Hello! Seen lots of posts about people's favorite tomatoes, how about ones not worth trying? Read all about "MR. Stripey" any others?
Purple Calabash! An Astringent, Evil, little thing - pretty, but EVIL.
Just my humble opinion, but to me, Lime Green Salad and Yellow Canary both suck taste-wise.
Church....Huge but horrible.
IMO, Costoluto Genovese, black zebra and Juliets all sucked, flavor wise. Too bad they were the most bountiful of all my tomoatoes!
Purple russian I actually could not give them away one of the best looking worst tasting I have ever grown.I grew two plants and never finished eating one tomato.Horribly prolific as well yuck.
Kimberly. Too much hoopla for such a dud tomato. Dud. DUD. DUD!!!
Burpee's Red Lightening. Small, hard, thick skin, no taste.
I am very surprised that (Trudi) says that Kimberly is a dud etc, I think it is a lovely little tomato, very productive and a very nice taste to it, in fact during the 2006 season it was one of my favourite tomatoes in the garden, and very prolific.
I am sure that it is obvious that not everyone likes the same thing, taste is subjective and tomatoes are not all equal coming from different gardens in different seasons, but the ones that I will not waste space growing again are:
Mr. Stripey. Was the third year before it produced even one tomato.
Green Zebra - Blech and yuck.
4th of July - Was very disappointing for me. Fairly productive and early, but taste not worth growing again.
Black Cherry - Pretty little tomato but taste bad and split at the drop of a hat.
Maxifort root stock - seeds that I received produced some weak sprouts that did not survive to even put on any true leaves. Two live plants started out puny, one died early on, the other has been vigorous, has bloomed all summer and is still covered with blooms here into November and has not produced one single tomato while other varieties all around it has done well this year.
There are so many that I have not tried yet, but I am sure that list will grow with time.
All super early varieties that I have tasted suck.
All red cherry tomatoes that I've grown like the sweet millions and supersweets suck. (NOT Black Cherry)
Juliet sucks. I don't even think it IS a tomato? :)
Parks Whopper sux.
First Place 'SUCK' prize belongs to "Sub Arctic Plenty" which was the nastiest bitter tomato I ever ate. It indeed SUCKED! LOL
Why don't you try the variety Sandpoint; that should give you a new winner. LOL
And as has been said above, for every variety that someone doesn't like there are those who like it very much, so that's why I'm not going to list mine here.
And as a matter of fact, after growing about 2000 different varieties there are darn few that I couldn't stand, re taste, which I call "spitters".
G-Fish! wow! you are the first person that said Black Cherry tastes bad. Ya think all that rain this year kinda had something to do with? Just curious....Blane.
Although I havent grown a ton of varieties, Sungold was bland and a spitter both time I grew it. Very prolific but just didnt taste good. Yet it makes many peoples "must grow" list.
Hi Blane, no it was last year when I grew it, did not bother this year. I just did not like the taste of it and there are so many others that I like much better. Right now a cutting that I took from a is a little taller than one of my five foot cages and producing scads of little tomatoes. Very few of them make it into the house because I enjoy so much picking the ripe ones and eating them right there in the garden. The Dr. Carolyn Pink that I grew this year was also one of the best little tomatoes that I have had.
Nov. 17th is our average first frost date so I took cuttings from four of the plants in my garden that are doing outstanding this fall. The LRC shown above, a C.P., an A.G.G. and a Porterhouse. I have never tried carrying any tomatoes through till spring before but I have to deal with some danged pot plants my wife treasures so I thought, what the heck is four more plants in pots.
Carolyn, thank you for the Sandpoint Suck warning...LOL
The name even implies SUCK...LOL
I have been forever spoiled by the big beefstakes regarding taste. An Early Girl or Stupice just isn't worth growing anymore just to have some sucky tomatoes two weeks before great tasting beefstakes like Brandywine and NAR. I realize I am in a LONG growing season area and that helps. All my annuals are still kicking, no frost yet. That's over 6 frost free months. That's nice...:)
And I have never liked the red cherries and tried a lot of them. SunGold and Black Cherry are the only two cherries I enjoy.
I could spit these all day: Stupice, Juliet, SunGold.
I don't even let my neighbors raise those close to my garden. lol
It amazes me that certain varieties are still in existence, but I think it is because they are like weeds....hard to get rid of em.
And G-Fish....you know whats coming next....he he....if ya dont mind me askin...."Where did ya get those Dr. Carolyn Pink seeds? Just gotta try it, and thanks....blane.
Burpee's Red Lightening. Small, hard, thick skin, no taste...
Also (IMO) Juliet presents some strong vacuuming properties. To me Juliet has the taste and texture of toms found in NE US supermakets in the dead of winter. But curiously, a neighbor of mine thought Juliet was a very good-tasting tom.
I agree with the opinion on Purple Calabash.
Moby Grape dropped most fruit before ripening. Persimmon was pretty, but tasted lousy. German Red Strawberry was low yielding and had poor flavor. Black Krim is a poor representative of black tomatoes.
I disagree with the criticism of Juliet since it grills well and looks attractive.
Hey Blane, I did not get them as seed. I bought a few plants of special varieties that I wanted and were not available anywhere else to my knowledge, from Darrel Jones @ this link and it was one of the plants that he threw in. I found him to be fine folks and a pleasure to do business with.
I did not know what to expect of it and posted the question asking what size tomato it was in this thread and Carolyn was kind enough to provide a lot of good information in response about this variety.
If you can not find any otherwise perhaps you could send me a SASE and I could send you a few seed.
Sorry for digressing from the topic of tomatoes that SUX.
In SW Florida, perhaps the conditions are different causing a different result. I grew Juliettes for a number of years. Always sweet firm and juicy to me. To me Matt's Wild Cherry ain't worth a fur ball. Not enough tomato to even taste! The common Husky Cherry reds and Sweet 100's are also a hit for me. I am growing all different varieties this year which are rounding up nicely. Yellow Plum (I've seen some 'bland' comments on this one on this site) black Plum, Principe Borghese, Briana and Noir de Crimee. I hope I have some good flavor choices. My first Briana had gotten some bottom rot, so I pinched it. Hope the others fare better. We have been having perfect tomato growing weather here! Happy gardening, all.
Bill you need not to be sorry....If anyone strayed from the topic it was me....But, thanks for your responce, and Ill consider your offer, now well let the thread continue, and Good Gardenen to Ya!, Blane.
Actually I didn't like Black Cherry either. It was edible and some others liked it, but not me, and I'm not going to grow it just because my FIL liked it. :-) I's a shame because it was very prolific and bore right up to frost. I didn't like Dr. Carolyn either - no taste to me (another that grew very well).
thanks for all of your great responses!Keep em comin!
(Sticking up for black cherry)... It is very prolific. I had 60 or 70 buds on just one inflorescence, although that was uncharacteristically prodigious. I'm not sure how many tomatoes grew off of that. I gave away a lot of black cherries this year. And I LOVE the taste. In fact, I bought a cherry tomato medley box from the grocery a couple of months ago that had a number of cherries of different colors, and some black cherries included. (It looked like the others might have been green grape, white snow, some currants -- amazing variety for a supermarket over the counter medley.) The family agreed the black cherries were the tastiest ones in the box. I find Black Cherry has a slightly different kind of taste. I can see why some people might not like it, especially if they're used to regular red cherries.
Sucky tomatoes... I'm glad Bill mentioned Green Zebra first. I pulled that one out of the bed a couple of years ago, it was that bad. Other people say they love it, describe it as tart. I never experienced that. Pretty as all damn hell, though.
Dr. Carolyn Pink... I got a really lousy plant grown from seeds purchased from Mariseeds or TGS. (Really sorry I can't be specific right now -- can look it up). Apparently DCP throws some off-type plants once in a while, because the ones mine grew were large and bland like tasteless mush. I ended up pulling it out, even though it was the fastest growing and most prolific plant in the flower bed. If you do grow it, get your seeds from that place Bill recommended, or from Bill himself. (I'm tempted to try it again with better seeds, but I've got too many other tomatoes to try, still, and only a small plot of flower bed.)
