What tomato varieties do you grow?

Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)July 28, 2006

Here in the Northern Panhandle, with our short season and cold mountain nights, speed and cold tolerance are everything. Here's a list of what works for me:



Ida Gold


Silvery Fir Tree





Early Cascade

In the hoophouse,

some of the above plus:

Lime Green Salad

Green Grape

Heinz something-or-other

Early Girls are too slow for me. I want a crop BEFORE the last week of August, which is when Early Girls ripen here. My climate is colder, and colder earlier, than folks in Sagle or Sandpoint, who get some warming river and lake influence on their temperatures. Microclimates are significant here. A lot of varieties that do well elsewhere never develop good flavor here - Brandywine and Fourth of July come to mind.

I don't grow any of the sweet red cherry types - I like the flavor of Sungold (an orange cherry) much better. I have 14 Sungold plants alone!. I grow Koralik, a red cherry that does very well here, just for color contrast.

Although I'd much prefer the convenience of getting tomato seedlings from the store to starting them myself, the varieties that work for me mostly aren't available at the store, so I grow them from seed.

I can whole tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce, as well as drying any excess cherry tomatoes, so 60 plants are about right for me. Oh, and I eat tons raw, mostly Sungolds, often along with a sprig of basil grown close by.

Okay, it's your turn. Where are you, and what kinds of tomatoes do you grow?


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i have bush goliath,mountain fresh,better boy and burpee deliciouis.all were started from seed and about 41/2 feet tall except the bush they are 3 feet tall. all are full of toms and flowers.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 11:23AM
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veggiecanner(Id 5/6)

This is our 4th year of gardening here and we grew Early girls the first year.While not great they tasted Ok.
I haven't been able to get that perfect tomato for this area yet.
I am growing Cambells this year in 4 gallon buckets in my green house and I have to say they are the best tomatoes I have grown in a containor yet. Usually my green house tomatoes are mushy, but not the Cambells. I have tryed several kinds including stupice. But the stupice were mushy in the ground too.
I grow all open polinated, but not nessarally heirlooms. The cat faced , one to the plant tomatoes are not worth the trouble. But I do like to save seed.
I tryed Oregon spring this year, but the plants are so puny, i can't see getting much from them.
Wisconnsin 55 is very good, but a later tomato.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 4:13PM
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I've planted Early Girl and Stupice for the last 3 years in my unheated greenhouse and have had good luck with both. This year I added a new one, Bloody Butcher, that I received from seed exchanges. I start my own seed also.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 8:35PM
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I haven't had a real garden for a few years, but I do put a few tomato plants in a little greenhouse. I have best luck with Early Girl, we like the flavor best of all the 'bred for the north' varieties we tried when we had a big garden.. This year I have Romas, EGs, Sweet 100s and an unnamed yellow pear.

The last few years I've been picking a nice little heirloom tomato from a U-Pick place just over the WA border. I'm getting back into my garden, so I may save a few seeds and try them next year.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 10:22PM
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They are earlier than Early Girl, larger, taste great, and have thinner skins.

They are gangbusters on the Palouse!

My plants are six feet right now, and the best of 'em has over 40 ripening toms.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 12:55AM
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I grow Polish Linguisa. 50 plants in all. I dehydrate them and powder them for dry storage.
Thinking of adding rocky to the mix this year.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 11:27PM
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Enen though I live in Boise (which may be a bit warmer than up North), I've had very good luck with Celebrity (great taste!), Fourth of July, and Sweet 100. All are grown in containers - the only way to go IMHO!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 2:21AM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

I never have any luck with tomatoes . . . I think it's just too hot for them to set fruit. When it finally cools down, they set a few, and then get frosted before they have time to ripen. The only ones that I have any luck with are the little cherry tomatoes, like Sweet 100. If pepper_lover has good luck with Celebrity and Fourth of July, maybe I should give those a try! Pepper_lover, do you grow yours from seed, or buy them "ready to set out"?

Maybe my problem is that I'm always wanting to try the exotic-sounding ones like Green Zebra or Russian Pink. :) This year I have a couple of Brandywine plants. They have only set TWO fruits all summer (both at the same time, when we had a few days of cooler weather . . . back in July, I think.)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 1:12AM
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Boisemom, you may want to try Porter. I've grown it a couple of seasons and have a family heirloom which may well be Porter (just separated 70 years from the original stock).

Porter was developed in Texas and has been fairly popular in the Southwest for decades. The heirloom is producing tons of ripe fruit right now.

You also could check the cooperative extension sites for states in the Southwest. I know that Celebrity is recommended in Arizona.

I also grow Big Beef, Early Girls, Large Red Cherry, Sugar Lump, and SunSugar. New this year are SunCherry (lots of sweet red cherries) and Red Star (a few ripe tender-skinned, beefsteak-shaped little toms - fun). Also new in the garden are, Prudens Purple (none ripe but large plants with lots of ruffled toms) and Thessaloniki (a few nice large toms have ripened).

As well, I fell for the new Ultimate Opener which is supposed to be earlier than Early Girl (not) and larger (not really). What Ultimate is, is very productive. It's covered with medium-sized toms. It is too early for me to comment on the flavor since I've only had one ripe Ultimate tom so far.

Big Beef may well be the best of the lot - early, large, and tasty. I've had very good success with them for years. And, I'm probably most impressed with SunCherry of the new additions.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 12:05AM
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