Can you help me choose a sauce tomato?

kalikaMarch 18, 2011

I'm looking for a good heat resistant sauce tomato for south Louisiana. Most tomatoes shut down in the summer because of the heat and humidity so I'm trying a few different kinds this year: super sioux, solar fire and spitfire, but I can't seem to find a good heat tolerant roma/sauce tomato. I tried roma VF last year and it was a disaster.

Do any of you have some suggestions?

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

I can't speak to heat tolerance of any I've grown b/c of where I grow my tomatoes. But you might want to consider the variety Heidi, which has become a favoite of quite a few folks, and is originally from Cameroon in Africa.

But if truth be told I have many tomato friends who live along the Gulf Coast where it's hot and humid and they can grow pretty much any variety they want to. It's just a matter of getting those plants out there early in the Spring so that they have time to set fruits before the heat and humidity move in.

So in addition to Heidi I'd mention the following:

Sarnowski Polish Plum
Mama Leone

..... to name a few.

But I'll also mention that most of my tomato friends don't grow specifically paste varieties for sauce. Most paste varieties are not known for great taste and are also more susceptible to Early Blight ( A. solani) as well as BER ( blossom end rot), so they grow varieties known to have great taste as well as have few seeds.

Almost all heart varieties have dense flesh and few seeds as do quite a few beefsteak varieties.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 8:40AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

but I can't seem to find a good heat tolerant roma/sauce tomato

Why limit yourself to paste types for making sauce? Limited taste and problems with BER as Carolyn mentioned. But if you want to grow a paste type I'll add a vote for Opalka and add San Marzano to the list of recommended ones. Then mix in several other varieties for the best sauce.

I also agree with her on the earlier planting. High heat and high humidity is something many of us have to deal with and most varieties will shut down then for awhile. But with proper earlier planting times it need not limit your choices of variety and many of the so-called heat tolerant varieties aren't noted for their taste either.

What is your usual plant out time? Are you sure it can't be earlier?


    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 10:24AM
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I live in South FL and have the same problem. Someone recommended Solar Fire tomatoes. Just planted some for this season and hope that they will stand the Summer. Don't know if they are good for sauce...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 10:37AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

I've grown Opalka and Heidi, but my favorite is Viva Italia. Been growing it for a couple decades.

It's true any tomato will make a good sauce, but I like paste tomatoes because they're meatier. I also love to roast them.

Carolyn's right about timing being the key. You should be planting now.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 11:26AM
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Thank you for the ideas everyone. I have all my tomatoes ready to plant out on Monday, but I was hoping to try out a fall planting of paste tomatoes this year, and then use them again next spring. If you could tell I'm not much of a planner :-/ that's something I need to work on.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 11:14PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

San Marzano has been a huge dud for me every year in heat and humidity. It tries hard, but gets diseased early and gives up quickly. Roma's have been far better producers for me (even though they get diseased later...)...

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 11:43AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Kalika, how was your harvest? Are you growing a fall crop?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 1:48PM
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