol Chyko's Big Paste - this is a really big paste tomato, and I can't wait to try it!

If you have any thoughts/opinions on any of my varieties, i'd love to hear them.


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I don't grow heirloom tomatoes, I like the disease resistance of the hybrids.

But Early Girl is one I grow every year; it is NOT heirloom, it's an F1 hybrid.

I grow it because it is fast maturing; I always like to be the first one on the block with ripe tomatoes (see the thread on the race for June tomatoes!). They are nice red tomatoes, still way better than the supermarket ones, but probably not the most flavorful compared to other homegrown. This year I am also growing Ultimate Opener, which is supposed to be as fast ripening as Early Girl and more flavorful. I will have both, so I can compare.
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You might want to read [url=]this thread on "Which Tomatoes have the best FLAVOR ?"[/url] though not all mentioned are heirlooms.

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I have grown several of these from Tomatofest seed

Cherokee Purple -Many people love it, but in my garden its taste must not develop fully because its not that noticably super special to me. Indian Stripe is nearly identical except for having more and slightly smaller fruit.

Brandywine, red - Tomatofest sells a potatoleaf version that is not true Red Brandywine, it is fairly god and notable for being just about the only large red potatoleaf variety on the market. If they do have regular leaf Red Brandywine, I would suspect that it is not the true Landis Valley strain (i.e. is another fake that is on the market)

Neves Azorean Red - Mine did not stand above the other reds I grew that year (possibly due to location in the garden), and one of the two plants was messed up so I need to try it again.

Black cherry - Very good, one of the top cherrys

Giant Oxheart -

Paul Robeson - This is in a different genetic group than CP, and is more closely related to Black Krim. It has an intense earthy flavor that is a little too much for me to put it as a favorite, while Black Krim (my favorite) is not as intensly earthy. Garden to garden variation could make this a favorite for some and not for others. For me it lags in production until the weather gets cooler in the second part of the season, which makes sense for a Siberian tomato.

Stupice - Large cherry-small salad size. Good tomatoey flavor. It usually gets overshadowed and ignored when other varieties start to ripen so in order to really take advantage of its "earliness" I start it long before the rest and use larger pots.

Kellogg's Breakfast - One of my favorite yellows. It is full flavored.

Dagma's Perfection -
Atkinson -
Jelly bean -
Early girl -
Carol Chyko's Big Paste -

Keep an eye on what you grow out to see that it matches the description. My seed from Tomatofest was notorious for having stray seeds mixed in and or being the wrong type al together. It was easy identifying plants that didn't grow true to leaf type, but I have little way of knowing if red regular leaf varieties were the right thing. I also had poor germination, so you might want to save seeds from this year's plants rather than rely on seeds from the pack next year.

Hopefully their quality control has improved since my purchases in 2007 and 2008

Descriptions can be found at Tatianas Tomatobase

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rainbowgardener - strangely enough, the only plant that had any disease last year was "Big Boy", that was a Bonnie plant I got from WalMart. It did horrible...The early girl is just something I wanted to try, especially since alot of the others are late season.

Marlingardener - I feel for you on the weeding issue. That's why I use the raised beds - virtually no weeding.

applestar - thanks! I'll check it out...

TZ - Thanks for taking the time to post such a descriptive reply. My BW is potato leaf :( My Stupice plant is looking pretty bad, and I feel it won't make it. All others are doing well, and I can't wait to try them all. I do get my seeds from TF, and haven't had any problems with wrong variety so far - maybe it's just luck on my part....

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You are growing a lot in containers aren't you? I've grown tomatoes a lot both in containers and in garden soil. I always found my container grown tomatoes to be less flavorful than garden soil grown tomatoes. This is my first year for heirlooms from seed, but they are all planted in soil. I always believed my container grown tomatoes had a higher water uptake (BER was more prevalent in the container tomatoes) resulting in diluted flavors.

I simply enjoy gardening!

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Green Thumb
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Ted - yes, several are being grown in swc's, but the wicking is slowed down to a crawl. In fact, it might be to the point that a little bit of top watering might become necessary during the hottest part of summer, but we'll just have to wait and see.


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The Black Cherry and Cherokee purple did very well for me last year. Also the Black Plum. I did get some "mixing" of seeds on my tomatofest order along with some varieties that didnt work out well for me but part of the fun of gardening is finding what works and trying new varieties. Good luck on your selections for this year! I'm trying some new "sauce" tomatoes this year, Opalka and San Marzano. Both are suppose to be prolific and flavorful but we will see.....
I'd rather be lucky than good

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