I definitely want to try Purple Calabash, someday, just to see for myself how peculiar it is. Not next year, though. Maybe I can find a tomato-tasting get-together locally to try it.
Doof, I was curious as to where you had bought those seeds b/c ****it's a variety I didn't send out to any commercial place**** b/c of the instability of the fruit size, and above, Bill linked to my prior comments on this.
I looked at Marianne's site and yes, she'd offering it and my heavens was I surprised at the prices of her tomatoes now, since I hadn't been to her website lately. She's charging $2.75/pack. TGS has never carried it.
I've known Marianne Jones since the early 90's when she used to request I can't tell you how many varieties from me as both of us were and are SSE listed members. She could have gotten her Dr. Carolyn Pink seeds from me or any other SSE member who listed it. I'd have to plow thru back SSE Yearbooks to determine that.
But I digress.
If you looked at the link Bill posted you would have read something like the following for Dr. Carolyn Pink.
It was a mutation from Dr. Carolyn and sent to me alreday named by an SSE member. The plants that give fruits that are the same size as Dr. Carolyn fruits are the best ones although some have said they like the larger fruits as well.
I can save seeds from small fruits and plant them out the next year and get plants with large and plants with small fruits. Save seeds from plants with larger fruits, plant out and get plants with small and some with larger fruits.
So I've failed to solve that instabillity problem, and when I list them in the SSE Yearbook I say the same thing.
But I really shouldn't be surprised about the instability knowing the background of this variety.
One year I saved seeds from Galina's Yellow, a wonderful deep gold cherry with PL foliage. When I planted out the plants from those saved seeds what I got surprised me for I got all cherries of different colors on different plants and all RL. I got red, yellow, salmon, ivory and pink. The best tasting ones were from the plant that had ivory fruits.
At the same time Steve Draper in Utah had had a similar experience with saved seeds from Galina's and he asked me to send all of my different colored ones to him. He too thought the ivory one was best and went ahead and named it and lited it as Dr. Carolyn in the Yearbook, much to my surprise.
The first year folks grew it some got plants with red cherries and I did myself. So it was genetically...
Too much water probably was a factor, as you mentioned. I recall your mentioning the larger-sized off-types. The ones I grew were too large to really be called cherry, so that is very likely what happened. Sorry if I knocked a plant with your name on it, heh. :)
Galina's is already on my list for next year. Sounds interesting.
Black Cherry tasted good here, but it does tend to split a lot.
I was disappointed (like someone else mentioned) by Lime Green Salad. Big Zebra was another that wasn't really a favorite in any way, other than appearance.
Glamour sucks as a plant. Dixie Golden Giant sucks worse than Yellow Brandywine for production. Sungella sucks big time. It's just as mushy as Juane Flammee but doesn't have any flavor. Goose Creek just sucks all round.
Purple Calabash wasn't so bad -- I grew it last year, and probably won't grow it again, but I wouldn't put it on a "worst" list. It produced a lot for a long season, but the tomatoes did not keep well and were a little on the acid side. I liked the hint of black-tomato flavor.
Black Pearl, on the other hand, was acid and did not have any trace of black-tomato flavor. I grew it this year and gave away almost all of them (to someone who loved them!).
Tonadose des Conores made me feel sick. It's a pretty red cherry I grew last year. At first I thought I'd picked them when they weren't quite ripe, but every time I tasted one in the garden or ate one at home after washing it I felt a bit nauseated, so I finally pulled it out. All the volunteers this year look like it, unfortunately, so they're getting composted too.
Riesentraube -- tomatoes were too small, and the flavor was only so-so.
Siberia, Juliet, Sweet Chelsea -- huge production, but bland.
Silvery Fir Tree -- too acid for me, and it stopped producing after a couple months.
Silvery Fir Tree -- too acid for me, and it stopped producing after a couple months
* * *
Never tried it, so can't comment on the flavor. But I think Silvery Fir Tree is a determinate variety, and is therefore supposed to produce a lot for a short space of time, and then stop. That's what it does :)
I never met a tomato I didnt like, but...
I didnt much like green zebra either. Bland bland bland bland.
I have mixed feelings about Window box roma.
They were kinda hard, very thick skinned. Boring taste,
but DANG they made a fine tasting pasta sauce.
Somehow saucing them brought out some kind of sweetener or something.
Sorry if I knocked a plant with your name on it, heh. :)
Not a problem at all for I didn't name the varieties Dr. Carolyn or Dr. Carolyn Pink. LOL
I was astonished that (bigdaddyj) said all red cherry tomatoes sucked. I love cherry tomatoes. my favorite would have to be the grape tomatoes, like mini romas. (romas are the BEST tomato ever grown)
See what I said about taste. I LOVED Green Zebra. IMHO it was one of the best plants and had delicious fruit. I gave away very few and ate them before a lot of others, although my opinion seemed to be proved by the others who tasted them. Definitely coming back again next year. Thinking back I believe the texture of Dr. Carolyn was one of the problems. Kind of mealy to me and almost tasteless.
Bill P basically hit the nail on the head. For every six of you that don't like the flavor of one variety there are a half dozen of you that like it.
Since "Suck" is such a broad term maybe the criteria needs to be narrowed. For me (a market grower) I go where the crowd of buyers lean and they, like responses here, lean in every direction.
My main complaint is with those varieties that fail to produce sufficient fruit- some of those varieties were mentioned here. Except nobody mentioned the BRANDYWINES. I haven't grown a Brandywine yet that earned its keep. Not Sudduth, Joyces, or the yellow- Platfoot or Red Brandywine. But I will continue to grow them for reasons stated.
Some of the varieties criticized might be improved upon thru management. When I pick Purple Calabash ripe the core tends to rip from the fruits (I've taste sampled many of these otherwise wasted fruits for this reason). Cutting the stem or picking fruits earlier will help to harvest marketable fruits from this variety.
Another consideration for some varieties is grafting. Although grafting (onto Maxifort rootstock) doesn't seem to benefit (or take well) with the Brandywines), it has improved Mr. Stripey yield considerably for me. There are a number of varieties that have improved late season yields from which I'm still harvesting.
I was having a little fun in my post. I never enjoyed any of the red cherries when compared to a SunGold. SunGold taste is the best to me so all others than "suck"...LOL And I'm only commenting on taste, not productivity. For instance, Juliet is a huge production machine and they never crack and never blemish. All perfect looking fruit. But the taste is very below average to my palate and taste is what we are discussing here I think. I wish SunGold didn't crack so bad but I love it's taste. Red cherries are just blah to me compared to a SunGold...:)
I didn't like Juliet either. To me it had no flavor.
After growing the sungold hybrid for a couple of years I decided to try the OP. I was very disappointed. Not only was the flavor far less intense but the fruit was smaller.
Then I grew them side by side. I tell you, the hybrid sungold has it all over the OP one. The hybrid has a special flavor I didn't find in the OP. I like black cherry but I like sungold hybrid and snow white better.
I'm not that crazy about black plum but it was prolific. They roast up in the oven pretty well tho. Principe Borghese is not for fresh eating...yuck...but it dries well and it too is very productive. Noir de Crime...I think is a nice small tomato. I probably won't grow it again because I've found another small tomato that I like better and it's much more productive than noir de crime.
Silvery fir tree is a very attractive little plant. I Grew it for 2 yrs and found it to be bland and unproductive.
I too prefer the SunGold hybrid. I tried SunSugar and SunSomethingicantremember. Both claimed to taste as good as SunGold but with less cracking but neither came close to that unique SunGold taste.
Black Cherry is a nice tasting cherry too. Along with SunGold it's the only cherries I think I'll ever grow again.
I mentioned Purple Calabash - I found it to be very prolific, and a gorgous LOOKING tomato - ruffled, VERY dark (I have very few tomatoes that darken up like that in Z5, MA) purple, just a gorgous tomato - but the taste was astringent, acidic, evil - it was described as 'winey'... I did not find it to be anything but the taste of bile. I didn't pull up the plants - but I didn't find them to be 'tomato sauce worthy' either (I'll pretty much throw anything into a sauce). I was afraid the sauce would taste like THAT... Ewwwww!
