Sunday, September 7, 2008

Grading Tomatoes

Every year I anticipate a bumper crop of tomatoes. This year I planted just a few small plants from a nursery and one variety from seed in containers on my deck. The only ones that really did well were the Cherry 100s. So I'm curious - what kind did you plant and how did they perform? Why did they succeed? And if they didn't do well, why do you think that is?

1) Sweet 100 Cherries - (Bonnie, from nursery) - Grade: A - I've gotten a nice handful of these almost every day since July.
2) Better Boy - (Bonnie, nursery) - Grade: B - started out in part shade. Probably could have used more sun, but did well considering.

3) Bradley - (Bonnie, nusery)- Grade: B - These are hard to differentiate from the Better Boys. Still flowering!

4) Roma - Grade C - only set 4 fruits but not bad for a wee volunteer! (no photo cuz they're all gone)
5) Heirloom Beefsteak - Grade: F - it's enough to (sob!) make me never want to sow seeds again. Only two fruits. One was rotten and I don't have much hope for the other. I took a picture of my hand with it so you can see how lame it is size-wize. I'm thinking maybe its container was too small.

Rather than leave you with that depressing beefsteak, I'll pass on this link to a great article in our local paper about an heirloom tomato gardener, Amy Goldman, who has grown over 1000 varieties in the past 5 years, and wrote about it in a new book, "Heirloom Tomatoes." Check out what she recommends. I'll be looking for some of these when its time to plant next year. And here's an inspiring photo from the book's photographer, Victor Schrager.

6 comments:

PGL said...

I grew Husky Cherry Red tomatoes this year in a container. They started out well & a got a few tomatoes but then they got blossom rot and that was it. I will just have to try again next year. Yours look pretty good other than the Beefsteak.

tut-tut said...

Sweet 100 is a very satisfying tomato to grow. I think it always produces. They are like little candies, aren't they?

Louise said...

I will definitely try Sweet 100 next year. I grew Celebrity, although I had a few good ones, it didn't produce as much as I would like for the amount of care I put in. Was the Sweet 100 planted in pots or in ground?

Joanne said...

We planted 12 Jet Star seedlings bought at a local nursery. Planted in full sun and got alot of tomatoes (still are) but the plants seem to have lost most of their leaves, so they look funny now. Got a lot of rain this summer, I don't know if that hurt the leaves? Here's a link to a picture of them on my blog, end of July, if you want to take a look!

http://joannedemaio.blogspot.com/2008/07/this-was-my-garden-in-may.html

Denise said...

I'm afraid I don't know much about growing tomatoes, only that I love to eat them. I just wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog and for leaving the nice comment. The photos here are lovely. I look forward to coming back. I think I will learn a lot. Have a great week.

Anthony said...

I always like to have a mix of heirlooms and hybrids. Heirlooms are great to grow (and taste) but their yields are always depressing.

And going with an MVP like a productive cherry tomato was a great idea.

I never got my tomato seedlings into the garden so I'm terribly jealous of your harvest. :)