Skian
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This years favorite - Black Krim. Great tasting tomato!
Next year I'll try Black from Tula.
This years favorite cherry tomato - Isis Candy.
Very sweet and very productive.
Next years cherry will be Black Cherry.
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LindsayArthurRTR
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Gix,

I think the problem is with the catalog descriptions! They are all so charming :() They really know how to tug the ole heart strings ;)

My favorite this year? It's a tie! Between marglobe and pink German. There's something about the texture of the pink Germans. Smooth and slick, fleshy. Top notch flavor on both. I tend to like very balanced flavors. Both very rich.

I'm going for some more unusual colors to add to the usuals next year :)
I don't have any one particular tomato at the top of the must have list. More like 5-6 ;)
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gixxerific
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Skian Black Krim is another on the wish list. I grew Black From Tula this year production was okay and lot's of splitting but great taste for me. Though I had a lot of splitting everywhere so it wasn't just BFT.

I also grew Isis Candy Cherry and Black Cherry. I liked the Black Cherry more for taste. The Isis grew to the moon and produced incredibly the Black Cherry's might have done the same but I screwed up my naming and they all ended up in pots except one late planting that went crazy.

You will love the Black Cherry.

Lindsay I feel you on the catalog descriptions. To them it seems that every single one is the best out there ever and their personal favorite. Oh and they are all super productive and just awesome end of story. :wink:

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gixxerific
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To add to Lindsay reply I am trying to find the weird looking ones myself. But still they have to taste good you could have a million different colors but if they aren't edible why grow them.

Some of them look dang cool and they are fun to grow, just hopefully they will get eaten.
:wink:

Plus people freak out when they see them, that is cool too.

I brought a bunch of Black Cherry's to work a while back. I was salting them at break before I ate them. My boss looked at me like I was crazy and asked "Why are you salting your grapes?" :lol:

TZ -OH6
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Some tricks to deciphering over enthusiastic seed site descriptions.


1) Look for varieties that were personal favorites or were chosen best tasting for a given year. Laurels Heirlooms and Mariannas seeds are examples.

2) Compare what several seed sites say about the same variety to identify sites that over hype things.

3) Check growers descriptions at Tatiana's tomatobase. Anything better than "good" and "very good" flavor is pretty rare because 1) the reviewers often have average to bad years when they grow a variety and 2) many of them are hard to impress by having grown a lot of varieties.


Don't trust results from tomato taste competitions. The general public that shows up to those things is used to the flavor of store bought tomatoes, and whatever is entered in the competition may not be the best example of the type, so a bad year Brandywine may come in 7th while a good year Mortgage Lifter may come in 2nd. Some super sweet cherry like sungold usually wins.


Don't trust Chef's favorites.

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gixxerific
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Good tips TZ but I never take anything for face value, especially on the net. :wink: Too many people just telling you want they want you to hear. :idea:
Last edited by gixxerific on Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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s.studer
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This year's favorite:

Kumato - best tasting so far
Black Cherry - flavorful and abundant production
Black from Tula - very productive - great slicing tomato
Campari - abundant production and quite good flavor

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gixxerific
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s.studer wrote:This year's favorite:

Kumato - best tasting so far
Black Cherry - flavorful and abundant production
Black from Tula - very productive - great slicing tomato
Campari - abundant production and quite good flavor
Where did you get your Kumato seed from? I had some last year from D_V and in my labeling nightmare I accidentally gave them all away. The ones I had labeled Kumato in my garden came up something different.

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s.studer
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Kumato seeds.

I had my own. Grew some from store-bought Kumatoes last year and kept the seeds. Have a few more for next year.

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gixxerific
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Thanks studer I thought they were hybrids and wouldn't come true. But I suppose they are not.

