2022 tomato selections

Okay, may be a bit late for some of you, but was interested in what varieties of tomatoes folks were trying this year. Because we have been getting May freezes, I don’t plant out until later in May, so I’ll be starting them in a couple weeks. I have to get into my seed hoard, and consult with my wife, but the ones we almost always start with are-

Chocolate Cherry
Orange KY beefsteak

More to come as I sort through my collection.

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  1. Vinson Watts (new; red beefsteak, with origins in Morehead, Ky.—so should be regionally adapted)
  2. Amy’s Apricot (new; cherry; should be orange, but SESE reports it sometimes throws red-fruited plants and different hues of orange ; had free seed, so what the heck . . . )
  3. Fruit Punch (repeat, 4th year I think; sweetest, most crack-resistant cherry I’ve grown; red)
  4. Sweet Tangerine (repeat, 2nd year; semi-determinate yellow-orange slicer, hybrid)

Started mine early March. Up-pot them later so when I set them out in May have good-sized plants, with good root systems. Treat peppers, eggplants and ground cherries same way.

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I plant mine in cells approx 1in square cells, then up-pot to 12oz cups, then plant out. But, I’d kind of like to plant them straight into the ground from the cells, after hardening them off, of course.

Speaking of crack resistant cherry varieties, I picked this one up, at all places, Dollar General last weekend. It’s supposed to be crack resistant, but the colors look kinda wild, so I’ll have to give it a shot-

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Oh yeah! I grew “Brad’s Atomic Grape” one year. If memory serves, it didn’t crack too badly, had good flavor, and was very productive. And the colors were wild. I think you’ll have fun with it! I may have to grow it again one of these seasons.

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Sungold is always #1 for us. Productivity and taste are unmatched, and it’s one of the few tomatoes that keep producing heavily all season until frost.

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I’ve grown Brad’s a few times. Thicker skins do keep them from cracking as much as some others, but they do have sort of a vertical striping which seems to be a bit of a weakness where they will split longwise along the stipes.

Also, be aware that they have more wispy leaves than a lot of cherries, sort of like a lot of indeterminate pastes like Opalka and many of the hearts. So to some they’ll look a bit floppy or weak when young, but mine grew well once they were out in the garden.

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This year I went with: Super Sioux (high-yielding), Ace 55, Ukrainian Bull Heart, Oleyar’s German, Moskvich, and Cherokee purple (pretty productive for us). Ukrainian Bull Heart and Oleyar’s German were not very productive for me last year but I’d like to try again. I will also practice canning with the Ace 55s this year – this is the first year I’ve grown the Ace 55 and Moskvich varieties.

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I typically only grow principe borghese, because they are one of the best drying tomatoes. I’m pretty terrible at starting seeds, so while I have some other seeds going, I don’t expect them to take. So I’ll likely pickup those and maybe a few other seedlings from a local farm that is far more successful than me. I was looking at what they have and might get Amish paste, too. And maybe my favorite, Aunt Ruby’s German Green. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a peppery tomato. I love it, but beefsteak tomatoes do not like me. Small, Roma ones tend to be ok. Big ones give me GI issues.

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I’ve grown Aunt Ruby’s, I agree it’s got a tangy, peppery taste. The plants get huge for me, gotta keep them well staked.

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I found that to apply to most Russian varieties I’ve grown. They look almost puny, but that’s just their growing habit. Despite their looks, they are pretty productive.

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My main garden site has wicked foliar disease pressure from humidity (right next to a literal swamp), so disease resistance is important. This year I am trying Brandywise, Big Beef Plus, Mountaineer Delight, Chiapas and Coyote. And others that aren’t new but have held up pretty well.

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This year I am growing:

  • Aunt Ruby’s German Green (Fedco) - I grew Moldovan (Uprising Seeds) last year and was disappointed. Thought I’d try a different green tomato this year. Glad to see a post from @subdood_ky_z6b above about its taste – fingers crossed those same qualities are produced in my growing conditions.

  • Black Beauty (Baker Creek) - I’m growing this for novelty. I’ve grown two other purple tomato varieties in the past but wasn’t impressed with the taste or texture.

