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roflol Offline OP
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... which would you grow?

We have a teensy spot for produce gardening, and 3 tomato plants was too many this year (one cherry and two non-cherry [the plants got large but the tomatoes didn't get very large]).

My 5-year-old had a ball growing the tomatoes but he doesn't eat them.... however, *I* do, and the grandparents are very happy to share the bounty and he's proud to take his harvest to them of course.

I think we'll skip the cherry tomatoes and concentrate on the slicers. I'm originally from New Jersey so am wondering how the Rutger's (aka Jersey) measures up to the newer varieties. Naturallement I would prefer heirloom so we could start a tradition and keep it going.

Thanks in advance for any advice and all your opinions.

flw

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I'd probably chuck the heirloom idea and go with a compact variety that has been hybridized to produce well in a pot. Then you would be pretty assured of a good harvest.

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Chuck the heirloom in favor of hybrids?!?! Blastphemy!! I guess you could do that if you don't grow tomatoes for taste. shk nutz

Are you looking for something that produces or for something that tastes good? Are you looking for a more compact plant? Are you looking for something that you could save your own seed from?

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roflol Offline OP
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No, yes, no, yes. ;-) Did I win?

^
|

Okay, I'll edit; that looked dopey by itself... Three plants was too much, we'll just go for 1 or maybe 2 next year, same variety since I want to save the seed. I definitely want taste since I'm eating them, but I'm not terribly finicky so as long as they're better than grocery bought (and just about anything grown is, right?) it should be fine. I like traditional flavor, and I like to add salt to mine.

Production is not a big issue, everybody around here grows tomatoes so sharing with the grandparents is more of a trophy issue than a sustenance thing... in other words, the grandparents are not going to go without tomatoes if we don't provide them.

I understand your point of view, too, Tammy. Your circumstances are special, being in a very very confined space. I should have been more specific with my question. I have room for 2 full size plants (3 was too many) and I don't need a huge crop.

I'm looking specifically at what the taste preferences are, and specifically what the general consensus is on Rutgers (Jersey) tomato since, as I mentioned, I'm a Joisey transplant myself. Did anybody grow this variety, and did you like it?

Thanks again for all opinions.

flw

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I say go for it. Don't let anybody talk you out of it either. I've never grown Rutgers, but just about any homegrown tomato is going to be much better than store bought. New Jersey is good tomato growing country as well, so you'll be just fine.

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Originally posted by tkhooper:
I'd probably chuck the heirloom idea
Heyyyyyy Tam, I was going to say you'd better
"duck" with those words if Julianna or John see them.. wink wink
They are definately heirloom diehards.... grinnnn grinnnn
but I see John already beat me here... wink

I have to say, I grew the Rutgers', they were a good plant, produced, nice, and basically why I grow them, I find them cheap and early locally *the seeds* so, I grab 'em cause I"m a sucker for "homegrown" tomatoes like MrClint said, any "Homegrown" one is wayyyyyy better than any store bought one, any day..
(I'm duckin' too, when I say that... wink laugh )

Compact sizes though, I'd go with any John suggest...<~~~~

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Originally posted by roflol:
My 5-year-old had a ball growing the tomatoes but he doesn't eat them.... however, *I* do.

I think we'll skip the cherry tomatoesThanks in advance for any advice and all your opinions.
Opinion on that one...

Never skip the cherries in my eyes, especially if you're tryin' to get them to eat from the garden...

Never skip something cause they don't eat it..
*at least for 5 or 6 years.. and even then always give them some to at least try...
Tastes' change*

*and this is a proven theory, that if you continue to give a child something on their plate, even if they don't eat it... eventually it'll be there so many times, that if you put that on their plate when you introduce a new food, they will at least try the old food, cause they've seen it so many times, they are more familiar with that food than the new one you put on the plate...~~~>does that many any sense?<~~~
And IMHO if your little one sees you eating them, then your chances are reasonably good he may too..
*I snack on them all the time while doing gardening chores and my kids don't exactly like tomatoes, but are willing to keep tryin' them, because they see how fanatical their mother is about them...*

And last but not least in the opinion department..
if you have a small growing area...
don't forget about growing tomatoes in 5 gallon food grade buckets...
Works really good... thumbup

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My one and only positive experience buying a store tomato was when all the posts about Cherokee purples got to me and I bought one.
That thing was so good that it's made me plan to grow them this spring.

