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February 18, 2008


Impressive! I find heirlooms so hard to resist. Some people have a weakness for stray kittens; I have a weakness for heirloom tomatoes. I want to grow them all, and if I had the space, I'd try.

I can't wait to see how they do for you!

you are your crazy tomatoes! you know i was so intrigued by your the tomesol that I went right over to order some only to find that they are sold out of the seeds. so, I'll be growing vicariously through you this season, Mark! cant wait to see how they do!

Hi Mark
I grew some Kellogg's Breakfast tomatoes one year and they failed for me too...but an old timer from garden club got some of my seedlings from the trading table and ended up getting huge fruit off them.

Must have been the way I spoke to them...

Good luck with your tomatoes this year.

An interesting post Marc. What interests me about heirloom tomatoes is the number of new varieties found in Eastern and Northern Europe. There are plenty with names like 'black Russian' and 'sub arctic plenty' to suggest that we might extend the season and find a hardy tomato! Do you know of a very early variety?

Thanks for the encouragement Meg!

Sorry Gina that they were sold out of the White Tomesol. Maybe all my readers are buying from Baker Creek now. I should get a commission. :) Seriously, they are available by a few other companies like Anioleka Seeds. Good luck!

Scarecrow, I did get a couple ripe Kellogg's Breakfast tomatoes and the groundhog ate a couple too. The taste was great. They are worth trying again!

I forgot to mention my early heirloom varieties! Also from Baker Creek, I am trying a variety called Sub-Arctic or "World's Earliest" which claims to be cold tolerant like you are hoping for. Their description is this: 50 days. One of the very earliest tomatoes, the compact plants produce lots of 2 oz red fruit. It is one of the best for cool conditions and will set fruit in lower temperatures than most. It has even been grown in the Southern Yukon. Developed by Dr. Harris, Beaverlodge Research Station, Alberta, Canada.
I'll let you know how they work out in a few months.

I love the flavor of 'Green Zebra'. We tried 'Black Krim' last year but both of us thought it was bland. Some people have suggested that it is because it prefers cooler climes than Texas. Or perhaps we got too much rain last summer.

I grew the black tomato this year but it is the only plant in our garden which has been affected by grubs. The fruit we have had have been quite good. I love the look of the white ones. I think a blindfolded taste test would be a good idea if you can have them all ripe at once.

Those first two pictures look delicious! I grew and enjoyed green zebras and costuluto. This year I am trying black Krim, Russian black and Persimmon. Though I only have a dozen plants, I also grow a mix of heirlooms and hybrids-just for insurance purposes!

I LOOOOVE Black Krim - i discovered them a few years back and they're my favorite tomato.

The Aunt Ruby's are also great - those suckers are HUGE! You just have to watch them, or more like feel them, to see when they're ready. Those poor tomatoes probably feel like I'm molesting them as they get closer to being ripe and ready to pick...

I grew black cherries the last two years and LOVED them! Last year was the first year I also had blister beetles, and they were ONLY on the black cherry tomato plant...not sure if they had a preference for it, or if it was proximity (the plant was potted up and away from my other tomatoes).

I've been growing green zebras as long as the black krims. They produce a smaller, but more prolific tomato in my experience. I've also found that EVERY YEAR they get small brown spots on the skin. Doesn't seem to affect the flavor/quality though. I love the citrussy zing the green zebras seem to get.

You might want to try green grape... They're not nearly as green as the other "green" tomatoes, turning a little more yellowy when they're ripe, but like the black cherry tomatoes, they taste soooo good!

I'm real eager to try growing one of the white tomatoes, but since I love the acidy kick of tomatoes so much, and haven't liked any of the low-acid yellow tomatoes (better for people with digestion problems I guess?), I've passed on white. I don't actually know that "less color = less kick", so you'll have to report back and let us know!

I would definitely suggest steering clear of pleated zapotec - a really cool looking tomato I tried years ago. Just like it's name, it's shaped with "pleats" all the way around, but it had no real flavor and was very mealy tasting.

I also haven't had much luck with sun gold, which all the catalogs and magazine lists of top rated tomatoes TELL me I'm supposed to like, but I always find their skins are really tough.

Looking forward to this year's tomato bounty!

Wow, lots of tomato lovers out there.

Thanks to m sinclair stevens, tracy and nicole for stopping by and joining in the conversation.

Welcome back Jeph! You have now reminded me that it was YOU who originally turned me on to Black Krim from reading your blog back in 2006. I thought about "green grape". Glad to know that you endorse it. I have no idea what the white tomatoes will taste like. They are described as having a tropical taste. A tropical taste? is that more or less acid. Hopefully I can let you know in about 4 months. I can hardly wait!

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