dirtclod
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Looking for new (to me) tomato varieties

I've grown a lot of better boys, romas, cherry and beefsteak tomatoes over the years. I'm looking for a few new to me varieties that are proven producers with few problems and good flavor that will grow well in Kentucky. I use them raw, as salsa and sauce.

I'm reasonably happy with Better Boys. But more disease resistance and fewer ripening problems would be welcome.

I want to get away from beefsteak because their uneven ripening and weird shapes. Bragging about a big tomato is one thing...having one that is shaped well for making many good sandwich slices is another. Some of my biggest this year:
[img]https://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k258/treebucker/DSCI0012.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k258/treebucker/DSCI0011.jpg[/img]

I've grown Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes for several years. They're good producers but I've had a significant number of splits. I'm ready for a change.

Roma is a good canning tomato. Do you know of other varieties that produce a high flesh to seed ratio and produce well?

I've heard they grow some sweet varieties in California that I would like to hear more about.
God !st

opabinia51
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Go for the heirlooms, I like Cherokee Purple, Russian Black, black tomatoes, zebra tomatoes (take a long time to ripen) and currant tomatoes. The latter are literally the size of a currant and explode with flavour when you put them in your mouth. You can also get white tomatoes and there are a myriad of others.
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stella1751
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What would you say is the most disease-resistant of the heirlooms? I, too, am looking for a new variety to plant next year. I want an indeterminate with medium-size pretty tomatoes. Gotta be red. I tried Lemon Boys this year, and they looked weird on sandwiches. I haven't tried an heirloom in over a decade, but maybe it's time I gave them a shot again.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

top_dollar_bread
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hey stella,
i heard the velvet red cherry was voted the best tasting over @ seed exchange.
Coming close by was mexico midget, sheboygan, red and green zebra, & brandywine

ill be giving cherokee purple, sugar sweetie, super sweet 100 and beefstake a try this year. i never grew them before and im hopping ill enjoy them...
i hear Cherokee purps is really good, loved duh_vinci results and the photos sealed the deal.
i cant wait, I hear good things on brandywine and lots of other goodies in duh_vinci garden, they all looked yummy & I wish I could eat them
good luck on your search, im still looking for the ones i listed :wink:

opabinia51
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Disease resistance has more to do with than just genetics and phenetics. What makes a tomato resistant to disease is how it's grown. So, with all varieties it is important to have healthy soil, and not splash soil onto the plant when watering. It is important that that they have a well established, healthy root system. And plant the plants with their associated companion plants. Also, plant plants around your tomatoes that attract beneficial insects.
Feed the soil, not the plants.

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gixxerific
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I plan on not buying anything locally this year as far as tomatoes, unless my seeds don't do well. Normally that would include better boys, beefsteak, big boys the usual Lowe's and nursery stuff. I had a bad year plus I just want to try something new for once.

Some of the varieties I'm looking at are: Black From Tula, Cherokee Purple, Amish Paste, Kellogg's Breakfast. That is just a start it may change I will add more there are just so many different varieties it's hard too choose.

Oh and according to one website some good companion plants for tomatoes are Onion, Marigold, Asparagus, Carrot, Parsley, Cucumber, not sure why but that is what they suggest.
Last edited by gixxerific on Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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stella1751
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I've heard Marigolds and Basil make good companions for tomatoes, neither of which I have any use for :)

Like you, Gix, I do not want to buy my plants next year. The summer before this one, I started all my own pepper plants (100+), and they were incredibly vigorous plants. It's been years since I started my own tomatoes, though, and I think it's time. I'm disappointed in how my guys did this year and the year before.
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tedln
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For me, pepper plants, basil, and squash plants have been companion plants for tomatoes. I usually grow all of those in the same bed. The only thing you have to be careful about is the fact that the tomatoes can over shade the peppers. The squash can grow so fast, it will cover everything blocking sunlight. I always plant my tomatoes and peppers first and let them grow a little before I plant my squash seed. I plant the basil seed last because it simply will not germinate until the soil is pretty warm. I have to pick a spot for the basil where I know nothing will grow and shade it.

I don't know if you can find a tomato plant with better disease resistance than Better Boy. I've grown them as my standby for many years. I can't remember ever having a problem with the plants. I know a lot of people grow celebrity as their standby tomato with good results. I haven't grown them but they seem to have a good reputation.

Like you, I am a little tired of growing nothing but standby tomatoes and plan on growing a lot of different heirlooms next year including some really unusual ones.

I accidentally grew some Juliet cherry tomatoes this year. I thought I was purchasing a different variety of non cherry tomatoes. Someone had switched the tags on the plants. I would love to meet and thank that person. I plan on growing Juliet's for as long as I garden. I'm still not a real fan of cherry tomatoes, but they just kept producing from March, through the heat of summer, and my daughter picked half of a Walmart sack full yesterday. Everyone who I have given them to loves them. I even filled some zip lock bags with them and froze them. They will be great to throw into some pasta dishes this winter.