As for Dr. Carolyn/Galinas - I find them both to be very good tomatoes! I like several Cherry tomatoes - Dr. Carolyn being one of them - green grape being another... I have never found yellow/Ivory tomatoes to be real tasty - but I find those really tomatoey tasting! I think they're both quite good. Riesentraube I didn't care for - but not because the taste was THAT bad but because it was LOADED - I mean LOADED - with seeds!
But we all have our own criteria...
There are lots of tomatoes I wouldn't grow again - but the only tomato that I really think sucked - I mean really sucked (or spit - whatever) was Purple Calabash. I'm only saying on the suck scale - the ones you mention I think I could understand why they're on your suck list... but purple calabash is 2 clicks past suck on the suck scale.
:) Just my opinion.
Beefy Boy is one of the loudest sucking tomatoes I have grown in the past 45 yrs.
Taste and production are ok, but I like to harvest more than one out of every hundred tomatoes. If you like BER, you will love Beefy Boy!
Big Beef, from what I have seen growing side by side, look and taste the same, but almost no BER. Live and learn.
Reading here and thinking, which I do from time to time. LOL
If a variety comes to you highly reccomended do you grow it a second year to assess it rather than relying on one year's performance which may have had problems separate from the variety itself?
If you yourself got pulled in by the hype in different catalogs/websites and you grew the variety more than once to assess it do you take full responsibility that you yourself made the descision to purchase that variety? ( smile)
If a variety has BER one year does that mean it will always have it the next year? Nope, it' doesn't.
If a variety has foliage diseases one year does it mean it will have them the next year, for sure? Nope, it doesn't.
But most folks are commenting about taste.
Can the same variety taste different when grown in different seasons in the same place? Yes, it can.
Can the same variety grown in one geographic area taste different in another geographic area in the same season? Yes, it can.
Taste is perceptual. And thank heaven's we don't all have the same taste perceptions, nor do we have the same visual perceptions. Taste also has an individual genetic component so what tastes great to one person may taste like rotting mud to another person. ( smile)
I decided to bring up these few comments b'c I'd hate to see folks who are reading here and are fairly new to tomato growing crossing off varieties b'c someone else didn't like them.
The only way anyone will know if they do or don't like a specific tomato vartiety is to grow it. LIke it, keep it, think it can do better, grow it a second year. Yes, I'm aware of those of you who have little space and want every single variety to be outstanding for you. That's theoretical and not reality. ( smile)
That being said, I did see a few of my own spitters being listed, but each of them I've grown in different seasons a couple of times before I put them in the spitter category. LOL
Curious - I'm wondering why it's offensive to talk about tomatoes that we DON'T like? I mean we talk about tomatoes we DO...
If someone had told me purple calabash is astringent prior to growing it myself it might have saved me... MAY BE - I am a little slow :) but I think this is as helpful as any 'which ones do you like' list... for me...
I was contemplating Burpee's Red Lightening and I really dislike hard, thick skin, bland tomatoes (they'll never tell you that in the catalog) - THIS gives me the opportunity to try something else instead.
I understand that tomatoes vary year to year, place to place, person to person (taste), etc. But if I can save someone from making the same mistake I did by thinking purple calabash is 'winy and rich' I think that's helpful - Grow it and you'll know... Now I'm being saved from trying Burpee's Red Lightening... We can't always go by what the catalog tells us...
I've had that experience myself - someone gave me Dr. Carolyn plants - well, I grew them out... they were yellow pear. I've always disliked yellow pear... this year, heck, they weren't half bad! And they are lovely on a salad... so there you go.
I find it valuable (both good and negative) to know what other folks experience for different varieties.
Again, my 2 cents.
Carolyn, you wrote:
"Yes, I'm aware of those of you who have little space and want every single variety to be outstanding for you. That's theoretical and not reality." ( smile)
One man's (or woman's) theory can be someone else's reality. (SMILE here 2)
I squeezed in 23 plants last year. I ususlly go with 18 but stole space from my wife's bug attracting dahlia's. LOL
Anyway, with my old faves or better yet termed, must grow list, I am very seldom disappointed. It's only the new ones I MUST try because of great reviews here and elsewhere or from catalog blurbs that I admit I am a sucker for. Plus, it's fun growing "new to me" varieties. My "must grow's" are very consistent. Maybe I am lucky but to me they are money in the bank. That's been my reality...:)
One thing that doesn't suck:
Talking everything and anything about tomatoes in the off season...:)
OT, I can't believe I messed up. I start a couple plants in August for a winter supply. I grow them in a sunny south facing window and they've done great with no extra lighting required. This year I forgot to shake my plants until about a week ago. I had massive blossom drop from my Momotaro plant. So no ripe Momo's for Christmas this year...:(
Did someone say it was offensive to talk about tomatoes one doesn 't like? I must have missed that in the above posts b'c I certainly didn't say that at all.
Tom, please reread what I said above, perhaps you missed my point. Which was, just b'c someone doesn't like a variety it doesn't mean that others will dislike that same variety.
And the same can be said for all those threads where folks say what they do like, as in, just b'c person A likes variety X it doesn't mean others will like that same variety.
Nothing more, nothing less.
If someone had told me purple calabash is astringent prior to growing it myself it might have saved me... MAY BE - I am a little slow :) but I think this is as helpful as any 'which ones do you like' list... for me...
I can't stand Purple Calabash either, and even more so Noir des Cosebeauf, also a variety that's one of the few that has real purple tint. But some of those folks to whom I've sent the latter just love that strong assertive taste which I can't stand.
Again, I'm only saying that each person needs to grow a variety first before they can say they either do or do not like it. It goes both ways in terms of someone saying they love variety X or can't stand variety Y in terms of immediate acceptance or immediate rejetion of a variety based on a report by someone else.
All I'm suggesting is to grow a variety to see if you do like a variety or don't like it
Again, nothing more, nothing less.
If I just wanted a good tasting tomato that would give me little trouble, I'd grow Celebrity. And that's not a knock -- I think Celebrity is underrated. It's like that bank you "don't have to think about." Purple Calabash was on my "gotta try someday" list. Truth be told, I don't really like tomatoes all that much. (Jaws drop!) But I've come to like them more over the past couple of years, perhaps because the inherent snobbery of growing heirlooms forces you to pay more attention to differences in taste and appearance and to evaluate them.
Noir de Cosebeauf.... That goes on my list of someday-must-tries.
Carolyn, may be 'offensive' was not the right word - my only point was that it's just as helpful to talk about negatives of a variety as it is to talk about it's merits.
It should be understood that tomatoes like everyone can have a bad hair day - a bad growing season and well - suck... Also understood that we all have varying tastes (thankfully) but for me, it would have been helpful to know 'winy and rich' actually equals tastes like bile (or strong assertive taste) :) Also helpful to know that others may have had this experience b/c I DID only grow it one year... MAY BE someone DID find it to be 'winy and rich' (someone above said they didn't think it should be on the suck list - I don't agree, but good to know other's had the experience). I had no idea that a tomato could taste like that...
I find merit in knowing what others think of different varieties - I consider everyone's opinion helpful, which is why I'm on this forum to begin with... that and I love talking tomatoes - and frankly in my other life, I bore the heck out of my friends because they aren't passionate about the little love apples and could care less about sharing information about a beautiful but nasty tasting tomato.
Doof - eating bugs AND not liking tomatoes! Doof, if you don't like tomatoes, have I got a tomato for you... it's called purple calabash! :)
Thanks for the opportunity to discuss tomatoes with ya!
I stand by my comments on Beefy Boy.
Big Beef did very well for me, and look and taste very similar to Beefy Boy. 99% of my Beefy Boys, on every plant, got BER for both me and my neighbor.
Now, tell me, which variety, between these two, would you plant again, especially if you have limited garden space?