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Celebrity is a nice slicing tomato,looks almost like sirloin inside (solid meat,little juice) and a nice taste.I favor pink brandywine for taste,they are ugly but great tasting.Sun Gold for the best cherry tomato.

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Deborah, I grew Cherokee Purple this year for the first time, and it was awesome!!! I rank it right up there with Brandywine for flavor. Some people might be a bit put off by the color though.

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Roflol, do you stake your tomatoes? If you stake them and train them to only 2 main stems or so, you can space them 2 feet apart. How much space do you have?

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Sorry if I offended. I didn't mean to.

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Originally posted by tkhooper:
Sorry if I offended. I didn't mean to.
Ohhhhhh no Tammy.. D
You didn't offend anyone....
Not at all...
We just love Tomatoes so much..

But I know how staunch some gardener's can be with certain types, brands, varieties of 'maters..

And I know they both like to joke about their tomatoes being the best..
*which they are veryyyyyyy good...
i just never get around to growing them*

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Originally posted by tkhooper:
Sorry if I offended. I didn't mean to.
Oh please! No need to apologize. We'll convert you to a devoted REAL tomato grower yet. If the whole thing about poor production is the only thing stopping you, you really need to check into them more. There are many, many heirlooms that will out-produce even the most prolific hybrids. This is a common misconception. Sure, there are varieties like some brandywines that do not produce all that great, but even the few you get will make your eyes roll back in your head compared to, say, an early girl.

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Ciao roflol,

My favourite tomato, bar none is Brandywine Sudduth. It doesn't produce a ton, but what it does will make your eyes roll back in your head. It's a gorgeous, slightly flattened pink tomato that will fill a piece of bread nicely and makes an absolutely heavenly BLT.

Another one I adore for slicing is German Red Strawberry, a heart-shaped variety, which is actually pink, not red. The only difference between a pink and red tomato is the skin colour..pink tomatoes have a clear skin, red tomatoes have a yellow skin. I'm quite partial to pink and purple tomatoes.

My third choice would be Black From Tula, a dark purple slicer, which for me has a very rich, almost smoky flavour I really like. This plant is what I'd call a compact indeterminate. It won't get huge, but in my garden, it gets quite bushy and will absolutely need staking. This year it got to about 5' tall.

My favourite green when ripe tomato is Aunt Ruby's German Green with it's almost spicy flavour. This one's a monster and can grow over 8' tall in the right conditions so consider that before you plant. It's a great producer, too.

Orange Strawberry was a huge hit this year as well. Gorgeous colour, very dense, meaty tomato, really great as a sandwich tomato.

I'd say those are the standouts. If you like a really huge tomato, grow Marianna's Peace. It's another pink and the tomatoes I got from it in 2005 were averaging 2 lbs each.

Cheers,
Julianna

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There are many factors that determine tomato taste, and each region or climate tends to have it's favorites. That Early Girl that you just snubbed is a huge favorite here in the west. I picked the first one in March and sliced one just yesterday (and there has been a bunch in between). They are very good.

I took a plate of EG to Tomatomania here a few years back, and sat them right next to the brandywine this-eth, and the cherokee that-eth and marveled at the comments. One lady proclaimed, "Now that's how a tomato should taste!"

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roflol Offline OP
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Terry, your comment explains a lot. We only had a 3x2 raised bed to work with (size was determined by how many cinder blocks we scrounged) and we didn't prune a single branch back (unless obviously dead... I just couldn't make myself do it) so it's no wonder the tomatoes didn't overwhelm us, lol - they didn't have enough room (to make matters worse, they shared that bed with the doomed pumpkin vines). But we did stake (with anything that would hold them up) when they started to fall all over each other.

