What tomatoes will you grow in 2019?


my 2019 grow list

Black Krim

Crnkovic Yugoslavia



Large Mennonite Heritage

Chocolate Lightening

Dwarf Purple Heart

Dwarf Blazing Beauty

Rosellaa Purple

Yellow Brandywine

Summer Sweet Gold

Dwarf Black Angus

Dwarf Wild Fred

Sweet Adelaide


Summertime Green

Dwarf Sweet Sue

Purple Tomatillo

Mortgage Lifter

Super Beefsteak

Pruden’s Purple

Amana Orange

Super 100

German Johnson

Aunt Ruby’s German Green

Cherokee Purple

Black Giant


Chocolate Cherry

Red Brandy Wine

Henderson’s Pink

Henderson’s Red

Paul Robeson


Sudduth;s Brandywine

Kellogg’s Breakfast

San Marzano

Amish Paste



Better Boy


Wow, that’s a long list) I will need several years to try each one from it, as my tomato quote is 6 indeterminate and 2 determinate, and one potted. :grin:


I use to be more ambitious. Oddly, the 3 of use manage to eat most of them easily. And I plant multiples of many varieties. I love tomato season.


Mortgage Lifter, beefmaster hybrid, delicous, and supersweet 100… a few monsters, with some grape tomatoes. Only a couple plants each. I just started them here…get some size on them before i set them out in May.


I have decided to grow a few more varieties this year… here is my current plan. One reason for my greater interest is I am going to try grafting on some disease-resistant rootstocks and I want to see how well it work out on several different varieties.

JD’s Special C-Tex - a very good black which lasts longer in my heat than the standard blacks.
Amazon Chocolate - a new black I am trying this year, its supposed to be very heat- and humidity-tolerant.
Sungold - my 10-year old seeds sprouted! So I get to grow this one again.
Lucid Gem - this is a yellow/red bicolor, I haven’t had good results from that type in the past but I thought I’d try this relatively new one to see if it does any better.
Stump of the World - my favorite pink tomato. I’m hoping the grafting will help it as it usually doesn’t last long enough.


I’m spending my summer on an experiment. My two favorite tomato varieties (Kelloggs Breakfast and Brandywine (Suddeth)) by themselves and also on two different rootstocks that are supposed to help with soil borne diseases. DRO141TX to get relief from verticillium wilt and RST-04-106-T seeds to help with bacterium and Fusarium wilts. I attempted this last season but my grafts failed. Second try is the charm, right?
Also growing one Sungold so I have something to eat all summer while I weed.


Just a few notes on a few selections of tomatoes from a section of a book I was once writing, I thought it might bemuse a few of you and aid you in tomato selection.

Paul Robeson: While this is not on my permanent grow list, I grow this every year. I am not sure why. I think, simply because it is so pretty and unusually dependable. The thing that ruins this tomato for me is it is very wet and juicy and I find myself pressing the water out when using for a sandwich. It does have a mild, smoky, black tomato flavor to it. I generally like my tomatoes to punch me in the face and loudly proclaim I am a tomato darn it, and overwhelm me with it bold tomato taste and acidity. You know, I like manly tomatoes. This is sort of a dainty sissy type tomato to my palate, very subtle. Still I grow it as I have friends and family who like girly tomatoes. It is fairly early and a pretty good producer. It also is good in a salsa. Taste wise I give it a 3.4. But my preferences are obvious.

Aunt Ruby’s German Green: Another one of those, what the heck is this thing supposed to be fruits masquerading as a tomato. This one is wet and seedy, makes a lousy drier, and is really, really hard to catch right, but boy it is good. I love to use this one in a club sandwich. You have to pat it dry to use it in a sandwich and I would recommend you use a real tomato in another layer of the sandwich if you are looking for something with that tomato bite, but this has an awesome sweet, modestly acidic, light citrus and spicy taste. It works great in the sandwich layer with a mild cheese like Havarti that brings out its flavor or with a strong cheese like a sharp cheddar or a pungent Swiss that brings out its contrast, in other words don’t go middle of the road with American Cheese or Colby. It works exceptionally well in a tuna salad sandwich or against a thin slice of a pungent onion or sweet onion. It also is darn good in a salsa. It is an okay producer, gets nailed by disease now and then but is so unique that I grow it every year and am sad if I do not get a few. On my permanent grow list. By the way, make a club sandwich with this one using Aunt Ruby’s in one layer and Amana Orange in another layer…the taste variety will astound you.

