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Archive for August, 2009

I must have been delirious when I ordered these, but the maturity date was so early I couldn’t resist. And I suspected the tart tangy flavor would be great in salsa.

These small tomatoes are still nice enough to slice

The Description from where I got my seed:

Diminutive plants bloom with bouquet-type sprays followed by loads of small lime green tomatoes that ripen further to amber. 3 to 5 oz. fruit is chartreuse inside and full of juice and good, tangy flavor that is somewhat spicy. This is a wonderful variety for growing in containers since plants stay small yet provide a big harvest. If planting in the garden, put these in front as an attractive border. Very tasty and novel variety. Determinate. 58 days.

First Impressions:
Finally! Some ripe ones! These are easier to tell when they are ripe than other green-when-ripe types because the skin turns amber. The first fruits are the largest, and are a good saladette size. The inside is a shock: as bright green as a kiwi and very juicy.

My taste review:
Flavor was as expected: very tart, low sweetness. Good texture and juicy. Thick skin. I added these to diced Green Giant for salsa. Hope they added a needed element.

Update: Adding these to my salsa recipe instead of Tomatillos was the best decision ever. These made my salsa so perky and tongue-tingling it was absolutely delicious! The Salsa Verde was by far my favorite salsa of the different recipes I tried.

Will I grow again?
Maybe, but I want to try Green Zebra instead. The two were bred by the same person, but Lime Green is a dwarf plant while Green Zebra is an indeterminate so production should be better. Plus it took ages for the Lime Greenies to ripen!

End-of-Year Stats:
# of Plants___Days to Maturity___Days Off____Yield_______Yield per Plant
__2____________88_____________30_______17__________8

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As soon as I read about green-when-ripe tomato varieties, I immediately looked for one to grow. I chose Green Giant because it is supposed to be the best of the best.

Green Giant tomato makes great meaty slices

The Description from where I got my seed:

This is a potato-leaved variety that takes the well-known sweet, spicy flavor of green varieties up to a new level. Tomatoes weigh from 12 to 18 ozs. and are ripe when they turn chartreuse green and soften slightly. They are smooth and beautiful with no cracking, but it is their taste that really sets them apart. It is a complex and delicious combination of sweet and spicy that is very rich, well-balanced and pleasing. Indeterminate. 85 days.

First Impressions:
Telling when one is ripe is a grand art. When it seems like they should be ripe “any day now”, you have to gently squeeze them. They’re ready when they have some give to them. This happens rather quickly, so one day they’ll be hard as a rock, the next day they’re softer and giving under pressure. Very nice globes, good size. Very meaty with few seeds. Look at those slices: there’s barely any room for seeds or gel.

My taste review:
Tastes like a tomato! This seems like a grand revelation, but I was expecting something exotic. Very meaty, a true beefsteak with few seeds. Great texture: very smooth and juicy. Flavor is nicely balanced with a subtle sweet fruity taste, but no noticeable spice. (Later tomatoes did have a subtle spiciness.) We had these on chipped beef sandwiches. Flavor was just average.

Will I grow again?
They are rather fun, and make me smile. But I don’t think I”ll have room next year. Also, they’re potato-leaved so they got spotty early and often. Production was okay, but tomatoes got a lot smaller towards the end of the season.

End-of-Year Stats:
# of Plants___Days to Maturity___Days Off____Yield_______Yield per Plant
__2____________96_____________11________35__________17

 

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After my horrible experience with the roma-type “Salsa” tomato, I wanted to try another, with hopes that it would be better and not get blossom end rot. This was my choice for earliness, cold-heartiness, and paste style tomato.

Grushovka is a pink paste tomato on a determinate plant.

The Description from where I got my seed:

Siberian variety of delicious, pink, egg-shaped fruit. Tomatoes are about 3 inches long with thin skin and are excellent for canning. Plants are small, only about 2-1/2 feet tall, but produce abundantly. Determinate. 65 days

First Impressions:
They are pretty pale, I think I picked them a little too early. Left alone inside for a day or two they turned darker pink. Good size for a paste. And the best part is: no b.e.r.!

Here it is sliced. Looks like it has good moisture for a paste-style.

My taste review:
Mealy texture, low sweetness (tart). Juicy, rather pale in color. In other words, exactly as I expected. I’m sure they’ll be good for cooking with.

Will I grow again?
Probably not. They didn’t grow very well in spite of the cool temps (which was against type). The plants were rather small and the fruits didn’t ripen all at once, so getting enough to do anything with was a challenge. I’d rather grow beefsteaks and multi-use fruits.

End-of-Year Stats:
# of Plants___Days to Maturity___Days Off____Yield_______Yield per Plant
__3____________95_____________30_______80__________27

 

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Upon reflection, I don’t know why I decided to grow this and Pruden’s Purple in the same year. They are both potato-leaved and put out pink beefsteaks at about the same time. The only way to tell the difference is in the fruit quality.

