User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

There is another thing to look at Stella, the heat. I'm not sure what the temp is around you but it has been hot as hell around here and that is hurting the tom's. Just this Mon it came back to normal and I saw the first tomato flower I have seen in several weeks.

Another thing I have noticed is at least a couple of the better nursery's around are now carrying heirlooms. So you may be able to find them without starting the seed yourself, but hey, that is half the fun to me. :)

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

Garden 5,

Mortgage Lifter (Radiator Charlies) might be a heavy produceer in some places, I don't know. I have grown it twice from different sources. It acted just like all of the other pink beefsteaks until the second half of the season and then it just petered out. Any fruits growing/picked during the last month were very small. Possibly it needs a warmer climate. I won't be growing it again or recommending it.


Stella, Rutgers and Black Prince are Heirlooms/OP. Rutgers (introduced in 1934) is an example of a very very successful commercial variety that ran its course because farmers needed VFN resistance or a 5% greater yield.

"Not only did this provide a top performing tomato for New Jersey’s canning industries Campbell’s, Heinz and Ritter, but continued to be the preferred choice of 75 percent of commercial growers for the remainder of the twentieth century"

https://njfarmfresh.rutgers.edu/WhatabouttheRutgersTomato.htm

https://njfarmfresh.rutgers.edu/documents/Rutgerstomatorelease.pdf


Black Prince is also an OP/heirloom commercial variety. The Soviet Union did not allow private gardens for the most part, and did not develop/distribute hybrid seeds for the most part, so it is a safe bet that anything coming out of eastern Europe was originally a CV. I give Black Prince a C+, B- for flavor. It is pretty good until you compare it to one of the better blacks.

A big problem with heirlooms is you either don't find enough (local seeds and plants) or you find too many (online seed sources), so it is pretty easy to get duds from the lucky of the draw. A few years ago you could look at a favorites thread on the heavy tomato forums and get a good solid list of standards (Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Anna Russian, Aunt Gerties Gold, Evergreen, etc) But today so many people have tried so many, including a big influx of Eastern European varieties that a favorites thread is filled with flavor's of the month and not much better than looking at a huge seed venders' listing.

User avatar
stella1751
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1494
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:40 am
Location: Wyoming

The Black Prince was an heirloom? That was one of the first tomatoes I ever grew. I liked it so much I tried to find it again and have looked for it since, but I have never seen it. It was a small tomato. I don't remember it being a cherry, but it was small. The big thing about it was that it was virtually unstoppable, with more fruit than foliage.

The Rutgers was crammed in next to an inordinately prolific Early Girl. It produced, but its position was in the shade for much of the day once the Early Girl began producing.

Thinking ahead: Heirloom producers, what are your five favorite varieties, listed in order of preference. What do you like best about each one?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

User avatar
lj in ny
Full Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:00 pm
Location: Z 5b-6a WNY

My top 5 are listed but I can't say which one is my favorite since they are all so different (Black Krim is REALLY good though!)
Green Zebra- I've grown it for several years, it's the only GWR I've grown (I'm growing a bunch this year to compare)
Dr Wyche's Yellow-Big Yummy Beefsteak
Black Cherry-best cherry tomato I've every had
Black Krim -great smokey flavor
Stupice- nice round red, heavy producer.

Last year was the first year I grew all heirlooms. I got wiped out by late blight before I got a good taste of all 24 that I grew. Everybody got wiped out by late blight in my area (hybrids and heirlooms) so don't see that as a failing of the heirloom. I'm growing 39 varieties this year so I suspect my list will change before the end of the season.
"If we throw mother nature out the window, she comes back in the door with a pitchfork." Masanobu Fukuoka

"Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret." Horace

https://apottersgarden.blogspot.com

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

lj in ny wrote: Black Cherry-best cherry tomato I've every had
I agree, sorry a bit off topic here but I must put in my 2 cents. I am growing several Black Cherry myself this year. As I said I agree this is the best cherry ever in my book. Everyone I have seen on the net say's it is the best out there with some saying best tomato ever in there garden. My wife, kids, friends can't get enough, nor can I.

Back to where we were. :wink:

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

I pulled up and retitled the favorites thread I posted in the spring.



Stella, I'm sure you can get free seeds for Black Prince someplace :wink:

Nyagous looks and tastes identical, is a bit more productive (both put on loads of fruit though) and doesn't have the shoulder cracking.

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:40 pm
Location: ohio

TZ, what does "CS" mean? "Cultivated variety"?

I'm glad to hear black krim tastes so good as I'm growing it this year. Is black cherry different from chocolate cherry?
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

CV = Commercial Variety


Something that was bred for farmers for market purposes as opposed to something that originated in Granny's garden.