Sunsugar, Sungold, Super Sweet 100. Very, very early and prolific. People tell me these are tomatoes, okay maybe you can convince me Super Sweet 100 is related to a tomato 10 generations removed, but Sunsugar and Sungold, no way. There is no tomato taste in these – period. They are simply candy, but darn wonderful candy at that. I don’t call them tomatoes and you should not either, but darn these are good. I grow them because chicks dig them and kids like them (don’t tell people, but so do I). I usually eat these outside while I work with real tomatoes. Sunsugar and Sungold are F1s so no seed saving. They make the ultimate no guilt snack food.

Mortgage Lifter. I must say, I really like this tomato. All in all I would say this has the best combination of texture, meat to seed ratio, and level of moisture to flavor of any tomato I have ever grown. It is the best sandwich tomato in terms actual use I have ever seen. It holds together perfectly in a sandwich and is not too wet. The taste is rather complex and is one of the best tasting tomatoes around. If this was earlier it would compete fairly evenly with my beloved Black Giant. It has now moved up to my permanent grow list. This tomato has it all as slicer. And of course one of the best origin stories of all time. The only fault I find, and it is a strange one, is it hard to pair with anything except a cheese or cottage cheese. In other words if you try it in a BLT you will likely find it lacking, same in a turkey sandwich or tuna fish. The trouble with it is it has a complex and subtle flavor that really wants to star in the sandwich but the subtlety of it gets drowned out when you combine it with meat. So what do I do: problem easily remedied. I let it be the star of the sandwich. Some toast, a light mayo, some greens a careful choice of cheese and thick slices of Mortgage Lifter with a tad of white pepper sprinkled on it: delicious. If I use it in a BLT I take about a ½ strip of turkey bacon and finely chop it and sprinkle it on the slices of tomato as a flavor enhancer and just let this precious jewel shine.

Carbon. I am still trying to figure out what all the buzz is about this tomato. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good black tomato, it is fine all around workhorse I am just missing what it does particularly well. It is later than Black Giant, rather more mild in flavor than Paul Robeson, not as pretty and less prolific. It is drier than Paul Robeson, but so is a glass of water. I suppose if you like mild (read that as bland) with some tones of complexity and with low acid in a black this might fit the bill, for example is you really like watercress sandwiches and don’t want something that will overpower the water cress. I’ll grow this till I run out of seed, to give it a fair chance (I have gown it for 6 years now)but unless it somehow improves this is one I am happy to forget.


the fluffy one


I just bought some Hartman’s Yellow Gooseberry cherry tomatoes from Trader Joe. Wow, very interesting taste, a little tangy gooseberry flavor. I definitely will try to start those seeds in a few weeks.




We’re doing Matt’s Wild Cherry, Paul Robeson, Chico Royal, Dester’s Amish Beefsteak, and Rutger’s Improved this year. I’m particularly excited for the Paul Robeson, it’s our first time with it and I want to try some salsa combinations with Rocoto peppers.


Here is what it is like to start tomatoes and peppers on a commercial scale. I have seed of A, B, and C started plus a few D to Z varieties for early plant sales. Still have to get D to Z done today. I will start about 300 varieties of tomatoes this year and try to grow at least 60 of them. This list is 89 varieties.