Funny how it looked like there was all the room in the world for the 3 of them when we planted them, though!

Welllll, y'all are not making the choice easy of which variety or two for me to grow, are you? *Everything* sounds so good!

Do all the varieties you've been discussing come true from seed that you've saved, or do you buy new seed year to year? (I am still learning about this bit).

Thanks again for all the information, everybody.

flw

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Quote
Originally posted by MrClint:

I took a plate of EG to Tomatomania here a few years back, and sat them right next to the brandywine this-eth, and the cherokee that-eth and marveled at the comments. One lady proclaimed, "Now that's how a tomato should taste!"
Anyone used to eating hybrids or supermarket tomatoes is going to say that.

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Originally posted by roflol:
Do all the varieties you've been discussing come true from seed that you've saved, or do you buy new seed year to year?
Without mechanical pollinator barriers or adequate geographical isolation there is always a chance of tomatoes cross-pollinating, but with the natural structure of the tomato flower the percentages are only in the 5-10% range.

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roflol Offline OP
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Thanks, John.

I think what I will do is this: The small bed will be home to two Rutgers if I can get seed for that; we'll see how they do and continue that if we like them. If not, we'll try something else in 2008.

I am still interested in other varieties mentioned here, including cherry tomatoes (you're right weezie - heck, the little guy *loves* pizza, there's no reason he can't learn to love tomatoes by themselves eventually) so will start collecting some big buckets and have a few more plants in other places in the front and back yard, far enough away from each other and with enough plants between them that I would hope cross pollination won't be an issue at all.

Thanks again to each of you!

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Originally posted by johnCT:
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Originally posted by MrClint:
[b]
I took a plate of EG to Tomatomania here a few years back, and sat them right next to the brandywine this-eth, and the cherokee that-eth and marveled at the comments. One lady proclaimed, "Now that's how a tomato should taste!"
Anyone used to eating hybrids or supermarket tomatoes is going to say that. [/b]
Taste is completely subjective. In reality, most folks grow both hybrids and heirlooms. There are productive and tasty tomatoes of both kinds.

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Originally posted by MrClint:
In reality, most folks grow both hybrids and heirlooms. There are productive and tasty tomatoes of both kinds.
That is quite an over-generalization. In reality, people who grow hybrids do so because they don't know better. They're the ones who buy their transplants at HD or walmart and are willing to settle for their taste not knowing there are far better tasting varieties available. :rolleyes:

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I have to butt in here for a bit..
Sometimes when first time gardeners get
even interested in gardening at first..
I am grateful that they are willing to take the
time to grow a tomato, no matter what brand..
And when a person starts to garden, how do they know what is or is not available to grow, especially they start with growing what's available..
And if the hybrids' are what's available..
How would that gardener know? Duh

Some don't have the internet connections,
or even maybe savy *of knowing how to surf and get/find info* so, they again are limited to what they are given or what's available to them..

I still stick by my HO shocked smile that ANY tomato HOMEGROWN is waaaaaayyyyyy better than any store bought..

But I truly understand the need for heirloom seeds to be kept and continued...
And for those who are so deeply involved in them to help educate and spread good will with those
"heirloom varieties* that are falling behind the way side to those "pretty" new hybrids...

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Also, I will stand by the process of talking, because one gardener loves one variety, and tells the next guy, gab and tells the next guy, gab and tells the next guy, gab and tells the next guy, gab and tells the next guy, gab and tells the next guy, gab and tells the next guy, gab and tells the next guy gab

And that's how we spread the word of those heirloom tomatoes that have gotten left behind or forgotten...
because they don't look "pretty"....

So, if we keep talking positive of heirloom varieties... I believe that eventually there will be an even scale for both sides...

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Oby, yes, the Cherokee wouldn't win any beauty contests, but it was so good it really surprised me.
I also really like the yellow pear, and want to grow the red pear too.
And the little Reisentraube and for fun, the teeny Micro-Tom.
Oops, I just remembered that this thread is about slicers. shocked

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