Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tomatoes 2016

Started hardening off tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, corn, herbs, and cucumber on May 6th.  Began with 25 mins.  Due to erratic weather, hardening off plants took weeks this year!

Bonny Best (red, round, heirloom, meaty, canning/slicing, indet.)
Date sown:  March 29
Transplanted:  May 30
Observations:  Not as early to mature as I expected, but they ripen well indoors and these tomatoes resisted cracking/splitting from all the rain we received.
Would grow again?  Yes

Early Annie  (red, heirloom, 3-inch round, canning/slicing, DETERMINATE.)
Date sown:  March 29
Transplanted:  May 30
July 9 – So far, I have been pleasantly surprised by this variety!  Very robust, producing lots of flowers, growing well in large containers, stays compact, and hasn’t needed staking.  This variety was the second to produce a tomato this year (Mazarini was first).
Approximate date harvested:  First one ripened August 17th.
Would grow again? YES!

Principe Borghese  (red, heirloom, small, dry, few seeds, good for sundried tomatoes, DETERMINATE)
Date sown:  March 29
Transplanted:   May 30
Approximate date harvested:  First one ripened August 17th.  Harvested second handful
August 25th.
Lots of tomatoes on the plants and the plants are fairly compact.
September 25 – About ¼ of these tomatoes ripened on the plants.  The rest, we brought
indoors to ripen.  Very prolific, cute little tomatoes (slightly larger than cherry tomatoes).  A fairly bland flavour, though they might be good if dehydrated.
Would grow again?  Maybe

Sungold Cherry  (orange, cherry, sweet, Hybrid/commercial, indeterminate)
Date sown:   March 29
Transplanted:   May 30
Observations:  Planted two Sungold cherry tomato plants.  One is planted in a relatively shallow bed, so I planted the roots/half the stem on it’s side.  (large green container in the back of the house)
August 26 – Plants are sprawling and bending tomato cages – loads of flowers and the start of tomatoes, but slow to ripen.  Great flavour.
Would grow again? Not sure.  They take up a lot of space.

Amana Orange  (orange, heirloom, large, beefsteak, indeterminate)
Date sown:  March 29
Transplanted:   May 30
July 9 –  I planted this variety on impulse, but these are among the healthiest tomato plants this summer – healthy looking foliage, sturdy.  Not many flowers yet, though.  I hope it produces well.
August 26 – more foliage than fruit, that is for sure.  No sign of ripening yet.
September 25 – ripened several indoors.  A beautiful, sunny orange flesh.
Would grow again?  Maybe

Speckled Roman  (red w/orange stripes, potato-leafed, elongated, heirloom, fresh or paste,
Date sown:   March 29
Transplanted:  May 30
Observations:  Transplanted 1 in a raised bed along the driveway.  Potato-leafed – I find the
foliage frail and prone to wilting. 
July 9 – Not loving the potato-leaf foliage.  I find it tangles and is hard to prune back.
August 17 – There are a number of small to medium sized tomatoes on this plant.  Some have blossom end rot, but a number have remained untouched.
September 5 – Starting to ripen, but all have blossom end rot
Would grow again?  No

Red Zebra  (red w/orange stripes, round, heirloom, indeterminate)
Date sown:  March 29
Transplanted:  May 30
Observations:  Transplants (from seed) nice and robust.
August 26 – tomatoes look great, but there is still no sign of ripening.
September 25 – Ripened several of these indoors. The label on the envelope (received during a trade) said they were Red Zebras, but they are Black Zebras.
Would grow again?  Maybe, though there are other black tomatoes that ripen earlier.

Mazarini  (pink, heart-shaped, heirloom,  few seeds, meaty flesh, paste, wispy foliage,
indeterminate, rare Russian tomato)
Date sown:   March 29
Transplanted:   May 30
Observations: Of the ten varieties I started from seed, Mazarini was the first to develop flowers (indoors, before transplanting).   The foliage seems more delicate than most of the other varieties (except Speckled Roman) and is the first to droop/wilt badly if lacking water.
July 9 – This variety was the first to produce a tomato this year.
Approximate date harvested:  First one ripened and picked August 15 – weighed 1 lb 2 oz.
September 25 – Had to ripen most indoors.  Many large fruit.  Great for cooking down for sauce.
Would grow again? YES!

Pomodoro Roma Nano (red, pear-shaped, Hybrid/commercial  – “Gusto Italia”/McKenzie seeds, paste/sauce, indeterminate)
Date sown:   March 29
Transplanted:  May 30
Observations:  Robust, healthy leaves.  Transplants (from seed) didn’t become as “leggy” as some of the other varieties I grew.
September 5 – LOTS of tomatoes on the plant, but they haven’t started ripening yet.  I would have thought a hybrid that indicated “short season” on the packet would be ripening by now!
September 25 – Still none have ripened on the plants. Brought them inside to see if any will ripen in boxes.
Would grow again?  Not likely.  Wasn’t very impressed with this one.

“Deep Space”  (black paste, early, heirloom (?), indeterminate-received in a seed trade)
Date sown:   April 11
Transplanted:   May 31
Observations:  I got these seeds in a trade.  I can’t find any information on this variety online – I think it’s a variety the grower developed on their own.  Not sure if it’s a plum, beefsteak, cherry, or…?
September 25 – these turned out to be a large plum (more or less).  A few ripened on the plants, most had to be brought inside to ripen in boxes.  More foliage than fruit on the plants.
Would grow again?  Neat experiment, but doubt I’ll grow these again.

(Didn’t Plant This Year)

Paul Robeson (black, heirloom, beefsteak, indet.)
Carbon (black, heirloom, indet., slicer, 10-14 oz fruit, great flavour.  First heirloom tomato I ever grew!)
Black Krim (black, heirloom, indet., beefsteak)
Black Plum  (black, heirloom, sauce/slicing, indet.)
Yellow Taxi  (yellow, heirloom, ball, det.)
Eva Purple Ball (pink, heirloom, ball, det.)
Moskvich  (red, heirloom, ball, indet.) 
Emerald Evergreen (green, heirloom, beefsteak, fresh/slicer , indet.)

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