Thanks for the review. I have one Bear Claw grafted and one on its own roots. They are making HUGE tomatoes…I hope some actually ripen, between turkeys snacking on green ones and some kind of brown rot on the botom of some I’m not holding my breath.
Blossom end rot caused by a lack of calcium absorption. This is usually caused by uneven watering, Too dry, too wet. Not keep just moist to dry. Some varieties get it quicker and some not at all.
We’ve been getting heavy summer rains. It grows feed for the sheep but the hail last night shredded the squash and cucumbers, and dented the few apples on the trees. Hopefully next year we will be on solar water and won’t mind if we get less rain.
Greenhouse tomatoes in a controlled environment are sounding nicer all the time!
Edit: hybrid determinate variety Front Runner. I can’t find the seeds for sale anywhere except Amazon and I assume they are left over seeds since they are no longer listed on the Burpee site.
I have a few seeds left so I can grow them next year even if they are no longer sold.
First time I had a tomato plant that needed to be thinned. Too many large tomatoes in clumps caused them to push each other off the stem before ripening. Also some stems collapsed from the weight. Some tomatoes were 16 oz.
A lot of our plants have just about blighted out due to all the rain we’ve had in the last month. Because of that the fruit has been rotting on the vines due to them splitting, and with no foliage, they’re also getting sunscald. Oh, and it looks like deer have got into the patch, but not as bad as previous years. Same old story as before. Plus, the plants had gotten so high above their stakes, a lot of them have tumped over. It didn’t help that I didn’t weed hardly any the last month either, but it became an impenetrable mess.
Saying all that, this evening i picked about 30lb of tomatoes, and we canned 7qt of them in the water bather. There’s still some more fruit on the plants, I just hope we’ll have enough to make some salsa when our peppers finally ripen up. We have 6 other plants down in the corn/bean patch, and they look decent, so we ought to get some off of those (3 Brandywine, 3 Orange Ky beefsteak).
Our best producers were in descending order: Chocolate Cherry, Dr Wyche Yellow, Jaune Flammé, Russian Queen, Gordost Sibiri and Boxcar Willie. Siberian Pink, Watermelon, Abe Lincoln, Paul Robeson set quite a bit of fruit, but they’ve either rotted on the vine, or are getting burned up by the sun. My two Romeo plants have set some huge Roma type fruits, but not one of them are ripe yet.
Here’s a pic of a basket of the toms I picked today.
Next year I’m going to have to do something different as this scenario plays out every year. Namely, I’m going to really have to reduce the number of sucker branches, and figure out a way to support them better. Plus, we’re just going to have to grow some hybrids, as these heirlooms tend to struggle in this environment. Maybe it won’t matter, but we ought to try. Oh, and I’m not trying any more purple/black varieties (other than Chocolate Cherry) as the plants are way too diseased before the fruit has a chance to properly ripen.
I had an overall terrific harvest this year in spite of the mistakes I made of growing mine too close together. I harvested 30 tomatoes yesterday and there are still many more but blight has started to set in and they are looking pretty terrible. We made freezer sauce for the first time.
Of the 9 varieties I grew this year There area few I will definitively replant next year and some that I won’t. The keepers for me were Brandywine, Mortgage Lifter, and Big Rainbow. I also really liked the rainbow oxheart that mistakenly grew from a big rainbow seed. I’m going to save some of those seeds. Tomatoes that will not get a second chance for me next year are Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, Chocolate cherry, Gardeners delight, and Mr. Stripey. The darker tomatoes were the worst splitters for me this year. Stripey was very similar to Rainbow but less productive. Cherokee was my lest productive tomato. And the cherry toms just aren’t that interesting. Next year I will likely try one or two of the popular hybrids to get first hand experience of their productiveness, disease resistance, and taste versus the heirlooms I grew this year.
I still have about 16 varieties out of 70 grown that have not yet had seed collected. Some exceptional tomatoes this year include Calvin’s Green, Dr. Wyche (better than normal flavor), Omar’s Lebanese, Bear Creek (this year’s best black), Heidi (fantastic production for a paste tomato), and Orange Minsk (best orange).
Someone mentioned Pork Chop above. IIRC, it is from Brad Gates. He tends to select for visual appeal which is not always accompanied by production or flavor. I grew it several years ago and was not impressed. Your mileage may vary.
My Black Krim didn’t do too well for me earlier this summer, but that was more my fault. Not being very familiar with the variety, I wasn’t sure when it ripened and they ended up getting soft and mushy on the vine. Didn’t help that I was on travel for work for a week and then out for a weeks vacation. A bunch also ended up getting sun burned. However it’s gotten it’s second wind and started to produce another crop, so I’m hoping to do better this time. There’s more foliage protecting the fruit, so sunburn shouldn’t be an issue this time around.
