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gman2002

best tomatoes

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i'm going to try to plant just one tomatoe plant on the deck in a big pot this year, theres just the two of us and i want to eat what we have and not waste them . what would be a good all around type for sandwiches and salads etc. ?

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I grow and sell Heirloom tomatoes... I'm not anywhere near you... But some high end nurseries are catching on to the old trend.

You're always going to get more flavor and less shelf life out of an Heirloom over a hybrid.

That being said, I understand the retail ease of not shopping around...

So if you're going hybrid... I would suggest 2 plants... 1 Cherry or grape tomato... 1 Slicer... You'll get the most yeild out of an Early Girl.

If you wanted to go Heirloom... IF you can find them in your area... I'd go Black Krim for a slicer (Which is a purple and green tomato that while it looks odd, has a Phenomenal deep flavor and is perfectly adapted to life in Minnesota's growing season)

Brandywine is a more common heirloom slicer... Makes a plant with potato leaves... Only drawback with a Brandywine is that it's a late yield, so you don't get a lot of slicers until you're already into preseason football etc...

But there isn't a Beefsteak tomato on this planet that can hold a candle to the flavor of a Brandywine!

For heirloom grape/cherry I'd nod towards Rosalita or Camp Joy.

Rosalita is extremely rare... Camp Joy is the most common Heirloom cherry... Both produce in crazy prolific volumes. Great for snacking and salads

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I don't know a hybrid from a Heirloom but I will tell you the best salad/snacking tomato I have ever eaten is Sun Sugar. Nothing like it!!!

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Last spring I bought a packet of "tomato" seeds from Menards. My wife tossed them in the ground for me and by mid-summer we had cherry tomatoes. It was great. I'd walk outside in the morning and eat a few on my way to work.

The only thing that I learned was not to plant one against the house. The plant really was working hard to dig into our cedar shakes.

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I agree with Nanoa, the Black Krim cannot be beat for flavor...well, maybe the Brandywine. And, you can find heirlooms now in most garden stores. There is usually an adequate description of the finished tomato and harvest time (and wether it is determinate (harvest at one time) or not). cool

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What about varieties for northern Minnesota?

If you go to Tomato fest . com They have a link for Cool weather / Short Growing season tomatoes that you can peruse through... The only problem with them is that they have a minimum order size.

But to give you an example of hot Lattitude does matter... I used to always grow Black Krim... Which is from the same lattitude in Russia as Minneapolis etc... So they're adapted to the swing in our short growing season.

Last year I tried purple cherokee... Flavorwise they're almost EXACTLY the same tomato... However it's from Southern Tennessee/alabama's lattitude.

They did great until fruiting time when we really start seeing the first loss of sunlight... Being a southern tomato they struggled... While the Black Krim thrived...

So now for my "Black" slicer I only grow and sell Black Krim.

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I agree with Nanoa, the Black Krim cannot be beat for flavor...well, maybe the Brandywine. And, you can find heirlooms now in most garden stores. There is usually an adequate description of the finished tomato and harvest time (and wether it is determinate (harvest at one time) or not). cool

The nice thing is that the Black Krim and the Brandywine can be grown together... And the Krim is an early producer and even though it's indeterminate (Meaning it produces all season long) It's biggest boom of fruit is in Mid July...

The BW is a later producer and it's biggest boom is in mid august, so they can play together for variety.

I've also selected seeds for my Brandywines that are from a plant that is extra meaty... When seeded I add a couple with my San Marzano plum tomatoes when I can.

(Normally you don't can slicers)

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I don't know a hybrid from a Heirloom but I will tell you the best salad/snacking tomato I have ever eaten is Sun Sugar. Nothing like it!!!

Sun Sugar is a hydrid created from Heirlooms and then kept as a hybrid.

In general Yellow tomatoes have lower acidity, which in some allows for more sweetness... And then of course the smaller a tomato is the more sugars it can convert quickly from starch during ripening.

*****

The two Cherrys I grow are Rosalita which is a grape tomato that is just CRAZY prolific... It makes tomato clusters that look like grape bunches!

Then I grow Black Cherries... Which are basically just like a Black Krim, only a little sweeter and half the size of a golf ball.

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Nainoa ever have cross pollination of Brandywine and the Black Krim. I suspect I did last year between 3 different varieties as I planted the varieties to close to each other, Brandywine, Black Krim and Striped Cavern. It was strange the BrandyWine received the brunt of the cross pollination didnt seem to effect the Black Krim or the Striped Cavern.. I had on the same BW plant two separate colors one color was the traditional red then there was the color of the Black Krim. Then two plants down I had the red BW fruits along with the orange striped that the striped cavern is known for. This happened early season but as the season progressed the plants resorted back to normal fruits that is until the fungus took over.

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If anyone likes stuffed tomatoes for dinner I found Striped Cavern as a great stuffer. Grows prolifically a bit on the small side. Thick walled with no meat essentially hollow with a nice mild sweet taste. Holds up to the oven very well.

