What tomatoes will you grow in 2018?


I have a question. Some of my varieties are looking like they will get over 6ft tall, a lot higher than the tobacco sticks I’m using as stakes. If I do nothing they’ll keep getting higher to the point of flopping over or breaking.

If I top the the plants at say, 6ft, would the plants put out more lateral growth below the pruning cut? I thinking along the lines of topping a fruit tree to get it to put out more shoots below the cut.


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.


I’ve been eating Gardeners Delight for a couple of weeks now. My other cherry is Chocolate Cherry which I’ve harvested about a half dozen from. I greatly prefer chocolate cherry in both taste and texture. It’s a very nice tomato. Gardeners is okay too but I’ve noticed its rather soft which I’m not a huge fan of. Goods in salads though. Next tomato to ripen for me will be Black Krim. Looking forward to my first taste of it.


VSOP, Most black tomatoes thrive in the deep south. I highly recommend Black Cherry, Bear Creek, J.D.'s Special C-Tex, and Black From Tula.

There are several blacks that are disease magnets. Black Sea Man is one of the worst for septoria. Paul Robeson gets early blight. These tomatoes do very well in a dry climate.

The disease you are most likely struggling with is septoria. Virtually all tomatoes are susceptible. The reason I am growing several hybrids with LA0417 is that it carries significant septoria resistance. I am trying to breed a large fruited tomato with that resistance.

Disease control is much better with Agrifos and azoxystrobiin. I don’t generally use them, but some people in this area do with excellent results.

Please try Big Beef as an alternative to Better Boy. It is more productive and has better flavor.


No, it is informative to those of us in hot and/or humid areas. And always good to hear how different varieties perform.

I tried Black Krim and various Brandywine varieties. BK didn’t do do well for me disease wise, but it was productive. Not so with Brandywine’s, they are vigorous, beautiful plants, but like you they give me about a half dozen fruit per plant. Not worth growing, although my Yellow variety had very tasty fruit. But, my orange KY beefsteak taste great also, but are more productive.

Cherokee Purple hasn’t done well here either, not real productive, and not too vigorous.

Odd that Better Boy has disease on it, being that it’s a hybrid. But, you are in Georgia, so…

You mentioned some of your varieties haven’t set a lot of fruit, that may have to do with the heat. Some tomatoes won’t flower above certain temps.

I haven’t been spraying any of my plants yet, most of them seem to be doing well. I think it’s because it’s been really warm and dry here. But, I’ve been diligent about removing any branches near the ground, and keeping them mulched.


Good, aint they? Maybe my favorite of all the varieties I’ve tried. Did you get the BER under control on them?

Good luck with BK, when I could get them to grow here, they were good.


Thanks for the info about the black tomatoes, fusion. I wanted to have a season or two with having some success with the tomatoes before trying to start from seed. If this year goes well, I will have to look for those black tomato seeds you mention.


I think so. I watered them less and gave them some folliar calcium spray. No BER since. They are tasty.


How big have they got in the containers? My two in-ground CC plants are huge, and getting bigger every day. One is almost 6’ now, and bushy, and the other is about 5’. They’re setting a few fruit now, but not that much.

It doesn’t seem that many of my plants are setting fruit right now, even though they are big enough to produce now. I’m wondering if it’s because of how hot it’s been here in the last couple weeks. It was in the 90s almost every day last week, and it’s been in 90s the last couple of days. I’ve understood that tomatoes don’t pollinate very well when it’s this warm. So, we’ll see.




Yes, it’s the heat, even here in MI fruit set is low due to the heat.


Thanks. Good to hear I’m not the only one seeing this issue. Looks like many plants are flowering, but some are just shriveling up and dropping. Some plants have set a decent amount, but others hardly any at all.

As far as my nutrient levels are concerned, my P, K and Ca levels were decent the last time I had this plot checked (last Dec). Plus, I added some 10-20-20 to the plot this spring, so I think I’m good there. I also gave them a fert drench a few days ago.


I think most tomatoes don’t like the extreme heat, though there are some tomatoes that set pretty well in the heat.

Like I mentioned above, my Black Krim does pretty well in the heat. Would be interested to hear any others.


Keep track of what does well, and what does not. Here it’s really hard to choose what to grow. Some years those that don’t set well are the cream of the crop in the cold years. Most years here are cold years. This year is above normal. First time in years. I think we had more 90 degree days this year than the last 2 combined and we are in mid July only.


The drench is 6-12-6 with humate and other beneficial nutrients. I gave all my tomatoes (33) and peppers (30) the drink on Sunday, they seem to have responded already. They had been kinda pale, but when I was out there today staking, they looked a bit deeper green.

My best “setters” so far are Russian Queen, Warrens yellow cherry, Gordost Sibiri, and Siberian Pink. I hardly have any flowers or fruit on Boxcar Willie, Dr Wyche Yellow, Romeo or orange KY beefsteak.

Yes, same for here, I believe. The heat will be back this weekend, in the mid 90s, so there’s not much I can do about that. We got to 99 last Thu, the hottest we’ve seen since we moved here 4 years ago.


Today I got antsy and picked two black Krim tomatoes. Obviously a bit early. But my first full sized tomato of the year. I ate one and it wd just okay. Flavor was certainly different from what I’m used to. I assume these will get a lot better as they turn darker colors.

Also took pics of two tomatoes I’m growing that are both listed as big rainbow. They are distinctly different. One is growing into what I think a big rainbow shape should be. The other is growing into what looks like an oxheart shape with a point on the bottom. Funny thing is I didn’t order oxheart. I guess a couple of stray seeds may have gotten into my big rainbow pack.


I do not know that variety, yet a lot of tomatoes have to be picked long before what you picked them. Tomatoes ripen a lot after picking.


I planted the sweet N-100 cherry tomato for the first time. Sweet and productive, I will try to collect some seeds for next year.



Nice first harvest. I was wondering though, will hybrid tomato seeds reproduce true to the original?


I am not sure either but I got a Big Beef right next to them. If I don’t get the pure N-100 then The Big “Bad” Beef N-100 will be alright!!!