|June 19, 2012||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Pretend we had SETTFest and post tasting notes here
I've been having my own tasting here for the last few weeks
Alas, no ATKINSON this year, and yet again the Serendipity and PawPaw never got even started. Even so, there were some happy things happening.
Sungold: is there anyone who doesn't like this golden cherry?
Coyote: It's actually a very pale yellow cherry and takes a bit more ripening to hit its full stride. (BK: I think that may have been it...) It is a fairly malty variety and if you like that sort of thing, this is a good one. However, give up on giving away mass quantities, as it is very tender and doesn't handle picking well.
Azoychka: BION I wasn't that impressed by this orange-yellow. It's not as tangy as other yellows I've had, and its production was not great. I don't think I'll grow this again. Instead, I'll grow
Orange-1: this one had good production and decent taste. Medium-size on a medium vine. A lot of guest judges (heh) liked it as well.
Black Krim: in a way I'm glad that we didn't gather, as BK is always an early producer for me and I doubt I'd have had any still around. Early, reasonably prolific and a warm earthy/salty taste. This is the standard by which I measure all other black tomatoes. Still my best-tasting variety this year.
Black Sea Man: not quite as prolific as BK. Taste was good but I'd rather do BK.
Berkeley Tie-Die: I grew this black/yellow striped as a novelty and I don't think I'll try it again. It was okay, but it still had that funky taste that I'm not super-fond of. (If you've had one, you know what I'm talking about.) Production was decent but nothing to write home about.
JD's Early C-Tex: I don't think I gave this black a fair trial. On the one hand, it did come early --preternaturally early, as I harvested at day 55. But that was because I bought a blooming plant at the store and didn't pinch the blossoms. I believe that this did, indeed, hamper growth and production; I didn't see another wave of fruit from this until very late. The taste was good, though to my mind not as earthy as BK. I think I want to try this one again next season.
Hungarian Heart: may well be a synonym for
Kosovo: both had that really nice "meaty for a pink" taste with a good balance of bite thrown in. I didn't have quite as good production this year as last, though. I do recommend it for this area. NB it is possible that my seed-raising folks got the seeds mixed up and that I got all Kosovos.
Tomelo: they were right, birds can't see 'em (it's ivory-white). But this is an extremely mild and sweet tomato, and that's not my thing. Also, it has almost zero keep time on the counter; this is one that should be eaten w/i 24 hours of picking. Production was decent.
Aunt Ginnie's Purple: again set the record for largest fruits in the garden. Production was a bit low this year but the fruits were large and the taste of this big ribby slicer was sweet and full. This is moving into my permanent rotation.
Pork Chop: this one was a pleasant surprise. It's yellow w/thin green stripes, has decent production (even though it's a late one) and produces medium-large slicers with good strong acid notes that I enjoy out of a yellow.
Hawaiian Pineapple: I would have highlighted this orange one if we'd had a traditionally-late 'Fest date. It took a while to get in, but the pale-orange large fruits were very sweet.
What I Would Have Brought (May 26): Black Krim, Black Sea Man, Tomelo, Aunt Ginnie's, Orange-1, Coyote, Sungold.
What I Would Have Brought (June 9): Hawaiian Pineapple, Pork Chop, Sungold, Coyote.
There is no logical response to the question, "Why won't you let me plant more tomatoes?"
|June 26, 2012||#3|
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Austin TX
I've had a brutal year dealing with... something. I think it's a mite, but can't be sure until I get my hand on a microscope to see for myself. Symptoms are consistent with russet or spider mites, although I see no webbing and I can usually spot spider mites. Several plants were absolutely decimated. While none died until now, about half had production severely hampered or eliminated entirely.
Also had issues immediately after plant out with pill bugs, doodle bugs, whatever you want to call them. I've read that they don't attack living plants. That's simply not true. My JD Special C-Tex was eaten down to nothing but a stem, and a gnawed on stem at that. A few other plants were eaten completely and had to be replaced or restarted, from seed, in March. Way too late to try to get something going.
So, with that, my results, listed in order of plant location, West to East:
Mortgage Lifter: Planted in what was supposed to be a good spot. It wasn't. Seven tomatoes so far, non worth writing home about. Heavy mite damage.
Brad's Black Heart: Hit by mites early. Came back, but production has suffered. Few tomatoes, mostly split.
San Marzano Redorta: Poor production, again with the mites. The tomatoes I did get seemed awesome.
Opalka: Hit hardest by mites on this side of the yard. Six tomatoes, several more with BER. Great tomato though.
Hunt's Family Favorite: One of my favorites too! Huge, flavorful tomatoes. Considering it had heavy mite damage, production was top notch. Pound for pound, best producer. 13 tomatoes weighing in at around 10 lbs. Largest tomato of the year came from this plant at 1.25 lbs.
JD's Special C-Tex: Did great for me last year. This year it had a rough start. Thought it was dead, but the stem regrew leaves and tried to make a go of it. Four tomatoes so far. It's got a few more left on it. Heavy mite damage.
Green Zebra: Wow! 44 tomatoes and there's more on the plant, but tomatoes are extremely small. Don't know if this is normal. Held up against mites well. I think it just outgrew them. With high temps, it's losing the battle.
Crnkovic Yugoslavian: Did awesome for me last year. Not so much this year. 14 tomatoes with a few more left. Many of these tomatoes were unusually small. It may also be suffering from the mite damage.
Dino Eggs: Got seeds from SETTFest last year. Plant did well from the get go. Fastest seedling. One of the best producers. So far, I've gotten 50 perfect green and yellow sauce tomatoes. Flavor is excellent for a green. Had to throw many away due to bird damage and severe splitting as the temps heat up. Severe mite damage, but it tended to outgrow it. 5.6 lbs.
