Saturday, February 09, 2008
These are the tomato varieties I'm growing this year. I haven't grown tomatoes from seed for many years. By growing my own, I'm looking forward to having more unusual varieties. I have ten varieties so far. They should be planted indoors around April 5th.
Brandywine: One of the best-tasting tomatoes. Brandywine's luscious flavor is "very rich, loud, and distinctively spicy." The large fruits, often over 1 lb., have deep pink skin and smooth red flesh. 78 days.
Cherokee Purple: Unusual variety with full flavor. Pre-1890 Tennessee heirloom is reportedly of Cherokee Indian origin. Ripens to a unique dark, dusky pink/purple. Sometimes called a 'black' tomato, the color carries though to the flesh, especially at the stem end. Relatively short vines. 72-85 days.
Giant Belgium: Huge pink, somewhat Beefsteak type fruits. Plant produces good yields of 2 lb to 5 lb dark pink beefsteak tomatoes. Tomatoes are very sweet, meaty, and turn dark pink when mature. A low acidity tomato that is excellent for salads, sandwiches, and canning. So huge you only need one slice per sandwich. An heirloom variety from Ohio. 85 days.
Oxheart Red: An old-fashioned favorite with heart-shaped pink fruit that weigh up to 1 pound. Beautiful big, oval, pointed fruit with a fine sweet old time flavor! The meaty fruit have few seeds. Wonderful for sauces and cooking. 80 days.
Purple Calabash: Unusual heirloom. Oblate, very wrinkled, dark pink-purple flattened, with 3 to 4 oz. fruit. The ribbed, bulbous, and scarred Purple Calabash tomato dates back to pre-Columbian Mexico. The Aztecs combined this "xitomatl" with hot peppers and ground squash seeds to make a salsa that would accompany fish and meat. The flavor of the Purple Calabash is rich and concentrated like a slowly simmered sauce. Fantastic fresh, this tomato shines in sauces and pastes. 75-90 days.
San Marzano: 3 to 6 oz. paste type. The perfect start to the perfect pizza. Tall vines produce heavy yields of long, cylindrical fruit a week earlier than other San Marzano varieties. Delicious, balanced acidic flavor, and meaty flesh. 78 days.
Big Beef: Nice combination of size, taste, and earliness. Full-flavored, globe-shaped fruits ripen early for their size. 1994 All-America Selections winner. 70 days.
New Girl: First early, great taste. Better tasting and more disease resistant than Early Girl. Holds better than First Lady II. Widely adapted. 62 days.
Orange Blossom: The best early orange tomato. Medium-firm, globe-shaped fruits average 6-7 oz., have a nice texture, and are mildly flavored, balanced with a little acidity. Developed by Dr. Brent Loy, Univ. of New Hampshire. Determinate. 60 days.
Pink Beauty: Perfect, pink, medium-size, 6-8 oz., flattened globes have full, rich tomato flavor. One of the best tasting tomatoes in trials. Healthy plants produce firm, blemish-free fruit. 74 days.