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Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

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Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  BetsyC on 5/31/2012, 8:07 pm

Hi everyone! It's been a good while since I have done any gardening at all and the SFG concept has given me the faith to try again! I remember a couple of decades ago I tried heirloom tomatoes and got a few delicious tomatoes, but small and unreliable yields. Can anyone give me their opinions and experiences of how their heirlooms performed, and/or any other types of tomatoes that gave reliable steady yields? By the way, I have these in the Lowes 'Mel's Mix' type soil, and they are in grow bags. Thank you!

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  floyd1440 on 5/31/2012, 8:29 pm

I have never grow heirloom tomatoes before but that is what I am growing just heirlooms this season. They are;

Brandywine

Mr Stripey

W.Va 63

Now I do not know about the yields of these but hopefully others that have grown these can give you some input.

Have you planted your toms yet?


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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  Gilly21 on 5/31/2012, 8:45 pm

I am growing mostly heirlooms in my first attempt at SFG. I have 3 Black Krim, 2 Beef Steak, 2 Cherry verity I cant remember right now and a yellow pear(not sure if that one was heirloom or not). I have probably 12 Black Krims groing, 30+ of the cherrys, and 5 or more beefsteaks. This is the first bloom of the year and they are all producing many more boloms per plant. I would say of the 8 plants I will have more toms than I can eat by far. So I expect really good yields. To note I have pruned them vigorously. All suckers are gone, and I have pruned some of the low branches off to ceep things neat.

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  floyd1440 on 5/31/2012, 8:58 pm

Have you grown the black crim before? I was considering it but backed away from it but if it is a popular tomato perhaps I should try a few next time.

I think I saw Burpee carried them and perhaps I can pick up some seeds...

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/31/2012, 9:04 pm

We grow nothing but "heirloom" tomatoes, mainly because, when a pack of seeds touts 'heirloom' it's more than likely an open pollinated variety that has been selected for good growing habits, tasty fruit, and consistency (sometimes over decades or even a century). Buy a pack of hybrid seeds and, to get the same fruit, you'll have to buy seed again next year, and the next year, and the next year. Read and consider this thread well. Do you want tomatoes for taste, seed-saving, and suitability to your soil and climate? Or do you want to support factory-farm seed providers (often supported by Monsanto, & co.) that have given us the wet cardboard tasting tomatoes we've come to expect from the local super store? Okay, now will someone please help me down from this soapbox? tongue Nonna, who last year discovered, from TomatoFest, an exquisite, heirloom yellow tomato called Dagma's Perfection, that made THE BEST tomato-orange marmalade!

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Both

Post  CharlesB on 5/31/2012, 9:21 pm

The non heirloom will win in terms of disease resistance and yield.

I am growing about half of my tomato plants as heirlooms this year the other half early fruiting, high yielding, disease resistant varieties. You never know what the season will bring in terms of pests, diseases and weather so a variety keeps you covered.

For non-heirlooms I like:
Jetsetter
Early Girl

Heirlooms:
Rutgers
Roma
(I also grow heirlooms from Turkey and China)

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  BetsyC on 5/31/2012, 9:40 pm

@floyd1440 wrote:I have never grow heirloom tomatoes before but that is what I am growing just heirlooms this season. They are;

Brandywine

Mr Stripey

W.Va 63

Now I do not know about the yields of these but hopefully others that have grown these can give you some input.

Have you planted your toms yet?


I did plant them all- they've been in the ground for a month. I got the Burpee's Heirloom collection- Brandywine, Black Krim, Big Rainbow and Burpee's Supersteak. The plants are getting tall, and some have flowers (but not many). I think I have whiteflies because some of the top leaves are curling, but the plants do look good thus far. I am still learning, and trying!

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/31/2012, 9:43 pm

CharlesB, are you growing Early Girl or Early Girl Improved, which I understand has a potato-leafed variety as a 'grandparent'?

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Regular

Post  CharlesB on 5/31/2012, 9:53 pm

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:CharlesB, are you growing Early Girl or Early Girl Improved, which I understand has a potato-leafed variety as a 'grandparent'?

Pretty sure it is the regular Early Girl but I don't know the story on the Improved version and if the breeders are switching over to that or keeping both.

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  jmsieglaff on 5/31/2012, 9:59 pm

I grew my first heirloom last year, Black Krim. It's back this year, I love that tomato. I also grow two musts every year that are not heirlooms (Celebrity and Sungold). I also rotate one tomato, this year it is Tough Boy aka Momotaro Tomato. It produced well, but Celebrity is the ultimate for disease resistance from what I've grown.

