The Tomato List: 2010

April 29th, 2010
Tomato Seedlings

16-day-old tomato seedlings

I think we had a frost last night! Good thing my tomatoes are nowhere near ready to put into the garden. I was quite late in starting the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant this year, but if summer progresses as spring has we’re going to have a very long hot summer. There should be plenty of time to catch up.

So, what tomatoes am I growing this year and why? 14 plants (last year’s count)  is really too many for the way we live and eat and I absolutely positively have to get back to a more manageable number. 10 plants this year – no more! As always, I wanted to try some new varieties. The result was that I overlooked some known good-performers-in-my-garden in favor of novelty.

Garafarm Tomato Seeds

Tomato seeds from Hungary

The rookies:

  • Jaune Flamme‘ salad-sized orange tomato. Various favorable reviews, including MSS at Zanthan Gardens. This variety is said to be good for drying and dried tomatoes are sooooo useful and I didn’t dry any last year.
  • Ten Fingers of Naples‘ paste tomato. A whim – I could use at least 2 paste tomato plants and would happily plant an entire row of ‘Striped Roman’, but didn’t want any duplicates in my 10-plant quota and happened to have these seeds in my stash.
  • Black Krim‘ medium-sized black tomato (and possibly the most common black variety?). The only black tomato I’m growing this year – I’d like to do a direct comparison to ‘Black Russian’, but there’s that 10-plant quota again.
  • John Baer‘ basic round red tomato. An old garden variety; said to be a selection from ‘Bonny Best’.
  • Tomato from Hungary, basic round red tomato, or so I believe. Another whim – I was browsing eBay and found garden seeds from a seller in Budapest. The name on the label – Paradicsom – just means tomato in Hungarian.
  • Brandēva‘, a cross between ‘OTV Brandywine‘ and ‘Eva Purple Ball’, developed by a local horticultural celebrity, Jeff McCormack, founder of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

The returning veterans:

  • Striped Roman‘: paste tomato developed by John Swenson. One of my all-time favorites and I can’t imagine not growing it.
  • Matt’s Wild Cherry‘: my favorite cherry tomato. Little tangy-sweet bursts of tomato happiness.
  • Virginia Sweets‘:  large yellow beefsteak-type tomato, streaked with red. I’m only growing one big yellow tomato this year and this is it. See last year’s post about the huge tomato.
  • Break O’Day‘: basic round red tomato. Another old garden variety. Didn’t get a fair trial last year (see my post about green-when-ripe tomatoes) so I’m trying it again.

So that’s this year’s line-up. What’s in your tomato patch?

7 Responses to “The Tomato List: 2010”

  1. Swimray says:

    “What’s in your tomato patch?”
    Better Boy: hybrid
    Razzleberry: pink/raspberry color tomato free from Park Seed
    Sweet 100 – cherry tomato type I have never tried to grow before

    Seeds were started AFTER my vacation to Florida in March, so I got a late start. I am itching to put them in the ground this warm weekend! I am also rotating my tomatoes this year to the only sunny spot left in the yard.

    • entangled says:

      I remember Sweet 100 from the 1970s or 80s, when it was new. (Makes me feel a bit like an antique.) They were good as I recall. Razzleberry sounds cool. Hope they all grow well for you in that sunny spot!

  2. entangled says:

    Jake the Girl, I accidentally deleted your comment. I’m sorry! If you care to retype it, I promise not to do it again.

  3. Wendy says:

    Sounds like a great variety! i’m growing black krim for the first time. My husband is really in love with purple cherokee and was like, “I’m so glad you’re growing them again because you know they’re my favorite”, but unfortunatley, there’s no room for both! So…hopefully he’ll like the black krim, and I’ll inform him of the switch. Otherwise, I’ll be like, hmmm, I don’t know what happened to this year’s crop… 🙂

    Your tomatoes look great! Really stocky and healthy! Hopefully we’re done with frosts now! My tomatoes are in the pop up coldframe outside.

    • entangled says:

      Hmm, I don’t think my husband has a favorite tomato. He’s been asking for peas for years and I keep saying I don’t have room, so this year he volunteered to dig new beds! Too late for peas though. Next year I’ll have no excuses.

      I transplanted those tomatoes to cell packs just after I wrote that, and they really took off. I think I’ll plant them out in another week. Next week is supposed to be cold, from what I hear.

  4. Ira Wallace says:

    Thank you for including information about Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in your blog, we hope this growing season is proving a fruitful one for you. We are again involved in hosting the annual Heritage Harvest Festival and thought you and your subscribers would be interested in this event…… HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE—IRA

    The 4th annual Heritage Harvest Festival, hosted by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in partnership with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, is a fun, family-oriented, educational event promoting organic gardening, sustainable living, local food and the preservation of heritage plants. The 2010 Heritage Harvest Festival will be held on Saturday, September 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the West Lawn of Monticello in Charlottesville.

    At the heart of the Heritage Harvest Festival are over 40 educational programs, lectures, cooking demonstrations, and food tastings that include the ever popular Tomato Tasting. Including workshops from two members of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, “Heirloom Garlic and Onions: How to Grow These Culinary Essentials with Ira Wallace” and “Fall and Winter Veggies: Zero-Degree Gardening” with Ken Bezilla.

    To kick off the event, Rosalind Creasy, founder of the edible landscape movement, will host a Preview Lecture and Local Food dinner on Friday, September 10 at the Monticello Visitor Center. For more information on the Festival, visit or call 434-984-981 for tickets.

    • entangled says:

      It’s been a hard year to grow good tomatoes in central Virginia, but you already know that. 😉

      I’ll try to make it to the Heritage Harvest Festival this year (and maybe even blog about it). I meant to attend each of the three previous festivals, but something always came up.

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