Hello everyone! I am preparing the 2017 Spring variety list. Holy cow! Wait until you see the selection we will have for you; it will dwarf last years. I will also have an expanded Pepper and Eggplant list. I should have the website updated within a couple weeks (almost done!). There will be a few changes regarding sizes offered. We will be dropping 6 and 4 packs in most cases. The demand just simply is not there. We will offer a few varieties in 4 pack but not many. I will try to note these. BTW..you can go to the Bonnie racks and get your Tomato plants for $3.48 per single plant. Just the same 'ol same 'ol from them this year. For a buck fifty, mine are better and a whole lot more fun!
Most varieties offered last year will be available for 2017. I am, however, dropping some that were not popular or ones that I simply did not like. A few will not be here this year because the seed became unavailable. The price per plant will remain the same as last year. In the meantime, keep checking...2017 is going to be a fun year!
Ok, here is the list of Tomatos, Peppers and Eggplant that will be available this Spring. I am simply going to list them so you do not have to wait for me to fill in the descriptions. I am working on descriptions each evening. Keep scrolling down to see if I have completed the entry yet. Here we go with tomatos- Black Dragon*Bobcat Red*Great White*Basinga*Boxcar Willy*Burbank Red*Chocolate Stripes*Evergreen*Fireworks*Hillbilly Potato Leaf*Kellog's Breakfast*Wayahead*Alaskan Fancy*Andrew Raharts Jumbo Red*Centiflor Orange*Dester*Fantom*Fried Green*Hardrock*Marianna's Peace*Little Margo*Polbig Hybrid*Redfield Beauty*Rosssa Sicilian*Slava*Ten Fingers of Napals*Trophy*Vintage Wine*White Potato Leaf*Pineapple Pig*Cinnamon Pear*Jersey Devil*Mini Roma* Negro Azteca*Oxheart (red)*Red Pear*Rio Grande*Speckled Roman*Spoon*Lotus*Jackie*Feng Shui*Ozark Sunset*Ozark Sunrise*Sekai Ichi*Raspberry Miracle*Ovita*First Love*Toad Suck Toad*Monomakh's Hat*Mortgage Lifter*Roma*Prudans Purple*Big Rainbow*Big Red*Jellybean*Black Krim*Marmand*Omar's Lebonese*Persimmon*Lemon Boy*Better Boy*Juliet*Delicious*Zapotec* The above are the new varieties, most of last years will be available
Peppers California Wonder*Diamond*Orange Bell*Violet Bell*Sunbright*Orange Sun*Sweet Jalapeno*Numex Big Jim*Hot Poblano*Hot Ring of Fire*Sweet Romanian*Hot Satan's Kiss*Serrano*Cigaretta Dolce*Keystone*Sante Fe Grande*Carbbean Red*Anaheim*Hungarian Yellow Wax*Monster Bell*Big Thai*Cascabella*Hot Lemon*Variegated Fish*Quadratod'asti Rosso*Douce D'espagne*
Eggplant *Black Enorma*Shoya Long*Thai Long Green*Ichiban*Black Beauty*Fond May*Louisiana Long Green*Rosa Bianca*Waimanalo Long*
The above list is not final..I am still adding a few here and there as I feel like it. I will immediately add any new ones to the list.
Please send me any feedback you have regarding varieties you have purchased. I too grow all these- lets compare notes..Good? Bad? Indifferent? I want to offer only strains that do reasonably well here in this area. There are so many ways to grow Tomatos- if I hear that one kind is doing poorly for many people- regardless of how it does for me, I will probably discontinue offering it. We are a very interactive business; what you think really matters to me.
Hope your 2017 Tomato season runs terrifically!
The varieties of Tomato plants we are offering this year are remarkable! Forget going to the box stores and getting a "choice" of a few kinds- the same old ones each year. There is so much fun to be had growing the many unique strains. Why settle for the ordinary.
One thing I would like to touch on- you all know the Bonnie Racks at all the Walmart stores etc. selling tomatos. Those plants have all been treated with growth regulators. This is a common practice among large growers. Great for them, not so much for you. What these chemicals do is retard (temporarily) the growth of plants. Adds a lot of "shelf life" and, in addition, causes the plant to take on a very deep green color. They look great but there is a waiting period for this stuff to wear off. You need your plants to hit the ground running- we have to beat the heat for pollination. My plants are never treated with growth regulators.
If you have your heart set on any particular variety PLEASE drop me a note letting me know what you need. If I still have it available, I will hold it back for you. Due to the fact I grow so many kinds, numbers will be very limited on some. I want you to get what you really want! It the weather cooperates, most varieties will be ready on about March 25th. Some a bit earlier, a few a bit later but look for the last week of March thru the second week of April for the main event. For larger sized orders, we can work out delivery. DO NOT HESITATE TO SEND A LIST OF PLANTS YOU WANT TO PICK UP. WE WILL HAVE IT PULLED AND READY TO GO WHEN YOU ARRIVE. It will save you a lot of time! When you grow as many kinds as we do, you almost need a map to quickly locate each kind lol. Just give us about 24 hours notice.
So...have a little fun this year in the garden!
Lets get started- with the Cherry group. Who says Cherry has to mean red? Or even round? Yes, I do have some red, round Cherry varieties for you purist BUT (!) for the rest of you, check out what we have in the greenhouse right now! Seems that all you ever find around here for "unique" Cherry tomato's are "Yellow Pear". Guess what? I do NOT have that one. It tastes like dog fur. You will notice I am offering a lot of the new "blue" varieties. These are very cool little tomatos. Just so you do not misunderstand, you will not have perfect blue marbles when ripe. Instead, you will have a multi-shaded blue (or darker) fruit with a very complex coloring. Usually the shoulders remain blue along with the areas that are getting hit with direct sun. The balance of the tomato can be swirled with other shades. No two are really alike. They are pretty amazing as a group. Also, the blue color comes from anthocyanin- the same pigment that is in Blueberries ect. That is the big anti-oxidant that has caused the stir in medical circles. We grew these for market and they really caused some excitement when mixed with all the other colors. The flavor of these guys is slightly different- a lot of people rant about it. Tomato flavor is just so subjective. I may love one variety and you may hate it. Some years I may love one but the next, not so much. Growing a garden is just a never ending learning experience, right? Just when you THINK you know everything...
I am a big fan of Cherry type tomatos. Why? Because no matter what, you get a (big) crop. Growing tomatos in the deep South is a challenge- but not the Cherry types. Heat, humidity and drought seem to be shrugged off by the Cherries. Kind of the "Energizer Bunny" of the tomato world- they just keep going..and going. Besides, they are simply a lot of fun to grow. Kids love them too! One of my finest memories happened many years ago. My daughter Kate (now in her late 20's) had crept out of her room at sunrise when she was about 3 years old. Fortunately my bedroom windows faced the garden out back. I looked out and sitting in the middle of the Cherry tomato row, Sun just barley up, covered in red sweetness, was Kate! Funny how those little things stick with you forever.
All Cherry types are in a 4 inch square pot @ $1.50
Black Cherry not often seen but so worth it! Blackish/dusky purple red fruit with a complex flavor . One of the best! Heavy yields are the norm!
Principe Borghese This Cherry is most notable for the fact that it is a good choice for making your own sun dried Tomatos! Low in juice and high in flavor, this would make a fun project to try. Cut the fruit in half, place it on a screen and put in full Sun for a few days. Lots of directions on the internet. You can expect heavy production!