I don't have enough time (I'm 67) or garden space to give any variety a second chance. Especially a variety that performed so horribly the first chance, albeit possibly a perfect performer another time or for someone else. I have several varieties that perform admiraly for me EVERY year, but I still enjoy experimenting with a few different (new to me) varieties each year.
I understand (and already knew) every comment Carolyn made about my post. But this is a forum for people to share experiences, both good and bad, about tomatoes.
I am here to learn about both good and bad experiences of folks concerning their tomato growing, and I hope my opinion of Beefy Boy will be of some benefit (it certainly is to me). I hope nobody will be hesitant to post their expeiences.
I've grown a bunch of sucky useless novelty tomatoes over the years.
Yellow Pear, black plum(too many seeds) and Ceylon are three tomatoes that came to me immediately. Of course they produce like crazy.
Juliets and other roma type tomatoes whether small or large must be cooked for the flavor and sugar to come up. Just saute them in a little olive oil with garlic, S&P and fresh basil for a wonderful treat or grill them cut in half. Fantastic flavor that way. And the best part is that you get so many off each plant!!!
tomatogreenthumb, it sounds like Beefy Boy really really sucks. 99% BER - now that big time sucks! Yes it sounds like Beefy Boy might be the Kirby, the Hoover or even the cosmic black hole of the tomato universe.
I too have grown black plum and found them too be too seedy. And man, I had volunteers all over the place -for YEARS... Yellow Pear I actually liked this year... my kids think they're the best thing since candy... hey, good by me... But I've also been tempted to try Ceylon - what sucked about it? too seedy, bland, too acidic, - they look like cute little buggers.
Parks Beefy Boy. I grew it only once. And yes, it sucked.
Low production and mediocre taste.
Big Beef is a tremendous upgrade over Beefy Boy.
Tom8olvr, Ceylon has thick skins, packed with seeds, no taste IMO and I just looked at the tomato description in a magazine, it read "use on a plate as a garnish". Like parsley???lol
My tomato growing area is prime real estate. I try about 10 or so new varieties each year. Plus my steady favorites.
One tomato I was impressed with this year was Arkansas Traveler. A pink tom that produced lots of tasty uniform 5oz. fruit. I have a local greenhouse that had cell packs of different heirlooms in the Spring. Old German was another one I picked up from him. Had trouble this year with that one. It produced lots of 1 lb+ fruit. A huge bicolor mostly yellow with distinct red on the bottom working toward the top with very thin skins that everyone cracked. The bugs always got to them before me.
I guess like parsley! LOL. Although, I'd eat parsley - not sure about a thick skinned, seedy, tomato with no taste! Thanks for the tip. I've often thought of trying it... you saved me!
Arkansas Traveler... what was the taste like? You just said 'tasty'...
I tried a heat-tolerant hybrid called Heatwave that was just not worth it - I live in Central Florida, and our steamy late summers are death to tomatoes; and this one was advertised as better able to set fruit and survive a Florida August. Well, survive and fruit they did indeed: I wound up with about 400 million of the prettiest round red tomatoes, every one of which tasted like battery acid! Back to the drawing board...
What a title to the thread, lol. : )
I have to say, by flavor only, ones I couldn't stand are Juliet, Glamour, and Early Girl. Of course all were very productive for me! Now those varieties, I only grew once. I often do grow other varieties twice before deciding if it was just the season or I really don't like the tomato.
I've grown Ceylon and I didn't hate it, but it wasn't a favorite for sure. I found them seedy and need to be eaten at the exact moment of ripeness, because they go bad so quick.(Tomatogrower, "use on a plate as a garnish". Like parsley???LOL!!!) I recommend Red Star instead. It looks very similar, but is a much better quality tomato.
Here is a link that might be useful: Red Star
Gee, this is a great thread! Entertaining and informative.
Re. Sun Gold: Could it be that there are impostor Sun Gold seeds and plants out there? I kind'a think so based on what I read here, plus my own experience.
I tasted the real (divine) thing in 2006, so this summer I grew a few plants (duds). The 2006 version were delicious: sweet, small, orangy in color, as opposed to my larger, yellow, and astringent duds. Mine did eventually get a bit of the orangy color when overly ripe, but never got sweet, and were consistently larger. Mine also did not develop the huge bushy canopy that I had seen in 2006.
I do understand that my conditions are different from the farm's where the divine version grew, but the farm is just 25 miles West of here. But if soil conditions could make that big of a difference in a little tom, I need to get more serious about getting manures incorporated into the program.
However, I do think the Sun Gold plants that I bought were not the true hybrid, and if they weren't, perhaps there are many other impostors out there, which could explain the diametrically opposing views on this little tom.
Perhaps there are impostors of other varieties as well?
I am a picky eater. Lots of sensory issues. I wont bother on texture though that can be a plus minus for me.
These are for taste alone:
Coyote (potential replacement for Ipecac - seriously induces a gag reflex for me)
Doctors Green (potential replacement for Alum)
(noticing a pattern here?)
Never been impressed compared to the hype of:
Aunt Ruby's German Green
Earl of Edgecombe
Lime Green Salad
Black from Tula
Other than SunGold or SunSugar not too impressed with many tangerine fruits. Improvement is needed there. Beta fruits can be even more uneventful (Carorich and the high vitamin A lines from the USDA). Improvement is needed there even more.
Here is a link that might be useful:
That's Green Doctors Mule, in case anyone wanted to look it up, the one I asked you about re the genetics as to being a spontaneous mutation from Dr, Carolyn, and you said yes, it was possible.
My few tomatoes were a bust this year so I didn't get to taste it but the reports that I've seen have said that the persons who did grow it and taste it thought it was better than Green Grape.
Maybe I'll find out one day for myself. Sigh.
As for the rest on that list I pretty much agree with what you listed. I never grew Green Sausage b;c I had two similar ones from Tom Wagner that he asked me to trial and I thought they were great. Seeds not available commercially or otherwise.
And seeds for Green Doctors are currently available only to SSE members thru the Yearbook and of course seeds that some SSE members get they share with others.
(noticing a pattern here?)...
Yeah, you do not like most "whites", "yellows", "oranges" and "greens". You however take exception to this for SunGold and SunSugar, which of course are both very sweet yellow-orange cherries. Now you pan Kellogg's Breakfast which is a large sweet orange beefsteak. Given this apparent contradiction, I reprise a statement that John McEnroe frequently visited upon chair umpires during his active tennis career:"You can't be serious !"(granted, JonnieMac's protestations were not always validated by what he thought to be incorrect calls).
I am glad that so many people have responded to this thread.. I realize that taste is very personal, but I am noticing trends and general opinions here. If you saw my yard, you would die laughing. In terms of plant real estate, "prime" is an understatement. I have room for about 5 plants. I appreciate everones comments. I did grow some extremely sucky tomtoes this year. Brandywine was... whatever..Boring. Ananas Noir I don't actually know if it tasted good or not but it sucked big because I didn't get a single fruit. Green zebra...I could have saved space and eaten green tomatoes off of anyother plant. But I did like the "Sungold" and "Balconi yellow" good, and I could grow 100 of these plants because theyre small.
never heard of Balconi Yellow ... where did that come from?
It's listed in Daves Garden ss a yellow cherry
Balconi yellow I purchased from Thompson and Morgan.
Thanks, LaLa. I went to TM and found they carry Balconi Yellow and Balconi Red and even have an offer for both. I'm gonna order some of those for a few friends who live in apartments and condos, and who grew some dwarf and micro tomatoes last year. Gotta keep trying some new stuff!
I may be alone, but I have to stick up for Mister Stripey.
Mine turned out to be large, flavorful, and productive this year.
Mr. Stripey (the large one, not the tiny one) is certainly a great tomato. My neighbors have grown it for several years, and love the size and flavor.
Myself, I grow Pineapple and Hillbilly usually. Hillbilly seems to be more productive but smaller fruit. Both taste the same to me. Anyone that dont like Stripey has stunted taste buds. lol
With all these alerts, I might stop growing toms. My list for next year (all assorted colours of cherries) is in all the failed for taste you guys have posted except Sungold.
