2018 tomatoes

This post is heavily delayed but I wanted to write it none the less. I think this past summer's tomato varieties were the best yet. I almost wouldn't change anything except for the fact that I like trying new varieties too much. I got too busy last year and never wrote a 2017 recap, but here is the 2016 one.

There were some real duds this year (ahem, Black Krim) but also some real winners. It'll be hard for me to not plant "4th of July" and "black truffle" every year. They are both so great. 4th of July is very productive but my favorite feature is the size. Black Truffle is always a showstopper both on the vine and on the plate.
But, here is the real breakdown. All of these varieties were organically grown from seed in my garage - except the 4th of July. My dad grew that one right down the road. During my last analysis I rated tomatoes for uniqueness, production, and overall wonderfulness. In spite of my overall love of numbers and spreadsheets, there is potentially no correlation between these 3 ratings. I'm not a data scientist.

TypeOverallUniqueProduction# Plants
black cherrycherryAAB1
midnight snackcherryAAA1
sunrise bumble beecherryB+B+B+1
4th of JulyslicerABA2
sweet tangerineslicerBB+A1
black truffle pearAAA1
big rainbowbeefsteakC+AC-1
black krimbeefsteakDB+B-1

black cherry (2017 graduate) // A little later to ripen compared to last year, but still amazing. Lots of fruit on the plant still but not nearly as productive as the other cherry varieties. I think its just a weird thing because last year I was swimming in black cherry tomatoes.

midnight snack // total attention grabber. They are front and center in the garden so everyone sees them. The color is really beautiful and they are very tasty for a cherry tomato. It was a little confusing for guests because they just saw the purple tops and assumed they were ripe. Tomatoes aren't ripe until the bottom of them is red.

sunrise bumble bee // very fun. if you can wait until they are just the tiniest bit orange/red, then they are the most delicious but still good a bit early.

Shimmer // Really interesting. Like a black truffle and a san marzano had a baby. Wonderful color and more flavor than a san marzano. Incredibly productive. It was borderline disappointing because I ended up with so much wasted fruit at the end of the season.

4th of July // complete homerun. Ripened the soonest (early August). Perfect shape and size. Excellent early red tomato flavor. Perhaps not the most attention grabbing variety but the combination of size and bright red color is perfect.

sweet tangerine // beautiful orange color. Not super juicy but a great sliced tomato. I always like to have one orange or yellow variety in the garden and this is a good option. Size is very much a beefsteak as the fruit gets quite large.

black truffle (2016 and 2017 graduate) // Always a winner. Forever and ever. Technically the black truffle is a beefsteak variety but the size is much more approachable. It would be hard to pass up planting this in the garden every year.

big rainbow // ripened very late into the season and not super productive. I only got 4-5 the whole summer ... but they were seriously beautiful. I might have sworn when I cut into the first tomato. It might be worth the gamble to plant this variety given how beautiful they are when ripe.

black krim // I'm honestly not sure why everyone always wants to try this variety. Despite being fairly productive this year, the fruit was a bit gnarly in shape and more bug prone than the rest of the garden. I did enter one of the tomatoes in a local contest because it was just so big. I have no desire to try this variety again.

1 comment

  1. I have not yet encountered a beefsteak that was worth eating let alone growing.


© WHAT JEN DOES • Theme by Maira G.