Urban_Garden
Cool Member
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Indiana

Last year I grew two types of hybrid and got only a handful of tomatoes ( a dozen or so maybe?)
Now, I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch, but on my heirloom (German and Yellow Pear), I have over 60 blooms in just my tiny kitchen garden and roughly 20 green tomatoes so far, with dozens of green blossoms getting ready to explode into that yellow awesomeness. Roughly %80 of my garden is OP and heirloom, the rest are hybrids, I’m not a purist.
"Cultivators of the earth are the most virtuous and independant citizens."- Thomas Jefferson

User avatar
stella1751
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1494
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:40 am
Location: Wyoming

My Deliciouses, now 2' to 3' tall, healthy, vigorous, and covered with blossoms, have yet to set one tomato. Last night, we again tied a record low of 39 degrees. I picked a bad summer to attempt a diva. From extreme cold to extreme heat and back to extreme cold, it's been an odd summer up here.

The ten-day forecast predicts normal Casper temps: highs in the 80's, lows around 50. Maybe that will turn the tide in my favor.

Next summer, based upon what other members have written, I think I will try Black Krim or that Eva one Larry mentioned.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:40 pm
Location: ohio

TZ -OH6 wrote:CV = Commercial Variety


Something that was bred for farmers for market purposes as opposed to something that originated in Granny's garden.
Thanks, that makes sense, now.

Also, sometimes when someone tries an heirloom and has a bad experience, it may have been the strain it was from. It doesn't necessarily mean that the variety itself is wrong.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

User avatar
stella1751
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1494
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:40 am
Location: Wyoming

My Deliciouses are producing! It wasn't the heat that was causing blossom drop; it was the cold. Because this June was the coldest and wettest I've ever seen in Wyoming, I really can't say whether even a hybrid would have produced, though my neighbor's hybrids have been producing.

It's easy to tell when our periodic cold spells ended, just by looking at the plants. July 8 was our last day below 40. After that, I have tomatoes: Little guys, but tomatoes nonetheless.

I revived this thread, though, to mention something that hit me yesterday about the article I used to start it. The author said something about heirlooms only producing two tomatoes per plant. I was watching my tomatoes grow yesterday, and it occurred to me that there were only one or two tomatoes per vine, all the way up.

The author didn't do his research. He lost credibility with me, as did the magazine. I feel cheated. One little error like this makes me suspect he just regurgitated, and not well, the information he was likely provided by another. He appears now in the light of a mouthpiece for Monsanto.

I've lost respect for the magazine, too. I used to believe the Scientific American was a reputable trade periodical. Not anymore. There's a huge difference between a plant and a vine :shock:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

2 per plant is crazy and 2 per vine is subjective.

I get more than 2 per vine on some plants. In fact thinking about it most not all of my groupings has been 3 sometimes more.

I will definitely grow heirlooms again next year. Though I may throw in a know heavy producer to see if it does any better. I have been getting a ton of tomatoes but most of them so far have been cracked up. So I have been coring them and freezing them to save up for some canning. Though some have come out real pretty. I blame the weather for now it has been so ungodly hot and humid.

User avatar
stella1751
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1494
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:40 am
Location: Wyoming

I'm getting one tomato per vine in most cases. Occasionally, there are two. In a way, I think this is a good thing. If these large tomatoes grew six to eight per vine like my Lemon Boys last year, they would be seriously crunched. The Lemon Boys weighed from six to eight ounces each; these are supposed to weigh from 1 to 2 pounds.

In fact, I think one of my plants may have a three-tomato vine, but it's already too crunched and tangled for me to tell without taking a chance on losing one of the two tomatoes I can see. I have roughly 5 dozen tomatoes, total, on 12 plants, and each tomato is precious.

BTW, the imperfectly pollinated blossom I was watching way back when I started this thread is still there, as are two tomato/blossoms in the same state on that vine. It hasn't changed one iota: still green, still expanded, and stigma still sticking out. I really think it thinks it is making a tomato.

I will grow heirlooms again. I like the challenge. I like many of the varieties I saw in DV's thread. I also may be getting caught up in the status of the endeavor. A few days ago, I caught myself telling my neighbor, "Yes, but mine are heirlooms." Sigh.

94 degrees today; 96 tomorrow. Then we have a long spate of regular Wyoming temperatures. I'll have my tomatoes this year!

My problem with that article is that the author made a glaring error. If there's one error, there could be others. Who can tell?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

bird dog
Full Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:42 pm
Location: Ukiah, Ca.

I don't know if anybody has said it yet but do a little search on the other articles this guy has written, I'm no way taking his advise to the bank.



Return to “TOMATO FORUM”