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Post  deriter 1/3/2013, 10:16 pm

After the rather disappointing season last year, I look forward to planting tomatoes again. I am hoping for a better season more to the liking for tomatoes. I looked so forward to trying purple cherokee but they did not make it. I had some yellow type and the big boys. The big boys were the only ones that made it and they didn't do very well either.

So after have complained about all that, what is your favorite and why please. I like the slicers for sandwiches best. You know the ones that fill a slice of bread completely. Was hoping to see the purple cherokee's but that will have to wait. Have any of you had any luck with them and were they any good?


Last edited by camprn on 1/4/2013, 12:05 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : title correction)
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Post  Pollinator 1/3/2013, 10:21 pm

Purple Cherokees have been a flop for me two year's running. But Black Krim outdid itself in production and in taste, so that's a good substitute.

If you have hot summers, you may find Abe Lincoln, Ozark Pink, and Marion to be more heat tolerant. Those are my standbyes. A bit smaller, but also heat tolerant are Floridade and Creole.

For sauce I like Rio Grande. Super Sioux is from your area - I found it good and very productive, but somewhat susceptible to BER.

A large one I'm going to try this year, if I can find seed, is Delicious. It comes highly recommended to me.
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Post  cheyannarach 1/3/2013, 10:29 pm

I had delicious last year and they were good but my favorite would be the lemon boy that I had for the first time last year! The tomatoes were huge and delicious, a little tangy, yum!
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 1/3/2013, 10:35 pm

Our favorite last summer was a variety from TomatoFest called Dagma's Perfection, a huge golden tomato with pinkish flares in the center. Sweet with just the right touch of acid (made a killer batch of Tomato-Citrus Marmalade, I'm here to tell 'ya). For a red, the best was Black Sea Man, which is like Black Krim, but did better here in the Northwest, and gave a more generous set. Delicious tomato. Here on out, our main tomato plantings will be Dagma's Perfection and Black Sea Man. I'm still looking for a truly great paste tomato. Over the past two years, a variety called Federle was close, but I'd have prefered that it ripened a bit earlier.

Oh, I forgot. A curious heirloom called Bloody Butcher, grown in pots on the deck, set hugh numbers of medium-sized tomatoes. One of these pots, moved into the sunroom in October, just bit the dust. We ate the final four from that plant this evening. Nonna, who is yelling "GO DUCKS!" What a magnificent first 20 seconds in a game!!!
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Post  deriter 1/4/2013, 8:50 am

Oh good grief!!!!!!! I misspelled tomato. I am totally embarrassed.
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Post  camprn 1/4/2013, 12:05 pm

deriter wrote:Oh good grief!!!!!!! I misspelled tomato. I am totally embarrassed.
I fixed it. Very Happy

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Post  deriter 1/4/2013, 12:10 pm

Thank you so much camprn. You are the best!!!! Maybe you fixed that before hardly anyone saw it? Oh well, thanks again
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 1/4/2013, 2:44 pm

The afore-mentioned TomatoFest has a sale on 220 varieties of heirloom tomato seeds even as we speak: http://store.tomatofest.com/Tomato_Seeds_on_Sale_s/43.htm?click=29371
My experiences with TomatoFest have been very good. Nonna
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Post  deriter 1/8/2013, 8:37 am

Thanks for the responses to the favorite tomato. I do believe Black Krim or Black Sea Man will be on my list of toms to try. Hopefully one of those will work here in the midwest. I guess I live a sheltered life or something as I have not heard of these before. It kinda makes me wonder if they are kinda regional. We shall see.
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Post  bwaynef 1/8/2013, 8:56 am

deriter wrote:I do believe Black Krim or Black Sea Man will be on my list of toms to try. Hopefully one of those will work here in the midwest. I guess I live a sheltered life or something as I have not heard of these before. It kinda makes me wonder if they are kinda regional. We shall see.

My favorite tomato is Black Krim. It was ultimately what got me interested in heirlooms. The smokey flavor keeps me coming back for more. Sadly, due to a variety of circumstances not to be blamed on the plant, I was able to harvest only 1 BK tomato this year. I'm hoping not to repeat that this year.

I've added Black from Tula this year as well. It comes from the same area (from Crimea/Ukraine/Old-Russia), and likely is out of the same breeding lines so I expect the taste to be similar, though I've heard from many that BfT has better flavor. I'm excited to find out for myself. If I can find space or willing participants I may broaden my growout to include several more black tomatoes this year.


ps. Black Sea Man comes, obviously, from the Black Sea, ...which surrounds Crimea and is just south of Ukraine.
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Post  jmsieglaff 1/8/2013, 9:25 am

bwaynef wrote:
My favorite tomato is Black Krim.

+1.

I've had good success with Black Krim in southern Wisconsin; not quite as hot as Iowa, but still warm and humid in the summer.
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Post  deriter 1/8/2013, 10:32 am

Hope that it isn't too hot for one of the darker toms. jmsieglaff, I noticed your avatar with the concrete blocks. Looks like you plant stuff in the holes. Do you see any of the blocks busting when it freezes? And do the blocks stay in place pretty well. I have a number of blocks here that I am tempted to use like that but was concerned with the freezing part. It would be nice to plant dwarf marigolds in those holes.
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Post  pryz123 1/8/2013, 3:06 pm

I grow many different heirloom tomatoes. I love Mariannas peace, missouri pink love apple, Carbon, Paul Robeson, black cherry, and spoon. these were my favorite out of the 15 types that I grew. I can't say that any were bad out of the group just that some preformed better than others in the dry hot weather we had in northern Illinois last season.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 1/8/2013, 4:58 pm

pryz, you say you liked Black Cherry a lot. Why? Flavor, or generous fruit? We grew it last summer and were underwhelmed with the taste, though it set lots of fruit. Suppose it prefers a hotter summer? What do you think? Nonna
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Post  quiltbea 1/8/2013, 5:16 pm

I try several different varieties every year and I think I've found my favorite in my zone 5a. Its Red Zebra. Not only is it delicious and a good size, it looks good with the striping. It was even able to fight off blight the longest. I'm going to grow a few again this year.
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Post  Pollinator 1/8/2013, 5:34 pm

bwaynef wrote:
My favorite tomato is Black Krim. It was ultimately what got me interested in heirlooms. The smokey flavor keeps me coming back for more....

