"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2010 Tomato Review, Pomme d' amour, Apple of Love

Last tomato harvest for this year.

"To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." -Eccleslastes 3:1

I spent much of yesterday removing tomato vines.  No new flowers in the last week or two and the remaining tomatoes on most plants were quite small.  I planted all of these the second week in March so they have been producing for quite some time now. I still have two Green Zebra plants that I had started from seed in late February and they have lots of tomatoes and blossoms on the vines. Hopefully these will give me tomatoes through September and maybe into October with luck.

Here is my review on what I planted.

  • Heirloom Erica d' Australie: Heavy producer, 1-2 pounds. Late season. 90 days. Nice tomato, heavy producer. Repeat next year
  • Heirloom Purple Russian: Heavy producer, purple red tomato. 6 ounce oblong egg shaped fruit. Sweet. 76 days. Repeat next year.
  • Heirloom Debarao Red Plum: red 3-4 oz oval fruit, abundant crop, deep red paste tomato. Excellent flavor. 72 days. Nice tomato, will repeat next year.
  • Heirloom Banana Legs: grew this one in a large clay pot.  Bush style plant. Heavy producer of nice meaty 3 inch long fruit. Much like a paste tomato.  Nice flavor, pretty in salads.  72 days. a repeat for next year.
  • Heirloom Brandywine: Not sure which one this was. Second year I have tried Brandywine and I will not plant again.  Leaves are much like a potato plant, which is fine, but the leaves tend to turn yellow early on this plant as with the one I tried last year. Might be a mineral deficiency. Fruit was small and took 80 or more days. Too many other heirlooms out there that will do much better than this one has for me.
  • Heirloom Yellow Bell: 2" fruit.  Yellow pear shape tomato, very large-much like a small paste tomato.  Meaty, nice flavor.  Grew this one on the ground and let it vine on its own.  Spread about 15 feet around.  Prolific, produces in clusters.  Will repeat if I can find it again.
  • Heirloom Yellow Stuffer: This plant was a volunteer. Coming up on its own from last year. Forgot about it until I began picking and found it to be this one.  Great tomato for stuffing with a rice salad for a light summer lunch or dinner.  Hollow inside, fun to grow.  Will repeat if I can find it or might be back on its own again. 85 days. Love this one.
  • Heirloom Dr. Lyle: Pink beefsteak. 70-80 days. Excellent flavor. For me this one needed the longer growing time. Large fruit, no cracks, but odd shaped. Will repeat this one next year. 
  • Estiva (F1) French Hybrid Salad Tomato: Love this plant! Never stopped producing.  6 to 8 tomatoes clustered like a cherry tomato.  Nice 2 inch round fruit. 70 days or earlier. If you have trouble with tomato plants, give this one a try.  A must have for next year.
  • Heirloom Green Zebra: probably my favorite tomato. So pretty when cut.  Small 1-2 inch tomato, green/yellow in color with stripes. Nice tangy tomato taste. 80 days. This plant takes a long time for the fruit to ripen.  They come early on the vine, be patient. You will be rewarded. A must have for next year.
  • Golden Sweet Hybrid Grape: heavy producer, excellent flavor. Yellow pear or grape shape.  60 days. Repeat next year.
  • Sun Grape Hybrid Red Grape: Heavy producer with excellent flavor. 60 days. Repeat next year.
  • Heirloom Cherokee Purple: Excellent flavor. Beautiful tomato when cut.  Nice variation in color. 80 days.  Needs at least this much time. Repeat next year.
  • Heirloom Pineapple: Another favorite. 70-75 days. Beautiful bi-colored red/yellow/orange striations. Excellent flavor. A must have for next year.
  • Victoria Supreme VFFNA Hybrid: Excellent paste tomato. 70 days. Took cutting of this plant and rooting directly in the ground. Ended up with three more plants. A must have for next year.
  • Heirloom Carbon Black Salad: Beautiful fruit, no cracks. 10-14 oz fruit.  Must have for next year. Will grow this instead of Brandywine. needs at least 76 days.
  • Heirloom German Johnson: Excellent flavor, large fruit. 78-80 days. Good repeat for next year.
  • Early Girl VF: Outstanding, heavy producer of nice small salad size tomatoes.  Always had one to pick on this plant.  65 days. Will plant next year.
In review the, only one I would not repeat is Brandywine. I am delighted with the success I have had this year with my tomatoes.  I failed to have very many cucumbers; as with last year they developed downy mildew early on. I never use sprays or insecticide in my garden but next year I will need to watch for this and probably will spray with a fungicide if it happens again.