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/31/2012, 10:04 pm

CharlesB, I asked because the potato-leafed heirlooms we've become fond of seem to have more big tomato-y taste than others, so I wondered if flavor carried over to the 'improved' variety. You and my mom swear by Early Girl--she does consistently beat me in the first ripe tomato category. Think I'll stick by the ones that win the taste category, though, since I do have room for extras--she does not. nonna

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  camprn on 5/31/2012, 10:08 pm

I am growing Gilbertie, Cherokee Purple, San Marzano, Yellow pear, Sweet 100. I love, love, LOVE my Gilbertie tomatoes!

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  acara on 5/31/2012, 10:09 pm

As a general "not-based-in-fact" opinion ....

The tomato industry sold their soul for short-time-to-market, size, shape and transportability, 20 years ago ... flavor and texture be damned. Thus began the age of hybrids.

Some of the hybrids have gotten to the point where your better off eating the packaging (actually the taste between produce and packaging are indescernable, if you sprinkle a little sea salt and/or basalmic vinegar on them Rolling Eyes )

The heirlooms are sometimes (okay, most of the time) a pain to grow & you typically have to wait longer for a smaller yield ... and they are the favored food of every critter on the planet .... but nothing compares to the texture/taste of a vine ripe heirloom, IMHO

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/31/2012, 10:14 pm

Amen, Acura, Amen.

CampRN, tell me more about Gilbertie, it's a new name to me. What's it like? Why is it a favorite? Potato leafed, or otherwise? How did you learn about it? Where did you get seed? Nonna

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  Coelli on 5/31/2012, 10:16 pm

I'm growing tomatoes for the first time ever this year and right now have a German Johnson (which never fails to make me snicker...), and a Yellow Brandywine for heirlooms. I also picked up a Lemon Cherry which I don't think is an heirloom. The heirlooms outside are flowering now so I have their cages wrapped in tulle to isolate them.

Inside the house I have two baby red Brandywines and two baby Red Grapes, both heirlooms grown from seed from Baker Creek. I also got Pruden's Purple and Watermelon Beefsteak seeds but wound up not sowing any. And it's kind of an accident that I have the extra guys in the house... since my peas are not really growing outside in the SFG, I may yank them and put in the tomatoes when they get big enough. Our last frost date is mid-late November, so I think I have plenty of time. I am really looking forward to tasting "real" tomatoes that grew in the back yard!

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  BetsyC on 5/31/2012, 10:21 pm

I do agree about the hybrids- I've not seen any thus far that have that real, juicy tomato taste we all crave. It's just the two of us, so even if I get small yields, it will make me happy to have tasty tomatoes rather than styrofoam ones. I thank you all for the gentle reminder.

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/31/2012, 10:23 pm

Oh, guess I should tell y'all the 'maters we're growing this year: Dagma's Perfection (yellow); Brandywine, Suddeth's Strain (pink); Federle (sauce/paste); Black Sea Man (red with dark shoulders); Black Cherry (cherry tom); Austin's Red Pear (cherry tom); Bloody Butcher (red); and one experiment: Indigo Rose (purple heavy on anthocyanins--new from Oregon State U, but open-pollinated variety).

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  acara on 6/1/2012, 10:13 am

Not totally bashing hybrids .... a vine ripened hybrid out of the garden is still 100x better than most chain grocery store product.

... however, it's easy for me to be snooty about it .... We have 3 growing seasons here & can't drive 10 minutes without running into a farmers market / tomato stand. Truth be told .... I'd be eating anything vaguely resembling a tomato, hybrid or no, if I lived up North & there was snow on the ground ...LOL

Gotta-do-what-ya-gotta-do when the tomato craving hits Laughing

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Gilbertie

Post  CharlesB on 6/1/2012, 10:33 am

@camprn wrote:I am growing Gilbertie, Cherokee Purple, San Marzano, Yellow pear, Sweet 100. I love, love, LOVE my Gilbertie tomatoes!

I am trying Sweet 100 for the first time this year. It is exploding with flowers right now. Have high hopes for it.

I hadn't heard of Gilbertie. If you and High Mowing seeds both rave about it then I have to try it. I'll add it to the top of my list for next year. I like the paste type tomatoes so this should be right up my ally.

I also am trying a Native American heirloom called Punta Banda. Will report on how that one turns out.

