High Yielding Heirloom Tomatoes

fivemurfs(6.5 TN)July 1, 2008

I would like to plant some heirloom varieties of tomatoes in my garden next year. In the past the varieties I've tried didn't produce a lot. I've tried Cherokee Purple and Brandywine and wonder now if the seeds were true or had been cross pollinated with some other varieties. One of the plants grew so huge that my cage wouldn't support it and it had very few tomatoes.

Ideally I would like tasty varieties that continue to fruit until frost rather than those that produce all at once and then die.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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You might want to consider this as one of your variety selections. Wishing you lots of tomatoes this season.

BREAK O' DAY - IND (75 days) Dr. Carolyn Male, calls it "A workhorse of a tomato. producing smooth 8-12 oz. scarlet red globes in abundance. True old fashioned tangy tomato flavor. This 1923 cross between Marglobe and Marvana won't let you down in any way and great for canning. Regular Leaf.

Break OâÂÂDay �" DaveâÂÂs Garden Plant Files

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 9:01PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

The best large heirloom variety that I have grown is "Sojourner South American" (a.k.a. just South American), a very large oxheart-type. It produces red 10 oz.+ tomatoes in small clusters all Summer - many over 1 pound - until killed by frost. They are sweet and like most oxhearts, have few seeds. The vines are extremely vigorous & get quite large, so they require staking or a large cage.

A good mid-sized variety is "Nicoviotis Orange". As the name implies, the fruit are orange throughout. They are mostly 8-10 ounces, nearly globular, and blemish-free. Despite their size, they resemble a very meaty beefsteak in cross section. The flavor is very sweet, this is my favorite for tacos. I was quite happy with the yield, compared to other orange or yellow varieties that I have tried. The vines are more restrained, semi-determinate.

For paste, I like "Quebec 1121". This was originally bred as a commercial variety in Canada, but has since become an heirloom. The tomatoes average over 3 ounces, and are red, thick-walled, and very meaty. There was no cracking or BER. The yield was exceptional, and very early. The vines are determinate, and can be spaced more closely than most (I used 2 feet between plants).

There are any number of cherry tomatoes that yield heavily; it would unusual to find one that did not! But if you like the "grape tomatoes" sold in supermarkets, you would like "Elfin". It is another semi-determinate variety, so it does not require staking... the small tomato cages actually work for this one. It has huge branching flower sprays; it is not unusual to have 50+ flowers open at once. These are followed by enormous numbers of elongated 3/4-1" fruit; I grew mine unsupported last year, and they carpeted the ground. They are not really sweet, but are meaty (many seedless!), thin-skinned, and very flavorful.

I can't help you with sources... these were all obtained through the Seed Savers Exchange, from other members. Some are available commercially, but if you are unable to find sources, contact me through my Member Page.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 10:25PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

If all goes well in the next few weeks, Old Brooks will give me a very good yield. It is a round, red, medium sized blemish free heirloom with an assertive flavor. It has grown vigorously this summer and has set a lot of fruit. I don't know much of that is genetic vs. culture. I seem to have done a better job of growing this year. But Old Brooks was good last year too, which is why I am growing it now.

I say, "If all goes well" because the fruit worms and, I think, pin worms are making their appearance. Ugh!


    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 2:32PM
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Where would I find heirloom seeds and plants. I do not have any to trade so will have to simply buy. I live in coastal SC near Charleston.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 2:00PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Most of us are happy to send a few seeds without getting a trade in return. Just make it known what you want and someone is apt to offer it to you.

Are you thinking of starting seeds now, or planning for next year?


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 10:49PM
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I have been the happy beneficiary of alot of generosity from gardenweb, but I also have some seed sources that I love. I really love tomatofest.com, I think they give nice descriptions and some great information. Heirloomseeds.com and sandhillpreservation.com are some of my other favorites. I'm a brand new gardener, so in some ways that makes me an expert on where to get seeds, lol. Surely some of the older folks have some better suggestions for your area?

Carolyn P.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 3:09PM
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sowbusy7nc(Z7 NC)

Brian, Send me your E-mail address and I will send you a list of the heirloom tomato seeds that I have and I don't need an exchange

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 3:58PM
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jwr6404(8B Wa)

Pale Perfect Purple aka Perfect Purple is the most productive tomato I've ever grown. A very tasty medium size tomato

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 8:46PM
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Of all the varieties I've grown, the most productive that also have decent flavor have consistently been Druzba, Eva Purple Ball, Red Brandywine, Kellogg's Breakfast, and Heidi.

Commercially developed open pollinated varieties Burgundy Traveller, Tropic, and Heinz 1350 are excellent.

You mention overwhelming a cage. This is common with vigorous open pollinated tomatoes. Get bigger cages.

Darrel Jones

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 7:34PM
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Send me your address and I`ll send you seed of the ones that are successful for me in the Atlanta area Z-7

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 3:01PM
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I would recommend Arkansas Traveler. It is a late season variety, but is a high producer for me & does well in the South.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 8:11PM
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You might try Costoluto Genovese. Not only is it a pretty tomato, it's a workhorse as well

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 6:19AM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

Trudi of tomato-growing, wintersowing fame, will send you seeds from six varieties for the cost of an SASE.

Researching the choices is almost as much fun as anticipating the seeds!

Here is a link that might be useful: YourChoiceTomatoSASE

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 5:55PM
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