"Summer Scallop trio" a Pattypan mix, "Raven" a zucchini, "Ronde de Nice" a round zucchini and "Supersett" yellow crookneck squash were all great producers as usual. I purchased the seeds from Renee's Garden Seeds 

In the next few weeks I will be working on adding a couple more raised beds for my fall/winter garden; that will give me 5 in all. We are expecting some more hot weather so I will plant towards the end of the month.

In review: I need more land!


  1. What a wonderful review - some of these tomato types I have heard of but others are new to me. I love growing different varieties of all shapes and sizes; tomatoes are a favourite in our summer garden. We need more land too, our vegetable garden is so small and we plant in every wee bit of space we can.

  2. Wow , so impressive ! You are an inspiration, really cool how you logged all the info in for us. Your tomatoes are beautiful, I LOVE tomatoes, take care, Gina

  3. I love tomatoes! Wonderful pics too. We are still getting a great harvest here in OR. My latest post was Fresh Tomato Sauce - be sure to check it out. Fabulous for your bumper crop and won't cover up the fresh flavor of your fabulous fruit.

  4. Goodness Carla, last harvest already? I think our last was in October last year, right before that big early Pacific storm. I must admit though, our plants don't look as happy this year with our psychotic weather, so our last may not be too far away this season. I agree with you wholeheartedly on Brandywine. We've tried growing it, more than once, inland, and coastal, and the fruits are always pathetically small for a large heirloom, and the plants not particularly robust or prolific. As an alternative, for a pinkish-red beefsteak type tomato, we tried Argentina this year, and absolutely LOVE IT! Beautiful when cut, hefty 1lb+ fruits, prolific, and ripened earlier than most of our other beefsteaks this year. It's put up with our erratic weather, with no cracking, and is still setting fruit! TomatoFest.com carries seed for it.

  5. Lindsey, I am on my way to your blog now.

    Clare, I will put Argentina on my must try list for next year.

    Marilyn, Antique Art, Lindsey and Clare thank you all for stopping in and leaving comments on my blog. I always visit the blogs that visit mine. I have many I love, but those that take the time to come by are always so sweet to do so, once again my many thanks.

  6. Deara Carla what a comprehensive review of tomatoes. Now mine have been a flop. Last year a black one called Black Krim was so tasty - this year it tastes of fish! Perhaps much too much rain. Are yours grown indoors or out?

  7. Catharine, yes, all grown outdoors. If you would like to check out my pictures of my tomato plants you can find them here and here

  8. Wow I'm amazed with your harvest! I wish I had space to plant this much Tomatoes! You seem to have tons of room LOL! Beautiful Tomatoes and harvest. Have a wonderful weekend!

  9. Your tomatoes look really bountiful and beautiful. I have just harvested my cherry tomatoes. It's only a very small fraction of your harvest.

  10. Hi Priscilla, I really don't use that much space for the tomatoes; just two raised beds. I plant them closer than most people do. Next year I am adding one to two more raised beds as I will need to rotate tomato planting; three years maximum in the same bed. Thanks for visiting! Have a great holiday!

    One, Thank you so mcuh for stopping by. Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

  11. Hi Carla - I also had the same experience with the Brandywine - we have 6 raised beds which must handle other things too so tomato space is limited. No sense in taking up valuable area with a less than desirable plant.
    Your review is excellent and so informative...thank you so much for sharing.
    Pat on the road in Valdez, Alaska - the cabbage and broccoli plants are ginormous around here!


Thank you for taking time to visit my blog, I love hearing from you, stay as long as you like, Carla