I saw some at the grocery store a while back when I didn't have anything. They looked dang good. But I have a thing about NOT buying store bought tomatoes. I actually did buy a tomato that time I couldn't believe how expensive it was. It was close to 2$ if I remember right, a big beefsteak. It wasn't very good either. But I about fell over at the register thinking I could buy a packet of seeds for that and have several bushels. :shock:

tedln
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Gixx, If it was an OP variety, you were buying a packet of seed for two dollars. You only need to take it home remove the seed and gel, let it ferment, clean and dry it; and you have next years tomato plants. Just different packaging and no postage.

Ted
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gixxerific
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tedln wrote:Gixx, If it was an OP variety, you were buying a packet of seed for two dollars. You only need to take it home remove the seed and gel, let it ferment, clean and dry it; and you have next years tomato plants. Just different packaging and no postage.

Ted
Funny I didn't think of it like that. Thinking that way it is actually cheaper in the long run because more than likely you will get more seeds out of a tomato than will come in a packet of seeds.

A new way to look at it all. :D Well I'll be damned.

tedln
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Yep, and the good part is you get to eat the package the seed came in.

Ted
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digitS'
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It IS difficult to pick a favorite for the year but I will have to go with a long-time favorite, and it is Sun Sugar cherry.

The last 2 years, I have grown Sungold to see how Sun Sugar compares to that very popular variety. I'd still like to continue this contest :wink: in '11 but Sun Sugar does not split as easily as Sungold even tho' it has a more tender skin. Probably, Sungold has the edge on flavor but the tougher skin that still spits easily is a problem. Both, are real early to ripen.

As far as a new-to-me favorite, that was Tigerella! Tender skin that doesn't split on that one, too. It is also very productive, early, and has a good, old-fashion flavor. I learned to wait until the green stripes turn yellow to indicate that Tigerella is ripe.

Steve

TZ -OH6
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Tigrella is a rarely mentioned variety and I don't know why. As you said, it is early and flavorful and very attractive with its stripes. Maybe its because varieties like Stupice are more widely available.

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Tigerella...that's what i forgot!

So far I have for next year:
Matt's Wild Cherry
Aunt somebody's Yellow Cherry (can't remember her name)
Black Cherry
San Marzano Redorta
Black from Tula
Berkeley Tie-dye
Snow White (a white cherry...and my daughter LOVES snow white the movie)
Costoluto Genovese
Russian Rose
and a couple others whose names escape me, as they aren't at hand. Also, forgive any typos or grammatical errors; I'm posting from my phone and the text is literally microscopic. :shock:
Nick
Zone 7b, NW Ga.

erlyberd
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Here are my results from 2010. Just to add to the confusion!

Best early season...

Kimberly, taste (yum) and early, 105 days seed to first harvest

Uralskiy Ranniy, taste and early, 110 days

Stupice, taste and early, 110 days


Early season culls...

Siberia...not early enough and bland flavor

Manitoba...not early enough and bland flavor



Best mid to late late season...

Black Prince, taste (my best for 2010?) and early, size much, much larger than 5oz in Baker Creeks decription, 115 days

Henderson's Pink Ponderosa, Taste and earliness for large size, 116 days

Cherokee Purple, Taste and earliness for large size, 122 days

Anna Russian, Taste and earliness for large size, 125 days


Still thinking about for 2011...

Brandywine Red, great flavor but 164 days is way too long!

Extreme Bush, good flavor but 126 days is pushing it.

Moskvich, good flavor, good production, but 132 days

Yellow Pear, fair flavor, productive but loved the look in my salad

Tiny Tim, good flavor, a cute dwarf that can be stuck anywhere, 127 days

Sub-Artic Plenty, I thought it was super sweet, did'nt document the days.


Cull...

Rutgers, not much production

Green Zebra, Not sure what all the fuss is about, thought it was rather
bland, especially when over ripe. Made for interesting mixed pasta sauce.


There you have it! Hope it helps.

Still need to pick new selections for the upcoming season.

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Duh_Vinci
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Last year (though short season for me), had few new varieties that I liked very much, but if I had to narrow it down...