Fahrenheit Blues This is Lenny's favorite. We did not have it last year and we missed it! Blue shaded fruit on an unusual looking plant- foliage is very wispy and suffused with a blue tint. Overall, this plant stands out in the garden. Good production and since the foliage is not heavy, the Sun strikes the fruit allowing for good blue coloration.
Cinnamon Pear Red-brown pear shaped fruit is a fun addition to the pear class. Like all pear tomatos, you can assume you will have a great harvest of tasty little garden snacks!
Negro Azteca Very rare black cherry tomato that will make you look twice! Mauvish-black fruit has a very complex and rich flavor- a trait that seems to be very typical in the "black" class of Tomatos.
Spoon As far as I can tell, this is the worlds smallest Tomato (fruit, not the plant). Very tiny, pea sized Tomatos are quite big in flavor. These tiny red gems are in the Currant class of Tomatos. You will notice the soft, almost vining rampant growth associated with Currant Tomatos. These are so pretty and tiny that they are often used as a garnish with the avant culinary crowd. Yes, they are so small you can place many in a spoon!
Ivory Pear rare, pale almost translucent ivory colored pear shaped tomatos. Expect heavy crops.
Mexico Midget One of my favorite reds- small and jewel like, you will be stunned with the production. Very sweet, almost candy like to me! My Daughter Karyn, who lives in Illinois, trialed this one (along with many others) loved it. I believe this is mostly a wild strain.
Yellow Plum Old heirloom with yellow somewhat pear shape fruit. 1-1/2" size in large clusters. Bright beautiful and sweet. This is a work horse in the garden. It just seemed to produce and produce on a rather small sized plant.
Bing Cherry Beautiful marbled blue-red fruits that almost glow! Ripen to deep red with blue shadowed shoulders
Dancing With Smurfs this was a big hit at the farmers market for us! Small, quite blue fruit when sun strikes the growing fruit. Even the plant is dusky bluish colored! Great mixed with other cherry types in a salad! Daughter Karyn LOVED this one in her Illinois garden. Strong grower, it will be noticeable in the garden.
Sugar Plum delicious and prolific grape tomato bearing cute 1" fruit in large clusters. Sweet and rich flavor (hybrid) (not available for 2017, return 2018)
Clackamas Blueberry excellent blue variety with rich, deep color. Ripen to a dark blue (not quite a Cherry size..bigger) I, myself, was not impressed with Clakamas primarily because of its name. The word "Blueberry" assumes a size in addition to color Perhaps I have just misclassified this variety. Try one and give me your feedback. Is it a keeper for 2018?
Helsing Junction Blues Cool and fun, this 1" blue cherry will delight you. As with all blue tomatos, direct sun on ripening fruit will produce the darkest blue color. (Probably not available for 2017)
Pink Snow Pretty pink tinted grape style fruits- pink is rare in grape shaped tomatos. Nice, sweet flavor, borne in clusters. This is a remarkably strong growing plant. It just reeks of health all season in our garden.
Lime Green Salad This is a small plant with big flavor! Will even do well in containers. The fruit is smallish, starting out green but at full ripeness, with have an amber cast. Tangy flavor will compliment your salads! Last season this one was a standout in our garden. I had a bunch left over that did not sell (not a very sexy name). I dug a shallow trench and stuffed about 20 in a length of about 7 foot! Live or die, I did not care. Half shaded, rarely watered and guess what? Tomato-ramma! It seemed they just would not stop! Since they were a semi dwarf, they never really sprawled, just kind of leaned on each other and cranked out tons of these great tasting tomatos! All Summer! Heat did not even shut them down. You know what finally did them in? My lawn mower. I simply got tired of looking at this weird, out of place row of Tomatos.
Isis Candy This is actually a bi-color cherry..orangy red and lightly striped . Many people say this is the sweetest tomato they have grown. Maybe, maybe not BUT it is really good and pretty too!
Red Fig This is one of the oldest tomato varieties known. It is a bright red pear tomato- like the awful yellow one we always see around here but with great flavor! Pretty and productive!
White Cherry Palest yellow, almost white, super sweet little fruit that will knock you out with production. I have always been a fan of this one. There never seems to be a moment that White Cherry is not loaded with fruit. For whatever reason, it is my go-to in the garden when I feel like munching while working in the garden.
Sweet 100 one of the standard hybrid cherries that always put on a great crop. Super sweet flavor borne in trusses. Some people complain that it is too sweet..WHAT? Is that even possible?
Tess's Land Race Tess is actually a close cousin of the typical garden tomato. In the class of Currant Tomatos, expect tons of tiny, super sweet little fruit. The plant looks slightly different too, softer and very rampant growing, almost viney. Usually the fruit will be red but occasionally, you will see yellow and pinks pop up. Fruit is produced on long, loose clusters. Big-time Chefs in fancy restaurants demand these for garnishes. Fun to grow, give one a try.
Purple Bumble Bee This little cherry is unique. Overall, the color is dark- up close you will see swirls green and bronzish purple. It's flavor is kind of unique too, sweet but complex and a touch weird. Very pretty and fun to grow. Like most cherry types, you will have superb production. This one was popular at the market for us. Also one of my garden-snaking favoites!
Hartmans Yellow Gooseberry Holy cow, this thing can get huge! I had one a couple years ago that trailed 14 foot along the ground. If you want bucket loads of mid size yellow cherry tomatos, this one is for you. No cracking, strong plant, huge yield, pretty fruit, what's not to love? The flavor is mild and sweet.
Yellow Submarine I haven't a clue where the "submarine" part comes into play BUT certainly if you want a yellow grape shaped cherry with outstanding flavor, you will want Yellow Submarine. A full flavored little firecracker. This is an excellent replacement for the horrid "Yellow Pear".
Blueberries This one will catch your eye. Starts out very dark purple, almost amethyst. When ripe, the shaded areas will be deep red, where sun strikes, it will be so dark as to appear almost black. Amazing to see! In 2016, this had to be one of the most productive plants we grew.
Chocolate Pear Expect huge crops of pear shape little tomatos. The color is actually red with swirls of green and brown. Very unusual and tasty.
Hssiao Hishung Shih Don't make me pronounce it but so worthwhile to grow. This one was first collected at a market in Peiping, China in 1931. For us, it was a real work-horse in the garden. Delightful yellow grape shape fruits that seem to shrug off all problems. Super productive, I will always grow this one.(Difficulty getting seed for 2017-will continue to try)
Pink Bumblebee The name is as cute as the fruit! Truly stunning little fruit- bright red with golden orange striping. When we grew this one for market, people ALWAYS went for it first! High, sweet flavor make this new variety a winner.
Green Pear Super productive, this all green little pear has a rich, complex flavor. Great for salads and canning whole! Very easy to grow. Someone in my past used to pickle these tomatos..I can still see those jars in my mind, jam-packed with these little pears and all the spices floating around. Maybe it was my Great Grandmother..not sure. I was only 5 or 6 lol- but it did fascinate me.(Difficulty getting seed for 2017-will keep trying)
Chocolate Cherry Deep rosy purple, sweet and juicy but with the old fashioned flavor many seek. Very elegant little cherry! This one always gets a lot of praise.
Frosted Green Doctors hugely productive, green when fully ripe. The skin is translucent giving it a "frosted" appearance. Very thin skin has some problems with cracking in my garden but the flavor is worth it- very tangy. For me, it took some trial and error to learn to pick at perfect ripeness.
