Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This Year's Tomato Lineup

I have 13 different varieties of tomatoes that I'm planting this year.  I was planning on 14, but one variety didn't germinate.

Sweet Tangerine
Black from Tula
Russo's Sicilian Togetta
Chocolate Stripes
Japanese Trifele
Patano Romanesco
Red Alert
Mr. Stipey
Amish Paste
Early Chatham

Last year, I grew
Sweet Tangerine
Chocolate Stripes
Fred Limbaugh
Bloody Butcher
Henderson's Wins All
Wolford's Wonder
Napa Grape
Italian Heirloom
Japanese Trifele
Black Cherry
Orange Russian
Principe Borghese

I did a little taste and productivity test on all the tomatoes. I want to find the best tasting, most productive tomatoes for my garden. Last year, I tried several varieties and was won over by three different tomatoes:
Sweet Tangerine
Chocolate Stripes
Japanese Trifele

I saved seeds from all of my tomatoes. I kept a package each of Sweet Tangerine, Chocolate Stripes, and Japanese Trifele. I sent the rest of the seeds to www.wintersown.org. Trudi at Wintersown sends out free seeds, including tomato seeds to gardeners. I also asked for some tomato seeds. She allows requesters to choose 10 seed varieties and she tries to give them at least 5 packets of what they want. It's great to trade seeds for the cost of a couple of stamps rather than having to invest in several seed packs at the store for a much great amount of money.


  1. I started 20+ varieties from seed this year, and we don't have any overlaps! There are just so many varieties of amazing sounding heirloom tomatoes - it's just mind boggling! I'll be very interested in your taste/productivity test results at the end of this season!

    BTW, will you be planting just one plant from each variety, or more than one each?

  2. I usually plant two of each kind.

    If you love heirloom tomatoes, you should check out Trudi's list at wintersown.org. You can get free seeds.

    Do you save your own seeds or do you buy every year?

  3. Since I just started growing vegetables for the first time last year, this is all new to me. I saved seeds from this one tomato that I bought last year, bought one packet of hybrid seeds, but the rest that I'm growing are all from seed trading. If the heirlooms grow successfully, I'll definitely be saving seeds. Maybe we can do some trading for next year!

  4. Trading seeds will be fun. I think that I will organize a community seed trade in the fall or winter next year.

    Are you planning on coming to the plant swap at Holiday park in May?

  5. I don't know anything about the plant swap at Holiday Park, but I would totally be interested in something like that. Do you have any details of where/when? I would really appreciate it if you could email me (thyme2gardennow@gmail.com) about it. Thank you!

  6. That's a really ambitious tomato growing plan. I usually grow one or two tomato plants and buy the plants at a greenhouse in Bloomington or at the Farmer's Market there. Guess I'm a lazy tomato grower. I'm going to plant a Cherokee purple, heard they are very good, and something else.

  7. Thyme: Here's a link to a flyer for the plant swap. It has all the information.


  8. I love Cherokee Purple. It has a great taste. However, it wasn't a heavy producer in my garden.

  9. Mmm that Totally Tangerine sounds good! I wonder if Trudi still has any left.. I'll have to check her site.

    Remy's seed site is awesome too, a nice variety of interesting heirlooms. I ordered some from her this year. GREAT prices too!

    I'm actually almost embarrassed to admit how many varieties of tomatoes I've started the past few weeks... let's just say.. LOTS!!!


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