No one mention 'Yellow Taxi' that one really sucks. Five toms and one with end wrought. Pretty though and good taste but I'm not giving it space to get five toms.
With all these alerts, I might stop growing toms. My list for next year (all assorted colours of cherries) is in all the failed for taste you guys have posted except Sungold.
Why would you do that? Take a look at the regions of the posters and see how many of us are in your neighborhood.
Regional weather, differences in the skills of gardeners, different soils, as well as different palates are going to effect description of flavor.
This post, 'Tomatoes that Suck', is as much about effect as it as about affect. So don't cross varieties off your list for anyone's opinion except your own--you have to grow out tomatoes at least a couple of times in your own garden to really see if they're great for you or if they're great for compost.
Sweet Chelsea. ugh was it bad!!
Green Zebra. Didn't swallow it, just spit it out.
Glad to know I'm not the only one who's had good experiences with Mr. Stripey!
Sungold is tasty sweet but eventually I think it is just too sweet.
I am not a super tomato lover, but found Juliett to my liking.....handy eating out in the patch.
Anna Russian has a very nice flavor...looks like it needs watering a lot but really produced here.
I don't think it is just personal taste or preference. Some tomatoes seem to have less wide tolerances than others.
Notice the divergence of opinions on Sungold. It's not that some of us hate a sweet tomato--it's that in our climates, it's not sweet. Not at all. Completely and consistently mealy and bland. I gave it 3 chances and it was "sucky" every time. This tomato is so popular, however, that I am guessing that the problem is the climate and not the tomato per se.
"Green Zebra" seems to be another polarizing tomato, and I can guess why. I would bet that some of us can get them riper than others of us, without them turning mealy. Mine were "tangy", slightly sweet, and distinctive. Not bad at all.
I am reluctant to post my list of losers, because I suspect that a lot of the problem was growing conditions. I can think of some exceptions--some varieties bred by university agricultural extensions that are pretty universally acknowledged to be bland and plastic-textured just like commercial varieties.
Hmmm - I've gotta go with Mr. Stripey, Juliet, and Yellow Pear for suckiness. Yellow Pear IS CUTE though.
I have to go with the Beams Yellow Pear myself. Maybe it was just this batch, but as lovely looking as they were, they reminded me of store rocks....I mean tomatoes. I will give them another chance or three to make sure it just wasnt this planting that was bad.
I wonder also , as raisemybeds is somewhere nearby and had a similar reaction , if it isnt our area in general.
"With all these alerts, I might stop growing toms. My list for next year (all assorted colours of cherries) is in all the failed for taste you guys have posted except Sungold."
Newbie 2007 - there are a gazillion of varieties out there that are really wonderful. Many of the same varieties are mentioned here over and over again - but there are MANY other's to try!!! All you need to do is go to a thread in which folks talk about tomatoes they love - and try THOSE - there are MANY lovelies out there!
Taste is subjective... Sometimes we have a 'bad year'... sometimes we get bum seed... lots of variables... but don't let any discussion discourage you from trying something you might like!
Copia - Major spitter!
Ones that immediately come to mind are Lucky Leprechaun (cute as a button, early, but superbland), Tiny Tiger (astringent, and not that attactive because the striping mostly disappears when dead ripe), Coyote (strange, skunky aftertaste). And yes, Copia, tasted it for the first time this year.
"And yes, Copia, tasted it for the first time this year."
"And yes, Copia, tasted it for the last time this year."
I was searching for good roma/paste type tomatoes and came across this post, and just had to post myself.
I haven't tried a lot...but I say Yellow Pear.
Funny thing is, two of us tried this tomato at the same time [for the first time]. I immediately spit it out and even thought it left a terrible feeling and taste in my mouth. Yet, my gentleman friend said, "I don't see what's wrong with this tomato, I think it's okay".
So what one might like, another might not.
Makes me feel better- I thought the problem w/ Brandywine's very poor production was my soil, but maybe my soil isn't as bad as I thought. Sungold was great yr before last, but last yr did not taste good or produce well- maybe there are "imposters" out there. I liked it so much though that I will plant again this yr. and hope to get the real thing.
Good thread, as a beginner in variety tomatoes, I appreciate other's opinions.
Tried Early Girl years ago, found it flavorless. Brandy
I'm glad this thread was resurrected. Red lightning was a spitter with tough skin - very sour/bitter. I also didn't care for Brandywines. Flavor was ok but not outstanding and not prolific.
I have mixed feelings about yellow pears. They're very cute, but don't taste like much. I do still grow them for their cuteness.
So,to sum up:
sucked: Red lightning
not prolific: Brandywines
no taste: Yellow pears
It's funny how one person's spitter is another person's Holy Grail. My friend goes nuts over Copia. You'd think Jesus came back into town with an armload of Copia in tow from the way she goes on about it. Me, I get a perplexed look when folks rave about Amish Paste. Mine was more like Amish Bag of Seeds and Blossom End Rot.
Well, I'm here to defend poor Juliet. I do agree it is very mediocre fresh but roasted it is to die for. I raise Juliet just to have roasted tomatoes for the long winter. I cut in half, seed, then roast with olive oil, garlic and oregano until soft, leathery. Then I freeze them. Yum! I've tried numerous varieties roasted and Juliet is head and shoulders above the rest.
Also I love black cherry for fresh snacking and didn't have any issues with splitting.
Silvery Fir Tree
Fourth of July for me, they grew like gangbusters and I was thrilled until I tasted one of them. The skin was very thick and the flavor, well there really wasn't any flavor. I was so grateful that I grew Buck's County Hybrids that summer because they were delicious!
totally OT, but moosemac, do you roast your toms in the oven ? what temperature? THey sound GOOD!
This thread is cracking me up! For what it's worth, I generally do give varieties more than one chance if a lot of people rave about them but they're not very good the first time I grow them. However, ones that have been spittable for me and that I won't bother with again were Plum Lemon and Copia. Yuck! Copia especially was such a disappointment - a very pretty tomato, but good god, tasted horrible.
I roast them in the oven at 250 until soft leathery, (it takes quite a while depending on the humidity). Then I cool and freeze them in layers with plastic wrap between each layer. That way I can grab a few at a time for sandwiches, etc.
If I'm pressed for time I roast at 350 until they exude juice then drain off the juice and reduce the temp to 250. They are not quite as good but it is quicker.
I wondered what tomato Better Boy might possibly be Better than until I grew Brandywines for a few years. I have still never been able to eat more than a bite of one. One day I have to go to a tasting to see what I'm missing, because I certainly can't grow one that tastes good.
I agree with the poster who criticized the poster who defamed the red cherry. Several red cherries top my "good" list.
Green Zebra I agree is not the best....but they are not bad a little underipe and fried w/ cornmeal and ranch dressing!
Mr. Stripely is the worst tomato I have ever had....horrible taste....
Why all the hate for stupice?
Mr. Stripey should be called Mr. Suckey. It's that bad.
Sungella has been one of the worst varieties for me. A healthy plant producing a large crop of the most BLAND and MUSHY fruit, just plain yucky! Someone else from another growing region had previously commented the same, so guess it's just not me.
I really liked Purple Calabash. My husband even liked the taste, just thought it was one ugly tomato.
Each person has a different set of tastebuds - both in types of receptors and distribution on the tongue. A good example of differences happens when my wife and I taste new varieties for the first time. She has a different opinion than I do about the taste. I grew Supersweet 100 this year and when the ripe ones began to flow, I cut one in half and we each tasted the same tomato.
Well, I thought it was GREAT!! Slightly tart and sweet, but not too sweet. Firm and not full of seeds. Absolutely heaven. But she said it was "green", sour, and needed to stay on the vine longer. We bought some Opalka at a local market and tested again. She said it was perfect and immediately made a sandwich. I thought it was okay, but needed to get a personality - too bland (yes, I know it's a roma type).
I also grew Yellow Pear this year (Beam's Yellow Pear I have found out) and find it blandish and "mushy". She thinks they are great, but I should leave them on the vine longer.