Fat Cherry Classic plump red cherry, almost golf ball sized. Typical sweet flavor!
Indigo Cherry Drops This one is new- I have not yet grown it but am looking forward to it. I am going to simply copy the description. Sounds great! This stunning new cocktail cherry, with its excellent sweet flavor, may just be the best-tasting Indigo yet! Round, 1" fruits have indigo shoulders with rosy undersides and deep red flesh. Expect huge yields - potentially 500 to 1,000 fruits per plant under ideal growing conditions! (2017 note..yes! It is a keeper for sure, we liked it)
Blush Tiger This is just plain pretty. Longish, sort of like a thin Roma that at first glance is yellow. Then you notice a lovely pink blush all the fruit. Easy to grow and productive. For me, it had absolutely zero problems. It received a lot of "oohs and aahs" at the market. Nice flavor too! Plant growth is kind of wispy, a bit different from normal.
Bumblebee Sunrise a new addition to the Bumblebee series- I think it will be a winner. I have not grown this one but if the production is like the other Bumblebees, stand back! Orange yellow with red stripes and pink flesh. I am anxious to grow this one out this summer. (2017 note..yup, it was a winner!)
Indigo Blueberries This one will raise eyebrows if you drop them in a salad! Beautiful almost blue/black with a brick red bottom at full ripeness. Make a point to grow a blue form of Cherry- it is so fun to mix it with all the other colors when you serve them. (I have decided to drop this one from the lineup in 2017 only because it is redundant to several others. it will be back for 2018).
Rosella This one is a real beauty. Long trusses of smoky rose pink fruit with a perfect balance of sweet and sharp.
Sungold Hybrid This beautiful yellow gold cherry is the one most often nominated as the best of all time. Experts and amateurs alike rank this one at the top. (sold out for 2017)
Tomatoberry This is a hybrid- the seed is quite expensive but I liked the shape so much I decided to take the plunge. It is Strawberry shaped! Of course, it is red..as it should be. I too will be growing this one for the first time this year. Join me?(discontinued- cute but I was underwhelmed. Maybe back in 2018)
Mint Julep This is a funny looking little tomato! Overall it is green but it is splashed with a darker green all over. The shape is somewhere between a pear and a plum type. Good, sweet flavor with a bit of kick. Each fruit is about 1 oz. almost the size of a small Roma. In our garden this year, Mint Julip was commented on quite often due to its beauty. Mint Julep is in my top ten personal favorite list. It is just so...cool looking.
Cherry Roma Cherry sized Romas!! I have seen these pop up in the grocery stores lately . Just the coolest little tomato I think.
Tangerine bushy, healthy looking little plant with terrific orange little fruit. Just an easy to grow variety that will not usually overwhelm you with rampant growth(2017 note-this seed was sent to us as a cherry type in 2016. It most certainly was not! Instead, it was a really terrific mid-size orange. I will offer it again but as a regular sized tomato. I will try to locate the cherry version.) . .
Mei Wei (pronounced "May-Way) Ok, I do not have a great deal of information regarding this variety. It is Chinese (gee, who would have guessed?) and it is also a bush form plant. The fruit is going to be a sweet, yellow cherry form. Feeling brave? Give it a try! Perhaps it will be a real winner! Let me know what you think, we will compare notes.
Centiflor Orange The centiflor trait, when you see it, really makes you do a double-take. What I am referring to is the cluster of flowers. We all know what the normal cluster looks like- perhaps 6 or so blossoms per stem. Picture a total bouquet of flowers per stem! Often a hundred or more- it is kind of amazing to see, at least to those of us who grow tomatos. Not every flower will set (the plant might crash to the ground with the weight of all those fruit!) but you will still get a huge cluster. This is a cross of the great Sungold and Centiflor Red. Vigor and a ton of tasty orange bite sized little cherries. What more can you ask for? BTW...there are a couple other Cherry types we grow that have the centiflor trait. I always forget which ones until I see them blooming each year. Arresting to see!
STANDARD TOMATOS By "standard" I simply mean normal size. This includes many forms and colors- from your typical red canner and slicer to crazy colors and shapes. Some are hybrid, some open pollinated and others are...sigh.. "heirloom". The word "heirloom" gets tossed around so much that I automatically do an invisible eye-roll when I hear it. One of the funny things about the whole Heirloom craze is that many of the most beautiful, unique varieties out there are, in fact, brand new! People assume that anything other than factory red must surely be an Heirloom. Nope, No Sir! Many Tomato enthusiast out there are perfecting some spectacular colors and styles. These new varieties would never have been seen in dear old Great-Granny's garden. Yes, the genetics have been assembled from many of the old strains along with some wild South American varieties and other assorted "this and thats" but the result is modern and oh so much more fun.
Here is the scoop on heirlooms- yeah, they can taste great, so can non-heirlooms. In the South, SOME heirlooms do terrific. Many old strains were actually developed right here in Dixie. Others? well, you are lucky to get ONE good fruit off the plant. How many of you have been sucker-punched by "Brandywine"? All the box stores sell it, magazines fawn over it. Yeah, it tastes wonderful...in MICHIGAN. In Texas and Louisiana, our nights are simply to hot for it to pollinate and every foliar disease will locate it and knock it to the ground. Typically, heirlooms offer up the fun colors and perhaps different flavors but they will never beat a hybrid or production strain in lb. per plant. Always try a few each year though, that is what makes a garden fun!
One last thing on the whole "Heirloom" V.S. Hybrid tomato. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that the term "hybrid" equates to the hard, sawdust filled tomatos you buy at the grocery store. Those little beauties are very specific varieties bred for modern commercial (often greenhouse) production. In fact, you would probably not even recognize the names of them. The seed is very expensive and not generally made available to the public. Oddly, some of our best garden tomatos are old commercial varieties no longer suitable for the modern commercial farmer. They were grown by farmers when the market was much more local and often for commercial canneries in the 40's and 50's. Rutgers, Creole and Homestead are good examples. They bear well, with high flavor and tolerate rough growing conditions BUT they would not survive long distance shipping or refrigeration.
Incidentally, many people confuse the term "Hybrid" with something akin to GMO. For those of you who are not quite sure of what this means I will make it simple. A non-hybrid, open-polinated Tomato is simply a very inbred plant. Tomatos mostly self-pollinate. After a number of generations of self pollination, traits become "fixed" meaning that when you plant the seeds of a non-hybrid, you can mostly expect similar offspring. A hybrid Tomato is a controlled cross of two open pollinated strains. if the two parent strains are always the same, then you can expect the offspring to all be similar. A hybrid plant or animal is almost always more vigorous than an inbred line of the same. This is actually what Mother Nature has always intended; two unrelated parents that produce a unique offspring with traits of both parents. As this relates to Tomatos, a company creates their own hybrid with two "secret" lines of open pollinated strains. Lets use Burpee's "Big Boy" as an example. People have loved this one for years. Burpee maintains the seed stock of their "secret" lines that must be crossed EACH generation in order to get the hybrid "Big Boy". It costs a lot of money to do this- both keeping the parental lines AND the actual pollination. This is why the seed cost considerably more. It is a better, stronger, more predictable plant and we are willing to pay for it. It is not the "big, bad seed business" out to control the world like the internet nuts claim. Just simple economics. The internet nuts and the survivalist out there claim that a person should never buy hybrid seed/plants. They claim you can't save the seed and therefore would starve to death if the apocalypse comes! Stupid! Of course you can save and plant seed from a hybrid. The resulting seedlings will not be exact copies of, say, Big Boy but it will, however, still be a Tomato! If you wanted to be diligent, you could, in about 6 generations, save the seed from the plant you liked best and it too would then be a stabilized, open pollinated Tomato. You could even name it and in about 40 years, you could call it ....drum-roll please....an Heirloom!
