Please help with tomato identification!

Utica, MI

Hello. Iím at my wits end. I am NOT a newbie, but I sure made a BIG newbie mistake this year, and Iím really hoping somebody can help me. Iíve tried getting a membership at Tomatoville, but my membership has not been finalized yet and I cannot get a reply from anybody. And I went over to Tatianaís site, but I donít think itís active anymore. I need expert help and donít know where to turn.

So back in early April, I planted a flat of tomatoes. My flat is 72 single cells, with 12 rows of 6 each. Basically I planted 12 different varieties of tomatoes, 6 of each variety. I made a nice, organized chart on graph paper and labeled each cell n the paper chart. BUT, and this is a BIG but, I then forgot to mark my flat!!!!! So when I look at my flat, I have no idea from left to right if Iím looking at rows 1-12, or if itís backwards. I hope this makes sense.

My only hope is that I think one of the varieties is supposed to have potato leaf. That is Vintage Wine. However, at this point, there are several that look pretty much like the one I THINK is Vintage Wine.

If I list all 12 of the varieties and post pictures, is there somebody who could maybe recognize the leaf differences? Or maybe I should just post pictures of row #1 and row #12 since their foliage looks very different from each other. Those two varieties are Cherry Roma and Costoluto Genovese. If I could positively differentiate those two from each other, the rest would fall into place.

Any help would be very much appreciated. I have a lady who has me grow certain ones for her each year, and I canít be messing up somebody elseís growing season. Plus I planted way more than I need in hopes of making a little extra cash. This is really stressing me out, and it shouldnít. But itís a lot of work, and I just feel so stupid.

Hope to hear from somebody....anybody....soon. Thanks so much!

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

You have potato leaf and regular but often cherries and grapes will have a more rounded, compact leaf, with greater ruffling on the edges, than larger regular leaf varieties. Pastes can have leaves more similar to cherries or can have very wispy leaves. Can you post a photo with closeups of the flat? I'm puzzled as to why you can't discern the Vintage Wine. It should clearly be potato leaf.

Unfortunately, I left my tomatoes a few hours ago so I can't show you the leaf differences on mine.

Utica, MI

I canít take a photo of the flat because I had to up-pot about a week ago. However, I numbered each tomato exactly as it was numbered in the flat.

I will take some photos of Cherry Roma and Costoluto Genovese, which will be labeled #1 and #12, meaning I donít know for sure which is which.

I will also take photos of #6 and #7, which would be Vintage Wine and Roma.

I took two photos of each to give a better perspective. I can only include 5 photos in a post, so Iíll split into two posts.


Thumbnail by joesandy Thumbnail by joesandy Thumbnail by joesandy Thumbnail by joesandy
Utica, MI

Here are Vintage Wine and Roma. But which is which?

Thumbnail by joesandy Thumbnail by joesandy Thumbnail by joesandy Thumbnail by joesandy
Utica, MI

To add a bit more info in case it would help, the other varieties I planted were Mortgage Lifter, Classic Beefsteak, White Currant, Sweetheart Cherry, Opalka, Rutgers, Dr. Wycheís, and Mr. Stripey. Any unique traits on any of these?

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I can't say with assurance because all of these are regular leaf. There are Brandywine strains that produce random regular leaf plants, sometimes referred to as "weak" strains, while the favored Sudduth strain is always potato leaf. Your Brandywine cross is maybe showing the other parent's leaves. Vintage Wine has been around for awhile. It seems to me the leaf shape should be stable. Who was the seed source?

Costoluto is a regular leaf but can have a leaf that slightly resembles potato leaf. Mortgage Lifter and Beefsteak are very regular though Beafsteak can be more lanky while M.L. is more stocky.

I can only guess that #7 comes closest to Vintage Wine's description. If that is correct would #1 be Cherry Roma? The only other clue is growth rate. For cherries I grow Sugar Sweetie, Black Cherry, Yellow Pear and Riesentraub. In every case these tomatoes are more vigorous than slicers, beefsteak, Germans, etc.. Line them all up and see if certain rows are noticeably more advanced.

Sorry, I can't be of more assistance. Having done this once before I feel your pain. I now label every cell on my plug tray and move tags with plants. I once labeled only the top plants in the row and got confused when potting up.

Utica, MI

Thank you, MaypopLaurel. Just for clarity, in the photos above, you will see a side view, then a top view of the 4 different plants. So thereís a side view of #1, then the top view of #1, then side of #12, then top of #12 and so on.

So.... IF #1 is Cherry Roma, then that would mean #6 is Vintage Wine, #7 is Roma, and #12 is Costoluto Genovese.

If #7 is actually the Vintage Wine, that would also mean the #6 is Roma, #1 is Costoluto Genovese, and #12 is Cherry Roma.

Hoping that will help.

My Vintage Wine was purchased 2 years ago from TimelessTomatoes on Etsy. I grew it and loved it. There must be different color variations, as mine was a green and red striped version, not yellow and red striped like most photos show.

Thanks again for your help and thoughts. I know very little about strains and crosses, as you mentioned in your first paragraph. Iím still learning.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Again, I can only guess and that was #7 was Vintage Wine. Maybe your client will accept a discount or extra tomatoes for the surprise factor. Sooner or later they will reveal themselves.

In the mid-2000's there was a very enthusiastic group of tomato growers here. The doyen of tomatoes, Carolyn Male, sent seed from her sources to us for trialing in different locales. Tomato expert extraordinaire, Craig LeHoullier, would occasionally comment as would Tatiana. We learned a lot from them and each other and shared a lot of seeds (which I still grow). Carolyn seemed to be concentrating on Eastern European heirlooms later on. I drifted away from trialing because those varieties did not do well in our hot, humid summers. I was, and remain, more interested in heirloom varieties with roots here. I don't know who is currently at the forefront of tomato education since Carolyn passed away. She was a force.

Utica, MI

Thanks so much for your time. The more they grow, the more I think your inclination is right. I have a feeling, though, that my Vintage Wine is really not. All 12 varieties have regular leaves, and the tomato color last year was not what all the pictures I find look like. I know I made a big mistake because of lack of labeling, but itís extra frustrating when what you thought you purchased isnít even the right thing. Iíve read on so many tomato forums of lots of people (who know a lot more than I do) who got the wrong seed. Who can be trusted when it comes to purchasing seeds?

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.
BACK TO TOP