What tomatoes will you grow this year?


Not much to show for this time of year, but wanted to mention I am again impressed with the dwarfs for container culture. Fat beautiful plants. This is Rosella Purple

Nice thick stems on small plants.


Yes, the dwarfs make such nice, tidy plants in containers. Mine are just starting to set their first fruit. This is Rosellas purple, dwarf purple heart, Tennessee suited and dwarf orange cream. They’re so stout it is easy to forget to give then a stake or cage.


TN suited is the only one I tried and the tomato was excellent. One produced well, the other did not, how it goes sometimes.I only saved seed from the best one of the two.


Starting to get my first “real” tomatoes (been getting the cherries for a while.)

Have a Purple Cherokee, a German Queen, and a Lemon Boy finishing ripening on my counter.

Anyway, question: I tried to control my various disease issues via cultural practices and applications of Serenade. I should have known better in Georgia. Now I’m pretty sure my tomatoes have early blight. Anything I can spray to slow it down? I’d prefer organic methods, but I’m willing to spray conventionals if that’s what it takes to slow it down. As long as I can nurse them through mid-July, that’d be ok, since late July and August hardly anything sets anyway because of the heat, and I can buy some new seedlings after that.

Thanks for any help or suggestions on fungicide.


I use liquid copper and Daconil. I also remove affected leaves so the plants often look kind of bare. It helps to slow down diseases although they still be present and going. My neighbor do not spray her tomatoes and they look a lot worse in the second part of the summer.


Yeah you need to use the products Antmary mentioned before you see anything. I tend not to, too, and they do slow it down, but not by much. I think i will go out a spray, my plants look perfect right now. Keep’em that way!


Harvest Update:

Purple Cherokee: They seem to have a cracking problem in my climate, so the whole top of the tomato is covered. But the tomato itself is excellent. I had some yesterday for dinner with a little mozzarella and basil. Yum.

German Queen: The tomatoes themselves are fine, but these tomato plants were the first to get disease, and once having gotten it, they seemed to give up entirely. Plus the cracking is even worse than with Purple Cherokee. Overall, not a good tomato for my garden and it gets replaced next year.

Pink Brandywine: Bueller? Bueller? I know this tomato isn’t supposed to be a prolific setter, but 1 tomato when some of my others have produced 10-15 is a little ridiculous. I don’t care how good the tomato is, it needs to produce more than THAT.

Lemon Boy: A hybrid. Nobody told this tomato it wasn’t a cherry, and it sets like crazy. It is a decent tomato, sweeter and with less of an acid tang than Cherokee Purple (which seems weird for a plant called Lemon Boy.). I’ll probably grow one of these next year because I like having different colored tomatoes, but I’ll probably only get one. (Unless I find a yellow I like better.)

My cherries: I have 2 Super Sweet Million and Sungold and good gracious, with just those 3 I could have a tomato salad every day for lunch. I wasn’t that impressed with the Sungold at first, but then I realized I was picking them too early. I picked when they were yellow, and they actually are best when they’re more orange-gold. Now they are delicious. The Super Sweet Millions are a bit sweeter than your average cherry and they’re real winners too. Great cherry tomatoes.

Generic red hybrid slicing tomato: It’s some kind of hybrid–Better Boy, Big Girl, whatever (can’t be bothered to go out and look at the tag). It looks great, hardly any cracking, uniform red color. It’s not excellent as Cherokee Purple is, but still better than supermarket tomatoes. Plus they’re very resistant to disease. I love the heirlooms, but there is something to be said for a good tasting, trouble free tomato.

So outside of Cherokee Purple I don’t think any of the other heirlooms are coming back. Anyone have any suggestions for heirlooms they like that can stand up to the South’s heat and humidity?


We have grew yellow, pink and black Brandywine in the past. The yellow and pink are beautiful large potato leaf plants, but they are very stingy producers.

I love the yellow version, but at maybe 6 fruit per huge plant, it did not get a place in this year’s rotation.

The pink was a bit better producer but the flavor was off, but I think that was poor soil in last year’s plot.

We grew the regular leaf black BW last year and it was also a big plant, and produced better than either of the above varieties. But, the black got diseases pretty fast and the foliage loss caused the fruit to get sunscald and rotted. So we didn’t even get a chance to try any. It also didn’t get planted this year, but it might next season.

We grew Cherokee Purple for the last three years, and it was best the first year, after that, kinda meh… It produces a decent crop, and has pretty good flavor when it’s on, but the poor last couple years meant it didn’t get a shot this year.

Purple tom’s have been kind of a bust here over the last few years, but the flavor is so good when it’s on, that I’m not giving up on them. This year I’ve amended all our veggie plots, so maybe it’ll make a difference. But we’re always at the mercy of the weather. It’s been very warm and wet the last two years, and that is not good for tom’s.


I got a late start. In my chilly, wet climate, I find starting late works better for me. I started seeds in April. I hope the last 4 days of rain znd chill dont cause them too much stress.