GMO...ok, yeah, I get asked (and then do a double invisible eye-roll). Thanks to the "save the whole world from the horrors of science" crowd on the internet, people have just flipped out about all this. DO I offer any GMO Tomatos? No! Why not? Because I could never afford the seed. GMO technology is expensive AND proprietary. I laugh when I see the seed racks at stores with a huge, screaming "NO GMO SEED EVER" banner. Guess what? They NEVER sold it nor is it likely they ever will. What a great gimmick though...the seed companies are protecting you from something they never sold to begin with. Anyway, the whole GMO thing does not affect us "small" folk. Those product are designed for real farmers and producers of large quantity food stuffs. They DO have their use in large scale agriculture and if people truly were to understand the reason these genetics were used, they would be much more comfortable with the whole concept. But, as I said, no Franken-Tomatos are sold by me.
4-pack @ 3.00 4" @ 1.50 I might have available larger quantities of the regular production open pollinated types at a lower price but ONLY if you get with me right away. They will be in sheet type cells. This is a custom planting. If you purchase a whole flat of 4" (18) of the same production variety, the cost will be $18, not $27.00..saves a few bucks. Production varieties include Rutgers, Creole, Homestead 24 and Ace 55. Others, as they become available, might be included. Just inquire. You might be amused at this- I stumbled across a website offering many of the same varieties I have (actually far fewer) for the bargain price of 6.95 EACH! There was a minimum of 6 plants and that did not include shipping. Same size pot as mine. Oh baby...sign me up! Not.
Do we offer mail order? Yes..I deal with each request individually to figure the best, most economically way to ship them to you. Since we are located in the deep South, our timing does not match well for you Northern gardeners. Do not despair! We are planting in waves so often you might have a great choice into the first couple weeks of May. BTW, Tomatos, Peppers and Eggplant ship very well.
Ok, with all my jibber-jabber over with, on with the list!
Jubilee (Orange) large, almost beefsteak type vibrant orange fruit that is regarded as very low acid. Jubilee has been around forever and a day. Heck, I grew this one when I was young..a very long time ago(I should insert unhappy face emoji here lol) It has stood the test of time and tends to be pretty well adapted to most areas.(4" only)
Jersey Devil (RED) Once very popular, now getting attention again, Jersey Devil is unique. I guess you would classify it as a paste type only cooler! About 6 inches long, the fruit will be pointed, plump and almost twisted! Thick fleshed, they are perfect for those of you who like to make sauce and to can. Great flavor makes them wonderful for fresh eating too!
Rio Grande (RED) Oval paste type tomato, Rio is similar to Roma except larger and better flavored. If you like Roma, try Rio as your main crop for processing. You might like it much better! Quite good as a fresh tomato too.
Oxheart (RED) This the old time variety that has been grown and loved for a very long time. Large, heart shaped fruit with a lot of density and, of course, flavor! I remember Oxheart types from when I was a kid. A neighbor grew them and I was always intrigued by the "weird" shape of his tomatos!
Delicious (RED) A true classic, this huge nearly perfect tomato has stood the test of time. If you are one of those type people who like to "baby" a plant in order to get a massive fruit, this would be a great choice! A 2 pounder is not rare.
Speckled Roman (RED WITH ORANGE STRIPING) Last year I did not offer any Roma types to speak of. I decided to make up for it this year (uhm, it might also be because I was chewed out by a number of customers for my oversight!) Speckled Roman is a heavy bearing, richly flavored Roma style tomato that also happens to be quite unique in appearance. Orange stripes! Why be just plain 'ol red?!?
Black Dragon (DARK RED-CHOCOLATE) A plum style tomato that will dazzle you with its heavy production and terrific flavor! It also falls into the class of "black" tomatos- these are becoming the darlings of great chefs due to their rich flavor associated with this pigmentation. And then there IS the great name! Imagine pointing out this plant and telling a kid its name!
Chocolate Stripes (DARK RED-BROWN HAVING GREEN AND ORANGE STRIPING) Uhm..yeah...wow. New to me but it will be in my garden for sure this year. Described as juicy, rich and sweet, it sounds like a slam-dunk to me! All these new varieties are creating such a stir in the garden community with the colors and flavors
Lemon Boy Hybrid (TRUE YELLOW) This is a perennial favorite of mine. I have grown it for years. Lemon boy is a clear, true yellow with out any orange cast or shading. What makes it remarkable is the production. I have had years where nearly every other type failed due to weather but there, chugging along, is Lemon Boy. One year, disease pressure was so high that it had nearly defoliated but still, bright yellow Tomatos were hanging all over. This is a good example of hybrid vigor. It is even a great producer for the Fall garden. One year, long ago when I was the grower for a garden center, I decided to plant seed for Lemon Boy. Proudly I told potential customers what a great Tomato this was! I could not even give them away! "I ain't never hear of no yaller 'mater! Yuck!" was the typical response I heard. Glumly, I essentially hid one of these plants in each persons flat of Tomatos figuring at least there would be a chance that they would not go to waste. The next year, while ordering seed, I just passed over Lemon Boy. You KNOW what happened don't you? That Spring, nearly every customer I had stowed away a Lemon Boy plant in their order the Spring before, demanded to know where that "yaller 'mater" was. I was so ashamed that I did not have any. I did not make that mistake twice! Just take the plunge..try this 'yaller 'mater'!.
Roma (RED) Yup, got it! You all know Roma, the tried and true canner and sauce tomato. I actually like them in a salad since they are rather low in juice. Roma is a true determinate- sets all it fruit at once. No waiting around to get enough to process. It comes on all at once.
Box Car Willy (RED) Willy was one of the "early" heirloom (gag..over used word) tomatos that has been popular since the interest in old varieties got started. Good reason for this- it is a very good Tomato! Disease tolerant, productive, crack-free with that old fashion flavor people remember. Good sized at 12-to 18 oz., I think Willy is a good choice for a dip into the "heirloom" (gag) pool.
Sekai Ichi (RED) How about an outstanding Japanese Tomato that will knock your socks off? Big in every way, this beauty will keep you busy picking huge loads of amazingly great flavored red fruit. This variety is a real work-horse. If you have room for only one tomato, give this one a try. Its heavy production and old fashioned flavor would certainly merit a place in your garden. A winner for sure!
Ovita (PINK) This large, pink fluted tomato is from Columbia. Low in juice, it would make a good addition to a salad...wont dilute your dressing! Great as a sauce tomato too. The overall shape of the fruit is pear with some variation. Try this bright pink beauty for something a bit different this year!
Big Red (RED) Guess what? This Tomato is....big and (gasp!) RED! Whoda' thunk it? Anyway, Big Red is another classic home-style Tomato that should satisfy your desire for a great sandwich red. Toss on a few slices of bacon, some lettuce and mayo.... Big Red also a good salad tomato.
