ready to plant tomatoes...what variety to plant?

joewormFebruary 6, 2012

bought some marglobe heirloom at the feed store today. don't have any idea why!!!

what tastes good? what works well in north florida?


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zzackey(8b GA)

If you go to edis and look at the last page on Florida vegetable gardening guide it lists alot of tomatoes that are good for this area. I do not recommend Celebrity. We grew that 2 years in a row and had bad luck. I think Marglobe is more of a northern tomato. I remember selling that variety when I lived in Pa.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 6:21PM
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i read some about them. think they'll be ok down here.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:35PM
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L_in_FL(8B/9A Border, NW FL)

I'm going to restrict my comments to tomatoes that you might be able to find as transplants, since that's what you're looking for.

What I have liked:
Amelia has worked well for me, lasted a long time through disease pressure, good fruit.

I grew one of the BHN tomatoes (I can't remember which one it was) with results similar to Amelia.

Better Boy: My mom and lots of people around here swear by Better Boy, but I have not personally grown it.

Solar Set is kind of iffy - the fruit were small for slicers and the flavor was just okay. It did set fruit in the heat as advertised, though.

Cherry/Grape Tomatoes: If you like cherry/grape tomatoes, a lot of them do really well - they handle the diseases better than most of the big tomatoes and set better in the heat. Sweet 100 or Sweet Million are commonly available reds and usually do well. For yellows, I like SunSugar, but have to grow it from seed - you might be able to find the similar SunGold as a transplant, though. Once it really gets going, one plant usually supplies all the cherry tomatoes my family can eat, all summer and into fall. A cherry tomato will become a huge sprawling plant if you let it, but you can harvest hundreds and hundreds of tasty little gems from one plant over the course of a season.

What I haven't liked:
Celebrity never did well for me, either! I thought it was just me, since everyone sells that one.

Roma has always been mediocre-tasting for me, just bland. Works okay for sauces (cooking concentrates what flavor it has), but blah for salsas. Yield has been erratic. I am trying to find a better paste variety.

Bush Goliath was a big disappointment. It made a very healthy-looking plant with lots of blooms, but very little fruit set and it had huge problems with fruit rot when no other tomatoes I planted that year did. (I wonder if that's because the fruit it did manage to set was in the very middle of the plant surrounded by dense foliage? By "surrounded" I mean that the few fruit that did ripen were really hard to pick without breaking branches - there was no way to get a hand in there or get the tomatoes out!) My mom had the same experience. To be fair, both our plants came from seeds that I started in the same year, so maybe it was a bad batch? The few fruit we got were pretty good, but I haven't been inclined to try it again.

Brandywine grew into a huge plant quickly, but set almost no fruit. The fruit it did set were early - didn't set at all in the heat. Apparently the bugs, birds, and squirrels think it's tasty, too. Both years I tried it, it was always attacked first by everything. I got two fruits one year and none the next, and it was the first to succumb to disease in midsummer. I have to say the two tomatoes I did get were some of the best tomatoes I've ever had. I just don't have the space for a big plant that is going to produce little or no fruit, no matter how good it is.

YMMV, but I hope this helps!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 11:02AM
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