Truly tasty early tomatoes?

theloud(7b)August 13, 2011

It seems like every catalog description of an early tomato says something like, "This early tomato is truly delicious, unlike all those other early tomatoes which taste awful." I'd like to plant some early tomatoes next year, but only if they taste good, and I don't know who to believe.

I'm growing 'Legend' this year, and it was early, but not particularly tasty. My 'Aunt Ruby's German Green' and 'Cherokee Purple' put it to shame, once they finally ripened.

I've been enjoying 'Sungold' which is both early and delicious. What other varieties are both early and delicious like that? And ideally, keep producing all season. A lot to ask, I know.

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

"Truly tasty" is only in the taste buds of the taster. In a blind test conducted years ago by Petoseed Company, absolutely no consensus concerning the best, most tasty, etc. Everyone has a different desired taste.

Grow your own, taste, then discard or keep. Your choice.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:56PM
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oxymoron (sp) with the exception of sungold cherry. lol

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 3:58PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Early varieties are only "delicious" because they are early. Because we have been waiting so long for a fresh tomato. :)

Once standard varieties kick into production all the earlies are 2nd rate IMO. Better than store-bought but not nearly as good as most any mid-season variety.

If I had to pick 1 of the several I have tried? Bloody Butcher. Others say Matina.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 5:54PM
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My favorite early tomato is Burpee's Fourth of July. They ripen here in NJ in mid July, are quite tasty, and produce all season.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 11:58AM
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Bloody Butcher was early for me, but I didnt care for it too much, and especially after the later krims, cherokees, etc came in. That said, I do think sungold was great. And people seem to like Black Cherry too.

This year I am trying Jaune Flamee and Stupice as they seem to be mentioned often here (I agree with you on the seed companies describing everything as "fantastic"). Also, Anna Russian, but I dont expect that one to come in as early as the other two.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:14PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

I say ask the expert. This year Sungold as the first tomato of the season, Next year, Moravsky Div and Sungold, most likely. Though I am growing some other "earlies", too. Fourth of July hybrid has good, sweet flavor in our hot summers, but the skin is very tough and prone to cracking then.

Here is a link that might be useful: Moravsky Div

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 8:29AM
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spacetogrow(4 MN)

I tried Moravsky Div last year and found its flavor complex and quite tasty.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 1:47AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

And if you read the link above you'll see that I was theone who got seeds for M Div from Andrey in Belarus and many think it's very good tasting.

In along thread elsewhere it was decided that Stupice is pretty much the same and was perhaps even devleoped by the Moravo Seed Inst.

Kimberly is another variety that's early and pretty good tasting as well.

Legend was bred to be Late Blight tolerant and is not known for having good taste and it doesn't have good LB tolerance anyway since there are newer varieties that have better genes for LB, but none of them really all that effective from feedback I've read here and there..

In general I agree with the person who said that early and tasty are oxymoronic and also with Dave who said the earliest ones taste good b'c they are early.

As for me, with few exceptions I gave up growing earlies many years ago, b/c by moving to midseason varieties things look up, and even more so when it comes to late midseason to late season varieties.

Which brings up the question of how one determines what's early, mid, late, etc., and here's the definition I use and several seed places now use something like it as well:

Very Early, 55 or less
Early, 55-70 days
Midseason, 70-80
Late, usually over 80 days.

But you have to tweak those a bit depending where you live and garden and the weather in any one season, and all the other variables, but at least it gives you an idea of some kind of timing.

I giggle when I see a variety listed at 72 days. Depend on that, set up a chair by the plant and wait for that 72 days, and dive in. LOL


    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:19AM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

I always grow a couple Pipo, which is a '42 DTM golf-ball size early that does great in a two-gallon pot, making it easy to move in and out according to the weather whims. I find it tasty, and have no idea why no one else ever seems to grow it.

Tatiana has a limited supply of seeds for it now, and no plans to offer it next year.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 3:25PM
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After looking a long time, I've settled on Early Wonder. It is a compact determinate, so in addition to having good flavor, it "grows small" so I can start it early and it will not outgrow my cold frame before it can be planted outside. I would rather have "good" tomatoes a week or two earlier than wait for "great" tomatoes quite a bit later. Started my E.W. last week.

Actually, my earliest tomatoes are Red Robin, a dwarf cherry. I start these the first of February and they will start producing in early May, still safely nestled in my cold frame in an Earth Box Junior.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Growers Supply

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 6:10PM
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Thanks, Jll0306 -- I've ordered a pkt of Pipo from Tatiana. Anything that says 42 days sounds interesting!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 3:38PM
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