Monday, December 22, 2008

Tomato review!

Since I yanked the tomato plants this week, I'll give a rundown of how they did this year.

Overall, it was a less then ideal year for tomatoes: cold and gray early in the season, cold and gray through a lot of the summer, and finally warmer and sunny when it was almost too late. Seattle tilth actually canceled their annual tomato taste-off usually held in September cause nobody had tomatoes!

Cold early summer and lots of gray days limited the amount of fruit set dramatically, and I really only got one good flush out of each plant, if that.

All the tomatoes were planted out in mid-may. About 50 days later the first ripe tomatoes were ready. They produced slowly for a month until they really started rolling in (as many as we could eat) from late August to early September.

Stupice tomatoes (8/30) were the first ready, the strongest producer, and the most vigorous grower, just like they were last year. A nice, not too sweet and not too juicy slicing tomato. I'll be growing this again next year.

I tried some grape tomatoes this year, these are called Cabernet (8/30). These took longer to ripen up than the stupice, and were easiest to pick from the back of the truss as they ripened. They were slightly meatier than cherry tomatoes and lean towards acid rather than sweet.

Early Girl II (9/10) is larger than stupice, with more juice and more tomato acid. It wasn't as vigorous as others, and despite it's name, ripened later than others. These were my "nicest looking" tomatoes, if that counts for anything.

Marzano tomatoes (9/16) are a big, fat, Roma-type italian sauce variety. These were slow to mature, these were the first ready to pick, and many ahd to be picked unripened a the end of season. They are very meaty and have a mild flavor.