  • Cherry Bomb F1 (Johnny’s) - I grew these one summer at the old house and offspring from dropped tomatoes would come up year after year that still tasted yummy. I think I am going to try my luck saving seeds from this.

  • Gardener’s Sweetheart (Adaptive Seeds) - It looks cute. We’ll see how it tastes.

  • Japanese Black Trifele (SSE) - I grew Black Krim last year, which I found productive and tasty. It was not as big of a hit with my friends, however. This is one of two brown/black tomato varieties I will be growing this summer to explore this class of tomato further.

  • Opalka (SSE) - This variety had a big impact on my foodie friend. She claims this variety made the best tomato paste ever, so I am growing two plants just for her this year.

  • Paul Robeson (Truelove Seeds) - See my note above on Japanese Black.

  • Principe Borghese (Adaptive Seeds) - I grew these last year and thought I’d give them another go this year. They were prolific with a firm texture. The skin is a bit tough so not as ideal for frying or fresh eating. This year I plan to dry them as that seems to be what the variety was developed for.

  • Santiam Sunrise (Adaptive Seeds) - I used to grow Sungold F1 but I am just really annoyed with how badly that variety cracks in my climate. This is part of my ongoing quest to find an orange cherry tomato that can satisfy my Sungold cravings.

  • Striped German (Johnny’s) - I’ve grown Valencia for years, but was starting to feel a little bored with it. It felt wrong to not grow another orange tomato this year so… I thought I’d give this one a try.

  • Weisnicht’s Ukrainian (Fedco) - I last grew this variety during a really wet summer… unfortunately they kept splitting and cracking on me. Not a very productive plant but the fruit was humongous. It tasted nice and was a pretty pink. I thought I’d try giving them another go this year.

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Im trying mostly things ive never tried before.

Reverend Michael Keyes
Zluta Kytice
Rose Quartz
Big Beef
Black Cherry
Lucky Cross
SunSugar

Im screwed…

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They claim to be the best for sun drying. Ive been growing them for the dehydrator for 10-12 years, and they work great!

I slice them in half, give a coat of olive oil and maybe some salt, if I’m in the mood. Then, about 180 hours@140*F.

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This year our main cultivar is Pink Boar, which did phenomenally the last time I grew it 2 years ago. Here are this year’s starts, which I’ll be separating and potting up soon, to stay in the greenhouse until they outgrow 1 gal pots:

Here’s a good day’s harvest from just three plants last time, and these are indeterminate and produced continually for a couple months before the rains that year:

I’m also about to start @Marta’s “Optimal” again this year, after starting them too late last year and they were just starting to ripen when the fall rains returned and they rotted. The ones we got before that were great, so I’m hoping starting earlier will do the trick.

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@swincher where did you order Pink Boar? I might have to put it on the list for next year’s. Looks interesting. Are they slicer or cherry sized?

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Here’s where I got them:

They are small slicers I’d say, but much larger than cherry. Similar size to what’s sold as “campari” in the stores. Two of the plants produced normal looking tomatoes last time and one of them had funny looking fruit. The flavor was very good, not as sweet as a sweeter cherry tomato but pretty sweet for a slicer, but good balanced flavor.

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I bought grape tomatoes an harvested the seeds and planted those.

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Black Krim - grew it last year, loved it.

New trials:
Super Sauce
Brandywine
Atlas slicer
Baby Boomer cherry

Bushsteak - also grew it last year, it’s a determinate shorter slicer tomato

Dwarf tomatoes - a whole new territory for me
BrandyFred
Bendigo Blush
Adelaide Festival
Goldfinch
Wherokowai
Barossa Moon

Several mystery volunteer tomatoes from last season that popped up in fig pots.

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Ah yes I forgot to also list “the random cherry tomatoes that may come up on their own in the usual spot”! They came with the house and I’ve no clue what cultivar they are descended from, but they aggressively self-sow and taste fine, so I will let a couple stay again this year like last year. Though I put the ground cherries next to them last year, so they’ll have some competition in the aggressive self-sowing department.

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