Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 Tomato Album

I meant to do this post a few months ago but never got around it. With 2010 coming to a close, I guess now would be a good time. As a tribute to the best tomato growing season we've seen here in New England in quite some time (or so I've been told), here are my notes and thoughts regarding the varieties I grew this year. In no particular order:

Black from tula
Black from Tula - I was really surprised by this black tomato. Not only did it produce well but the flavor was rich and sweet and just as good as Cherokee Purple in my opinion. I will definitely be growing it again next year.

Anahue Tomato San Remo Paste Tomato
Anahu (left) - I won't be growing this variety again. I only got a handful of small fruit from this plant and the flavor was only so so. I suspect that it would be better suited for a warm climate.

San Remo Paste - Probably one of the best producing vines I grew this year. The flesh is very dry and the fruit is almost completely hollow inside. I would consider growing it again but probably not for this upcoming year.

Aunt Rubie's German Green Dr. Carolyn Tomato
Aunt Ruby's German Green - The flavor of this tomato was very good - sweet and not nearly as tart as I was expecting. The fruits are pretty hefty in size as well. An ok producer, I may grow this variety again.

Dr. Carolyn - Very good producer, these cherry tomatoes are quarter-sized, sweet, VERY mild in flavor and not the least bit tart. My neighbor particularly enjoyed this variety. I may grow it again.

Brandywine Tomato
Brandywine - This came in a packet of red and yellow Brandywine tomato seeds from Botancial Interests. While it was sweet like a Brandywine should be, I have to admit that I was expecting something different (in terms of color and flavor) when I bought the seeds. As a result, I'm growing a different strain of Brandywine next year.

Hillbilly Tomato
Mystery Tomato - I grew two vines thinking they were Hillbilly tomatoes but as it turned out, they each produced fruit that looked nothing like what a true Hillbilly tomato should look like. Not only are they flatter in shape but are almost completely hollow inside. Even though they were good stuffing tomatoes, I don't think I'll grow them again.

Komohana Grape Tomato Green Zebra Tomato
Komohana Grape - These grape tomatoes are beautiful, very firm and not very sweet. They produced well but I don't think I'll be growing them again.

Green Zebra - I like this variety. It was sweet and had an interesting zing to it. The flavor mellows as the fruit ripens and develops a yellow undercoat, but I prefer to harvest them before they get to this point.

Cuor Di Bue Tomato Clear Pink Early Tomatoes
Cuor Di Bue - The best producing vine I grew this year. A word of caution - this tomato, in my opinion, is not suitable for fresh eating. The fresh is dry, incredibly mealy and not very sweet at all. All of them ended up in my tomato sauce. Unfortunately, I won't be growing it again.

Clear Pink Early - I really enjoyed this tomato. Too bad the voles loved them too. A great early tomato, they are sweet and have a nice fruity flavor. I will be growing them again.

Cherokee Purple Tomato
Cherokee Purple - How could you not like this tomato? It has an amazingly rich flavor and is very sweet. It is a fantastic producer and was one of the first beefsteak tomatoes to ripen in my garden.

Green Grape Tomato Black Krim Tomato
Green Grape - About the size of a dollar coin, this tomato has a good balance of sweet and tart. A determinate variety, it was somewhat more prone to rodents in my garden. A good producer, I may grow it again.

Black Krim - I have to admit that I may have liked this variety slightly more than the Cherokee Purple (shocking I know). I'll definitely be growing it again just to be sure. It has a nice winey flavor you find in many purple/black varieties. Also, it was a good producer.

Isis Candy Tomatoe Sungold Tomato
Isis Candy - If left to ripen completely, it can be even sweeter than Sungold (almost sugary sweet like the name suggests) with none of the tartness. A very good producer as well. Again, a keeper.

Sungold - Again, how could you not like this tomato. A prolific producer and very sweet with the right amount of tartness. My only complaint is that the fruit has a tendency to split when picked very ripe. I've noticed that it is also more likely to split if you harvest the fruit under the mid-day sun. However, it produces so well that you can afford to lose a few. Also, they make very tasty sun-dried tomatoes.

Black Cherry Tomatoes
Black Cherry - My favorite cherry tomato this year. A very good producer, the quarter-sized fruit has a rich flavor that most cherry tomatoes lack. Definitely a keeper.

Couer di Pigeon Juane Tomato Red Siberian Tomato
Cuoer di Pigeon Juane - Interesting shape and color and a very good producer. However, I didn't like the taste very much. Not the least bit sweet and the flavor was as close to bland as a tomato can get. I definitely will not be growing it again.

Red Siberian - The flavor was acceptable and the plants produced abundantly. However, I would disagree with the Botanical Interests seed packet, which labeled it as an indeterminate variety. It grew like a determinate and stopped producing well before the first frost. Also, this was supposed to be my "early" tomato this year. However, the Cherokee Purple ended up ripening before this did. I will not be growing it again.