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/1/2012, 10:42 am

@Nonna.PapaVino - You sent me 4 Indigo Rose seeds, and they all are doing nicely. This is the first tomato I have seen that is dark purple when "green". I also have a couple Federle.

From Pattipan, I have WV '63 - I think there are 4- looking good

Dixie sent me Dixie's Sweet have several of those.

Also in the mix:
Brandywine,
Black Krim,
Cherokee Purple,
Husky Cherry,
Red Grapes,
Hillbilly,
Jet Star


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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  camprn on 6/1/2012, 11:49 am

@CharlesB wrote:
@camprn wrote:I am growing Gilbertie, Cherokee Purple, San Marzano, Yellow pear, Sweet 100. I love, love, LOVE my Gilbertie tomatoes!

I am trying Sweet 100 for the first time this year. It is exploding with flowers right now. Have high hopes for it.

I hadn't heard of Gilbertie. If you and High Mowing seeds both rave about it then I have to try it. I'll add it to the top of my list for next year. I like the paste type tomatoes so this should be right up my ally.

I also am trying a Native American heirloom called Punta Banda. Will report on how that one turns out.
At the end of the season we can trade some seed, eh? What a Face

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  mapspringer on 6/1/2012, 12:25 pm

This is my first year gardening, but have very very fond memories as a kid of big garden fresh tomatoes ripening on the window sill, that mom grew. I want to get that back! I planted two heirlooms this year:

Cherokee Purple - growing great and producing, but I am VERY upset that several of the fruits have had holes eaten in the side of them by critters of some sort! and

Holy Land - a very mysterious heirloom that is said to be native to Tennessee. Very difficult to find accurate info on this. So far it is growing nice and tall but has only produced two fruits and they appear to be shaped like a Roma, although the tag says it's a beefsteak>??

Is anyone familiar with the Holy Land heirloom?

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  littlesapphire on 6/1/2012, 1:01 pm

I have to be honest here. I don't actually like tomatoes. I'm trying to change, though. I've started eating them more and I kind of enjoy them on a nice thick sandwich! There's something about the sharp acidity and the slimy seeds that turns me off, but I swear I'm trying to change, lol.

That said, since I don't like the sharper flavored tomatoes, I actually like store bought tomatoes better than home grown, as far as eating raw tomatoes. I grew brandywine (heirloom) tomatoes last year, and they had a very sweet mild taste that was ok in my book, but my super sweet 100 toms (hybrid) were very strongly flavored and I couldn't eat them raw. They're great cooked with other veggies and served over pasta, though.

Anyway, my point here is that I think all tomatoes are different, and some hybrids are actually more flavorful than some heirlooms. Of course, I still would rather grow heirlooms over anything else. About 90% of my garden this year has been grown from heirloom seeds bought from small companies.

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heirloom tomatoes...

Post  mmathedrader on 6/1/2012, 1:41 pm

I have grown "fuzzy peach" and "money makers" for the last couple of years and have had good success for yield and short growing season... both are heirloom. Trying them in upside down planters, in MM, this years, in the hopes to do even better... I'm not so good at trimming them down, so many leaves too close together likely made the yield suffer a little.

Good luck!

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Re: Heirloom tomatoes vs. other varieties

Post  Goosegirl on 6/1/2012, 2:02 pm

@littlesapphire wrote:I have to be honest here. I don't actually like tomatoes. I'm trying to change, though. I've started eating them more and I kind of enjoy them on a nice thick sandwich! There's something about the sharp acidity and the slimy seeds that turns me off, but I swear I'm trying to change, lol.

I am SOOOO glad to 'hear' you say that. I don't like to eat tomatoes either (altho' on a sandwich I am getting used to them), yet I have 20 plants! I love tomato sauce, chili, pizza sauce, etc. I love making my own sauce, paste, & crushed tomatoes. Last year when I cooked the season's first batch of sauce I made spaghetti, Hubby finished dinner and said "That was some GOOOOOOOD sauce!" Made having 50 lbs of green tomatoes laying on the dining room table ripening after the early killing frost all worth while (and then we proceeded to have another 3 weeks of beautiful indian summer..........Mad ).

There is so much difference between the flavors and textures of each variety that I am having fun growing, tasting, experimenting, and creating the 'perfect' sauce for our family's tastebuds. So far for sauce the winners are Purple Russian and Russian Big Roma.

GG

PS - However, trying Amish Paste, Aunt Lucy's and a few other paste tomatoes this season (but still have my Purple Russians & Russian Big Romas)


Last edited by Goosegirl on 6/1/2012, 2:05 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : PS)

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