Valencia (ORANGE) old Maine heirloom bearing 8-10 oz smooth skinned glowing orange fruit. Few seeds and meaty. A nice, classic orange with a old time flavor! "
Evergreen (GREEN) This one has a long history with me and might be the reason I like "other" colored Tomatos. Back in the 80's, before the word "Heirloom" was attached to everything, I mail-ordered some seed from a small specialty seed grower in Ohio whos ad was in the back of some hippy gardening magazine. Having only grown typical red Tomatos, I was amazed at all the colors described on the 2 sheets of paper sent to me as the "catalog". So, I checked off all the ones I wanted to try and put cash in the envelope and mailed it off. A couple weeks later, I received an envelope with my seeds. I opened it up and raised my eyebrows. Each type was nothing more than a small baggie with a handwritten name on the outside. The seeds were wrapped in a piece of paper towel. A small note along with the seeds simply said "Thank you Tim". I had never seen anything like this. Weren't seeds supposed to be in fancy, brightly colored packs? Not only that but it seemed a real, live human wrote my name and thanked me! What a concept! Ok, so I planted Evergreen along with several other (on my list even today!) and waited. There they were..these big weird green Tomatos. How would I tell if they were ripe? Would they taste weird and gross? Once they turned soft I figured it was "safe" to bite into it. I did...and I about fell over. It was so good! For the first time, I understood the term "complex" flavor. Just amazing! This seed grower, Glecklers Seedsman, no longer exists. I believe the gentleman passed. A few years ago his Son or Grandson attempted to revive the company after reassembling all the varieties. Apparently he and his wife just were overwhelmed with the work and ceased business. Just by accident, I managed to place an order with the new Glecklers, not knowing it was their last year. I received the Angora Orange from them along with a few others. Glad I did. I see, even today, many of Glecklers seeds offered by other companies. It is good to know I can still grow many of the ones that I first tried. Point of all this is that Glecklers did "Heirloom" long before it was cool and it opened my eyes to all the fascinating things a tomato can be! Evergreen is the one I remember most, along with Great White and Angora. Oh yeah, you want to know about Evergreen Tomato! It is still one of the best greens out there. Big, generally smooth and simply loaded with flavor. Give it a shot. Maybe it will "turn" you as it did me!
Mortgage Lifter (RED) A biggie! This is another one that you might consider giving the "baby" treatment to see just how big it might go. 2 plus pounds under good conditions could be expected. Supposedly this variety was developed by a guy in W. Virginia. From the sales of his seedlings, he was able to pay off his mortgage. Ok, this means that if I sell 97,000 seedlings this year my mortgage will be paid off? Me thinks that will not happen. Sigh... Aside from that, Mortgage Lifter is a very meaty, full flavored Tomato with very few seeds- typical for the large fruited varities.
Abe Lincoln (RED) Going back to at least 1923, this was once know as the giant of tomatos. Meaty 8 oz, red w/ great old fashioned flavor. Abe continues to be a top seller for me; he has a very devoted fan base.
Redfield Beauty (PINK) This is a very nice, old Tomato grown since the late 1800's. Fruits run from 6 to 12oz and have a rather flattened shape. Redfield is popular with people who like a full flavor without the sharpness of typical Tomatos. Very healthy, vigorous plants. A great slicer too!
Fantom Hybrid (RED) This medium to large size red Tomato is unique because it has very firm flesh. It is a true long keeper. Sitting in your windowsill for a while will not cause it to turn to mush. Along with this trait, Fantom has a very delicate, sweet flavor. Plants are strong and lush, typical of a hybrid- along with good disease resistance. Why not give this one a try?
Marianna's Peace (PINKISH RED) This is a big, old fashioned beefsteak type. Famous for it well balanced flavor, Marianna's is Potato leaf variety that is very popular among Tomato enthusiast. 1 to 2 lb. fruits are the norm for this fine old-timer.
Hard Rock (RED) What an ugly name for a very good Tomato! The name refers to both its shape and firmness. This is a smallish Tomato designed for canning. Rather blocky, it is easy to handle and peel when canning, just the right size. In addition to that, the flavor is great for fresh use too. Being a hybrid, expect superior yields and disease resistance. High levels of acid make for best levels of safety when canning. Plants are compact with heavy foliage.
Firesteele (RED) In the paste class like Roma, this old timer should be tried again. Few seeds with a heavy interior, this one also has an outstanding flavor and quite juicy too! Put this up against your "tried and true" paste tomatos and see what you think!
Slava (RED) This old Czech strain produces a small -about 3 oz.- amazingly delicious fruit. Used for both fresh eating and canning, this productive plant would be a good choice if you do a little of both. This one too has an ugly sounding name but in Czech it means "Glory". This indeterminate plant will produce over a long period.
Dester (PINK) This is a big pink beefsteak- you know what that means! Huge juicy slicers that are rather irregular in shape. Dester often wins taste tests in competitions. Give this old German a trial in your garden. Everybody should grow at least one beefsteak type tomato each year.
Trophy (RED) This one has a interesting past. Supposedly in 1870, a man in Rhode Island sold seed for 5 bucks a packet. He then held a contest for the largest Tomato grown from the seed, offering $100 as a reward. This is that line of Tomatos. Sweet and mild, these beauties come in at about 5-7 oz. I have only one thing to say about the story above. Five dollars for a seed pack in 1870?? That would translate to like a billion dollars today.
Pineapple Pig (YELLOW BI-COLOR WITH ROSE BLUSH) I picture my Son with a bad case of the giggles when I tell him the name of this one. A modern creation, this large creamy yellow bicolor will reward you with not only unique color but a low acid sweet treat! Oh why not? You need a Pineapple Pig, right?
Alaskan Fancy (RED) Why the heck would we in the South want to grow something that seems like it was designed for the frozen North? It does seem rather stupid BUT...guess what? It makes sense in a way. We need to beat the heat for production. Alaskan Fancy was created for a short season..which, in a way, is what we have. We actually have two of them each year! Anyway, these will probably be the first Tomatos out of the garden. Smallish, red plum shaped fruit are ideal for canning and, of course, a salad! Compact grower will not sprawl all over. Put on your Parka and go out and plant one. Tell me what you think next year. . Primary Colors Angora (YELLOW/ORANGE WITH BLUE STRIPING) Fuzzy and fun! Medium sized fruit ripen to yellow-orange with blue striping! BTW..the PLANT is fuzzy, not the fruit, no worries. This was just released this year. We have grown the original Primary Colors for several years. Very unique, now with fuzz, ever better! Oh, I might also add that the flavor is very good- something I tend to overlook when growing a crazy looking tomato. (currently we only have seed for the regular Primary Colors-same pretty fruit minus the fuzz- attempting to get the Angora strain again for 2017 or 2018)
Ozark Sunrise (PURPLE) Another great introduction from Steve Whiteaker of Double Helix Farms, this one should be on your list of new ones to try. Exceedingly beautiful and flavorful, this multi-shaded purple class tomato will intensify in color during cooler temps. Complex parentage and breed here in the deep South, I suspect this one will be a real winner. It will be in my garden for the first time this year. How about we both give it a shot?
Ozark Sunrise (BLACK/PURPLE) Also a Double Helix creation, I am going to use the description Steve has for this variety. "Double Helix Farms created this beautiful purple and pink anthocyanin rich 2 to 3 ounce tomato. Ozark Sunset is one of the most striking tomatoes you will grow and has a pedigree that blazed some new territory instead of following everyone's footsteps. Ozark Sunset is one of the most commented on and talked about tomatoes in my garden. The flavor is superb and without a doubt one of the best tasting tomatoes bred for that "blue" or purple coloring. Ozark Sunset is unique in that it has ancient species tomato genes, combined with a flavorful heirloom and healthy modern parents. There really isn't anything like it other than our other tomatoes from our similar breeding lines"
Caribe (RED) Caribe is a tomato you do not hear much about in this area. Probably it should be more well known. Doing well in humid, dry conditions, it might be a good choice for dry ground farming. The plant is more compact than typical, making it more manageable in the back yard. Fruit size is 7 oz, red and quite productive.