So, in the end, I think we all grow some tomatoes that, while we don't care much for them, other folks just love them - some simply because we give them away. I think that no matter how variable the tastes we perceive of our homegrowns, they are far and away better than those grocery store "cardboard imposters" we have to tolerate between crops. :>)
No question Taste is subjective,
My circle of Tasters confirm this. LOL
I enjoy reading about losers more than winners.
I would like to see more people give;
1 Location in the world they grow
2 Ground or Container grown
3 Favorite Tom to offset the worst.
( some need to update their info to area they live)
By reading what a persons favs are I can better judge if I have the same taste.
A BetterBoy is a BetterBoy and across the country it has
been grown, so location does not make it a Brandywine.
Now weather will affect health, productivity, fuit size,
some degree flavor.
So I look at who posts and take into account where they are
and how it was grown, most important; what they think is a winner.
ARGG was a waste for me. Plant was healthy, made a lot of fruit, but I would prefer. Lemonboy or Betterboy. LOL
Let us do a statistical analysis for Rating Tomatoes for:
(Rating from 1 to 10) for below:
Flavor by Men (sweet to sour)
Flavor by Women (sweet to sour)
Appearance by men (normal to unusual)
Appearance by women (normal to unusual)
Production (weight per plant)
Any other variable we can choose to represent an acceptable variety versus a spitter (example, an overall Rating).
The more people suppling the ratings the better our sample population will be able to represent the tomatoe growing and I can give it to containerted to add to his 400 + varieties list.
Well, just a thought. Aloha
Grampa's Minnesota is a vile little thing. I'm actually thinking about yanking it. Without improvement Health Kick isn't far behind.
Shouldn't judge a new variety from the first of the season but Carbon didn't do much for me, grown right next to a Cherokee Purple that we all liked very much.
Missouri Pink Love Apple is very tasty, very juicy but quite a few seeds in the one we've enjoyed so far.
I *love* Green Zebra, but its cousin Red Zebra is a spitter for me. Sour and bitter. Too bad, because it's gorgeous. I don't even want to bring them to the office to give away for fear of getting a bad rep.
The cherry Christmas Grapes was also a spitter. No other varieties were spitters, although there are a few I wouldn't grow again.
Standouts for flavor have been Stupice, Beefsteak, Kellogg's Breakfast, and Sungold, just off the top of my head. Mortgage Lifter was one of the best I ever tasted, but it did so poorly in my yard that I don't grow it anymore.
It's so interesting to read people's preferences. As folks have said, one person's spitter is another's dream date. On the other hand, certain varieties do keep cropping up in the spitter lists. I don't think I'll ever bother with Juliet!
It would be helpful to know where the seed came from which sucked and what zone you live in or area of the country. Gardening/Farming faces many ups and downs from each year yet I've found that seed source is an important factor to consider where or not I dump a tomato or try a different seed source. Just indicate if it came from a friend who bought it at Tomatos.com or if they traded for it. Some trades will have crosses with another tomato and effect the flavor,plant size and fruit. I appreciate everyone's input so far on what was disappointing and what was good. I'm making my choices for 2009 now reviewing my notes on changes to be made in using more compost, Mycorrhiza Fungi to assist in the root system development, experimenting with raised square foot beds, and additional soil enhancements to the VA red clay, i.e. sand, manure.ect.
My "SUCKIEST" is "Heart Of Compassion"...lousy fruit setting, taste was just blah and they took forever to ripen. I plant about 150 tomato plants a year and believe me when I tell you it sucks, IT REALLY SUCKS! I gave these a shot two different years (I am nothing if not fair...) I planted them in a different section and guess what??? THEY STILL SUCKED! My hubby grows the "non-sundrying" tomatoes, and he says "Hez Hou" sucks (frankly, I never heard of it.)
He said there were only a few on each bush and that they tended to get knocked off the vine very easily.
Here in the Gettysburg, Pa. area, I found Green Zebra, Juliet, Stupice, Black from Tula and Japanese Black Trifele to be spitters. The latter were way too sweet, the former tastless.
This years favorites were Cherokee Purple, Sandul Moldavan, "Cowlicks" Brandywine, Olena Ukrainian, Amazon Chocolate, Black Brandywine, Kelloggs Breakfast, Opalka and Sungolds, to name a few of the hundreds that I grew.
I did learn that the amount of water makes a difference. Kellogg's Breakfast did much better without as much water this year, than it did last year when watered regularly. This also applies to Mr Stripey (the beefsteak, not the small one).
Last year, the Brandywines, Caspian Pinks and Cherokee Purples topped the list of great tasters. Spitters were Tomandy, Better boy, Big Rainbow and Mr Stripey.
I can't speak for taste, since all I got from the plant was one tiny, grape-sized tomato. Not enough to cook down into sauce so I'll just toss it in with the Romas or Black Plums. But I was thoroughly underwhelmed with Opalka. It gave me the one tiny tomato, then wilted, turned yellow, then brown. It's in exile away from the other tomato plants now, since I'm afraid what it might have might be catching.
But I'll give it another try next year, in a different pot, in different conditions. It might have just been bad conditions for it this year.
This year in North Eastern Alabama my "Big White Pink Stripe" plants were really mild and bland. That in addition to being the first to succumb to disease, blossom drop, and the only plant to have blossom end rot. Won't grow again.
Lilacs of May,
Sorry to hear of your disfavor with Opalka. I grew it for the first time this year and it was fantastic. Large plump long tomatoes that actually looked like nice red peppers. The produced a great amount and they tasted great! Not just for sauce, but for snacking on as you work about the garden. Not juicy like most tomatoes, but a nice rich flavor that pleases the tastebuds. Also the only paste-type or Roma type tomato that had no "BER" for me, which seems to plague my San Marzanos and Roma types.
Hope you have better luck with it in the future, as I found it to be a "keeper" in my gardens. Happy Gardening!
Of the 19 types I planted this year, the worst have been a tomato called Dutchman and Purple Russian. The Dutchman are massive plants with hardly any toms, the PRs have little taste and look strange.
Favorite taste are the German Johnsons and Cherokee purples, with the Carbons not far behind.
For me there have been only three that really sucked out of the 90 or so varieties I've grown. They were Florida Pink, Floramerica, and Azoychka.
Kelloggs Breakfast..incredibly bland.. beautiful, large, yellow tomato but tasteless.
I'm glad someone else mentioned Kellog's Breakfast. They grew huge tomatoes, which were not beautiful in my case. They were cat faced and then split as they ripened. Those that did ripen without spitting were bland and mushy.
I also don't understand what all the hype is about Sungolds. They weren't bad, but I wouldn't say they're spectacular either. I'd rather grow and prefer the taste of the cheap seeds "Large Red Cherry."
mscratch and booberry,
I grew Kellogg's breakfast in '07, after hearing how fantastic it was. The very first one was great, but they got bland and mushy after that as I watered them just like everything else in the gardens.
This year I tried them again, (just 2-3 plants), and withheld water until they really looked like they would die without it. Only watered them about once/week and not for a long time either.
They turned out fantastic, rich tasting with an almost creamy texture. Much more superior than any other orange/yellow tomato I grew, and more scruptious than a lot of the pinks/ reds/ blacks/ and purples.
You might try them again, and withold the water from them! Happy Gardening!
to follow up on somthing Carolyn said up above about trying a "sucky" variety a second year.
I have had Varities of Heirlooms that I loved one year that really did not make the grade the following year.
I have also had some that I hated the first year BUT tried again and they were the best thing sinced sliced bread the second year.....
That is why I grow about 12 differnt Varieties of Heirlooms every year. I never know which one or two will be the best thing I have ever eaten.... & never to be repeated.....
I have a lot of gripes against Kellogg's Breakfast, but taste and texture are not one of them. I totally disagree that Kellogg's Breakfast is bland and mushy. I just got my first ripe one for this year, and it was the best tasting tomato I've eaten in this year, and it wasn't mushy at all. If you want mushy, I recommend Jaune Flamme.
