The Twenty 'Best' Tomatoes

Okiedawn OK Zone 7January 30, 2008

The latest issue of Mother Earth News has their list of the "twenty best" tomatoes to grow anywhere in America. They compiled the list after talking to many tomato afficianados, checking lists of winning tomatoes from various taste tests, studying field trial performane data and comparing their finds to Cornell University's online variety ratings.

I thought those of you who grow tomatoes might find it interesting. And, too, I wonder, how many of these would any of us have on our own personal "twenty best" list?

Here they are:

"KICKING OFF THE SEASON":

Sungold (57 days)

Glacier (58 days)

Stupice (62 days)

New Girl (62 days)

Crimson Fancy (75 days)

Beefy Boy (70 days)

"FOUR PERFECT PASTES":

Orange Banana (85 days)

Roma (75 days)

Opalka (85 days)

Amish Paste (79 to 85 days)

"SANDWICH SUPERSTARS":

Brandywine (78 days)

Big Rainbow (90 days)

Lucky Cross (90 days)

Cherokee Purple (80 days)

Black Krim (69 to 90 days)

"GREAT GREENS AND ZEBRAS":

Aunt Ruby's German Green (80 days)

Green Zebra (75 to 80 days)

"ORANGES, STRAWBERRIES AND LEMONS":

Kellogg's Breakfast (80 days)

Aunt Gertie's Gold (75 days)

German Red Strawberry (80 days)

Because many of the above are heirlooms and heirlooms can be harder to grow, they also included a list of "Fifteen Tasty Hybrid Varieties" that have disease-resistance bred into them. They are:

Early Cascade VF (55 days)

Sungold VFNT (57 days)

New Girl VFF (62 days)

Milano VF (60 days)

Jelly Bean VFFNT (60 days)

Sweet Tanagerine VFN (68 days)

Golden Girl VFFNT (69 days)

Sun Leaper VFF (69 days)

Beefy Boy VFT (69 days)

Crimson Fancy VF (69 days)

Carmello VFNT (70 days)

Lemon Boy VFN (72 days)

Viva Italia VFN (72 days)

Roma VF (75 days)

Supersonic VF (79 days)

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I wasn't totally nuts about the Mother Earth News list because they placed a heavy emphasis on early tomatoes, and I am not a huge fan of the typical early tomato.

Partly, though, that is because mid-season tomatoes actually produce pretty early here, and they taste better, to me, than the early tomatoes that are only a couple of weeks earlier in ripening.

So, I thought about it all day long, and came up with my list of my favorite tomatoes for our climate. Here they are:

FOR THE EARLY ONES:
SunGold (57 days)
Early Girl (52 days)
New Big Dwarf (60-65 day)*
Eva Purple Ball (70 days)
Neves Azorean Red (75 days)

PASTE TYPES FOR SAUCES AND SALSAS:
Principe Borghese' (for sun-dried tomatoes)
Martino's Roma
Opalka
San Marzano Redorta

FOR SANDWICHES AND SALADS:
Brandywine (Sudduth's)
Mortgage Lifter
Brandy Boy
Cherokee Purple
Black Krim

FOR GREAT GREENS & ZEBRAS:
Aunt Ruby's German Green OR Green Zebra
Cherokee Green

FOR ORANGES, STRAWBERRIES AND LEMONS:
Nebraska Wedding
Aunt Gertie's Gold
Kosovo or the oxheart of your choice. I don't grow oxhearts because they don't produce many tomatoes per plant in our heat. Instead of an oxheart, I'd grow Black Cherry which is absolutely delicious.

As for Fifteen Favorite hybrids, I am choosing these as much for their reliability and disease resistance as anything. They all have good flavor in most years that have good weather (with good weather being ANYTHING that is not excessively wet).

FIFTEEN FAVORITE HYBRIDS:

Better Bush
Better Boy VFN
Big Beef VFFNTA (1994 AAS winner)
Beefmaster VFN
Brandy Boy
Bucks County
Celebrity VFFNTA (1984 AAS winner)
Fourth of July
Lemon Boy VFN
Momotaro
Porterhouse
Roma VF
Viva Italia VFFNA
Sweet Million FNT
SunSugar FT or Sungold (virtually identical)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 11:26PM
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