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Hello Guest!
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 1/9/2013, 3:46 pm

You may discover flavor has something to do with your own garden. For instance, Mel's mix has all of the nutrients for a great tomato, but it's just one part, the others being: adequate water, good light and warm temperatures (having originated in the tropics). If your present choices taste wonderful to you, why change? Or perhaps just add one new heirloom variety and compare. Nonna
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Post  deriter 1/9/2013, 4:07 pm

Hey nonna, I am open to learn from you folks as I never gave much thought to why I plant what I do. I just liked the large tomatoes for slicing. Big boys are a large slicing type. The yellow ones for the lower acid content when I have eaten too many reds. I do know some years the toms are bitter and disappointing sometimes due to just the season. But it is easy to see that some of you have taken tomatoes very seriously and have made efforts to find the very best. This is what I am trying to gather from anyone willing to share.

The ones we usually find at Walmart, HyVee, and etc, are usually the hybrids. So if the heirlooms taste better, well, like they say there is always room for improvement. I want the very best that will grow in my Iowa region. I understand that not all the ones list here so far will perform well in Iowa, but there may be some that will.
Thanks to all have shared so far and hope some more will share their best tomato with us.
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Post  GWN 1/9/2013, 4:21 pm

Deriter
I am not sure where you are, but in this area I am told that the heirloom sell for almost twice what the hybrids sell for at the farmers markets. My SIL told me that they were 6 dollars a pound at her market, at least early in the year.
So that says something.... about flavour.
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Post  deriter 1/9/2013, 4:29 pm

Ok, now that is what I am talking about. If they can get almost double price for heirlooms, then there must be a difference that I should be looking for. I am in southern Iowa in zone 5 b. So I don't know how to sort out all these different toms for best regional performance. May just have to a trial and error test on each until I find the ones that work here!
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 1/9/2013, 4:38 pm

I was surprised last summer to find some heirloom plants, Brandywine being one, at Costco of all places! Never know when you'll find just the right thing. And, for fine tomatoes, deriter, my understanding is Iowa is prime tomato growing real estate. Okay, so I'm a bit envious. Nonna, who is trying to bring in firewood between rain storms.
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Post  deriter 1/9/2013, 4:40 pm

Nonna, we would welcome some of that rain. Its almost but forgot how to do that around here.
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Post  GWN 1/9/2013, 5:27 pm

You know Deriter, the gardening zone has less to do with how tomatoes grow, than how hot it gets in the summer.
I used to live on coastal oregon, i am sure we were zone 9, but I could never grow tomatoes except in a green house because the summers never got warm. Now I am living at zone 5a and it gets very cold in the winter (down to -10 F) at least...... however it gets quite hot in the summer here, and so they seem to grow wonderfully here. They just need a bit of a head start indoors.
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Post  deriter 1/9/2013, 5:49 pm

I think last year it just got too hot and the rain was almost nonexistent. The other thing I did was started my toms way early. This year I am going to follow the book a little closer on the toms.
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Post  pryz123 1/10/2013, 11:59 am

Hi Deriter, I live in northwest Illinois and usually have no problem growing tomatoes. I grow only heirloom tomatoes, actually all the veggies I grow are heirlooms. Have you checked out Bakers creek, or Seedsavers exchange? oh, and Tomatofest has hundreds of heirloom and open polinated varieties of tomatoes. they all have great selection. Baker creek has reviews one there website.

I grow heirlooms not only for there flavor but also to protect them from being lost to the new hybrids and FrankenFoods( the gene spliced and diced by monsanto and then patented by them also known as GMO or genetically modified organism. its my way of trying to slow down big agra-business.

I have found that missouri pink love apple, mariannas peace, paul robeson, black cherry, carbon, and brandywines have always done good here. maybe that would give you a good starting point. but really there is a lot of personal preference. some people like real sweet tomatoes and some like the more tart old time tomato tastes. good luck picking your heirlooms. Smile

Nonna,
I don't mean to correct you but just read about this from
Dr. Carolyn Male. "Actually Tomatoes are not tropical. They are from the highlands of Chile and Peru, mainly, where the temperatures are temperate, not steamy." ~ Carolyn Male

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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 1/10/2013, 1:07 pm

Pryz, My misconception, sorry 'bout that. I do wonder what C. Male means by "highlands." How high? How cool? How wet? How long ago? We've found some varieties do well in this cool, wet, part of Oregon (about 800' elevation). Others turn toes up. For instance: Dagma's Perfection is huge with excellent flavor. Brandywine struggles and, even ripe, has a somewhat astringent flavor. From the raves posted by others on this forum, I'd guess Brandywine just doesn't like Saint Helens. Laughing Thanks for your information. Nonna
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Post  deriter 1/10/2013, 3:36 pm

I agree with you pryz123 on the gmo stuff. Just another thought, do you battle with more diseases with the heirlooms than the hybrids? I had not thought about the issues between the two before. I guess if it not be much more of a problem then I am all for staying away from the gmo lines.
Last year I bought seeds from My Patriot Supply who seemed to to a very good job with my order.
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Post  bwaynef 1/10/2013, 4:33 pm

deriter wrote:Just another thought, do you battle with more diseases with the heirlooms than the hybrids? I had not thought about the issues between the two before. I guess if it not be much more of a problem then I am all for staying away from the gmo lines.

To be clear, Hybrids aren't the same as GMO. Hybrids aren't the enemy, they just don't produce seed that will (necessarily) grow the same plant that you expect.