97L97 (grow)
A. C. Red (grow)
Abe Hall (grow)
Abe Lincoln
Ailsa Craig
Akers West Virginia
Amana Orange
Amish Paste (grow)
Ananas Noire
Andrew Rahart (grow)
Anna Maria’s Heart
Anna Russian (grow)
Arkansas Traveler (grow)
Aunt Gertie’s Gold (grow)
Aunt Ruby’s German Grn (grow)
Barnes Mountain Yellow (grow)
Bear Creek
Beefsteak Garvey’s (grow)
Beefywine (grow)
Bella Rosa
Bellstar (grow)
Berkeley Tie Dye
Betimes Macbeth (grow)
Better Boy
Big Beef
Big Cheef
Big Zac
Big Zebra (grow)
Bisignano #2 (grow)
Black Anna
Bloody Butcher
Blue Fruit (grow)
Blue Ridge Mountain (grow)
Borgo Cellano (grow)
Boronia (dwarf)
Box Car Willie
Brads Black Heart (grow)
Burbank (grow)
Burgess Crackproof
Burgundy Traveler
Burracker’s Favorite (1 seed!)
Burwood Prize (grow)
Calvin’s Green (grow)
Captain Lucky (grow)
Caro Red (grow)
Carol Chyko Jumbo Red (grow)
Casey’s pure Yellow (grow)
Caspian Pink
Cherokee Chocolate (grow)
Chrostopher Columbus
Green Giant
Grubs Mystery Green
Indian Stripe
Iron Lady
Jaune Flamme
La Roma
Little Lucky
Lucky Cross
Mountain Pride
Omar’s Lebanese
Orlov Yellow
Tye Dye hybrid
Winter Keeper
Yellow Out Red In
Yoders Yellow
Zogola (must grow)


Well since you grow so many… if you had to pick just three to grow for productivity AND taste which ones would you pick?


I would grow Big Beef as a hybrid because it has set records for about 20 years for both production and flavor. I would grow Box Car Willie because it is just a good old fashioned all around tomato. I would grow Eva Purple Ball because it is a superb producer and makes nice canned tomatoes as well.

If I get my choice of colors, I would also grow KBX, Bear Creek, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, and Jaune Flammee.


These photos were taken tonight, Thursday, February 28th, 2019, 2 weeks and 1 day after the seed germination was begun. It took only 5 days to see seedlings pop up. Apparently more seeds were put in to the moist peat pellets than we realized. Because 2 was the minimum per peat pot, looks like one peat pellet might actually have 8 tomato plants growing out of it.

I have just noticed that ‘Helsing Junction Blues’, is the one with the most seeds per peat pellet, it’s totally dominating the extra seed category.

Cherry Tomatoes:
01) Black Cherry
02) Helsing Junction Blues

Slicing tomatoes:
01) Paul Robeson
02) Cherokee Purple
03) Black from Tula


While researching locally bred tomatoes I came across a few interesting articles regarding some varieties bred in my backyard at WVU. I stopped in at the soil sciences school and they gave me packets of three named varieties created at the university and told me some interesting stories to go along with them.

The fist variety is WV '63 which was created by Mannon Gallegly back in 1963 as a PhD researching plant diseases. Mannon is going on 94 years old and still helps the university. There is an interesting story on him and his tomato at https://magazine.wvu.edu/stories/2015/05/20/mannon-gallegly-s-wv-63-tomato-the-people-s-tomato and a short video of him working and collecting seeds at https://youtu.be/hvgXFTi2EE4

The other two were more recently created and are called Mountaineer Pride (17A) and Mountaineer Delight (17B). You can read about them at https://www.davis.wvu.edu/news/2017/08/31/wvu-announces-the-names-of-two-new-tomato-varieties-released-in-honor-of-150th-anniversary

17B is supposed to be sweeter and geared toward the home grower while 17A is thicker skinned and better suited for the marketplace.

The cool part is that they have me small seed packets for all three varieties. I think I’ll try planting '63 and 17B this spring. They also provided a calendar that is geared toward my area with all kind of important planting dates. Very cool on their part and they were great people to talk to. They showed me a huge stack of SASE envelopes that people have sent requesting seeds.


We mostly make soup and sauce…we eat relatively few fresh tomatoes.

Purple Boy Hybrid
Cherokee Purple (I want to compare them)
Black Zebra
Plum Regal


WV-63 has ph-2 which is a gene that partially protects against late blight. It is no longer very effective with US-23 race of late blight completely overcoming resistance. For comparison, Matt’s Wild Cherry also has ph-2. The latest breeding work combines ph-2 and ph-3 for much stronger and more effective late blight resistance. Tye Dye hybrid is available with ph-3. Randy Gardner’s breeding work has been directed toward combining ph-2 and ph-3 with resistance genes for other diseases.


That stuff is way over my head. Lol. They told me that the new '17 varieties are more disease resistant than the older '63 variety.


Can somebody recommend determinate compact tomato with full size good tasting fruit?


You might consider ‘Black Sea Man’


Sophie’s Choice would be a possibility. Also, Marglobe is an old commercial variety that is fairly decent.