Toss between the two:

Ludmila's Yellow Giant - sweet, firm, blemish free and kept off the wine well
Spudakee - rich, sweet flavor as CP, just better production and fruit uniformity compare to CP

For 2011:

Spudatula - love the Black from Tula, but according to many, this PL version tends to produce a little better... For 2 years now, I've had NO luck with germinating seeds of this variety, no matter what I've tried. Looking for a difference seed source this year and hoping to get one going...

Heart Of The Bull - this one has memories tracing back to former USSR where I was born. Particularly areas of the Georgia/Black Sea where we often went for vacation. Farmers markets always had local farmers grow this rather large, firm, meaty and very sweet tomato in 1lb+ weight. In the past years, no one has been able to find them, and a family friend went to Georgia last year said farmers there now, really not growing much. Most tomatoes are now imported and are hybrids. Sad! Very sad... Marianna's listing this variety, and by the the photos, looks exactly to what it should be! Will be ordering them in the next few weeks...

We all have unique tastes, and when it comes to tomatoes - I personally prefer sweet predominance in the flavor, hence my choices above

Happy gardening to all!

Regards,
D

P.S. Many favor Black Krim. Tried growing them many times, from many sources, and yet to find the reason to make it a favorite. This year - high hopes for TZ's seeds!

tedln
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Duh_Vinci,

I read an article recently that stated some parts of the former USSR have placed severe restrictions on home gardeners rights to exchange or trade seed. The article said the intent was to force gardeners to purchase seed from commercial sources. Speculation is some large genetically modified seed companies are trying to force a market to develop for their products. They also seem to be limiting the ability of home gardeners to market their produce locally. There is some strange stuff going on.

Save me some seed from heart of the bull for next year.

Ted
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tedln
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Duh_Vinci,

Here is what I am germinating this year. I have a lot of seed for most of the varieties, but a few varieties, I have no additional seed for. I'm hoping to save seed for those. I've focused on early varieties, mid season varieties, and late season varieties. I'm heavy in reds, blacks, and a few orange varieties. Next year, I plan on trying some green when ripe varieties.

I'm also growing the Juliet cherry variety because my Daughter loves them. They are indestructible and produce tons of tomatoes. I'm also growing the Black Cherry and Sungold varieties in hopes she will like them better and I can stop growing the Juliets.

I'm also growing the Gary Ibsen's Gold because they are the plants I started growing back in October to experiment on. My intent was to toss them when I was through with my experiments. They have become such large beautiful plants that supposedly produce a bright orange fruit, I couldn't force myself to toss them.

Ted

DIMINUTIVE STATURE
AL-KUFFA (2-3ft) deter, OP, 50 days, good taste, good yield, 6 oz, small plant (gift from mdvpc)
EARLY WONDER (3-4ft) deter, OP, 55 days, full flavor, heavy yield, 6 oz, compact plant (From Tomato Growers Supply)
HARNAS (3-4ft) det, 4oz, dark red, heavy production, globe oblate shaped, (trade from Earl)
SIBERIAN 2 (2-3ft) det, 60 days, 4 oz, heavy production, red globe shaped, (trade from Earl)
SIBERIAN BUSHY (2-3ft) deter, 58 days, vey bushy, rugose foliage, excellent taste, heavy production, 2oz fruit (trade from Earl)