Paul Roberson: This was a replacement for a plant that was eaten by bugs after transplant. Did very well. 27 tomatoes so far totaling 7.75 lbs (Seems small. Don't remember getting very many small tomatoes.)
Tome Sol: Another WOW! Mostly small tomatoes in the 2-6 oz range. 5.75 lbs from 24 tomatoes and this plant is literally half done. There are at least another 20 on the plant and these are larger than the ones I originally picked. Like the description says, birds do not see these. Excellent flavor and production.
Costoluto Genovese: Horribly disappointed in this plant. Production is well (31 small tomatoes) and still producing, but many tomatoes have black, rotted or undeveloped seeds. Blech! Flavor is mediocre. May make a good sauce tomato, but fluted tops make skinning difficult.
George O'Brien: Started late as a replacement. Few tomatoes coming. Nothing yet.
German Head: Number two so far this year. Heavy mite damage, but is outgrowing them. 18 tomatoes, 8.75 lbs with several tomatoes still on the plant. This tomato has done very well every time it's grown.
Crnkovic Yugoslavian: Damaged to near death early on from mites. Able to bring back, but no production.
Berkeley Tie Red: Heavy mite damage. Two heavily split and scarred tomatoes. Good for seed, little more.
Goose Creek. Produced extremely well despite heavy mite damage. 23 Tomatoes came early. Tomatoes were 2-4 oz each and perfectly round and red... every one of them. Awesome plant.
Wes: Perfect tomatoes. Only got two due to mite damage.
Wessel's Purple Pride (Cherokee Sausage): One awesome tomato due to mite damage. Will try again.
George O'Brien: Heavy mite damage. No production yet.
German Head: Severe mite damage. Plant was nothing but a few leaves on top of a couple of stems. Came back very well, but too late to produce.
Paul Roberson: Heavy mite damage. Only a couple of tomatoes.
Stump of the world: Heavy mite damage. Three tomatoes.
Kosovo: Heavy Mite damage. Three tomatoes.
San Marzano: Severe mite damage. Came back OK. Limited production
Brandywine Sudduth: Did very well last year. Best plant! This year, killed by mites. Only plant to outright die due to mite damage. Kept around as long as I could to try to learn how to combat the little Bstrds. No luck.
Cowlick's Brandywine: Five tomatoes so far at 4-8 oz each. Heavy mite damage, but has held up well. Best of my three Brandywines.
BrandyWine from Croatia: This grew out as a RL plant. Held up to mite damage extremely well. Healthiest plant of all of them. One tomato coming, still green. (sigh)
Few container plants did well despite contaminated soil. I've picked maybe 30 or so small San Marzano and around 20 Japanese Black Trifles.
All in all, I got about 330 tomatoes off of 30 plants weighing in at around 75 lbs. Considering the pest damage, I did very well.
I need to find a
I could have brought Dino Eggs and green zebra, but I would have felt stupid bringing those since I got the seeds for those two plants at last year's SETTFest. Maybe a couple of German Heads.
Oh, and I would have told this story and asked people what they do to combat mites...
Last edited by ArcherB; June 26, 2012 at 09:58 AM.
|June 26, 2012||#4|
Join Date: May 2008
Location: DFW, Texas
I would love to give a full report, but, time is very limited, so a quickie it is.
Black and brown boar...I can't sing the praises of this plant enough. I didn't keep count, but it is the heaviest non cherry producer ever for me. At one point there were at least 10 clusters of 3 to 5 tomatoes, in addition to ones and twos all over the place. I know there have been or will be 50 tomatoes on one plant, unheard of for me. Better still is as the season has worn on, they have gone from good tasting to being fantastic at this point. Disease didn't hit is nearly as hard as plants on the left, right and front of it, and it is still flowering, making me wonder if it is going to keep going. If you like tons of beautiful looking, softish, really good tasting tomatoes and are in a hot area, try this plant!
Terhune - another great success. Picked the first one yesterday with a decent blush as some critter has now started eating ripening tomatoes, having left them alone all year until now. It is large, has cracks at the stem area, but otherwise perfect. The plant has another dozen large fruit on it at least. It is super late, but, that means my season is going to wear on well into July, whereas in some years I'm done after July 4. Definitely earning a spot next year.
Black cherry and sun gold have been excellent tasting and produced insane numbers. The sun gold skins are now starting to thicken up and the sweetness levels are dropping in the heat. Oh well. Cherry's seem the most susceptible to skin thickening, but, that may just be related to their overall size. What has your experience been?
Big beef - what a great producer of very good tasting tomatoes, but not nearly as complex a flavor profile as others.
Eva Purple ball - I love the flavor of this pink and it is definitely coming back. Good producer. So far, the best tasting pink tomato of the year. (Still waiting to taste first Terhune and Earl's faux).
Indian Stripe and J.D.s Special C-Tex both very good flavor, but, got hit with early disease (and hail) and have both had limited production. They both look as good as any plant right now and have many blossoms, but, I suspect it is too hot for either to produce much as this point.
Nothing else has been worth writing home about this year, sadly, as I had high hopes for Goose Creek and Brandywine from Croatia. Both have produced some fruit, but smaller than anticipated in size and number. EDIT - had a BWC on my breakfast toast this morning and it was outstanding. Dark red, juicy, delicious flavor, lots of acid and complexity. It hasn't produced a ton, but, this was an excellent tomato! The will both get another shot next year though.
Last edited by Dewayne mater; June 27, 2012 at 10:58 AM.