I got back into gardening this season full-bore, or at least as full bore as one can be with limited space. With regard to tomatoes, I planted 2 cherry, 2 beefsteak, and 4 Fourth of July in my front bed, and a Fourth of July as an experiment in a shady area. The Beefsteak were for old time sake, I hadn't planted any in years. They did well but other than being large enough to cover a burger they don't do much that other varieties can't do. The Cherry are for my wife. The problem is we end up like everyone else, thousands of tiny tomatoes and nothing to do with them. This year I decided we'd learn to can. Right now I have 6 lbs. of Cherry Tomatoes thawing on the counter, today is Tomato Jam day.
At first I was disappointed in the size of the FoJ's. They average about 1.5-2 oz. I was looking for an Early Girl but didn't see any, so I grabbed these. They are as advertised though. Very early, very prolific, and fairly tasty. Though smaller in size it occurred to me that they are ideal size for canning whole. We've picked hundreds and hundreds of the little guys, are still picking and canning. I am currently saving them in batches by straining and pureeing, then freezing. When I have enough I'll try my hand at some canned spaghetti sauce.
I've decided to swap things up for next year. More tomatoes are on tap and a better use of space in my Sq. Ft. garden. I have room for 12 indeterminate plants, trellised. Cherry will be limited to one plant just so we have them. I am going to plant 3 of the FoJ's because we like them, they're very early, and can be used for just about anything. The next four spots will be set aside for Early Detroit. I am interested to grow this tomato for it's local history, and in reading up it appears to be a medium sized tomato with excellent flavor and a good choice for most uses, including canning leftovers at the end of the season. The next three plants will be an Amish Paste. These will be dedicated to sauces and preserving while we're enjoying the other varieties. Lastly, I am considering one plant of the Super Sauce Hybrid to round out the paste row. It gets good reviews and looks like it'd be fun to grow.
So from you tomato experts, please give me your thoughts on my selections for next year. I suppose I'm no different than most of you in that I grow tomatoes for just about every reason there is. Do my choices appear to be a good mix for the goals? Does anyone have experience with the Super Sauce?