New tomato varieties for 2012
This year, I decided to
try out two tomato varieties I'd never grown before. To my
surprise, I ended up with four new kinds of tomatoes in my garden,
three of which were duds.
Rush Currant --- For the past few years, Blondkopfchen has been our
favorite tommy-toe. The variety is prolific and tasty, but tends
to succumb to fungal diseases before anyone else, so I figured it
wouldn't hurt to try out a different type of cherry tomato.
Unfortunately, Gold Rush Currant succumbed
even faster and didn't taste good --- we won't be growing it again.
- Amish Paste --- Most of
our tomatoes are romas, which we turn into soups,
I'm actually very happy with Martino's Roma, but so many people were
glowing about Amish Paste that I had to give it a shot. Amish
Paste turns out to be very similar to the Russian Romas we tried in our
early years on the farm --- huge, juicier than most roma tomatoes, but
extremely blight-prone. I don't mind spending a bit more time
processing my romas if they don't keel over in our damp climate, so I
ripped out the Amish Paste tomatoes this week before they could spread
their fungi to the rest of the planting.
- Japanese Black Trifele
--- Usually, we just eat Stupice as
an early and prolific slicing tomato. But during our early years,
we grew a variety that was supposedly Cherokee, and it was the tastiest
tomato imaginable (although blight-prone). Since I was given the
variety by a friend, I wasn't terribly surprised when images on the
internet didn't match the tomato I was growing, and extensive searching
showed that my tasty tomato was probably Japanese Black Trifele
instead. I bought some seeds of this new/old variety, and the
fruits do indeed look like the tomatoes I grew in 2007. However,
they taste watery and lack the flavor burst of whatever we grew then,
so Japanese Black Trifele will join the other duds on this year's
tomato trial list. (Unlike the previous two varieties, though,
I'll keep this one in the 2012 garden and will just cook with the so-so
- Unknown small, indeterminate roma
--- My final new variety for this year is who-knows-what! Since
volunteer tomatoes come up all over my garden from compost (some of
which is our ex-neighbors'), I can't be sure that this seedling wasn't
from a storebought tomato our friends ate last year. However, the
sport came up in the row with the Martino's Romas, which makes me think
that it might be either a seed of another variety accidentally slipped
into the packet, or a rare instance of a naturally produced hybrid
tomato. No matter where it came from, I like the unidentified
variety so far. It fruits just as prolifically as Martino's Roma
(although with smaller tomatoes), and is indeterminate, which means it
might end up giving us more tomatoes in the long run. The little
red roma does seem to be a bit more blight-prone (as you can tell by
how high up I've cut leaves on the stem), but once the rains slacked
off, the plant began to hold its own, unlike the first two varieties
profiled in this post. I'm saving
seeds and will try this variety out in more numbers next year.
In case you're curious
what that leaves us with, our regular tomato varieties are Martino's
Roma, Yellow Roma, Stupice, and some tommy-toe --- maybe we'll go back
to Blondkopfchen for next year? It's fun to try out new
varieties, but I'm glad I put most of my eggs in the old-standby basket.
chicken waterer is the
dependable solution to filthy and easy-to-spill traditional waterers.
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