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Thread: TOMATO VARIETIES For The Back Yard Gardener

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    TOMATO VARIETIES For The Back Yard Gardener

    All you back yard tomato growers ....what varieties do you like to plant and have had good results with. I usually wander around the local nursery , look at all the different plants and select some based on how the plant looks , if the name is familiar (my dad had his favorites) and I watch what the other guys are buying .....
    Sometimes a plant will grow, looks like it's going to do good then one day it will just wilt wither up and die...
    My selections are about as unscientific as you can get . Having had problems with different wilts and nematodes I decided to try to select some disease resistant varieties that might do well in our hot humid climate.
    So what I have planted right now , based on disease resistance is :

    Better Boy , V F N
    Whopper , V F1 F2 N T
    Creole , V F1 N
    Celebrity (AAS) , N F1 F2

    I hope some of them will be able to overcome all the things that want to kill the T in a good BLT ...we shall see.

    I've never planted Whopper before but I'm hoping it does well and taste good .

    One year I planted a Brandywine heirloom variety and it did well, loved the taste ...but after that first year I planted more and they did poorly..the next year ...not one tomato ?

    So what varieties do you like to plant , what varieties are good producers and which varieties taste good !
    Lets have some feed back on what maybe I should be planting in South Louisiana !
    Gary
    Last edited by gwpercle; 05-30-2019 at 09:39 AM. Reason: left out creole , had better boy twice
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    Obviously different varieties do differently at different ...locations(latitude) and climates and soil types.
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    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    Here in arid southwest Idaho I like to grow the Early Girl and Forth of July tomatoes. These are to my taste as they are somewhat more acidic than a Roma and such. Also it takes hot nights to really make tomatoes come on and we don't get a long season of those up here so the early varieties do the best. I also plant some Big Boys or Better Boys but just as they get going, first frost seems to come on. Gp

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    Cherokee Purple

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Just from seeing what happens to them as they mature,
    I'm not sure,,,,,,,,but I think mine are a variety called 'bird and squirrel food'.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    Unless you really want full sized tomatos, plant some Juliet hybrid grape tomatoes.

    The flavor is outstanding.

    You can't kill the plant barring frost. Go on vacation and don't water it for 2 weeks? No problem. Pinch off the dead stuff and start watering. It'll come back.

    Amazing production. You'll fill a 5 gallon bucket twice from one plant. And these are grape tomatoes.

    The skins will thicken in hot weather and split if you are stingy with the water.

    Plant 4 of these things and you'll not have enough squirrels, birds and neighbors to keep up.

    Forgot to add, you can plant 'em in the same spot.year after year after year. Most disease resistant variety I've ever seen.
    Last edited by Hannibal; 05-18-2019 at 10:20 PM.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    A fast maturing hybrid like Better Boy to get the season started.

    A cherry or grape tomato for summer salads.

    A variety of heirlooms like Brandywines or Mortgage Lifter.

    And I always throw in one or two oddballs every year. Something like Black Krim or Cherokee Purple.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I planted one Early Girl and several Better Boys this year. I like to plant Rutgers and Mortgage Lifters as well, but I don't have any of those this year.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    The nasty truth that no one talks about is, buy tomatoes from the farmer's market or character stand down the street.

    Unless you just enjoy tomatoe growing, it'll be cheaper, easier and simpler.
    Missing the target is not the worst thing you can do.
    Not taking the shot is.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    My wife has 16 different varieties ready to transplant into the garden if it ever quits raining here. She cans a lot of tomato juice and we make a lot of homemade ketchup. We have found it takes a good mix of different tomatoes to make the best tasting juice & ketchup. Years ago her aunt told her for the best tasting apple pies use at least three different kinds of apples, she was right and the same holds true for stuff made from tomatoes.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    My experience has been that it's hard to beat Creole tomatoes in South Louisiana gardens.

  12. #12
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    Best select your latitude and regional type for tomatoes.
    Me being 14.6 deg sth I can grow thing that grow well in 15 degree nth as well.
    Hot wet tropic varieties that are wilt resistant.

