So, Im making my final seed purchases and Ive left my tomato selection to the last minute! I have a list of possible tomato purchases and need to pair it down to a more manageable size. Here are my criteria:
variety of early, mid and late season crop
variety of cherry, small, medium and large fruit
variety of colour
indeterminate due to space restraints but will consider determinate.
I want to use these tomatoes for snacking, saucing and sandwiches. Heres my list so far:
Pink Ping Pong (cherry, pink)
Japanese Trifele Black (medium, black)
Black Pear (small, black)
Green Zebra (small, green)
Already have: Black Plum (small, black), Blondkopfchen (cherry, yellow) Cherokee Purple (purple, large), Earliest and Best (red, medium) Gardener's Delight (cherry, red)
Believe It Or Not (large, red)
Black from Tula (medium, black)
Bushwhopper (medium, red)
Green Velvet (medium, green)
Opalka (medium, red)
Earl of Edgecombe (medium, orange)
Purple Calabash (medium, purple)
Already have: Eva Purple Ball (medium, purple) Bonny Best (medium, red) Mirabelle Blanche (cherry, white), Rouge D'Irak (medium, red)
Nebraska Wedding (medium, orange)
What do you guys suggest? Also, am I missing something amazing? BTW, I'm in Zone 5 near Ottawa, Canada.
feldon is right Isis is a huge plant and not particularly early, but one of the best late in the season. Black cherry is indeterminate and Stupice is an ultra-early compact indeterminate.
I'd highly recommend those three along with Pink Ping Pong, Black From Tula and Earl of Edgecombe. The Harris varieties feldon mentions are good as well. You might look at Snow White, Paul Robeson, Cuostralee or something similar. There are a lot of great varieties around. Ask over on the tomatoes forum.
Gurnsey Pink Blush, Cherry, ind, 70-80 days
Van Wert Ohio, Red, ind, 4-8oz, 70-80 days
Guido, Red, ind, 1lb+, 70-80 days
Ruslan, Orange, ind, 8-12oz, 70-80 days
Clear Pink Early, det, 4-8oz, 60-70 days
I've grown Isis Candy - it's an orangey cherry tomatoe - taste is just so so. The main problem I had is that it's hard to tell when ripe, then it gets soft and rotten very quickly.
Stupice is a real early medium small red tomato which I like a lot. Not as great tasting as the late season tomatoes, but my first choice for an early one.
Purple calabash - I agree with the comments - and it's highly fluted shape and tendency to rot quickly makes it hard to get a taste! And the taste is just average. I had to laugh, Zebraman - "murky" is exactly what I was saying last year to describe it!
Opalka - is very dry, large and meaty - excellent for canning - although I have had weird seed problems - some plants produce smaller paste types.
I grew Pruden's Purple once and did not like the smokey taste - but that could have been due to the growing conditions which were not ideal - and some people like the smoke.
Aunt Ruby"s - one of my favorites - great big late tomatoes with great flavor. Since they stay green you have to test for ripeness by feel - they turn just a tad soft and get a pale pinky blush.
One suggestion about Opalka and all paste/plum/oxheart/whatever types is that when I first picked and bit into a Wes tomato, I was really unimpressed. It was dry and tasteless to me. Then I visited Suze and she brought out a Wes tomato which, to my eyes and touch felt rotten. The bottom "tip" of the tomato had started to get soft, which scared me at first. But when we cut it open and tasted it, it was fantastic. There was some juiciness and sweetness and a very strong tomato flavor.
So my lesson in all this is that oxheart tomatoes can take a bit of extra ripening!