SHORT STATURE
ARBUZNYNI, (4-6ft) RL, dark color, good production, 60 to 75 days, some striping, excellent taste (trade from Earl)
BARLOW JAP (4-5ft) PL type. Pink to rose globe, average producer, some disease resistance, 75 to 80 day, very good IAN (trade from AnotherEarl)
BERKELEY TIE-DYE PINK(4-6ft) (HT) Early to mid-early, 65-75 days. indet. regular leaf. 8-12 oz. average. Some report low heat tolerance (Wild Boar Farms)
BLACK FROM TULA (4-6ft) indet, 69/80 days, medium size fruit, oblate, RL, OP, wispy foliage, red to black color, great taste, very productive (Tomato Growers Supply)
BLACK KRIM (HT) (4-6ft) 80 days, indet., regular leaf plant with high yields of large slightly flattened beefsteak, 4" in diameter, black-brown color, outstanding flavor (Gary Ibsens TomatoFest)
CARBON (4-6FT) indet, 69/80 days, OP, average 16 oz, pink to black color, rich flavor, productive, (trade with Kath)
DRUZBA (4-6ft) indet, medium size, 69/80 days, red globe, OP, RL, great taste, bushy plant (trade from Earl)
GREGORI’S ALTAI (4-6ft) (HT) 69/80 days, indet, OP, large pink, productive beefsteak, early, excellent flavor ( from Karla)
INDIAN STRIPE (4-6ft) (HT) 80 days, indet., regular leaf, high yield of dusky dark pink/purple fruits, slight green shoulders, 6-10 oz, irregular fruit shape (Glecklers Seedmen)
MATINA (4-6FT) indt, OP, PL, 55-68 days, good production, red globe, 8 oz, disease resistant, (trade from Earl)

MEDIUM STATURE
BERKELEY TIE-DYE (6-8ft)Mid-late to late, 75-90 days. indet. regular leaf plants. 8-16 oz. Fair to good production. green fruit with yellow and red stripes. Some heat tolerance (from Wild Boar Farms)
BIG BEEF (6-8FT) Hybrid, indet, 16oz fruit, heavy producer, red beefsteak, long season, (from Johnny’s seed)
BLACK & BROWN BOAR (6-8ft) 75 days, indet., regular leaf, high yield of brownish green fruit, good flavor, long season production (Wild Boar Farms)
CUOSTRALEE (6-8ft)98 days, indet., regular leaf plant with high yield of red, fluted beefsteak type fruits, 8-19 oz, excellent flavor (Pinetree Seeds & Gary Ibsen’s TomatoFest)
GARY IBSEN’S GOLD (6-8ft) op, Indet, pl, gold colored globe shaped fruit, heavy producer, 14 oz, (Tomato Fest)
GIANT BELGIUM HEIRLOOM(6-8ft) 88 days. Open pollinated Heirloom. Indeterm. Pink, sweet/ tart, very tasty fruits average 2 lbs, but can get even larger. Fluted beef steak shape(Glecklers Seedmen)
JD’S SPECIAL C TEX (6-8ft) (HT) 80 days, indet., regular leaf, pink black beefsteak fruit, 12-20 oz, outstanding flavor, high yield. (Glecklers Seedmen)
KBX (6-8ft) Late maturing, indet., potato leaf, bright orange fruits, medium-large beefsteak type, some ribbing, 8-16 oz, outstanding flavor, medium to high yield (Glecklers Seedmen)
SPUDAKEE PURPLE (6-8ft) Potato-leafed, indet, averages 12 ounces. Smooth maroon color. 70 days. (Glecklers Seedmen)
STUMP OF THE WORLD (6-8ft) (HT)indet., potato leaf, medium to high yield of large pink beefsteaks, 10-20 oz, very good to excellent sweet flavor, small core (Tomato Growers Supply)
TARASENKO 6 (6-8ft) indet,RL, OP, red beefsteak, 12oz, good production, good taste, 69-80 days, (Trade From Earl)
TOEDEBUSCH PINK (6-8ft) PL, OP, Indet, very large fruit, mid season, productive, (From Ruth)
WES(6-8ft)80-85 days, indet., regular wispy foliage, red heart, moderate production, great sweet taste (Glecklers Seedmen)