    Yes you can grow what you like and get something thou if you wish.

    I used to grow big bullock Heart tomatoes and enjoyed a thick slice on a piece of toast.
    Very short season for me and the heat and humidity gave them a hard time.

    I was advised to give them up for health reasons but grow Thai pink tomatoes that one tomatoe sliced up covers a piece of toast and are good for stews ,sauces and just cutting up to put into the freezer for pasta sauce etc.

    I grow heirloom types and some are just fantastic in their flavour.

    It’s just they don’t yield enough or transport well like the green and red flavourless wagon wheeled variety’s they sell in super markets.

  13. #13
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    We used to have a fairly huge veggie garden, but now -- just wife & me -- we migrated from quantity to quality. We *DO* buy several boxes of Canada-grown Roma tomatoes for canning near sumer's end, but for our now wee garden:
    BuffalosteakF1 Hybrid -- A United Kingdom variety, offering large, well flavoured beefsteak weighing around 250 - 300g. A 100% "no fuss" variety which is often the choice of gourmet restaurant chefs, tasting, "what tomatoes should taste like". An often photographed tomato, too.
    Bartelly Mediterranean -- one of the two cherry-type tomatoes I prize, the Bartelly produces intricate trusses that look like woven blankets of elongated, scarlet fruit. Territorial Seed's growers counted but ONE truss having 64 tomatoes on it, each measuring 1 3/4" long by 1" wide! A low-input/low maintenance variety it actually surpasses the JellyBean variety (imho) in produce, taste, and (important to me!) they all do not get ripe the same hour, requiring picking before they split a few minutes later ��. I was/have never been a fan of small 'tatoes until I discovered this variety, with its origins in Greece.
    San Marzano -- Considered by many to be the "Rolex" of tomatoes, resembling vis looks the Roma.
    However, compared to the Roma, the San Marzano tomatoes are thinner and more pointed. The flesh is much thicker with fewer seeds, and the taste is stronger, sweeter and significantly less acidic. (Some with G.I. challenges claim this to be the only tomato they may consume with no after-effects!) The San Marzano vines are indeterminate and have a somewhat longer season than other paste tomato varieties, making them particularly suitable for warmer summers -- which we occasionally have -- while not being retarded in growth by somewhat cool nights. As is typical of heirloom plants, San Marzano is an open-pollinated variety that breeds true from generation to generation, making seed-saving practical for the home gardener or farmer. Some Amish growers tout this as the variety they grow for their own use, growing "mortgage lifter" varieties for market. The best of the best of cooking tomatoes, albeit not to shabby (ask me?) as a pick and eat right in the garden variety. (Tough for me to drive by on riding mower and not grab/chomp one or two at each pass �� )
    I do acknowledge that EVERY tomato is a good tomato!
    geo

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    It`s still a little wet for tomato planting here.
    I will soon plant EARLY GIRL, MEDFORD, and ROMA.
    I found a variety at a local farmers market a few years ago called PINK OXHEART.
    They were wonderful. Can`t seem to find them now...dale

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    Boolit Buddy cephas53's Avatar
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    Wife went through a bout of diverticular intestine problems. Was very particular about what she'd eat. Avoided any seeds if she could.
    Planted some "Sweet seedless" organic tomatoes last year. Was kinda dubious but they were very tasty, especially fried when green. Many had no seeds and some with a few immature seeds. More going in this year.
    Last edited by cephas53; 05-19-2019 at 08:24 AM.
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    Boolit Master

