What tomatoes will you grow in 2018?


Grow lights are a must when starting indoors. I use fluorescent shop lights gang mounted so there are 6 bulbs over 4 trays of seed. As I said above, light is VERY important to get pepper seedlings off to a good start.


Yes. I also use 4’ fluorescent bulbs but prefer those at a color temperature rating of 6500K.


Light during germination is of no use but as soon as they break the soil surface light is critical. Floro lights should be put right on top of the plant and kept as close as possible throughout growth.

They will not burn the plants.


That makes sense if using “standard” fluorescent bulbs (e.g., Alto series). However, the 6500K bulbs work best elevated a few feet from the seedlings.


Not sure about Kelvin on any of the bulbs I have used only used the cheapest bulbs I could get my hands on and never paid attention to anything other than price. I was only growing for planting out purposes and selling seedlings.

At my peak germinating days I was running about 70-4 ft floros.


I’ll be growing:
Kellogg’s Breakfast (my most productive tomato every year no matter what I grow),
Brandywine (Suddeth strain- best tasting tomato I’ve ever eaten),
sungold (ridiculously sweet and very productive),
German red strawberry (year 2 experimenting with this tasty small red tomato),
black cherry (pinched a few from a friend’s garden and saved the seeds- the blackest black I’ve ever seen on a tomato)
Whatever the hell variety I start because it struck my fancy two days before I started seeds even though it’s clearly not what I need and not appropriate for my garden (happens every year and I’m sure 2018 will be no different)


It’s awesome!

My favorite cherry.


I’d agree it comes down to location and supplier. If I go to Home Depot, they charge an extra 25 cents per bulb for alternate color temperatures. But instead when I go to a wholesale industrial supplier in the warehouse district I find all the bulbs are sold in cases of the same quantity for the same price.

Here’s my setup from two years ago:


Hows this for a black tomato, It is Helsing Junction Blues. It had very good flavor to me and fairly productive with minimal splitting after rain. They were solid black until ripe. When ripe they took on a red blush at the bottom.


These are cherry tomatoes? What color is the inside flesh?


If my memory serves me correct i want to say only the skin was black, inside was red. It was definitely an eye catcher of a plant.

Yes they are a cherry.

I did collect seeds if anyone wants any.


wow fruits are stunning


The Black skin is stunning but the red flesh is not what I’m looking for in taste. In fact, the “Black Cherry” tomato is a bit too sweet for me – can you tell I also like rich red wines? :laughing:

Black Zebra is a small tomato, a bit larger than a cherry but with a flavor I really love:

Black Zebra


look what you have there Richard, i just checked my free seeds and it looks like i have them. I guess i will be giving these a go this year.


I have to try Suddeth one day, I have seeds. I grow the Cowlick strain myself.

Add it to my scotch bonnets, You need anything?


Drew, you have so many things I want I do not know where to start. Haha.

I will add them for you. I also got a few new dwarf toms I will let you know what they are when I get a minute. The dwarf plants are great for people that don’t have lots of room but I’m not real keen on the smaller plants. Good tasting fruit though.


Our Brandywine OTVs grew pretty similar to our other more generic Brandywines, i.e., pretty vigorous for a big tomato. We love them, but thanks to this thread, we might be going to some Suddeth strains this year.

@thepodpiper, we grew Helsing Junction Blues a few years back, and it was absolutely worth it for my daughter and her cousins’ reaction alone. To them, it was something out of a Dr. Suess book.

In terms of lovely (and yummy) cherry tomatoes, I strongly recommend Isis Candy. They finish off with an “X” on the bottom that pictures don’t do justice, especially when there are 50-60 of them on the vine:

Regarding the lights used to raise seedlings… I used a high-power 400W HPS/MH system for years, then switched over to LEDs the last two years. Honestly, the LEDs did as well as the Metal Halide bulb at 1/4 the price, wattage and fan noise. I’m thinking of boosting up to @100W LED hanging light this year to ensure better coverage of our tray, but I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to the bulbs.


I was excited about them, but have not seen great production, so my excitement ha died down.


The spectrum of Metal Halide is poor for most plants and the LEDs are no better – hence the equal performance.


Is there a third option? I thought those were the two basic choices unless you mean the fluorescent lights, which I’ve never found to work for me.