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Looking Forward to Tomatoes

2/13/2012 10:24:41 AM

Tags: tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, Colleen Vanderlinden

I've organized my seeds, found all of my seed starting equipment, and have even sowed a few perennials under the lights (mostly because I NEEDED to play with seeds and soil -- it's been a long winter!)

And while I'm looking forward to fresh green beans, flavorful salads, and raspberries, what really revs my engine is the thought of all of the tomatoes I'm going to grow (and eat!) this summer. I've finalized my list, mostly so that I will stop ordering or trading for more seeds. Here are the varieties I'm growing this year:

Old Favorites: 

Brandywine Tomato

  • 'Brandywine' -- This is probably my favorite tomato of all-time.
  • 'Cherokee Purple' -- I don't get huge yields from these, but the tomatoes I do get are well worth the wait!
  • 'Black Krim' -- These are beautiful, flavorful tomatoes.
  • 'Stupice' -- A very reliable early tomato here in my Detroit area garden.
  • 'Red Currant' -- Teeny-tiny, super-flavorful little tomatoes. These never actually make it into the house.
  • 'Polish Linguisa' -- My favorite paste tomato. This grows well here, produces nice yields, and seems less prone to blossom end rot than other paste tomatoes I've grown.
  • 'Woodle Orange' -- very pretty bright orange, low acid tomato.
  • 'Red Pear' -- Cherry-size tomato -- bright red, sweet pear-shaped tomatoes.
  • 'Yellow Pear' -- Like 'Red Pear,' these are small. A good choice if you're looking for a low-acid tomato.
  • 'Japanese Black Trifele' -- My other favorite tomato of all time. Beautiful tomato with rich, slightly smoky flavor.
  • 'Silvery Fir Tree' -- A pretty plant, produces decent yields of small round, red tomatoes. This one works well in containers.
  • 'Wapsipinicon Peach' -- Fuzzy, sweet little yellow tomatoes. My kids love these.
  • 'Tiger-Like' -- Red and orange striped cherry-size tomatoes. Super prolific. This is another of our favorites.
  • 'Sungold' (this is the only hybrid I grow) -- Prolific and sweet. Very reliable producer.

Tomatoes I'm Trying for the First Time:

  • 'Sweet Persimmon'
  • 'Jaune Flamme'
  • 'Chianti Rose'
  • 'Big Rainbow'
  • 'Marvel Stripe'
  • 'Green Zebra'
  • 'Speckled Roman'
  • 'Zapotec Pleated'
  • 'Isis Candy'
  • 'Violet Jasper'
  • 'Great White'
  • 'Chocolate Stripes'
  • 'OSU Blue'
  • 'Tigerella'

I'll likely grow one of each plant, which is what I do most years, though I grow 6 or so of the 'Polish Linguisa' so I can preserve them -- I like to can them, and they make tasty dried tomatoes as well.

Have you grown any of the "new to me" tomatoes on my list? I'd love to hear what you thought of them!

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Post a comment below.


8/5/2012 1:56:25 PM
I am living in Canada, outside Toronto, and have grown Green Zebra for two years now, and it is my favorite for wonderful tomato flavor!

6/10/2012 12:16:55 AM
Freshly grown tomatoes are always in high demand in Florida, especially during hurricane season. I am going to be experimenting with aquaponics this upcoming year where I can harvest vegetables and fresh fish. I found this write up to be quite helpful.

2/20/2012 2:14:15 PM
Last summer was wickedly hot and my tomatoes bloomed, but failed to set fruit. I'm trying some new varieties this year: Florida Pink and Creole. I'm also expanding my currant tomato production. Every year presents new challenges! I've detailed my plan for the coming year at

2/15/2012 3:52:49 AM
I Iive in FL and tomatoes can be challenging due to the hot humid weather. I am growing Heat Wave, Better Boy and Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes. The Better Boys are 4" tall now in the greenhouse under lights !

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