Better Boy - 5 year old seeds
San Marzano
Long Keeper
Black Beauty
Atomic Grape
Celebrity - 10 year old seeds
Sungold - 5 year old seeds
Supersweet 100
Beaverlodge Slicer

I wanted to try Lemon Boy again but ran out of seeds and couldnt find fresh ones. We like slicers and cherry tomatoes, and we dry a lot for cooking. Beefsteaks dont do well for us. My plants are a foot tall now. Last year there was blossom end rot for some of the Romas, so i limed the soil. So far, so good. I think I will do Missouri pruning this year.


Hybrids are just the best of two heirlooms, I don’t grow any now, but once I’m done testing, I will probably always grow one or two for those bad years your heirlooms suffer.

This year it’s still way early here. So far Rosella Purple dwarf is growing super well in a fairly small pot. I think I’m hooked on these dwarfs. Stump The World, and Black from Tula are very impressive. Tula is setting fruit, first plant. Tula from the Ukraine, so am I! Well my Grandfather. They seem well adapted to the cold, even surviving a frost, and producing! It’s a black tomato, never seen one I didn’t love! Described by one SSE member as “the ugliest, most delicious tomato I’ve
ever grown.” Good yields of brownish-red slightly flattened globes
weighing up to 14 ounces. Rich full flavor.

Stump The World is one of the parents of Rossela Purple. Except Stump has potato leaves.
The variety was part of the Ben Quisinberry Collection, which also contributed the variety Brandywine. Stump of the World is a bit smaller and more productive than Brandywine, but like Brandywine, offers outstandingly rich, complex flavor


Growing 2 tomato plants this year. Both Super Sweet 100. Not big on tomatoes. Put up a bamboo cage around it.

Last one is of lavender, just because I love it so much :slightly_smiling_face:


Have you tried Chef’s Orange in place of lemon boy? I found lemon boy to be very soft and low on flavor. CO was firm and very good last year for us.
10 YO celebrity’s? wow!


Heat and patience… I started to Tiburons indoors and it look like nothing was happening for two or three weeks. I finally started another rolw of them and a week or two later the first batch started coming up… But even then they came up sporadically for close to three weeks before everything that germinated actually popped


Sorry to disappoint you Drew, but Tula is a city in Russia, about 120 miles south of Moscow and 330 miles northeast from the nearest Ukrainian city of Sumy.


Yes, the Tomato people always questioned this, but as it stands it’s from the Ukraine. (I didn’t decide this, it was Seed Savers Exchange who did) I myself really don’t care where it’s from, it’s from my backyard now.


Ukrainian family heirloom (although the name implies that it could have originated from Tula, Russia). This variety was imported from Russia (Marina Danilenko) by Seed Savers Exchange and offered in the SSE 1996 Yearbook. Here is the original description offered by SSE: 

"76 days - plants to 4' with 3" flattish dark brown fruits, green shoulders persist, O.S. RUSS DA M, SSE TOMATO 2911." 

First offered commercially by Seed Savers Exchange in 1998 as part of the 'Russian Collection'.
One of the 100 heirloom tomatoes mentioned in Carolyn J. Male's book "100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden".

I have talked to Carolyn many times, she is getting up there in age and friends now grow tomatoes for her. She is unable to garden herself. It has been incredible to know her. She is very active in the tomato community. An amazing wealth of knowledge and is responsible for the saving of hundreds of heirlooms. Some of her stories, like having 50 seeds of an heirloom. 10 years old, the last of any known seeds, and one germinated! All originate from that one plant, I forgot which one it was? One of a thousand stories on tomatoes she has told.


Chikn, I was surprised those Celebrity seeds germinated. They were slow, needed a week longer than the others.

I should look into Chef Orange next year. Last year I grew a different yellow, forget which one, not productive.


Mine this year… grown from seed in California, then in my carry-on luggage as seedlings to New York! Planted

• Large Pink Bulgarian
• Azoychka
• Dr. Carolyn
• Aunt Ruby’s German Green
• Blondkopfchen
• Brandywine (OTV)
• Cherokee Chocolate
• German Gold Strawberry
• Neves Azorean Red

Everything is late at our farm this year - peonies are usually in full bloom by Memorial Day, and they are only just now starting (mid-June).


We’re trying the chef pink and green this year too. They are growing well now.

  • Goldie
  • Pruden’s Purple
  • Opalka
  • Rose de Burne
  • Sungold
  • SuperSweet100
  • Black Cherry

Can’t believe no one mentioned Goldie. Has anyone tried it but found a yellow tomato they prefer?


Here’s a pic of my main greenhouse where I have many of our tomatoes on the bottom right side. I grow Romas, Sungold and Sunsugar cherry tomatoes. I love growing tomatoes but other than Romas to freeze for my pasta sauces, my kids mainly like just cherry tomatoes. Of all the varieties I’ve experimented with over the years, sun sugar and sun gold are our favourites. The trees on the left and to the top are 2 Izu Persimmons (2nd year) and 1 in-ground Fuyu Persimmon (6 years).