The Black Krim also was a great plant very prolific with a great flavor.

Always Brandywine though this year I'm trying the Suddath Strain variety.

My other go to is the mortgage lifter I seem to get more tomatoes with this variety than the BW.

Then my go to pastes tomato is the Polish Linguisa practically all meat with a great all around flavor. They also get rather large for a paste tomato 8 to 10 oz Ive had some fruit get as large as 12 oz.

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Nainoa ever have cross pollination of Brandywine and the Black Krim. I suspect I did last year between 3 different varieties as I planted the varieties to close to each other, Brandywine, Black Krim and Striped Cavern. It was strange the BrandyWine received the brunt of the cross pollination didnt seem to effect the Black Krim or the Striped Cavern.. I had on the same BW plant two separate colors one color was the traditional red then there was the color of the Black Krim. Then two plants down I had the red BW fruits along with the orange striped that the striped cavern is known for. This happened early season but as the season progressed the plants resorted back to normal fruits that is until the fungus took over.

Black tomatoes and Brandywines will Cross... There already is a Black Brandywine offered by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

Brandywine appears to be more willing to successfully cross than a lot of other open pollinators... And Black Tomatoes love passing their genes on.

(It's a little bit like what O and AB blood types are in human beings... Sort of...)

The only problem with the Black and Bradywine cross is that 99 times out of 100 the offspring fruit in the next generation end up being even later in season than the normal BW... Kind of like how a cross between a Lion and Tiger gives you a Liger, which is bigger than either of it's parents etc...

Last year I ALMOST had a natural cross between Cherokee Purple and San Marzano...

The resulting fruit rotted on the vine before maturity... It seemed to inherit Cherokee Purple's disdain for the Northern Growing season.

I'm working my way up (Painfully) towards having a hobby farm one day... And then I'll start playing with purposeful crossings in pollenation isolation etc... Kind of like Radiator Charlie did with the "Mortgage Lifter."

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It was an unexpected surprise that made the season that much more fun to experience and the tomatoes were still mighty tasty.

The hobby farm is a great idea hopefully you can get to it soon.

I have a friend that has 17 acres of farm land they homesteaded and we have been kicking that idea around for the past few years. We have been thinking of splitting the land up and doing veggies in one area then wild flowers in another area. Problem is I live 20 miles away and with work and all just not enough time. Though she does have children coming in to slave years laugh

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It was an unexpected surprise that made the season that much more fun to experience and the tomatoes were still mighty tasty.

The hobby farm is a great idea hopefully you can get to it soon.

I have a friend that has 17 acres of farm land they homesteaded and we have been kicking that idea around for the past few years. We have been thinking of splitting the land up and doing veggies in one area then wild flowers in another area. Problem is I live 20 miles away and with work and all just not enough time. Though she does have children coming in to slave years laugh

One of the best ways to to help keep some stability in a hobby farm (Especially if you have 17 acres) is to plant Christmas trees in a 7 year rotation) It's back breaking work in October... But it's a low maintenance way to keep money coming in...

Especially because 17 acres is WAY too much to handle if it's all annual produce and you have no labor staff.

As for some of the other low mainteance uses for the land... DO NOT underestimate the value of Asparagus and Honeycrisp apple trees...

Pick your own strawberries... Also a big plus in the long run... But you'll have to be proactive about birds etc...

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I agree with above statements.I bought Black Krim and Yellow Pear seeds yesterday at K-Mart.They had a full rack of heirloom tomato varities.I would guess you can find heirlooms at all the K-mart stores.

I always plant some early ones....Beaver Lodge Plum and Slicer are golfball size and give me ripe tomatoes in July.I also plant some yellow ones....easier on the stomach with less acid.The 2 I like are....Taxi for an early one and Lemon Boy for a later one.Lemon Boy produces beautiful perfectly shaped fruit.

For Roma types....I go with Beaver Lodge Plum,Saucey,and Health Kick for later.

I also always plant a larger red slicer.....Legend.It is the only tomato I know of that is blight resistant.All of my plants succumbed to blight late last summer except Legend.It had tomatoes into Oct.

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I agree with above statements.I bought Black Krim and Yellow Pear seeds yesterday at K-Mart.They had a full rack of heirloom tomato varities.I would guess you can find heirlooms at all the K-mart stores.

I always plant some early ones....Beaver Lodge Plum and Slicer are golfball size and give me ripe tomatoes in July.I also plant some yellow ones....easier on the stomach with less acid.The 2 I like are....Taxi for an early one and Lemon Boy for a later one.Lemon Boy produces beautiful perfectly shaped fruit.

For Roma types....I go with Beaver Lodge Plum,Saucey,and Health Kick for later.

I also always plant a larger red slicer.....Legend.It is the only tomato I know of that is blight resistant.All of my plants succumbed to blight late last summer except Legend.It had tomatoes into Oct.