Ted
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tedln
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Dirtclod,

I had to post a followup to your thread because I can't stop laughing every time I look at those photos you posted of the beefsteak tomatoes. We have a local farm and ranch supply store that sells a large variety of heirloom seedlings each spring as well as a lot of non heirloom. Every year they sponsor a tomato contest and award prizes for the largest, the prettiest, the best tasting and just about every thing else they can think of. My favorite is the ugliest tomato contest. It is won almost every year by a beef steak tomato. I don't know why, but they grow some truly ugly tomatoes. I have friends who grow them every year. They must taste great.

Ted
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stella1751
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While searching for the perfect tomato, for me, online, I found this cool website from [url=https://vegvariety.cce.cornell.edu/mainSearch/showAll.php?ID=56&sortBy=overallrating&order=DESC&searchIn=1]Cornell University[/url]. There are 760 different tomato varieties that have been rated on this site. I've got to play with it some more to learn how to restrict my search (indeterminate, shorter season, so on).

Update (Edit): I played with the Cornell University website and right now am seriously considering Delicious Tomatoes. Has anyone had luck with those?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

tedln
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Stella,

That is a great site. I had been there previously, but it was not well organized. Now it is easy to navigate and select varieties best suited for each growing zone. I even added a rating for my Goliath and Juliet tomatoes. Thanks for reminding me about the site.

(Looks like I will be putting my frost protection blankets on my tomatoes tonight.)

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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applestar
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Alright Tedln and IT, *convince me* that tomatillos are worth planting. Since I discovered green tomato substitution in salasa recipes for tomatillos (and that tasted mighty good to me), I'm not sure that I need them. But I've never had tomatillos aside from at restaurants, so I don't know/lack basis for making an informed decision.

Tomatos I'm repeating this year are Principe Borghese, Moskowits, Valencia, as well as Bellstar (to try again -- not as definite thumbs up as others). Also planting a good variety of others (thanks to Duh_Vinci :wink:).

tedln
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Sorry Applestar, I can't convince you because I've never grown them. I do enjoy eating them though. I may grow them some day but I kinda put them into the same class as ground cherries which I've never grown, but want to. I also want to grow some kiwi, but haven't. I figure I will finish my time on earth with a lot of things I wanted to grow, but simply couldn't find the time or space.

Like you, I will be trying some heirloom tomatoes along with the standby Better Boys this year. I guess if I ever get bored with tomatoes, I will have time and space for some of those other things.

Happy gardening.

Ted
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Ozark Lady
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I ordered alot of tomato seeds throughout 2009. So, I am ready to experiment in 2010.
Normally, Arkansas Traveller is my baby. But it and Roma let me down in 2009. Some no-names did fine though. I wish I had saved the stakes that were on them. But, I only know one was a cherry and the other likely a beefsteak. I don't buy hybrids, but you know, and I know, how easy it is to get the tags mixed up on them at the stores.

I did save seeds from them. But, not from my failures last year.
I still need to order some Arkansas Traveller seeds, perhaps if I start my own then they will act right!

Here is my tomato grow list for 2010: I purchased these seeds, so haven't tried them in my garden yet.
Banana legs
Beefsteak
Belgian Giant
Blue Tomato
Bradley
Brandywine, red
Brandywine, pink
Burpees Long keeper
Capian Pink
Cherokee Purple
Grueso
Hillbilly
Liberty Bell
Missouri Love Apple
Old German
Oxheart red
Oxheart pink
Peach Blow Sutton
Ponderosa
Riesenstraube
Rutgers
Yellow Stuffer

With that many, surely something will stand out... as the best of them all.
I need to go look them up and get ready for planting in 2010!
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

cynlee01
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Here in zone 7 (NC) I love the German Johnson & German Pink. Have tried quite a few others, but always insist on these. I get them at a local nursery. I don't know if German Johnson is the same as Old Johnson? So-o-o many varieties!
CLM

bigdoug
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dirtclod,

If you make a considerable amount of salsa I would suggest that you grow the excellent paste variety Polish Linguisa. I have grown it and the Opalka variety for years now and the are the biggest, sweetest, meatiest salsa making tomatoes I have found. Linguisa is the hardier of the two, but I haven't had disease problems with either plant. As far as the other heirlooms listed above, what they are suggesting are great tomatoes, but most are slicers and not ideal for making salsa. You want a paste tomato for good salsa.

Decado
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One tomato you likely haven't thought of is Super Fantastic, I just tried one last summer because a friend was growing it and it was one of the sweetest and most flavorful large sized tomatoes I've ever had. Plus they tend to be very perfectly shaped for slicing.

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