Super Sioux (RED) Bred by the University of Nebraska, SS was created for hot, dry growing conditions along with a better flavor than some of the competitors. Smaller, at 3-4oz or so, it is a heavy producer. Great for canning and fresh eating. Has a more sharp bite to the flavor, one that I prefer.
Lotus (WHITE) Ok, here is an odd-ball that NONE of your neighbors will be growing this year. With its heavy potato leaf foliage and medium sized fruit, Lotus might just be the one to knock you out. Lotus has a sweet, fruity complexion to its flavor yet still has the old fashioned tang that you might not notice in other whites. This is a rarely seen variety. Make a statement in your garden this year! Try Lotus!
Bobcat Red (RED) This sweet kitty might perhaps be better than Celebrity. A F-1 hybrid, Bobcat produces many high quality bright red fruit. Very strong growing plant that will be rather problem free. A terrific main crop- you should be impressed with the uniform highly flavored crop. Give Bobcat a chance to chase Celebrity out of your garden this season!
Black Prince (Black) Not black, not red...Garnet colored? Well, whatever you call it, Black Prince has become very popular over the past 15 years or so. It is Siberian in origin and has some cold tolerance, would be a good one to set in the garden early. The "black" flavored tomato's, as a group, are very fine indeed. You can expect a 4 oz or so fruit. Black Prince has been an "easy" grower in my garden; just sort of does its thing without any fuss. Last season I dropped (by accident) a Black Prince, still in its pot, under a row of Blackberries. That thing took off! I kid you not, it was 8 foot long, creeping around under the berry bushes, just makin' tomatos. (sold out for season)
Black Brandywine Another in the black class, this is a cross between the fickle regular Brandywine and a brown beefsteak. Easier to grow but not without its own problems. The large fruit will sometimes have issues with cracking after a rain storm so you must pay attention. The pay off is the terrific flavor of these big guys. Sweet and rich, truly delicious. This is a genetically unstable variety, the line is not yet "fixed". Even the seedlings show two leaf forms-regular and Potato. I only recommend this one for fun. Overall, the color is blackish purple. (return 2018)
Old Brooks (RED) Want a perfect canning tomato? Want a great slicer? Try Old Brooks. This medium to large sized red fruit tends to be on the acid side, making it very high flavored. It also shows some resistance to blossom end rot- a problem I, myself, tend to have issues with. Fruit tends to be very blemish free and easy to grow in general. Old Brooks deserves a shot in your garden if you want a great Tomato.
Sun Ray(Yellowish) If you are like me and tend to like yellow and orange tomatos, give Sun Ray a try. Big, very full flavored (more than the typical yellow/orange which tend to be mild). The added bonus is that Sun Ray is resistant to fussarium wilt. You ever have a tomato plant just wilt down and die for no apparent reason? Then you have probably had fussarium. In fact, this is one of the reasons it is good to rotate your tomato plantings to different parts of the garden each year. I have mentioned this before but for you canners, toss in a few yellows along with your red tomatos. Your jars will look so great!
First Love (PINK) Of Russian desent, First Love is a large pink fruited variety with potato leaf foliage. With its outstanding flavor, First Love might be on your "repeat" list each year. For those of you who have not yet tried a variety with potato leaf foliage, this one would be a great choice to give a whirl! Lenny just loves the way the leaves look.
Feng Shui (ORANGE) This largish heart shaped tomato has a unique and rich flavor that ought to be grown in your garden this year! I have offered a few tomatos from China over the years- generally they are very, very good examples of their class. Feng Shui is no exception.
Southern Nights (BLACK) Another in the ever-expanding class of "black" tomatos, Southern Nights is a hard to find variety. Higher than normal production along with the special flavor associated with blacks, this medium sized fruit might be your personal favorite that nobody else grows!
Black from Tula (Black) This is one of the dark tomato strains that has really been popular when it has been available. Of Russian origin, it is often been considered one of the best tasting "black" tomatos. If you have ever considered trying one of the blacks, this might be a good choice to start with. Good sized, about 8 oz.
Marion (RED) Developed by Clemson University for Southern gardens, this is a good main crop variety. Great production, good disease resistance and generally a great all-around tomato. Often Marion displays intense color- nice for canning!
Red Zebra (RED WITH GOLD STRPES) Probably this should be up in the cherry section but it sits, size-wise, between the two groups. At 3 inches, this little guy is a show-stopper. Bright red with dramatic golden stripes. It has an amazingly good, bright flavor. If you are a plain 'ol red tomato person, you ought to consider this one to perk up your garden a bit. Such a pretty, tasty tomato- give it a shot!
Tessalonski (RED) Hailing from Greece, this is a easy to grow, crack resistant tomato. Many people like the flavor of this one, describing it as truly old fashioned. At 6-8 oz., this red beauty will do as both a canner and a slicer. Very rugged plant!
Paul Robeson (BLACK) Paul is another in the purple/black category. Typical of these dark colored tomatos, the flavor tends to be the topic of conversation. Many people just can't get enough of them. Paul is often mentioned as a "best" when chefs and Tomato enthusiast are questioned. This is a large sized fruit, in some years you will see some green on the shoulders. Of Russian origin, it has an interesting story of whom it was named for. Well, not that interesting since I can not remember it. Oh well (sold out for 2017).
Big Rainbow (GOLDEN WITH RED STREAKS IN FLESH) Big, with pronounced shoulders, Big Rainbow has been popular for a long, long time. Flavor, to me, is mild and sweet. This is a good one to slice and put on a plate.. a bit of salt and pepper and, well, Yum!
Arkansas Traveler (PINKISH RED) Developed by the University of Arkansas in 1968, this rosey red tomato has a real following in the South. Heat and humidity seem less of a problem for this one. Medium sized fruit are produced over a long period. Most people, myself included, like the flavor. This one is often listed as an "Heirloom"- just another example of an over used term. 1968? Heirloom? Hey! I am an heirloom too!
Pruden's Purple (DARK PINK) Pruden's is a large, strongly shouldered pink to purplish Tomato that has had a long run. It (along with a number of others on this list) shows the Potato leaf trait. If you have not grow a variety such as this, you will be a bit intrigued. Both Potatos and Tomatos are in the same family. When you see the leaves of a Potato leaf strain, you will know exactly what is meant by the term! Pruden's has a nice, balanced flavor that appeals to most people.
Ace 55 (RED) Ace is a hard working tomato developed by the Campbells soup company in 1967. It works as a dual purpose tomato- both as a slicer and canner. The flavor is a bit less sharp than many. If you like a more sweet tomato than typical for production reds, this one is for you. 7-8 oz good size fruit.
Tropic This variety was bred by the University of Florida. Quite versatile, the ability to withstand hot, humid conditions have made it popular in difficult, disease prone areas (that would be us). Fruit size tends to be large and, though not often considered, it has a good canopy of foliage to protect the fruit from Sun scald. Flavor of this red beauty tends to be on the sweet side and the walls are a bit thicker than you usually find. Might be a good choice for those of you who have had a hard time succeeding growing tomatos. (4"inch)
Mule Team Mule Team has been around a long, long time. Growing again in popularity for its sweet, medium sized red fruit. Very meaty texture on a strong plant. The name alone makes a person want it in their garden lol.