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    I like;
    Celebrity for general eating.
    Rutgers for canned whole tomatoes.
    Roma VF for making sauces.
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    another one I forgot, is Amish Paste. It is shaped like a Roma and is just a meaty and few seeds like the Roma, but much larger, almost as large as a beefsteak.
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  18. #18
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    I pick based on what my father liked; what I like based on my tastes; and finally on their purpose....for example Romas are great for juice and salsa; Better Boy are great for fried green tomatoes; etc......that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
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  19. #19
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    I have been growing tomatoes for 60 years. 12 of those years were in Montreal and upstate New York with gardens from 1,000 sq feet to 1 acre. In Louisiana I am growing about (1,500 now down to about)1,000 tomato plants along with about a total of up to 4 acres of vegetables. I have participated in 3 tomato trials with the LSU agg center. One of these was strictly heirloom varieties. In Canada and New York I could grow any varieties and they all did well with no insecticides or fungicides needed and very little fertilizer as the soil was extremely rich. Down here it is a totally different story. When I first planted down here I grew Goliath, Big Beef, Delicious, and about 5 or 6 other varieties every year just to see what they were like. For cherry tomatoes I would grow Sweet Million (Red), Sunsugar (yellow), and Black Cherry, (black). The sunsugar and black cherry would sell out and the Sweet Million would barely sell. The problem with the Sunsugar and the Black cherry is that they are not Nematode resistant, and I have nematodes. I get around this by grafting them to a nematode resistant root stock, but this is a lot of work.
    After about 3 years all the diseases and insects invaded my fields and I can no longer grow the heirloom tomatoes with the exception of Cherokee Purple.

    For my early tomatoes I grow Sunstart. I plant the seed just after Christmas and try to have the plants in the ground Feb 15. I cover them with a spun polypropylene cloth till about March 15 or later if any frosts are predicted. The fabric will protect the plants down to 27 degrees. ( I have lost all the plants twice in 22 years) I usually get my first tomato about mid April, but it was much later this year. Beginning in March I will plant my Big Beef, Goliath, Mountain Fresh Plus, Mountain Merit, Cherokee Purple, Mariana roma, And a few other just to try them out.
    Down here I have to spray with fungicides weekly, and insecticides often.
    I love to grow vegetables. When I die, I want to be cremated, and my ashes spread out in the fields.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerjim View Post
    I have been growing tomatoes for 60 years. 12 of those years were in Montreal and upstate New York with gardens from 1,000 sq feet to 1 acre. In Louisiana I am growing about (1,500 now down to about)1,000 tomato plants along with about a total of up to 4 acres of vegetables. I have participated in 3 tomato trials with the LSU agg center. One of these was strictly heirloom varieties. In Canada and New York I could grow any varieties and they all did well with no insecticides or fungicides needed and very little fertilizer as the soil was extremely rich. Down here it is a totally different story. When I first planted down here I grew Goliath, Big Beef, Delicious, and about 5 or 6 other varieties every year just to see what they were like. For cherry tomatoes I would grow Sweet Million (Red), Sunsugar (yellow), and Black Cherry, (black). The sunsugar and black cherry would sell out and the Sweet Million would barely sell. The problem with the Sunsugar and the Black cherry is that they are not Nematode resistant, and I have nematodes. I get around this by grafting them to a nematode resistant root stock, but this is a lot of work.
    After about 3 years all the diseases and insects invaded my fields and I can no longer grow the heirloom tomatoes with the exception of Cherokee Purple.

    For my early tomatoes I grow Sunstart. I plant the seed just after Christmas and try to have the plants in the ground Feb 15. I cover them with a spun polypropylene cloth till about March 15 or later if any frosts are predicted. The fabric will protect the plants down to 27 degrees. ( I have lost all the plants twice in 22 years) I usually get my first tomato about mid April, but it was much later this year. Beginning in March I will plant my Big Beef, Goliath, Mountain Fresh Plus, Mountain Merit, Cherokee Purple, Mariana roma, And a few other just to try them out.
    Down here I have to spray with fungicides weekly, and insecticides often.
    I love to grow vegetables. When I die, I want to be cremated, and my ashes spread out in the fields.
    Awesome Post !

    Thanks Farmer Jim , appreciate the input and enjoyed the read .
    Making a list of varieties to try , Cherokee Purple sounds interesting !

    That last sentence put a smile on my face . Sounds like something my dear old Dad would say.
    He grew tomatoes in the back yard from my earliest childhood memories till the day he passed , maybe only three or four plants by then and maybe I put them in the ground ....but he never stopped growing tomatoes .


    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

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