I've added Black from Tula this year as well. It comes from the same area (from Crimea/Ukraine/Old-Russia), and likely is out of the same breeding lines so I expect the taste to be similar, though I've heard from many that BfT has better flavor. I'm excited to find out for myself. If I can find space or willing participants I may broaden my growout to include several more black tomatoes this year.

ps. Black Sea Man comes, obviously, from the Black Sea, ...which surrounds Crimea and is just south of Ukraine.

Never heard of Black Sea Man, but I have grown Black from Tula, which to me is equivalent in flavor to Black Krim, but much less productive. For me, the Black Krim just outdoes itself.

Black cherry toms are also very good.
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Post  Pollinator 1/8/2013, 5:37 pm

deriter wrote:... I have a number of blocks here that I am tempted to use like that but was concerned with the freezing part. It would be nice to plant dwarf marigolds in those holes.

That's what I do. About midseason, I prune the DFMs back about half. This keeps them from getting rangy and stimulates an explosion of new bloom.

Don't know about freezing - it's not a problem here. I would suppose it's not much of a problem anywhere unless the blocks are soaking wet, but what do I know???
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Post  pryz123 1/8/2013, 6:41 pm

Nonna,
I didn't like the Black Cherry at first either, but if you let them sit a little longer they are good. Maybe its because of the heat? maybe almost over ripe? I don't know, but everyone loves them. I do remember that every once in a while I would get a couple that were not so good, and I'm not so sure why. I would say that I only got a couple handfuls of bad ones to the mountains of good ones.

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Post  jmsieglaff 1/8/2013, 7:09 pm

deriter wrote:I noticed your avatar with the concrete blocks. Looks like you plant stuff in the holes. Do you see any of the blocks busting when it freezes? And do the blocks stay in place pretty well. I have a number of blocks here that I am tempted to use like that but was concerned with the freezing part. It would be nice to plant dwarf marigolds in those holes.

I put them in last fall (2011) and had no problems with any breakage. So far through this winter no problem either. They stay in place well. A few settled more than I would have liked so I'll lift those and put a little more dirt under them. I plant herbs and flowers in the blocks, looks nice and attracts lots of honeybees.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 1/8/2013, 8:00 pm

Thanks, pryz, From what you say, it must be difference in weather. For tomatoes & peppers, it's always a throw of the dice here in Western Oregon: will the summer be cool and wet, or so dry we worry about forest fires. Think I'll try another couple of Black Cherry plants this year to test again. Nonna
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Post  GWN 1/8/2013, 9:42 pm

Having only grown heirlooms for a few years, brandywines of course are wonderful and very common amongst us gardeners but still impress. I grew a British/Spanish one this year called Alicante which was incredible. I have been gifted with Black Krim and black cherry, so am very excited about these especially after reading all the kind words written about them here.
I have also received another interesting one called chocolate cherry, the name of which has me salivating...
I am curious whether anyone has experience with Jaune Flamme which I learned about from B Kingsolver's Animal vegetable miracle book?
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Post  pryz123 1/9/2013, 11:03 am

Hi GWN,
I grew flamme 2 years ago and thought it was ok, not amazing, but good. I found myself going to different tomatoes instead. I don't know if it was just the year or what because I hear raves about them. I find that sometimes seed may through a bad plant that doesn't taste as well as they are supposed to. Maybe I will try them again this year.
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Post  GWN 1/9/2013, 11:55 am

Maybe I will try them again this year.
Perhaps we could compare....
I find that home grown tomatoes are SOOO much better than store ones, and then heirlooms are soo much better than others ...and then and then and then... They are ALL SO GOOD.
This year I intend to line them up and do taste testing.
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Post  Turan 1/9/2013, 1:35 pm

I grew Juanne Flamme a couple years ago in the greenhouse. They were on the early side, no disease, heavy producers. delicious fresh. I did not think they tasted as good baked or dried. Now I suspect the reason is that it was not until late that we started preserving them and they did not develop as much sugars as the earlier ones had.

I will speak up for the Purple Cherokee. They did very well in my garden last year. Stout plants with an early and very tasty friut. They produced very well, better than my tries with Black Krim or Paul Robeson and I thought they tasted better as well. This might have to do with the particular summer, or just regional. But Purple Cherokee is going on my core tomato list.

I also really like Big Beef. It is a hybrid but Tomatofest has stabalized the breeding to OP now. I need to compare them. I am still searching for a really good paste tomato and cherry. I am trying Cordova for a determinate paste tomato this year for in a cold frame. And Cuore di Bue, an Italian oxheart paste tomato. I have seen it also called Nonna's purse, because of its shape. It is a indeterminate and will go in the greenhouse.

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Post  deriter 1/9/2013, 2:37 pm

I see now that I have a serious problem! So many tomatoes and not enough room to plant them all. But you guys say there is a big difference in taste between heirloom and hybrids? That is something I will have to look at. I usually just plant big boys, early girls, beefsteak, better boys and some kind of yellow. I don't plant all of these the same season anymore, but that is what I pick from with the big boys being first on the list. But if there is more flavor with heirloom, I will have to reconsider my picks.
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