Beefsteak Yeah, you know Beefsteak...the big 'ol giant ugly guys with all the flavor. Expect a weird, asymmetrical, misshapen mess that can taste like a bit of garden heaven. Not huge in the production department but each fruit is so big that it makes up for it. If grown well, one slice will cover a sandwich. Juicy and few seeds are hallmarks of Beefsteak (4"inch).
Atkinson Introduced in 1966 by Auburn University in Alabama, the heat and humidity resistant tomato will always be a good choice for those of us in the South. At 7-10 oz, these delicious red tomatos will be hiding under a good, strong canopy of foliage. A great choice for canning too! (4"inch only)
Charlie Chaplin Peculiar small/medium sized fluted red fruit that will amuse you! Great flavor too. You do not often see Charlie in this neck of the woods. Grow something funny looking! Does EVERYTHING have to be round and red?!?
Granny Smith green, good size fruit...both ripe and unripe. This is a terrific hybrid for those of you who like fried green tomatos! No issues about timing here, it is always green! Actually, green slicers are very tasty when ripe. I always notice a shift in color when ripe, aside from the softening of the fruit. You will not be confused at all. For those of you who like to can tomatos, nothing makes a prettier jar than a mixture of red, yellow and green. Same holds true when you lay out a plate of sliced tomatos. Alternate the colors, impress your friends, lol. (discontinued for 2017 only-will be back for 2018)
Cherokee Purple CP has always been popular in this area as an "heirloom". One of the first dark tomato strains to become popular , its flavor has earned a real following. Like most old time tomato varieties, it will not usually knock you out with production but honestly, it is not "that" kind of tomato. It is a treat..one to add to the mix. Large size, dark pink with a true old fashioned flavor.
Bradley Bradley was bred by the University of Arkansas in 1961 and not often seen these days. A determinate variety , it is well suited to canning- the fruit will all ripen in a fairly short time. The color is pinkish and the plant is short and bushy, easy to maintain. The flavor is highly regarded, a good blend of acid and sweetness. Does well under hot and dry conditions, something we have plenty of. One of its parents was Gulf State Market- a great tomato in its own right! .
Celebrity Celeb is the tomato that gives hybrids a good name. I have sold countless Celebs over the years to beginning gardeners. Why? Because it is good. Tough, disease resistant and predictable. You can count on a good set of bright red, good flavored, good sized fruit. It was developed for Southern growers but its adaptability caused it to become a very widely grown variety. Its popularity has spanned over three decades. (sold out of 4" for 2017- have some 4-packs coming on but limited) See Bobcat Red as a good alternative.
Hendersons Pink Ponderosa (PINK) Hendersons is one of a number of Ponderosa strains. A very large (2 pounders are common) rich flavored, low acid antique dating back to the late 1800's. You probably will not get a lot of fruit per plant but instead a handful of huge ones. Try this time tested oldster!
Rossa Sicilian (RED) Here is a weirdly beautiful one for you. Intense deep red fruit that is strongly pleated making it look, when sliced, like an odd flower. About 6 oz. each, these fruit can be used for sauce or as a pretty (strange) slicer. This old Italian strain was introduced in 1987 to the U.S. I have seen this particular Tomato featured in photos with all types of mixed Tomatos, usually promoting the diversity of the Tomato varieties. Try it once, if just to see something different in the garden. It goes without saying, it has a great old fashion flavor.
Homestead 24 Homestead was released in 1966 for hot, humid regions. I believe we qualify for THAT. This work horse will provide a terrific crop for both canning and fresh eating. Easy to grow, it will continue to set fruit longer into the hot season than many others. It has stood the test of time for a production tomato. Red, about 8 oz and slightly flattened shape. Flavor is well balanced.
Rutgers The original Rutgers was created in 1934 by Rutgers University. A big improvement over varieties grown at the time, it was quickly adopted as a major commercial field production tomato. Bright red, easy to grow multi-purpose tomato with a great flavor that still holds today. Though no longer grown commercially , it has found a permanent home with market gardeners as well as backyard growers. An interesting note about Rutgers is that probably the original strain no longer exists. Over the years, selections have been made from that first line, making it more widely adaptable.
Ponderosa Pink A true old timer (1891) this is a beefsteak type big , beautiful deep pink fruit that can reach a couple lbs. under ideal growing conditions (ok, that would probably be Iowa). Here, one pounders are easy to attain. Like most beefsteaks, you will trade off many fruit for fewer, bigger ones. You people who are good tomato growers ought to give this one a shot. This is one of those great ones to add to a large planting of different varieties. A super slicer, not a canner type.
Red Brandy-Master This is a hybrid strain of Brandywine. Being a hybrid, you should expect to actually get fruit! This red (sometimes with a pinkish cast) tomato will get between 10 oz and 1 lb. For those of you who have failed with Brandywine (that would be nearly everyone in the deep South) but still want to try it, this would be the one. Aside from the Brandywine hupla, this is a very good, strong growing tomato for people who like a big, pretty slicer!
Big Beef Ok-this one is a winner. A hybrid, this large (9-16 oz) red tomato has a huge following. Why? Disease resistant, strong grower and FLAVOR that is superb. This variety is an AAS winner (All America Selection). Will grow nearly anywhere in the country. This might be the one I grow this year for my slicers.
Big Boy Ask most any gardener to name a tomato and they will say "Big Boy". I remember my Grandmother planting this one in the early 70's and it was old by then! One of the earliest hybrid tomato's, Burpee introduced this one in 1949. With its good flavor, color and appearance, Big Boy still continues to be planted all these years later. (4"inch)
Irish Cream (also known as "Variegated") I must say, this is an odd duck. White variegation in the leaves make it unique in the garden. Cooler temps make this even more pronounced. Nice, medium size red fruit. If your garden area tends to be a bit shady, Irish Cream might be a good choice. Most variegated plant appreciate a little shade. Low germination rates means I will not have many- get your request in soon! (sadly, I do not have seed for this one for 2017, darn! I love it! Be back 2018 unless I find seed for this year)
Orange Angora this one is amazing looking. Orange, good flavored medium sized fruit on a silver fuzzy plant! Super hard to get ahold of, a mutation of true "Angora" that itself is almost impossible to find anymore. Has produced well for me, even in heat. Very, very rare. I do not know of anyone else selling this one. It is one of the few I save seed from. I suspect it has nearly disappeared.
Giallo De Summer This 6-7 oz. tomato has a true yellow to pale orange color. Great flavor that is a bit stronger and better than typical yellows. Does well in our hot, humid climate too! (return 2018)
Creole Creole was released in 1969 by LSU. It was designed to help Southern Farmers compete with the growers in the North. There are several strains of Creole going around but overall you can expect a bright red, tangy old fashioned flavor on a smallish fruit. This one is top-notch for canning! Resists many problems associated with growing in the South.
Little Margo (RED) This is a great one for the smaller garden. Growing to about 30 inches, Little Margo wont hog precious garden space. Though small in stature, she is big on flavor. A hybrid, this plant shoes strong foliage cover and heavy set capabilities. Mid-size, bright red fruit showing a bit of green at the shoulders. A good choice for an all purpose Tomato!