Marianna's peace tomato has faint striping when slightly underripe

The Description from where I got my seed:

This large, potato-leaved dark pink tomato is fast becoming a favorite of gardeners across the country. The large, 1 to 2 pound pink-red beefsteak fruits have luscious, full tomato flavor that features a good balance of acidity and sweetness. Vigorous vines are very productive, which is special for a potato-leaved plant. Indeterminate. 80 days.

First Impressions:
Unlike Pruden’s Purple, MP is prone to cracking and catfacing. The one pictured above is actually split down the middle with huge scarring, making usable flesh lower. Sliced, the tomato looks a lot like Pruden’s.

Sliced, the Marianna's Peace tomato looks delicious

My taste review:
Beautiful pink inside and out. Very meaty, a true beefsteak with few seeds. Good texture: smooth and juicy. Skin’s a bit thick. Flavor is pretty tart so not balanced.

Will I grow again?
Probably not. Considering that these tomatoes sound exactly like Pruden’s Purple, the PP wins in terms of more attractive fruit: less cracking and no catfacing. Botanically that means PP has better fruit set in cooler weather.

End-of-Year Stats:
# of Plants___Days to Maturity___Days Off____Yield_______Yield per Plant
__2____________93_____________13________42__________21

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I think it’s time to reevaluate how my tomato plants are growing:

  • Lime green salad: dwarf plant, small tomatoes are ripening very slowly and are still hard. Seems to be resistant to the air-borne blight fungus. Not much fruit set despite number of blossoms.
  • Pruden’s purple: pretty good plant, hasn’t grown much in a month. Does get the blight, but manageable so far. Tomatoes are soft, pink, and some are ruffled slightly.
  • Black cherry: blight resistant. One plant is a monster, the other is just okay. Fruit is slow to ripen and you only get a few at once. Very good fruit set despite temps.
  • Green giant: gets the blight, seems more frail than other plants. Slow to ripen fruit. Same as others in that it hasn’t grown much in a month.
  • Siletz: gets the blight but not as bad. Very small plants. Fruit is smaller than I expected. Many fruits despite plant size.
  • Marianna’s Peace: is a potato-leaved, pink-fruited variety. Why grow it when you can have Pruden’s? Fruit gets catfacing and cracking. Gets the blight, not as bad as green giant, about the same as pruden’s in that respect.
  • Carbon: tiny, short plants. Two have just one fruit each. Prone to fused blossoms, some cracking and catfacing. No blight.
  • Grushovka: small plants would benefit from the traditional tomato cages. Dark green foliage gets the blight but not too terrible. Slow to ripen fruit. Lots of fruit per plant. Good fruit set despite temps.

 

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Yea! First Pruden’s Purple. They are pink, though. So pretty! I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a pink tomato before. These softened quite a bit over night, so I wouldn’t let these sit around too long before using.

The pruden's purple tomatoes (front center and far right) are a beautiful pink.

The Description from where I got my seed:

Large, 10 to 16 oz., dark pink fruits grow on potato-leaved vines and mature quite early for such large fruit. Delicious flavor and good production. Similar to Brandywine, but earlier. Heirloom variety. Indeterminate. 75 days

First Impressions:
Beautiful pink, with green shoulders. Nice size. The potato-leafed plants are more prone to spottiness than regular leafed ones.

Have you ever seen such a beautiful tomato slice?

My taste review:
Beautiful pink inside and out. Green shoulders common. Very meaty, a true beefsteak with few seeds. Excellent texture: very smooth and juicy. Flavor is nicely balanced with tart and sweet and an element of fruity. Thin skin. The best yet! On a BLT: has a bitter note, unfortunately.

Will I grow again?
Heck yeah. Except for the potato leaves, these are perfect. Great size, multiple use, exceptional taste quality and good yield too. Count me in.

End-of-Year Stats:
# of Plants___Days to Maturity___Days Off____Yield_______Yield per Plant
__2____________92_____________17________41__________20

 

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Got more tomatoes today. I peeled and diced enough Siletz to make a salsa! Wheeeeee! And I’m close to having enough Carbons for a batch too. The only fair way of determining the best tomato for salsa is to make just one recipe. So I just made Glenn’s but only put in 3 habaneros instead of 5. That way Scott and I can both enjoy it. It was fun, my first of the year. I only had a minor mishap with the habaneros cause I chopped them with my bare hands and then stupidly touched my eye. Ow, the burning! Smelled so good cooking, though. Can’t wait to try it!

P.S. It is h-o-t! Good thing I didn’t put in more peppers, with just 3 it’s still too hot for me to eat! Scott said “it’s getting there” meaning closer to Glenn’s original. I think it’s almost unbearably fruity tasting and I just realized its from the habaneros. They’re hot and fruity! Who would’ve thought, right?

 

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