Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tomato planting and more tomato planting

Well, since I think I've finally accepted the fact that the tiny farm is just too tiny to have room for goats, I've moved on to the next best thing. Tomatoes. I will have pet tomatoes. I don't think it's out of spite (my husband, who was the most adamant about pointing out our lack of room for goat-housing, does not like tomatoes). I think it's because there are SO many varieties-- tiny, huge, citrus-y, tangy, sweet, juicy, gloppy, tomato-y etc. Not to mention that they come in so many different colors.
If you need more convincing go read through Hanna's (extensive) tomato reviews at thisgardenisillegal. (Even if you already love tomatoes, she reviews them with more attention than Consumer Reports).

Here is a list of the tomato seeds that I've started so far (all heirloom):
1. Besser- I got this one 2 years ago because the name was close to my last name, it turned out to be a prolific producer of cherry tomatoes, so I keep growing it.
2. Bloody Butcher- Early heirloom variety I'm replacing hybrids like Early Girl with.
3. Roma Rio Grande- Supposed to be like a Roma, but more heat tolerant.
4. Ivory Egg- "White" tomato shaped like an egg... mostly for novelty.
5. White Queen- Another white tomato, more pale and more taste than Ivory Egg
6. Yellow Pear- Prolific producer
7. Brown Berry- Supposed to be a very good tasting cherry with a complex flavor
8. Golden Nugget- Very early tasty yellow cherry tomato
9. Siberian- 48 days to maturity, I'm experimenting with super short season varieties with exceptional heat/cold tolerance to try and get ripe tomatoes year round. I've read this one will set fruit in temps as low as the upper 30's (!)
10. Sugar Lump- Sugar sweet tomatoes
11. Super Sioux- Another heat tolerant tomato, not a sweet variety.
12. Tumbler- For container gardening, which is great because my garden is full
13. Tomatillo- Ok, not a tomato, but close enough.

The first sprouting tomato seeds of 2009

I've found that old standards like Brandywine just don't do too well at my house, I think because the weather is so hot and dry and they take too long to mature (or maybe I'm just not good at it). I'd love to hear your favorite varieties of tomatoes since I'm already starting my list of varieties I want to try next year. :)


Anonymous said...

My favorites are Black Krim and Cherokee Purple. I saved seed from them last season so they may grow even better this year. It is real hot and dry here too but probably not quite as hot as where you are. I lived in Phoenix in the 60s

Anonymous said...

There are so many varieties, I get intimidated... Which are the best that grow here for tomato sauce?

rachelbess said...

I'm looking forward to the black krim for sure.
Justin- I'm hoping that the roma rio grande will be a good performing paste (sauce) tomato. I grew regular romas last year, but it got too hot before they ripened. I think I might have been part of the problem though, I don't remember when they got set out, but it might have been late.

Ben said...

Hi Rachel. Ben from the permie group. I started mine in early Jan. too. I hope they really start leafing out by end of next month it may be too late. I planted "Ethiopian Black", "Italian Tree" "Power" "Early Annie" (bush) "Lollipop", "crazy" and "Julia Child" all heirlooms with different attributes. I tried to get the shortest season toms I could. Good luck with yours, and I love your blog 'cuz it is so relevant to Phx so keep the posts coming!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just stumbled across your blog and I am so glad to find another garden friend. I've planted peppers and tomatoes this year from seed, mostly from Baker Creek. I love it!

Anonymous said...

I forgot to say anything about what tomato varieties are my favorite. I like Brandywine, Carbon and Paul Robeson tomatoes. They did ok for me, not as productive as they probably would have been if I lived on the east coast, but they are so good! I also like Sun Gold, which aren't heiloom, but they are so, so good. I plant all my tomatoes as a tomato "jungle" and they do much better that way here in the Phx area.

ummcarter said...

I feel for you goat wise. I really would like to have a goat or two, 2 because they need friends. I rent a duplex and we dont have fencing and there is only bout 6 feet from the patio to the back of our yard. :( One day though......

ChristyACB said...

I'm with you, Pet My city won't even allow chickens, even if I disguise them as pets so I have a LOT of pet tomatoes. :)

This year I'm going all heirloom and am trying very hard to hold steady at 12 varieties.

I look forward to seeing your progress this year.