Just a quick report from Georgia, 8a. Planted 3 hybrids and 3 heirlooms. Early Girl, Better Boy, Lemon Boy, Cherokee Purple, Pink Brandywine, and Black Krim.
Picked my first ripe tomatoes a week ago (I probably planted late—last year I got my first tomatoes in mid-June. After trying organic/minimal spray last year and failing spectacularly due to disease problems, this year I am alternating copper and chlorothalonil every two weeks or so and it has greatly greatly slowed the progression of disease. Some of the heirlooms are showing a bit of disease of the lower leaves/limbs, but it’s not spreading very fast and I think it should be a few months before it really affects them. This is a spectacular improvement from last year.
Early Girl: Some people say it isn’t early for them. Well, here it is. About two weeks early. It doesn’t have the greatest taste, but it’s still better than a supermarket tomato. It continues to set in the heat (has about 12-15 green tomatoes on it now) and the temps have been in the 90s during the day this whole month. Plus, it doesn’t have a spot of disease on it with my spray program. So, the only thing it really falls short on is taste. But I like to have a few reliable tomato plants that can pump out tomatoes, so I am happy with it.
Black Krim: I didn’t have much hope for a Russian tomato in the Deep South, but it is loaded with green tomatoes right now. Doesn’t have a problem setting in the heat, obviously. Also surprised by how many tomatoes it has right now-most of the heirlooms I’ve gotten before have been a bit stingy with production. Unfortunately, even with the spray program, it has the most disease, but even saying that, it isn’t extreme. Just means you have to keep up with it.
Cherokee Purple: A monster plant that seems to hate the heat-I think it has one tomato on it right now despite tons of flowers. Despite the fact I love Cherokee Purple’s taste, I probably won’t grow it next year-I don’t need a 6 foot tall tomato plant with 2 tomatoes on it.
Pink Brandywine: Read Cherokee Purple’s description.
Lemon Boy and Better Boy: Heat doesn’t seem to bother them that much-maybe the yields are a bit reduced but they’re still setting plenty of good-looking and decent tasting tomatoes. Weirdly enough, the Better Boy, along with the Black Krim, have the most disease on their leaves. Again, I think the spray program will keep it under control, but it is odd, since the Better Boy is a hybrid.
I am sure the reports on these tomatoes are not going to interest many of you, since they are very common varieties. However, I thought they might be of interest for folks that have to deal with the extreme heat and disease pressure we get here in the Deep South.