Looking for a great tomato for Boise area

AnnblAugust 4, 2014

I'm a frustrated tomato-lover in Boise! For years, my favorite main-season tomato was the Hybrid Dona, a french hybrid. It is no longer available. I have grown what is called Dona, but the open-pollinated variety, and it is just not the same. The Dona hybrid was so reliable in our very hot summer, cool night area! And the best tasting hybrid I have ever grown. I have tried many hybrids (most are not that good-tasting), and many heirlooms--most are great-tasting, but in our very hot days, they usually drop most of their blossoms, and I just don't get much production. Any suggestions from folks with similar climates?

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Annbl, let's make sure this thread shows up several times over the next 6 months. Right up until the time we send off those seed orders for the 2015 garden.

I'm not in Boise. I can tell you what hybrid beefsteaks I grow but you will have to decide how applicable they are, here at 2,000ft elevation and a degree of latitude from the Canadian border.

Early Girl is hardly a beefsteak at about 5oz. I can still remember seeing it on the cover of the Burpee catalog I'd sent off for when it was introduced. Something new ... so, I was suspicious of it for several years. I have to say that Early Girl always comes through.

I wasn't quite as suspicious of Big Beef when it came out about 20+ years ago. I've grown it nearly all that time. It probably does as well or better than any of the 20-some varieties I grow.

The "Original Goliath" was probably around for quite awhile before I discovered it. It may split a little more readily than Big Beef but it is a fine, healthy early beefsteak.

There they are, the hybrids of that size. Gary O Sena is a cross. It isn't an f1 hybrid but rather the stable offspring of 2 heirlooms. Currently, I am anxiously awaiting the first ripe fruit. Gary O Sena has done just real well in my garden.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:33PM
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jaliranchr(z5 EC CO)

What kind of taste do you prefer? Sweeter or tarter? What kind of texture? Meatier or more water in it? Size? What varieties have you tried that you didn't care for? Which ones came close but not quite?

Those kind of things would go into my recommendations. Some of these are subjective from person to person, but it gives us a starting point. I would agree with Steve's previous recommendations. If you've never tried it, Thessaloniki is a stalwart in my garden when the temps soar near 100.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 11:41PM
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I have tried SO many varieties! Early Girl of course, do ok, but I'm not so impressed with the taste. Dona had such a nice taste--balanced between sweet and tart. They had lots of water, but good enough size to still have meat. I have had some good luck this year with a grafted Cherokee Purple from Territorial Seeds in Oregon. Very good production, and I've never had luck with these before. But I grow most of mine from seed--I have grown one plant of Mister Stripey this year--so good tasting, but I have only harvested 2 tomatoes! Most blossoms just drop in our heat. I'm not sure I have ever tried Thessaloniki, good idea! I want a good tasting tomato that will provide good production--because I want to freeze stewed tomatoes, sauce, etc.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 1:38PM
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jaliranchr(z5 EC CO)

Few tomatoes will set in the hottest temperatures. That's why those who live in the hottest areas plant two shorter seasons. We don't have that luxury. Thess and Super Sioux are two that set more reliably during the hottest periods of the summer, but even they shut down when it stays over 90F for days. That's just the sad reality around here on the plains of eastern CO. I get the most production after mid-August until frost. A brief period of time, but that is what nature affords me.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 2:36PM
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The heat early in July and continuing most days over 90 degrees have really shut down the blossoms on my larger tomatoes. Not going to be many. Those that set blossoms early are starting to ripen. It is not suppose to be in the 90s all of July and August! Guess will just have to eat all those cherries and saladette tomatoes. Wasps are starting to get nasty. Went to ACE for some new attractant for the traps. 2 stings in 2 days and if get any more it will probably mean ER.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 3:10PM
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