Polbig (RED) Polbig is an early bearing hybrid with delicious half pounders. Polbig also has the ability to hold a long time on the vine without losing quality. Sweet mild flavor with a solid, meaty interior- quite prolific too. If you like Celebrity, maybe try this one along side it, see which you like better.
White Potato Leaf (WHITE) Maybe not the most exciting name but, well, at least it is descriptive. In the white class, the fruit will be palest yellow to an off white. Sometimes whites can be a bit bland but this one, along with the other white I have (Great White) is very full flavored. Good sized fruit will make quite an impression on a plate sliced with other colors. Obviously, from its name, it is a Potato leaf strain. This leaf style is kind of pretty in its own way. For certain you should try one of the two whites I have listed, particularly if you have never grown the "other" color Tomatos.
Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Red (RED) A beefsteak type, Andrew is best know for its remarkable size and flavor. The average size is about a pound, some bigger, some smaller but whatever the size, it will be delicious! Strong vines show good amount of resistance to disease. Beefsteak Tomatos are just so big you want to just bite right into it while standing in the garden. This one is no exception!
Comstock Sauce and Slice (RED) This Italian variety was introduce back in the '80s. A true dual purpose Tomato; it is a Roma style only quite a bit bigger..up to a pound or so. Very meaty with few seeds make it a great canner or processing variety. In addition, it is very full flavored- making it a great salad Tomato.
Vintage Wine (PINK/GOLD) Ok, here is an interesting one! Large pink fruit with gold hued stripes. Very popular with avant Tomato people, the flavor is sweet and mild. 1 1/2lb is average size for these elegant beauties. To top it off, it is a Potato leaf variety. These plants can get big...so stand back if you are a top-notch grower!
Fried Green Hybrid (GREEN) Usually I offer Granny Smith Hybrid- one that I like very much. This year I decided to grow out Fried Green instead. This is the first variety that was bred to remain firm when cooked. Harvest at the apple green stage or as it goes to a yellowish color. It does not matter. This is a long keeper Tomato- holds it quality for some time after being picked. Since it is a hybrid, expect better than usual production. Would you all believe I had my first real Fried Green Tomato slice just a couple years ago? I hadn't any idea what I was missing!! So delicious I could not believe it. You Southerners sure know how to cook, us poor deprived Yankees miss out on all the good stuff.
Raspberry Miracle (PINK) Here is one that you should most certainly try if your in the mood for a large pink! Outstanding production a 1+ pound fruit with remarkable flavor. I am going to be planting this one for myself. From what I understand, this might be one of the best in its class.
Hillbilly Potato Leaf (ORANGE/YELLOW) With a name like this, how can you go wrong? This is an old West Virginia cultivar that is in the beefsteak class. Big, irregular, ribbed fruit will intrigue you with its streaks of red. When sliced, it presents quite a show. Sweet, fruity flavor is probably a good description. Can attain quite good sized fruits, well over a pound. Has the cool potato leaf trait also.
Great White (WHITE) Guess what color this big 'ol thing is? This, along with Evergreen, were the first heritage type tomatos I ever grew back when I was young and lived in Illinois (that would be about a zillion years ago). I was so intrigued by this big white tomato. I (and my neighbor) just did not know what to make of it! Once we determined that it was ripe-it grew soft and developed a barely-there tint of palest yellow, we picked it. Oh, what a surprise when we cut it and tasted it. It tasted like....drum-roll please... TOMATO! Not only that, it was a very fine flavored tomato, juicy and sweet. This large white is probably the best of its color class- it has had many competitors overs the decades yet it still remains at the top of the heap.
Fireworks (RED) Need it big? Fast? Red? Then pick up a Fireworks! This plant is a terrific producer of large slicers quick. Most early ripening tomatos tend to smaller fruited varieties. This is not the case with Fireworks. At 8-12 oz. it most surely is not small. The best part is that along with speed and size, it tastes great.
Burbank Red (RED) Luther Burbank was a remarkable person in the horticultural world. So many things came from him that still survive even today. If you are ever bored, google him and read his remarkable story. Well, along with many, many other plant varieties he worked with, he created a Tomato..Burbank Red. This one was introduced about 1915 and is still being grown. An early ripening bush type, expect heavy yields of 6-8 oz. fruit of high quality. Tolerant of dry conditions, and forgiving of not being staked, it might be the perfect lazy man's tomato. Would also work well in containers.
Zapotec Pleated (Dark Pink/RED) Possibly the coolest shaped tomato! Deeply pleated, almost like an accordion. It has a beauty about it that is a bit hard to describe. Your friends will do a double-take when strolling thru your garden if you plant this one. Slice them and put it on a plate and crank up the "wow" factor! Grown by the Zapotec Indians of Southern Mexico, its sweet, rich flavor should be enjoyed by you!
Ten Fingers of Naples (RED) A paste type tomato, this one is unique because it sets its fruit in trusses! 5 to 6 inches in length, with a 2 to 3 oz. weight, Naples will impress you with its versatility. Can it, sauce it, cut it into a salad- the intense flavor works regardless of how you use it!
Wayahead (RED) I remember this one from years and years ago. It seems that several mail order seed companies claimed it as "theirs" -both Jung and Shumway being the ones I recall. It might have even gone by several different names (Earliana and Hudson Valley) prior to its being refined by selection in the early 1920's. What essentially happened was that the first blossoms set, on the earliest plants to bloom, were tagged and collected over repeated generations creating a earlier strain of the original. So now, all these years later, we have a very good, early(!) 6-8oz. bright red, old fashioned flavored tomato that also has the potato leaf trait. Give a nod to the old-time seed catalogs of our past. Grow yourself a Wayahead!
Kellogg's Breakfast (Orange) This particular tomato has a huge fan base. Quite beautiful, this orange beefsteak type should please you. Often people feel the orange tomatos are sub-acid to the point of being bland (not me though). Kellogg's does not suffer this reputation. Many feel this is the best they have ever grown. It also come highly recommended by several good tomato growers here in East Texas- something to take note of for sure. BTW...the Kellogg part has nothing to do with the cereal you would assume by the name. The strain was preserved by a man named Darrell Kellogg in Michigan. Why the heck the word "breakfast" was attached is beyond me!
Bassinga (Yellow) A good sized (8 oz.) pale yellow tomato with just a hint of pink at the blossom end. You can expect strong production of these delicately flavored tomatos. You should grow it just so you can say the name to people. Bassinga! Bassinga! Bassinga!
Toad Suck Toad This tomato was developed up in Conway, Arkansas by Double Helix Farms. I am offering a number of their varieties this year. I decided to simply cut and paste the description of Toad in the breeders own words! "This is a just a crazy looking tomato. The vines tend to be deep purple, almost black. The fruit emerges a beautiful green and as it ripens it turns the oddest color of toad green. Toad Suck, Arkansas is a real place just outside of town where I live. It is a place where people used to cross the Arkansas river on a ferry. It was also a place for the river boats to dock and the sailors to get drunk. Since there wasn't really a lodge at the ferry crossing the sailors would sleep off their night of drinking spread out on the banks of the Arkansas river. It was said they looked like a bunch of toads sunning themselves by the river. Or as the saying goes, "they suck on the bottle all night and sleep like toads all morning. This place became known as "Toad Suck Ferry". It seemed fitting that I name this one in honor of my local legends. Toad Suck Toad is one of the juiciest tomatoes you can grow and it is flavorful and very low acid. And I have to say there is not another tomato like it in the world."