Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Best Heirloom Tomatoes 2014-2015 part 2

I wrote part 1 of this post earlier, but it started to get too long so I have continued it here.

Like I said in my first post all seeds were sown the same day on 9 August 2014 without heat, all seedlings were transplanted into the vegetable garden about 7 weeks later when the majority were 15 to 20 cm tall (they were all planted out on the same day, some were larger than others).  I have included the date the first fruit ripened after the variety name.  They are listed in order that their first fruit ripened.

I had one bed of tomatoes that did not go too well, the drippers I put in got clogged a little and I did not notice for a while.  There are also a lot of tree roots in this bed which may have robbed the tomatoes of nutrients and water.  I lost a few plants in this bed and came close to losing all of the others.  All of the plants in this bed fruited later than the rest, I think it was the bed itself that caused this.

Purple Cherokee
Purple Cherokee (21/02/2015) large purple/pink/red tomatoes, some round, some a little odd shaped.  Fruit took a long time to ripen.  Very distinctive taste.  People often say this tomato has a smoky taste or taste of good red wine, I had never understood that until tasting them myself, wow.  A little salt adds more depth to their taste - Unbelievable!  This plant produces a medium to large yield of large fruit, it has regular leaf and is indeterminate.

Not quite round tomatoes
Dwarf multiflora (21/02/2015) the plant flowered early but the fruit took a very long time to ripen considering their size.  Masses of flowers and fruit formed at each truss.  This is a great tomato for small spaces as it is small but still productive.  Dark yellow/light orange fruit that is not quite round often has a small amount of green stripes.  It had a nice strong tomato taste with a zing.  I have plants to cross this with a micro tomato and create something interesting.  This multiflora plant produces a large yield over a short season, it is dwarf, has regular leaf and is indeterminate.

Black Cherry
Black Cherry (25/02/2015) for a cherry tomato this plant took a long time to ripen, all the tomatoes in that bed took a lot longer, I think it may have been the bed itself rather than the plants.  Black Cherry is said to be one of the best tasting tomatoes ever bred.  This was a great tasting cherry tomato, flesh was reasonably sweet while the seeds were reasonably sour.  I preferred Snow White over Black Cherry as did everyone who tried them both this year.  This plant produced a medium yield over the season, it has regular leaf and is indeterminate.

This fruit is boxy but good
Red Paste Type (03/03/2015) red boxy tomatoes, very nice looking, kind of like delicious red Christmas ornaments.  High yield but slow to ripen, great tasting tomato.  Some fruit can be slightly hollow, others on the same plant were solid.  This plant produces a large yield late in the season, it has regular leaf and is indeterminate.

I didn't take a picture of the JBT cross?
Japanese Black Trifelle cross (10/03/2015) Brown tomato, amazing taste, Japanese Black Trifelle crossed with a mystery tomato.  This fruit tasted great, almost as good as Malakhitovaya Shkatulka (which is possibly the best tasting tomato in the world).  This variety is still segregating, I plan to develop something decent from it in the future.  For some reason I did not take any pictures of the fruit but it doesn't matter too much as it may change as the variety becomes more stable.  This plant has regular leaf at the moment and is indeterminate.

Did not save seeds from this one
Grub's Mystery Green cross? (12/03/2015) green round fruit, possible cross as regular leaf (this variety is known to throw regular leaf occasionally so it may not be a cross), great tasting tomato almost as good as Malakhitovaya Shkatulka.  Fruit ripened green but were sometimes completely red even on the same plant or branch.  This plant has regular leaf and is indeterminate.  I wont grow this again as I did not save seed, I prefer potato leaf which is meant to be part of this variety.

OSU Blue starting to get colour

OSU Blue (12/03/2015) amazing deep colour like no other tomato before it.  Black/violet/blue on top of red.  The colours intensify when the temperatures are low but the UV light remains high.  Parts of the fruit that do not receive light stay red so words/logos etc can be on the fruit by placing a sticker of that shape on the unripe tomato and removing the sticker when the fruit is ripe.  You can even spell out your child's name using one letter per tomato.  In cooler temperatures even the leaves and stems take on a slight purple tinge.  This plant has regular leaf and is indeterminate.

White Wonder
White Wonder - the whitest tomato I have ever grown
White Wonder (13/03/2015) Inconsistent fruit size, some larger some smaller.  Most whites are pale yellow, this was very white, by far the whitest of the whites that I have grown.  Amazing looking round fruit with a mild taste, far nicer than store bought but the taste was nothing too amazing.  This plant has regular leaf and is indeterminate.

Grub's Mystery Green
Grub's Mystery Green (03/04/2015) a delicious, nice sized round tomato that is green when ripe, less of a red blush than Malakhitovaya Shkatulka.  This is another great tasting tomato!  It produced a small yield late in the season, I assume this is due to the bed in which it was growing rather than the variety.  I prefer MS to this but they are both great tasting varieties.  This plant has potato leaf and is indeterminate.

A few others I have may never ripen, they were in the dodgy bed and loaded with fruit.  The ducks got in a few times and stole most of it but there was still enough left that I thought could ripen.  Last night something got in and ate all but one tomato, that tomato is in an exclusion bag.  The plants look almost dead, I think it may be time to call this year's tomatoes finished.  That one tomato may still ripen, and I do have some very late planted micro tomatoes which are in pots currently flowering that may fruit, but I think I can write other posts for them if need be.

Where to get heirloom tomato seeds
Some of these varieties are rather common, others are pretty rare.  There are a few good heirloom seed companies around as well as some dodgy ones.  Ironically one of the largest and well known heirloom seed companies is also probably the worst.  I may sell some of these seeds, if you are interested please look on my For Sale page.  I am working hard to develop a few new varieties that are not listed here, it will take me a few years to stabilise them properly.  If I ever develop anything great I will also try to list it on my for sale page or I may even start a proper website or get a store or something by then.

1 comment:

  1. Damien,
    Hillbilly mentioned in the first part of your tomato posts, is supposed to be a bi-colour, and I have heard variable reports from a number of sources in Australia. One person I know reckons it's very dependent on seasonal conditions, sometimes great, sometimes indifferent.