I planted my first Black Krim this year. I added it about two weeks after the others. It’s been deceptively productive (21 so far, and quite a few still on) but those absent cracks are few and far between. I bring them in the house and they begin to rot or mold pretty quick. The taste wasn’t knock-your-socks off for us, and my wife is not wanting to deal with it again. I think if she’s told me “don’t plant that next year” one time, she’s told me that ten times!
The San Marzano have been virtually flawless, and have produced mountains of fruit.
Big Beef has given us 64 tomatoes… so far. It’s a darn nice tomato for us. Uniformly globe shaped every single time, but far from consistent size-wise. Some are very big like softballs, some are more like tennis balls or smaller, and everything in between. But we like this one.
The Early Girl wasn’t any earlier than Big Beef, and I’d not bothered to record the take from her but it has been MASSIVE. It’s for sure not going to be a taste-test winner compared to Brandywine or NAR, etc., but still nice to have a tomato machine that churns out better than store bought toms.
I tried Black Krim for the first time this year and was not impressed. They tended to crack and spoil. Early Girl was terrific, heavy yield, flawless fruits, even those lying on the ground.
My wife picked a couple of ripe red Brandywine toms from the plants in another patch this evening. They were excellent, very meaty, tart and sweet, the best of all our big varieties. This is what I’ve imagined a good BW should taste like. For a BW, our plants are pretty productive, unlike previous BW we’ve grown. It may be the patch, it has a better nutrient profile than than the main patch, which will need some more amending for next year.
You guys have almost convinced me to try Early Girl next year, sounds like a good dependable hybrid. Also may try Celebrity again, I recall it being pretty good as well.
Yeah I don’t imagine I’ll ever not have one going forward. Like Northwoods said, flawless toms and just seemed like every 2-3 days I was taking 8-10 toms off her. Unreal.
I think I want to try GGWT next year, since it seems as though everyone likes it.
For me Early Girl wasn’t much earlier than others and stopped producing early. I grew it for several years. For an early determinant type I grew Front Runner this year that has tomatoes up to 16 oz in large clusters. Stems had to be supported due to the heavy load.
Early Girl never produced heavy for me. Perhaps they weren’t getting enough sun light. None of my tomatoes get all day sun. Some produce well under those conditions and others don’t.
Early Girl is more appreciated on the west coast than here in the southeast and with good reason. It goes down to foliage disease relatively fast compared to most other varieties. The Southeastern climate is much more humid which changes the paradigm for growing tomatoes.
For a hybrid, Big Beef is very hard to beat. For an open pollinated tomato, I would grow Eva Purple Ball, Lynnwood, Muleteam, Box Car Willie, or Druzba. BBXEPB may be a bit harder to find, but it is a stabilized line from a cross of Big Beef X Eva Purple Ball. It is phenomenally productivve. If you want to can tomatoes, try Picardy. For paste or sauce, give Heidi a try.
I’ve been fortunate this year as I’ve had very little disease issues at all. Even at this late state in the garden season, when things are kinda winding down some I’ve had to remove and discard very few leaves/stems on really any variety I have planted. And we’ve had humid-rainy-hot-cool, you name it kinda weather this season. (Including about a 10’ rain event a week ago)
I sprayed Chlorothalonil only twice early on, but first branches are mostly about a foot and a half off the ground. IDK why this year things were so clean though. I’ve been diligent about keeping the weeds in check and this year I used pine bark mulch under them. Heck I’ve only had 3-4 horn worms this year.
Just came in with three pretty nice (crackless) Black Krim, one over a pound.
But all three pretty nice specimens.
I planted a Jet Star in at my daughters place and have been wanting to taste it for awhile now. It’s produced a ton of toms for her and I was in there today (working on her washing machine that won’t work now after sitting in 12" of flood water…) and I snagged one to let ripen on my counter. But if it’s any good it’s sure been a care-free plant at her place.
We have only grown one variety of black tomato (black brandywine), we live in North Carolina, and we have discovered that if we pick them green yet swollen enough none of them go bad or crack and they still taste incredible, rich and strong flavored, if you let them sit around ripening inside long enough. Yet still low production.
Have you noticed that seedsnow.com is being flagged as spam in your email inbox? I have been getting mail from them constantly and thinking it’s time to unsubscribe, I don’t buy seeds from them any more anyway.
green pear was a good one for me this year, pleasant green flavor mostly yellow fruit, excellent bitten in half then filled with hotsauce
No not at all. I only get about 1 email a month from them. I get slammed hardest by Henry Fields and Starks.