My opinion is not totally subjective. I tested the brix of this tomato, and it was 7 1/2 which is pretty darn good.
Now my gripes against this plant is that it has never been productive for me (this will likely be my only Kellogg's Breakfast this year,) and that it usually develops some sort of leathery patch on the bottom (no it isn't blossom-end rot because is always only skin deep [thankfully,] it's like a callus on your tomato.)
My Dad just followed up about the Cherokee PUrple I gave him, which I was convinced would be the greatest thing ever. Well it was watery and thin skinned and rotted the instant it was ripe if you didnt pick it. VERY LAME. I will try i again however, because Someone likes it for SOME reason. Hopefully I'll find out.
The trick with some of the blacks (black krim and cherokee purple) is that you pick them when they still have a little green on the shoulders, because once fully ripe, they don't keep very well..eat em quick.
Didn't care for
Box car Willie------bland
Caspian Pink--------descent flavor, but not productive
Park's Whopper------Anything but a whopper
Aunt Ruby's German Green------one plant and 4 fruit, descent taste, but not productive enough for me.
Amish Paste-------Suffered severely from BER..both plants in 2 different gardens, while all other varieties flourished.
Could be my growing conditions or geological area, but those are not going to have any space in my garden..
What a great forum this is! This basically touches on a point that Carolyn brought up, but for what it's worth...
A few years ago I was visiting friends in Modena who had a most wonderful garden. Among their tomatoes was Custoluto Genovese, which they included in one of the many beautiful meals I enjoyed at their home. After fussing and raving over this tomato (they made fun of me) they gave me the rest of the original seed packet. I tried them out the following spring, planting four of them. Rocks! They were thick skinned wrinkly rocks. I later learned from a neighboor that he had equally poor results a few years prior to my having tried it. So, I've come to the conclusion that soil, climate, and water all have a hand in the end result. I believe some tomatoes simply grow better here (Athens, GA) than others.
karen_florida didn't like the Heatwave Hybrid. I grew them last year in Mel's Mix and they had a wonderful taste. Plus the plants really produced for a very long time -- even through our July and August months of almost 100 degrees and 100% humidity. The other varieties I planted just burned up or wouldn't set fruit.
I really think alot of the "taste" of tomatoes comes from the makeup of your soil... just my opinion. So what tastes good in one area might not in another.
I love this thread because so many people are agreeing on the varieties that they do not like. I'll make sure to stratch some of these off my "to try" list :-)
Here is a link that might be useful: Judy's Square Foot Garden
Park's Whopper sucks really bad. Yuck. I felt like i had be swindled on that one. Supermarket tomatoes have more taste.
It seems everyone here judges tomato quality when eaten fresh. Isn't the purpose of such diverse varieties to meet differing needs? For example... There are varieties of tomato grown at H.J. Heinz's experimental farm that are probably not so good eaten fresh, but they make great Ketchup.
Also, if you were in zones 1 or 2 for example, you'd probably come to appreciate the very early varieties, because early tomatoes, even if they are bland, tough or too acid, taste better than NO tomatoes.
Hot house tomatoes... Ugh.
(Just offering an alternate view.)
I read this thread after my trip to the local garden centre. I did buy sub arctic plenty, mainly to get something that would ripen before first frost. Also, I bought Purple Prince for a later season 60-70 days variety. The next time someone does this thread it would help if they rated the different categories. I'm guessing main crop provides a better tasting tomato than early.
You all keep degrading the purple russian.
I just planted some Black Russian - same thing?
I also planted the green zebra stripe
Maybe they are good for cooking?
I am coming in late on this thread....some I grew last year that I won't grow again -
White Wonder - Sweet, but no real tomato flavor, too mild.
Hank - Very acidic, which wasn't too bad, but sometimes had a bitter edge and WAY too many seeds. No wonder it was a freebie.
I also grew Great White but both plants I grew put out completely different fruit - I suspect an accidental cross - one threw light yellow cherries and the other threw mealy red plums.
Varieties I really haven't cared for:
Yellow Pear has to be the blandest tomato ever
Livingston's Gold Ball is a close second
Plum Lemon is hollow and really only good for stuffing
Silvery Fir Tree
Poll Robson Angolan I grew thinking it was Paul Robeson, but was mushy, bland, and devoid of any redeeming qualities
On the other end of the spectrum, some of my favourites listed as spitters by some of you:
Black From Tula
Opalka - my all-time favourite tomato of all
In defense of Mr. Stripey the saladette red/gold striped one, I found it does very well in a salad with a robust vinaigrette. I used it in Panzanella with good results.
What fun to read this thread. I have a bedding plant and perennial business and sell 30 varieties of tomatoes - and I try to grow them myself as well. Darn it - I can't remember if it was the sugary (expensive seeds) or Sweet Baby Girl that had dreadful chewy skin that you really couldn't swallow. I won't be offering either this year. I did offer Dr. Carolyn (Amanda's waving if you're around) and one that knocked my socks off was sunsugar gold. Sungold is VERY popular around here and I have many repeat customers.
It rained and then rained some more last summer, so very few of the tomatoes had a chance to perform well.
This is one of the greatest threads ever! I've not been on here in awhile and I've moved to a new town so I get to start a whole new mater patch. Can't wait!
I must jump on the "Mr. Stripey Haters" bandwagon. That is by far the WORST tomato ever! My mother and I both grew it and it was sour, tough skinned and had the largest core of any tomato I've ever grown. Yellow Pear is bland-Mom loves it. Stupice also sucks. Ceylon was all skin and seeds, no tomato inside. With the exception of Mr. Stripey, I usually give it a couple of tries before I put in the the "suck" catagory. Stripey was just HORRID!
It was probably sugary that was so bad. For me it was the only tomato plant in the garden that no one would eat the tomatoes from. It was bland, tasteless and extremely prolific. I'm sure I'll be pulling out a lot of volunteers from it this year since it put out so many tomatoes and no one wanted to pick any. Why is it that the most prolific tomato plants put out the worst tomatoes?
Sugary seems not to have lived up to the hype. Haven't tried it.
But Small Fry - the AAS winner, determinate, disease-resistant cherry - was worse than grocery store tomatoes. Made a bunch of "blah" seedlings the next year, too. Had to be careful not to put the tomatoes in a bowl with other varieties.
is there two versions of Mr Stripey?
Last year i bought some plants from different locations. One truned out to be the "Tigerella" (sp) version and the other was like a beefsteak. I preferred the beefsteak to tigerella.
I will be growing 32 plants this year..... 5 of them will be Green Zebras.... Love this tomato! A bit different, slightly tart, looks great when mixed with other colors.
Sugary has been a favorite grape of my friends and family. I start tomatoes for several friends and they always ask for Sugary. Most say the tomatoes never make it to the house because they eat them right off the vine. I have a few tomato plants in 2 containers on the driveway (besides a bunch in the ground) and Sugary was one of them. I thought it wasn't producing but my family said they plucked them every time they walked by and ate a few.
I can't say any type I've grown was repulsive. The blandest that come to mind for me are Early Girl and Copia but they were still as good or better than store bought!
I really liked Mr. Stripey (the big one) when i grew it a couple of years ago. Was excellent sliced on bruschetta with prosciutto and havarti. I didn't water enough, maybe, but I suspect that that helped the stripeys as much as it hurt the others.
There seems to be considerable confusion about what tomato actually is the 'Mr. Stripey' variety. If you look in the Tomato Growers Supply (TGS) catalog, what they list as 'Mr. Stripey' is the small fruited tomato originally known as 'Tigerella'. I think the tomato that people like and associate with the name 'Mr. Stripey' is the large fasciated, ponderosa type that has yellow flesh with red streaks. In TGS, several varieties of this type are listed: 'Hilbilly', 'Georgia Streak', 'Old German', 'Big Rainbow'. and 'Pineapple'. There are other names for this type of tomato also such as 'German Stripe'. If the large fruited yellow/red streaked tomatoes sold as 'Mr. Stripey' and some of the other names listed in TGS are not good flavored with a very desirable melting texture, there sure are a lot of consumers that are badly fooled. These tomatoes are in great demand for home garden and at local stands and farmers markets in some areas of the U.S.
