There were too many vegetables in my garden to squeeze into one summary, so I’m starting off by taking a look back at my many tomato varieties. What worked? What failed? This assessment will help me when I start thinking about varieties to plant next year.
Dr. Carolyn Yellow Cherry: This heirloom cherry tomato was totally the star of my garden. It produced dozens of juicy yellow orbs and was surprisingly disease-resistant. Plus, my friends all agreed they had the best flavor. I will definitely plant this again next year – maybe I’ll do two plants, in fact.
Silvery Fir Tree: This early heirloom was a total non-starter. The plant, which I ordered through the mail, did very poorly in the spring rains, and had probably suffered from the journey as well. It shriveled up and died before it got even a foot high, though it did manage to produce a couple of fruits. But they got eaten by some pest or another. Maybe it could have flourished under better circumstances, but I’m not inclined to try again next year.
Red Currant: A teensy-fruited cherry tomato, this plant defied pruning and grew willy nilly all over its cage. It produced a huge number of little tomatoes, but I found the taste kind of boring and the skin too thick. Plus, every fruit seemed to burst open after it rained, without healing over as other cherry tomatoes tend to do. I’ll pass next year.
Chocolate Cherry: Such beautiful fruits, but so few of them. The maroon color and sultry heirloom taste were great, but the plant probably only produced about 10 tomatoes and half of them were lost to the birds. Still, I think if the plant hadn’t been crowded out by the neighboring Red Currant, it might have done better. I might try this one again.
Brandywine: Oh, the frustration. I know how delicious these heirlooms can be, since I’ve had them from the market. But I haven’t eaten a single one from my own plant. Squirrels or birds ate the first four or five tomatoes just before they got ripe. There are two green tomatoes on the vine right now, and I have rigged up protective gear around them. If they’re good, maybe next year I’ll grow one behind protective netting.
Roma: I put in three Roma tomato plants relatively late in the season. They haven’t done all that well, and are only now producing stunted little tomatoes. But I think it’s circumstantial. I might put in some Romas or San Marzanos or Amish Paste tomatoes next year. I want to grow some tomatoes that I can make sauce or sun-dried tomatoes with.
Mystery Yellow: I never figured out what this funny yellow tomato was. Some suggested yellow pear cherry tomato, but they’re bigger than what you’d normally consider a cherry tomato. The plant was quite productive, although rainstorms damaged many of the fruits. If I can save some seeds from this year’s plant, I’ll grow it again next year.
Purple Calabash: I planted some seeds from last year’s tomatoes, which came from a plant I was given by Kathy of Skippy’s Vegetable Garden. But the plant got mostly choked out by weeds and hasn’t produced anything. I may or may not plant some of the extra seeds next year. I hear Purple Cherokee is a better dark tomato than Purple Calabash anyway.
Sweetie: A regular red cherry tomato. I’ve gotten some tomatoes from it, but they came awfully late and weren’t anything special. I’d like to get a Sweet Million red cherry tomato next year, which my mom has had good success with.
[UPDATE] Sun Gold: How could I have forgotten to write about these little guys??! These orange cherry tomatoes have been delicious and numerous. I bought it as a large start and so it started producing earlier than all my other cherry tomatoes. I love this variety, and definitely plan to plant it again next year.