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2017 Tomato Plans

Sunday, April 16, 2017 - 12:40

See my annotations of the 2016 Tomato Review now that I have all the plants correctly identified. The varietal tags were hidden under the foliage when I was trying to figure out which was which. This year I'll I'll do better. I selected a handful of varieties that had performed well last year, and then figured I'd try a number of new ones. (Also: my usual nursery tends to have a lot of varieties, but not necessarily the same ones every year, except for favorites.)

Based on last year's experience with the black-purple varieties, I mostly avoided them, only picking Cherokee Purple because I found the taste "interesting". I'm going with a mix of 6 cherry-type tomatoes (which tend to work well for my work lunches), 6 "solid performers" to use for sauce and drying, and 6 experimental slots. Rather than organizing them by color this time, I'm going to put the cherry types at the outside ends of the rows for easier picking and then organize the rest based on expected size to pair sprawlers with more compact plants. So here are the plants I picked up. I'll add a planting chart at the end for later reference.


Sun Gold - This was far and away my favorite from last year. An absolute must.

Austin's Red Pear - I didn't see a yellow pear, and besides which I found it a bit bland. So this is a new one to try.

Juliet - Red, oval.

Early Girl - Another repeat from last year, chosen largely on the promise of "early" producing. My notes indicate it had great flavor, too.

Blush Artisan - Described as "Elongaged, striped yellow bicolor cherry tomato." I do like a bit of color variety, so this will be a useful experiment.

Husky Cherry Red - A generic round red cherry.

Solid Standards and Paste Types

Mortgage Lifter - A repeat from last year (although of one of the ones where I got confused on identity). 

Cherokee Purple - The only of the purple/black varieties I really thought worth repeated from last year.

Bush Beefsteak - Your basic big meaty slicing tomato

Little Napoli - A Roma style, very compact.

Amish Paste - Teardrop shaped, ideal for sauce.

Giuseppi's Big Boy - Large meaty fruit. Sprawling plant. Will pair with a compact one.

Just for Fun and Experimentation

Stupice - Heirloom, early producer, relatively compact.

Pink Boar - "Striking looks, outrageous flavor that is sweet, rich and juicy...agressive grower...port wine color with metalic silver green stripes, dark red interior." Sounds intriguing.

Marianna's Peace - "Considered by many to be the world's best tasting tomato! From Czechoslovakia, beefsteak type."

Red Lightning - Red with yellow stripes. Bought purely on curiosity of the appearance.

Big Rainbow - "Heirloom, huge yellow tomatoes with red streaks in flesh and skin."

Momotaro - A Japanese variety with pink flesh. I believe I've seen this in local markets and liked them.


Using last year's numbering system (except I have a full 18 plants this time) here's how I'll be laying them out:

1. Amish Paste

2. Bush Beefsteak

3. Cherry

4. Big Rainbow

5. Red Lightning

6. Early Girl

7. Momotaro

8. Marianna's Peace

9. Juliet

10. Cherokee Purple

11. Mortgage Lifter

12. Austin's Red Pear

13. Stupice

14. Pink Boar

15. Blush Artisan

16. Giuseppi's Big Boy

17. Little Napoli

18. Sun Gold

Check back in 4-6 months for the reviews!