For plum/sauce tomatoes... Once you go San Marzano... You can't go back to roma.

I have one can of San Marzano left in the pantry... And I'm going weep when I use it and I'll be forced back to Store bought canned tomatoes until late July.

Every year HALF of all tomatoes I grow are San Marzano (For canning) and the rest are my other 5 varieties of slicers and cherries.

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I've been following this conversation with interest. We've decided to pretty much go back to heirloom tomato varieties, after years of using both heirloom and hybrids. Since we don't can, and we generally only like a few slicers, cherries for salads and some sauce/paste tomatoes, we generally only have a couple/three plants.

We're using the global buckets system this season. Excellent for us, because we have a south-facing front porch that's uninsulated but has tall windows all across the south, east and west walls, effectively a greenhouse situation that will extend our tomato growing season by at least a month.

This will save valuable space in our five raised veggie beds as well, all the better to plant more carrots, kohlrabi and beans (mmmmmmmm!!).

We've settled on Brandywine Pink for slicers, Red Cherry Large for cherries, and San Marzano for paste/sauce. The first two are heirloom varieties. I've read up on the history of the San Marzano but am unsure if it's classed as heirloom.

We'll be getting those seeds going in the front porch/greenhouse next month. If it works out well, which I expect it will, I imagine we'll be doing some limited canning next fall. Happy growing, everyone!

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I've been following this conversation with interest. We've decided to pretty much go back to heirloom tomato varieties, after years of using both heirloom and hybrids. Since we don't can, and we generally only like a few slicers, cherries for salads and some sauce/paste tomatoes, we generally only have a couple/three plants.

We're using the global buckets system this season. Excellent for us, because we have a south-facing front porch that's uninsulated but has tall windows all across the south, east and west walls, effectively a greenhouse situation that will extend our tomato growing season by at least a month.

This will save valuable space in our five raised veggie beds as well, all the better to plant more carrots, kohlrabi and beans (mmmmmmmm!!).

We've settled on Brandywine Pink for slicers, Red Cherry Large for cherries, and San Marzano for paste/sauce. The first two are heirloom varieties. I've read up on the history of the San Marzano but am unsure if it's classed as heirloom.

We'll be getting those seeds going in the front porch/greenhouse next month. If it works out well, which I expect it will, I imagine we'll be doing some limited canning next fall. Happy growing, everyone!

Don't let all the crazy twists of Italian Agricultural politics cloud your opinion of the San Marzano.

I can tell you for a fact that it's an open pollenator... Since I save true breeding seeds from Generation to generation... (Hybrids don't breed true)

And an "Heirloom" is legally and technically defined as a plant variety with a documented history beginning before 1940/WWII.

BUT the line between Heirloom and Open Pollenator has been blurred to the point where all Open Pollenators are just considered heirlooms in casual conversation etc...

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Don't let all the crazy twists of Italian Agricultural politics cloud your opinion of the San Marzano.

I don't let politics cloud my opinion about anything. smile

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I don't let politics cloud my opinion about anything. smile

It's just that in order to preserve the actual export quality of the tomatoes the Italian Gov't put a whole bunch of restrictions and qualifications. (This is why they are $6 a pound/can)

And at that same time it generated a lot of stories about seeds that got out... Brought back after WWII... Or arcane myths about gifts from Peruvian Kings etc...

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I didn't read all of the replies, but if you are going to have a potted tomato, that's tasty and small, I would go with a "4th of July" or "Independence" variety. They are early, compact tomatoes, (about 4 oz), will grow in a 20" or greater pot. In the garden they need about 18-24" of space. They taste awesome! A little thicker skin, but delicious. Otherwise look-up "bush" varieties on the internet. Hope that helps.

My favorite in the garden is 1) Mortgage Lifter 2) Beefsteak

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I didn't read all of the replies, but if you are going to have a potted tomato, that's tasty and small, I would go with a "4th of July" or "Independence" variety. They are early, compact tomatoes, (about 4 oz), will grow in a 20" or greater pot. In the garden they need about 18-24" of space. They taste awesome! A little thicker skin, but delicious. Otherwise look-up "bush" varieties on the internet. Hope that helps.

My favorite in the garden is 1) Mortgage Lifter 2) Beefsteak

]OK, I read the posts. Attention Deficit disorder is running wild! People! The man wants to plant a tomato in a pot on his deck! Gotta love em though.

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Celebrities are good. I can't tell you well the h3ll kind they are, nor do I care, but I like to eat them. I am a simple man I guess

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The thing that matters about Celebrity is that it's a Determinate Hybrid... Meaning it will make a smaller plant (Around 2-3 feet tall) and will try to ripen all it's fruit around the same time.

In general indeterminate plants are larger and their fruit develops and comes ripe a little at a time all through the season.

Determinate plants are better for say Patio gardens and people who want to do all their canning all at once. And should always be planted south of indeterminate plants, because otherwise the Indeterminate will shade it out at some point in the middle of the season.

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