Also, when you're GROWING your own food, you'd have to go out of your way to purchase seeds/seedlings that are GMO.
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Post  jmsieglaff 1/10/2013, 4:47 pm

bwaynef wrote:
To be clear, Hybrids aren't the same as GMO. Hybrids aren't the enemy, they just don't produce seed that will (necessarily) grow the same plant that you expect..

That's a very good point. Every heirloom was a hybrid at some point way long ago (cross of two different tomatoes). In fact, it might be fun to try to create my own tomato crosses (aka hybrid) and who knows if over the years I find a good one, it's the next heirloom.
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Post  pryz123 1/10/2013, 4:58 pm

Nonna, I didn't know about the tomatoes not being tropical until recently either just thought I would post it scince it seems to be thought of that way. and yes the siberian tomatoes do better in the cool climates.

Deriter, I have been growing heirlooms for about 8 or 9 years now. I think I had one season that I had lost a couple of tomato plants due to disease. I didn't think it was that big of a deal because that rest of the tomato plants did just fine. some heirlooms show some disease resistance too. I guess you just have to research which ones. Like I say tomatofest has tons of info on there website and good discriptions of ther varieties too. I find it interesting to go threw them and pick out what I want to try.

bwaynef~ I know that hybrids are not GMOs. I was meaning that I try to grow and produce most of the food that we eat. I do this because most of the food in the grocery store is from GMOs. I also feel that by buying from and helping the heirloom movement that the big ag business gets less money in there pocket. Also, the more people that are aware of what goes on maybe things will begin to change.
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Post  pryz123 1/10/2013, 6:07 pm

[quote= For instance: Dagma's Perfection is huge with excellent flavor. Brandywine struggles and, even ripe, has a somewhat astringent flavor. From the raves posted by others on this forum, I'd guess Brandywine just doesn't like Saint Helens. Nonna[/quote]

Nonna, Isn't funny how they can be that way. You would think that the production would change but not the taste. I would not have guessed that Brandywine would be like that. but then again, I have heard that in the south they love cherokee purple, but in the north its usually does not do as good.

I'm not sure exactly what the highlands climate is like either but you could research Carolyn Male and see if you could fine what she has to say? she is on the I dig my garden forum, and I think she usually answers questions too. She wont tell you what her favorites are thought. LOL
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Post  deriter 1/10/2013, 6:11 pm

So at what point does a hybrid become able to produce the same fruit that it was? Let me try to say that another way, when can you save seeds and expect to get the same fruit as the parent?
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Post  camprn 1/10/2013, 6:44 pm

deriter wrote:So at what point does a hybrid become able to produce the same fruit that it was? Let me try to say that another way, when can you save seeds and expect to get the same fruit as the parent?
Not usually with a hybrid. Also the seed is hybridized usually to combat or resist some type of disease. If you plant the seed and it reverts it may nor longer have that resistance.

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Post  pryz123 1/10/2013, 7:53 pm

Hi Deriter,
Usually the tomato has to be open pollinated. then as long as there has not been any cross polination then it should be true to type. I have had pretty good luck. I do bag blossom and pick the best fruit to save seeds from. This is another reason that I love heirlooms. Very Happy It is actually really fun and gives you a good feeling that you can save your own seed.

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Post  bwaynef 1/10/2013, 9:29 pm

deriter wrote:So at what point does a hybrid become able to produce the same fruit that it was? Let me try to say that another way, when can you save seeds and expect to get the same fruit as the parent?

With tomatoes, its usually the 8th generation of tomatoes before its generally accepted to be stable. Stability can happen sooner with a little luck and good selection.
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Post  camprn 1/10/2013, 9:47 pm

Thanks Bwayne! okay

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Post  northern.light.58 2/24/2013, 9:58 am

I know this is an old topic but I just had to list my favorite, mortgage lifter. Huge, craggy, heirloom, and fantastic taste. And if you want a cherry, try ladybug. Tiny, prolific, and tomatoey tart, not sweet. I like my tomatoes tart. The ladybug is an heirloom I got a few year ago through a seed saver group, so you will have to search online.
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Post  RoOsTeR 2/24/2013, 11:39 am

northern.light.58 wrote:I know this is an old topic but I just had to list my favorite, mortgage lifter. Huge, craggy, heirloom, and fantastic taste. And if you want a cherry, try ladybug. Tiny, prolific, and tomatoey tart, not sweet. I like my tomatoes tart. The ladybug is an heirloom I got a few year ago through a seed saver group, so you will have to search online.

I may have to search that one out. I'm still looking for a cherry tomato for this year Favorite Tomato - Page 2 3170584802

Edit:
Found a hybrid at Park Seed
http://parkseed.com/tomato-ladybug-hybrid/p/05413-PK-P1/

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Post  CapeCoddess 2/24/2013, 11:52 am

I like Sungold for yummy cherry. And Super Sonic for flavor. I think they may both be hybrid but I saved seeds anyway and they are growing great right now indoors - both 100% germination. We'll see what happens.

Rooster, I have a few Sungold left if you want to try them. PM me your address (I owe you some collard seeds, too).

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Post  FamilyGardening 2/24/2013, 12:52 pm

we loved these cherry tomatoes!!....our six year old grew them in his self watering container in MM.....it was a huge plant with Lots of fruit!

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Post  llama momma 2/24/2013, 1:13 pm

This year went big on exploring 9 varieties I never grew before. Got reds, orange, white, and striped varieties. Driving me nuts as I can't wait to get started.
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