Got home last night after being away for a few days and tried out the blacklight flashlight I got off of Amazon. It’s amazing that it actually works to see tomato horn worms you would never have found otherwise. Found 7 including some babies that were barely an inch long. That blacklight is the best thing since sliced bread for hornworms.
Got a link to that?
It appears that there are several different “brands” that are selling the exact same flashlight. The one I ordered is around a dollar or two cheaper than the others I saw. It definitely helps you get a jump on picking hornworms before they eat half your tomato plant.
My opinions so far on the tomatoes we are growing this year
Black from Tula: The flavor of this tomato is by far the strongest flavored tomato I have ever had, it overpowers the flavor of other things easily, it has a very unique and spicy flavor (not hot spicy), yet it does have a vinegar like acidity to it, and oddly it vaguely tastes a lot like steak sauce. It’s also one of the most juicy, if not the juiciest tomato variety out there. I think that this tomato is a great tomato for things that need an usually powerful flavored tomato, yet I would not just eat it by it’s self.
Helsing Junction Blues: I think the best way to describe this one for flavor and texture, is black brandywine mixed with cherry tomato, less cherry tomato presence then I expected, yet it’s still stands out some. Bigger than normal tomatoes for a cherry tomato. We certainty will grow this one again.
Black Cherry - I can see why it’s said that this one is like a true black tomato, it was like I was not eating a cherry tomato at all, sort of tastes like black brandywine as well yet less so than the Helsing Junction Blues, it has it’s own very unique complex texture. It like the others is a great tomato variety, yet I like Helsing Junction Blues more.
Cherokee Purple - a very good tomato that I would eat by it’s self, it tasted a lot like the classic red tomato flavor, only better. I forget what else I thought about this one, besides the fact that I’d like to grow it again.
Our tom’s are coming along nicely, some are close to 5ft now. I mulched a few of them today before it started rumbling to the west. Turned out to not much but a little shower.
We have a Watermelon beefsteak on the porch in a big container, it’s almost 5ft tall, and even has a few small fruit on it.
Here’s a few pics of it:
I love hearts for earliness, productivity, pretty good disease resistance and overall taste and use for cooking. For a sandwich, I’ll still take a good beefsteak (Stump of the world or a few other favorites).
This year I’m growing Grightmire’s Pride, Kosovo, Brad’s Dark Heart (thanks @thepodpiper), Crushed Heart, Nizami. I usually grow fish lake oxheart, but lost that to some transplant shock and cold weather as well as loosing a Heart of Ashgabat (large yellow heart). I also planted a semi-determinant called Danko that has had a lot of fruit but they’ve all been eaten by deer.
They’re just starting to come in. The one Brad’s Dark Heart I picked was probably close to a pound and a half, but the flavor wasn’t as good as I’d hoped and I hope future ones are better. Here is a couple Grightmire’s I picked that I’m ripening inside.
Between theft in my community garden and all the rain making tomatoes split, I’ve been picking them early and ripening inside although I’d prefer to wait until they’re fully ripe. Here are a few of the other no-hearts that I’ve picked.
There is one small Coeur de Boeuf in there which might be considered a heart, but seems more like the pear shape to me.
I’ll probably save seed from most of these, so let me know if you’d like to try any of these. And of course I’d like to know what your favorite hearts are.
I would love to have some seeds! I didnt know there were so many oxheart varieties. I have only grown bouef and gemini. Bouef didn’t grow well for me so i have stuck with the one that does.
Yes, mine are just blossoming!
I am really enjoying my Lucid Gem this year… they are beautiful!
They are very productive so far, and tasty with a bit of zing.
The Amazon Chocolates were a total bust which is too bad as I had three plants, all dead now. I have only one Stump of the World plant and I wish I had more. They are awesome as usual.
I planted far too many SunGolds and over half are cracked when its time to pick. Excellent tasting tomato though.
I’m glad to hear you are enjoying Lucid Gem. I gambled planting early and Lucid Gem was one of my few fatalities that resulted from that. I replanted it almost 6 weeks later, so my lone Lucid Gem plant just started to set tomatoes last week. It seems like the Wild Boar Farm tomatoes I’m growing this year really need some heat to thrive.
Flavor bombs cherry tomatoe is true to its name. Firm fruit with a burst if sweetness with a bite.
Our first Chocolate Cherry tomatoes of the season. They’re about quarter sized gems, beautiful dark brown, with a tart, sweet and smokey flavor. A little salt and they’re perfect. Plants are vigorous, about 6ft tall.
We’ve had a few other of our varieties ripen, like Omar’s Lebanese and Jaune Flammé but not quite there yet. It’s tempting to pick them before they’re at peak ripeness, so they may not be the best they can be.
I have three days left to harvest one tomato at my house before the closing on July 26th. I will then take my last pics and say good bye to my lovely trees and gardens. On to the next!!!
My experiment of growing primarily hybrids this year has left me wishing that I would’ve stuck with heirlooms. So far they seem to be a bit healthier overall but the taste is just not there. Ive harvested early girl, big beef, better boy, and celebrity and none of them as as good as last years least favorite heirloom. Lesson learned I guess. I suppose they will get better when they start peaking bit for now i don’t think they are much better than store bought tomatoes.
After weeding the tater patch, I found these 'maters, really surprised they were ripe. The dark one is a Black Brandywine and the yellow is an Azoychka.
The Azoychka had a bad spot on it, so I cut that out. The flavor was a bit tart and fruity, but prob needed to be a bit riper. The BBW was much like the Chocolate Cherry, but a bit more sweeter. Very good flavor. Usually Brandywine’s have been shy bearers, but these plants are loaded. And, most BW’s are potato leafed, but this has regular leaves.
Other than CC, I have had bad luck with dark tomatoes, but this one’s a winner. Oh, and the cuke is from our garden, too.
Hate to hear that, I’m trying a hybrid this year too, Better Boy. Hope they turn out alright. I’ve grown Celebrity in the past and thought it a very good variety.
Are you noticing anything different about your weather this year? Maybe a new location, more or less sun? ‘Black Brandy Wine’ is a low and late producer for us, yet overall it’s my favorite tomato. So far for us ‘Helsing Junction Blues’ and ‘Black Cherry’, are the closest tomatoes we have had to it, yet still they are not as good.