As far as tomatoes that suck, I think the original name for 'Stupice' was probably 'Stupid', and the people that grew it did not did not want to be identified with that name so they changed it.
I just bought German Head, Bloody Butcher, Brown Berry, Giant Valentine, Kellog's Breakfast, Tigerella and Ukranian Pear....never had them before.
Are they any good?
Florida Petite was Florida pathetic for me. Grew it indoors over last fall because I thought it would be manageable under my fluorescents in my perennial herb bed in the kitchen. Blech... We wound up using them to throw at the squirrels that were scaring off the songbirds at our feeders. Out of the ones that I have grown in the garden that were spit out da mouth nasty, Mano takes the cake. They were so hard that it was like biting into a plum-even though they were bright red. I even brought some in and sat them on the counter for a few MONTHS to try to soften them up. No dice Chivo... Might make good paperweights. Giraffe was another that just did not impress me. Sure it has a long shelf life, but what's the point in that if it tastes like the supermarket cardbord ones anyway? As far as bigger ones go, Big Zac is a big flop for me. Not only is it not that big, it has all of the flavor of pond water, and scars up like a boxer with cauliflower ear. Give me a Strawberry Margarita anyday over the whole lot! Ahhhh fresh sliced with a dash of salt, or a fresh picked basil leaf or two? Don't worry kids... It's coming! Happy gardening 2009-B-ri
Hey Tomato People:
I posted part of this on another line earlier. But since I see this is a much more active ...and funny conversation, am re-posting it here. Hope nobody minds.
I really agree that generally speaking, lab developed tomatoes seem to scrape the bottom of the spit-tune. The worst are the yellow pears. For about the last four years, I have been searching for a good one. They are so wonderful to look at...and really make a beautiful salsa. But so far I have not found one I could taste. I am smitten by the old strains. Although not all Heirlooms hit the mark, very few of the new breeds come close to those wonderful flavors we all remember from childhood.
The first and most wonderful Heirloom Tomato we ever grew was called "Giant Belgium". I bought the plants in 1994 at the Farmers Market in Saint Paul, Minnesota. We also planted our first Paul Robeson and Brandywines that year.
We were planting a new garden for my Mother, in the spot where my Gramdpa had planted his kitchen garden since 1934. But nothing had been planted there since at least 1970. When we turned it over, the soil was incredibly rich smelling, full of huge night crawlers and black as pitch.
And...what grew from those plants was nothing short of magic. The fruit was high in an unusual kind of round tasting acid flavor... not sharp but soft and at he same time sweet, juicy and very fragrant. They were the most wonderful old-fashioned tasting tomatoes we have ever grown...and they were huge. Many over three pounds.
But after that first year, we never could find those plants...or seeds again. Lucily, I am in the habbit of saving seed...and I did save about 15 from the original tomatoes that we got that year. For a few years after, we got fruit from them...but as time passed they weakened and then the seed just stopped producing. I have no idea why. But this has happened to me before, from saved seed. Since then, we combed magazines and markets everywhere and have never been able to find Giant Belgiums.
Has anyone ever heard of them, or do you know where I can get them?
Thanks a lot Tomato People
PS: Hmmm...strange. Just checked on the seed list here...and found Giant Belgium for sale by Burpy...Burpie...sp...not sure). I guess I stopped looking for them quite some time ago. Anyway, the tomato is described there, as "non-acid". Hmmm. It is also described as being "large and succulant", but other than that, the description does not sound at all like what we had. Burpy is not known for their Heirlooms...are they?
You may find Giant Belgium on the exchange forum.
Here is a link that might be useful: Plant and seed exchange
Tomatoes are like the economy, some years good, some bad. Tomatoes that suck or spitters, just the ones that are rotten. Sort of like politicians. Some have good work ethics and produce others don't. I love them all on good years.
purplemonster said "I just bought German Head, Bloody Butcher, Brown Berry, Giant Valentine, Kellog's Breakfast, Tigerella and Ukranian Pear....never had them before."
Bloody Butcher - pretty good, at least early
Brown Berry - one of the most productive, BLAH tasting varieties I have ever grown
Giant Valentine - ???
Kellog's Breakfast - good
Tigerella - ???
Ukranian Pear - ???
Not to make this an ad or anything, but I received my shipment from Tomato Growers Supply recently and couldn't figure out where the packet of Giant Belgium came from as this was one I didn't order...well this is their "free" pack if you order more than a certain amount this year....a new one for me
German Head and Brown Berry have been two of the most delcious tomatoes I've grown.
Note for Nannieb. Your description is typical of a disease problem in your soil or a seed borne disease. Open pollinated tomatoes produce consistently from seed year after year. If yours quit producing, there was a reason and it was not likely because the seed were at fault, it was more likely the gardeners problem. Tomatoes should be rotated to fresh soil each year if possible to reduce problems and seed should be properly handled to reduce the possibility they carry disease.
The phrase 'seed ran out' is often used to describe a problem caused by severe inbreeding depression. This is applicable to Corn which is an outbreeder but it is NOT applicable to tomatoes which are natural inbreeders.
The fastest way to mess up a natural outbreeder is to grow a small population and save seed at each generation. In about 3 years, inbreeding depression will be significant and within 7 years, it can be so serious that survival of the variety is no longer possible. This is why growers of open pollinated lines of natural outbreeders (like corn) make a point to always grow a minimum number of plants. For corn, about 200 plants will work for long term survival. Even then, it is helpful if you can exchange stock with other growers of the same variety to maintain diversity.
Again to emphasize, tomatoes do not normally 'run out'.
To contribute to this thread, I agree re Stupice which to me is very productive but utterly bland. There are other varieties that I consider too sweet or have an off flavored whang and without balance. Druzba is an excellent tomato but it is NOT sweet most of the time. It has a wonderful flavor to me and others who like an intense tomato flavor, but it is not at all appreciated by folks who want a sweet tomato.
Yellow Pear has to be my worst. I also didn't like Sweetie Cherry Tomato. Green Zebra is my favourite!
Love reading all the postings
I usually do my research here before I try new Tom varities .. The one that has sucked for us [so far] has to be I think it was White Cherry [it was a yellowy white cherry] really really sickly sweet . we did;nt like it too much but when I asked one my youngest daughters friends to try it .. she threw up on our porch ..
that sold us on not growing that one again ..
Thanks also for the unput about Yellow Pear . I am growing this one this year for Hubby as he said it was 'cute' ..
won't say anything and see how HE likes it ..
Our fave here is SunGold ..and the cherrys .. [usually Green Grape ..Black Cherry .. SunGold ... Tommy Toes .. ]
Good summer you all !!
Bradley-no flavor whatsoever! (to me) When we moved to TN, everyone said it was the best tomato. There's even one farmer at the downtown farmer's market that only grows Bradleys....and they sell! No accounting for taste! :-) I tried them for two years, thinking the first year could have been weather conditions (drought) Second year they were just as bland as the first.
Would like to defend Yellow Pear. Grown 3 years running now. First two years were knock-your-socks-off good. Extremely flavorful. My most popular tomato that year for myself, friends, and family.
Last year - not so good. It was truly bland as others say.
However, Carelyn's right. Each year is different. Since this little mega-producer was so good the first couple years, I'm going to try again.
Wow, was it ever good!
Also, it makes a killer tomato, ginger, jam!!! No need to chop or peel. Just through in the pot whole. Now, that's easy homemade fabulous jam.
Here's my first nomination for tomatoes that suck from my 2009 garden: Super Sioux, which I can describe as flavorless with a tiny dash of tart. Will use the rest of the fruit not yet ripened for fried green tomatoes. Big disappointment for me, because they're allegedly quite heat tolerant. I know flavor can vary from year to year and place to place, but if you'd take a gassed supermarket tomato over something you've grown, that's a pretty strong statement of "bad."