TALL STATURE
BLACK CHERRY (8ft+) cherry type, indet, produces all summer with a good black tomato flavor (Pinetree Seeds)
COWLICKS BRANDYWINE(8ft+) PL, Red, Meaty, Good production, Large plant, Large fruit, Late matureing(trade from kath)
JULIET (8ft +) hybrid, red cherry plum type, long season, heavy producer, (purchased seedling)
NEVES AZOREAN RED (8ft+) indet, beefsteak, large (over 1 lb), OP, 80 days, red (Tomato Growers Supply)
SUNGOLD (6-8FT) f1 hybrid, good producer, excellent flavor, cherry type, (from Johnny’s seed)
(Thirty three varieties)
HT)=heat tolerant /
Last edited by tedln on Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Duh_Vinci
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Ted,

I definitely wouldn't dismiss the possibility for partial influence in trying to promote "commercial" sales, but country sides/rural areas would never go for it. It does appear however that at the present time, in large quantities, it is cheaper to just import tomatoes from nearby countries...

Otherwise, villages and country folks will continue to grow and exchange seeds for varieties they grown and loved for generations, can't really stop that. And country markets were always colorful, loaded with local produce from what I remember over 20 years ago...

Regards,
D

EDIT:

Very nice list, Ted! Some I've grown, some going to this year, some next year. Would love to see and hear about your experiences this year! Sitting in front of computer, and going through the list for 2011 as we speak!

The Helpful Gardener
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Ted's commentary deserves a little thought; in the day and age of GMO and patented plants, seed swapping is a last vestige of communal agriculture given to preservation of biodiversity and natural betterment of genes.

The example of Lumpers springs to mind whenever the conversation turns this way; a potato of great bearing and large size that became a runaway favorite in Ireland for decades... until it's susceptibility to blight wiped out the national crop, causing the Great Potato famine.

We are at our agricultural best when we are preserving diversity, extending gene pools and fostering new hybrids through contact with other cultivars and species. We are treading the dangerous road toward famine as we begin to rely on singular sourcing for seeds (as we are currently doing with GMO crops throughout commercial agriculture).

So if we all grow Brandywine and Black Krim, we create a perfect storm for the pathogens that will eventually arise to harvest the monoculture we create. The wide variety of cultivars I see arrayed here does my heart good, and we should do our very best to see that they all continue and improve in that most appropriate place for food, our backyards.

HG
Scott Reil

tedln
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DV,

I thought your comment about the scarcity of the " heart of the bull" variety was interesting since it used to be a common variety. It brought back memories of some conversations posted on a different forum by some European gardeners who reported the same observations about formerly common heirloom varieties. One of the gardeners, I believe in Belarus; posted a link to the article I referenced. I have no idea what authority the current government in Russia and other former socialist republics have to exert their influence into different areas of everyday life. I know I would be upset if our government told me I must start buying my seed from Monsanto distributors and can no longer produce my own.

Ted
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I have been reading Wendell Berry's The Unsettling Of America where he uses the potatao as example (as I did; a wee bit OT, but still in family Solanacea). The Peruvian people have two thousand cultivars of potato; in the town of Uchucmarca (Wendell's topical village) thay have fifty. These have been selected and bred for multiple uses and different traits (Uchucmarca has 4 climatic zones as we see it; the people there break it into seven different growing zones).

Each potato is the result of individual experimentation; frost hardiness for lowland cultivars, fast growers for the dry parts of the year (to avoid the late blight). Higher on the hill the late blight is not frost killed, so some varieties work better there, in the lowlands there is less blight but more frost. The varieties that survive any unfortunate event are saved and grown the following season, extending whatever particular hardiness that is needed to the rest of the gene pool.

No laboratory can offer this breadth of testing or genetic manipulation, the encompassing weeding of weak and reinforcement of beneficial traits. In the modern lab, the singular nature of scientific process (for remember, we are always striving to eliminate variables for scientific testing) selects for the singular trait without regard for other variables. A corn lab selected to resist a bug has given little thought to fungus or bacteria; a potato derived for restance to to a particular pesticide has give Nature little thought at all...

So I hope the rumors of governmental interference with local seed swapping are unfounded, but I remain vigilant as the new paradigm seems more and more geared to the patentable, and therefore marketable plant. It is a road to disaster we are already too far along on...

HG
Scott Reil



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