Golden Queen (USDA strain) -- the verdict is in.

woodcutter2008October 8, 2011

I planted Livingston's Golden Queen in mid June in an EarthBox. It made a really nice healthy-looking, tall plant (at least 5 ft.), and it has started producing ripe fruit. Unfortunately, the verdict for this one is "guilty." It is guilty of serious radial (stem) cracking and poor taste. Taste is certainly subjective, but this one was sour -- probably the sourest tomato that I can remember growing. The "sentence" is to be relegated to my never to be grown again bin. Next season, I'm going to go with Sunray and Mountain Gold along with my perennial choice, Golden Girl Hybrid.


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That is a completely different experience from my grow outs of Golden Queen USDA. I loved the flavor, not sour at all, and I don't remember lots of radial cracking either.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 11:19AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

I'll echo what Remy said b'c I wouldn't want folks to think that Golden Queen, either the one that was circulating before Craig LeHoullier and I got the USDA one from the USDA PCGrin program back in the early 90's when it was still possioble to do that. The non USDA one is still around as well.

The original had a pink blush at the blossom end and what had been circulating didn't. We were pleased to see that the USDA one did, and co-listed it in the 1994 SSE YEarbook and in the current 2011 YEarbook it's still listed and that's b'c many folks do like it very much.

I was going to copy from the various YEarbooks the taste comments of others, none negative, and many think that the USDA one has better taste than the wrong one.

Assuming you had correct seeds and the fruits showed that I'm really sorry that you found it to be sour tasting.

But I'm wondering why you mentioned at the end of your post going back to hybrids. Growing in earthboxes means you don't have any problems with systemic diseases, which is the main reason that folks grow them, even though no variety, hybrid or OP is resistant to all diseases, just tolerant, .

If there are other suggestions that you'd like for something similar to Golden Queen ( USDA) , knowing Remy as I do, I think we can come up with a few hundred suggestions. LOL

I linked to Tania's tomato data base below. And I think it's nice to know that Golden Queen is basically derived from a fruit that Livingston found at a farmers' market, made a couple of selections and named it Golden Queen back in 1882.

There's lots of pictures at the link and for sure I've grown it many times and never seen any radial or concentric splitting.

Hope that helps,


Here is a link that might be useful: Golden Queen ( USDA)

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 11:52AM
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Thanks for your replies. I had high hope for this one, but it sure didn't pan out.

My seed is from Victory Seeds, and they reference "National Seed Storage Lab" etc. Of course, it's always possible that I received the wrong seeds. *None ripe thus far have any blush.* I'm going to leave a couple on the vine until they fall off or rot to see if a blush appears and/and the taste improves. (However, they are already mealy, so I don't think it's a case of being under-ripe.)

The Earth Box -- these are wonderful (IMO) products. I get my first ripe "full-sized" tomatoes by the end of June here in 5b with no real "tricks." With concentrated, determinate toms, I can grow two "crops" in the boxes. I originally got a couple of EB's because my eggplant died nearly every year. Still, I rarely have any problem with any tomato disease, except Septoria which is typically more of a nuisance than anything more serious.

Golden Girl Hybrid? My absolute favorite tomato, but it is determinate, and has a pretty short production "window." I was hoping that Golden Queen would make a similar, great tomato, but indeterminate and much longer producing. I've grown Sunray and Mountain Gold before. Sunray is great-tasting, and to be honest, I don't remember much about Mountain Gold -- maybe 20 years since I grew it last?

Anyway, think I'll write to Victory Seeds and see what they say.


Here is a link that might be useful: Victory Seeds -- Livingston's Golden Queen

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 9:13AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

National Seed Storage Lab, aka NSSL, indicates that the variety was obtained ultimately from the USDA NSSL lab in Fort Colllins, CO.

It's the same one that Craig and I also have and listed in the SSE Yearbook many years ago.

I don't think there's anything that Mike at Victory can tell you if the fruits you have are golden in color.

And that's b'c radial and concentric splitting can happen due to weather conditions and there are many variables that influence taste as well. As for the blush, the expression of some genes is also weather related and can't be controlled. Same for texture as in you comment about mealiness.

If others like it, and it does grow well in a 5b area, but I don't know what 5b area you're in nor do I know what your weather was this past summer, then if it were me I'd try it again. If a variety comes to me with positive comments and that's not what I experienced, then I always grow it again.

And yes, I know all about earthboxes, well, all I can know from friends who use them, and most love them.

If you're still interested in some varieties that are in the yellow/gold/orange color range of varieties and are indet, not det, please just gently holler. LOL


    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 1:38PM
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