Purple Tomatillo Purple Tomatilloes
Purple Tomatillo - I know, I know - these are not tomatoes. But they are at least in the same family. My purple tomatilloes produced abundantly and were beautiful to look at.

Amish Paste Tomatoes
Amish Paste - Again, what is there not to love about this tomato. Marc's favorite variety this year, it is a great all-purpose tomato. A wonderful paste variety but is one of the tastiest fresh-eating tomatoes I grew this year as well. I will definitely be growing Amish Paste year after year.


  1. A very nice compilation of tomatoes grown in your veggie patch and good reference. I wonder if you have grown super sioux or challenger variety before? Wishing you a merry holiday!

  2. What a wonderful tomato overview!
    Black Krim, Cherokee Purple and Amish Paste are already on my list for next year.

    How do you keep different varieties from cross-pollination? Or you will buy new seeds?

  3. Very nice tomato review Thomas. I wish that I was as organized as you and included pictures in my tomato review.

  4. Thanks for the overview. I always loves people overviews of tomatoes. I wonder if I should try Black From Tula. I would love a smaller black tomato.

  5. Once again you've elevated vegetables to art with the excellent photography!
    Thanks so much for a very useful update on your favorites.

  6. hmmm... your photos aren't showing up on my end. Wonder why?

    I want to grow Amish paste this year too!

  7. I'm glad that you posted this as we were just trying to decide if we wanted to add the Black from Tula to next years mix. It sounds like a really great variety.

  8. Malay-Kadazan Girl - No I haven't. I will definitely google those varieties though.

    vrtlarica - to be honest, I didn't save any tomato seeds this year since I still have quite a few left. I need to read up more tomato seed saving.

    Robin - I have to say, I enjoyed putting together this album.

    Daphne - Black from Tula is actually quite large. It's comparable to Cherokee Purple in size.

    weaverpat - Thank you! I really appreciate your compliment!

    Toni - My photos are embedded directly from Flickr. Some work places block content from social media website. Maybe that or Flickr maybe down for some inexplicable reason.

    Mr. H. - It is! You won't be disappointed.

  9. Beautiful photos. Thank you so much for sharing this overview of tomato varieties you grew this year. I will be adding Amish Paste tomatoes to my garden next year.

  10. What a great overview, very helpful. We seem to have the same opinion about most of the tomatoes that we've both grown so I'll take your advice about the ones to skip. Do try Hillbilly again, it is one of my favorite tomatoes, although it does like warmer summers than what I get now so I'm not growing it anymore. I haven't tried Amish Paste or Black Krim, so I'll probably try those next year. I didn't do a tomato overview this year since it was so cool this summer and my tomatoes weren't really up to snuff.

  11. Thanks for the wonderful reviews. I can't wait to try again with the Black Krims. It was all my fault they didn't produce well.

  12. Great review Thomas. And beautiful photography. I thought I was looking at a book!

  13. I enjoyed your tomato tour very much. Now I can't wait for my own to ripen. I am growing some of the same varieties: green zebra, cherokee purple,

  14. First of all, you grew so many varieties! Just amazing! I love all the descriptions you provided of the tomatoes. I bookmarked this page so I can refer to it when I buy seeds. Thanks for posting. Happy holidays!

  15. Wonderful post, Thomas. A great resource.

  16. Great overview and commentary on the tomatoes. I am quite limited in what will grow well in my cool maritime climate - so many of my old time favorites are just not possible to grow anymore (unless I move again!). I am sticking to the varieties I know will grow well here this coming year.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  17. Great post, and beautiful photographs. I have a hard time choosing between black krim & cherokee purple as well, they were both top notch. Also agree on the amish paste- what a great tomato variety.

  18. they are gorgeous photos thomas. and that snow is impressive! we are just starting to harvest our first tomatoes of the season down here.

  19. I love this post! It's always great to read what other people are thinking about what they grew, especially in the planning time of year! Your pictures are beautiful! I'm glad to see someone else liked Green Zebra tomatoes, I thought the flavor was a lot of fun, a nice change up!

  20. Oooh! Makes me so excited to start planning my next garden! This year I had a late, frantic start and just went with whatever was available in plant form at Home Depot, so I'm extra excited to pick and choose my varieties this year.

  21. Thanks for the overview. It's interesting that San Remo didn't grow well in your area, it performs well for me, the fruits were juicy and no hollow cavities.

    Happy new year to you and yours.

  22. Your photography is superb! Great wrap-up on the many types of tomatoes you grew this year. Thanks for sharing!

  23. This is the best gardening blog post ever. I wish I'd seen it before I ordered my tomato seeds this year. GREAT photos and I love that you included the name of the variety and lots of information. Can't wait until next year when I can use your expertise.
    I'm hoping my New England tomatoes will grow as well as yours!

  24. Black from Tula - I was really surprised by this black tomato. Not only did it produce well but the flavor was rich and sweet and just as good as Cherokee Purple in my opinion. I will definitely be growing it again next year.
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