For 2011, I grew six different varieties of large tomatoes and here are the results for four of them. The other two, Amana orange (an organic beefsteak) and Aunt Ruby’s German green (large green beefsteak) aren’t quite ready to pick yet.
But until they are, here’s the big tomato round-up for 2011. (I posted the small tomato results in August.)
The Better Bush tomato seeds were a free sample from Botanical Interests. This variety is a short season tomato (70 days) and I grew it in a large container on the patio. The nice-size slicing tomatoes grew on a very stout stem. The tomatoes were similar to a beefsteak in taste, only smaller. No plant disease problems. It’s still going strong.
I purchased the Purple Russian heirloom seeds (from Tomato Growers Supply) and grew two of these plants in the vegetable bed. The tomatoes are dark purple and have an oblong shape. Sorry to say that I was disappointed with this variety. The tomatoes lacked the deep tomato taste I’ve come to expect with dark tomatoes and the fruit was extremely prone to cracking. I won’t be growing this one again.
The heirloom Black Krim seeds (a free sample from Lake Valley Seed) remain my all-time favorite tomato. This variety never lets me down. The plant filled out nicely and was very prolific. The dark fruit has a deep rich, salty tomato taste that I absolutely crave during the winter months. I’ll always grow at least one Black Krim in my garden.
The Cour di Bue is an Italian heirloom that’s shaped like a heart. I purchased the seeds from Baker Creek. This is an Oxheart-type tomato that was delicious eaten right off the vine. The plant produced somewhat smaller tomatoes than I expected, but because it was so prolific many of these were donated to a local food bank as part of the Plant a Row for the Hungry program.
Now I have a few months to contemplate the tomato varieties I’ll try in my garden next year. If you have a favorite to recommend, I’d love to hear about it. I’m always looking for the next great tomato.