I’m trying a few more new (to me) tomato varieties this year. More, of course, than I initially meant to.
I’m going for Old Pink Plum–a smallish pink heirloom for slicing and canning and Green Zebra, which I’ve been planning to try for while. Blondkopfchen, which apparently means “little blonde girl,” is a yellow, nippled smallish tomato (large cherry size, I’m thinking); Millett’s Dakota is an all-purpose red slicer/canner.
I’m also ordering Pruden’s Purple, which is supposed to be one of the best of the purples–with the added bonus that (according to the catalogs), it rarely cracks. Santorini is also new to me–a sample sent by Skyfire Garden Seeds last fall. I don’t really know much about it, but I’m planning to grow it.
The newbies will be started alongside old and new-ish favorites: Sun Gold Cherry, Chocolate Cherry, Coyote Cherry, Red Pear, Principe Borghese, Polish Linguisa, San Marzano, Japanese Black Trifele, Stupice, Zapotec Pleated, the Zapotec-Marzano cross I’m working on, Nyagous, Yellow Perfection, Cuore di Bue, and Ananas Noire.
Frankly, I don’t know how I’ll fit them all in the starting tray. If I go beyond one tray, it’ll be far too out of control once I pot them into 4-packs. But, if I simply divide a couple of the twenty channels and put two varieties of cherry tomato in each…
I could probably order a few more! Hmm. I was thinking of bringing back Big Rainbow, and I don’t have a round red cherry…Riesentraube? But SSE has a grape-shaped red that’s supposed to actually taste good, unlike grocery store grape tomatoes. I don’t have a grape tomato….
Tomatoes I grew last year that are dropping off the list: Hillbilly Potato Leaf (pretty, but it doesn’t taste as good as Big Rainbow), Purple Calabash (I know some people really liked this one, but I didn’t, even though it was quite productive), Nebraska Wedding (I might grow this again, but I’m out of seed), Red Currant (totally unimpressed).
I almost decided to quit growing the black cherry, but I have a regular customer who raved about them, and they do look nice in the mixed cherry tomato packs.
Another factor in the mix is that Old Pink Plum, Blondkopfchen, and Millett’s Dakota were all put on order with substitute selections (which of course I failed to write down in my own records), so one or more of those may end up being something else–and I won’t know what that’ll be until I get the seed packs.
I think most of the tomatoes I’m ordering and growing are different-looking enough from each other either by fruit size, color, and/or shape or by foliage type (regular tomato vs. potato-leafed) that I should be able to tell them all apart in the field. I hope.
And this year I swear I won’t be waiting weeks for those big green tomatoes to turn some color or other, only to realize that was their ripe color. Maybe I should hang ID tags on the trellises rather than sticking them in the ground where they end up getting swallowed by the monster plants?