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Heirlooms for New England

Posted by lamalu 6 MA (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 31, 07 at 10:59

Hi! This year I broke away from patio tomatoes and started my own plants from seed, took over part of my perennial bed and planted San Marzano, Sun Gold Cherries and a determinate from Johnny's Selected Seeds. I'm really happy with the results so far but next year I really want to branch out and try some other varieties. I did some poking around and I think I have a good list of some to try:

Mule Team
Hillbilly
Cherokee Purple
Scarlet Beefsteak
Brandywine
Thessaloniki (a nod to my grandparents)

Does anyone have experience with these in zone 6? Planned uses: can and freeze some, make salsa, general eating and sharing. Maybe a tomato tasting in the fall would be fun.
Yea or Nay?
I chose these from Heirloom Seeds - should I be looking at any other seed suppliers?
Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Heirlooms for New England

Well, I can definitely say Yea! to the Cherokee Purple. I didn't start mine from seed, but they are the best for just cutting up in chunks and eating, with a little salt sprinkled on. Even with the drought, mine are as juicy as a piece of watermelon, really meaty, a meal in itself.


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

Neither my mom nor I have had good luck with Cherokee purple. The tomatoes are wonderful but in our yards the yields are extremely low. I grow pink and yellow brandywine every year, and most years Rose de Berne as well. This year I tried Pruden's purple and it's quite good (although I'd call it a pink) and yields better than either BW or Rose.

My "early" is Moskvitch, but it disappointed me this year.

I'd recommend at least one early type like Stupice to tide you over until the long DTM ones come in.


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

Try Kellogg's Breakfast - a big, solid, orange tomato with excellent flavor.


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

I find Cherokee Purple to taste superior and have huge early yields. A big winner for me.


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

  • Posted by llaz z6 ma (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 31, 07 at 22:04

I think you can probably grow any heirloom tomato that you like in New England. It's just a matter of finding one's you like. Here are some that I particularly like and that I have good luck with in my North Shore garden:
Jaune Flamme (always my first to ripen)
Cherokee Purple
Black Krim
Robeson Angolan
Black Cherry
Green Zebra
But again, it's a matter of personal taste and also characteristics of a particular growing season


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

pruden purple did very well when i lived in ri. brandywine was the best tasting tom of my life to date thou notvery many toms it was a warm year. kelleog breakfast was my 2nd best tasting tom in my life to date but only early in seasonomars was very good. i tried others that were a flop it was my 1st yr with hierlooms pruden purple was very very good and the best performer


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

In Maine my most productive tomato by far has been Yellow Boy. 40 - 50 very large tomatoes per plant. I do not know if this is an heirloom, but it tastes like one. Intense flavor. And it is indestructible. It seems impervious to diseases that kill other plants. The most resilient tomato I have grown.

Green Zebra also grows well in our short, cold Maine season. Also Stupice from Czechoslovakia grows well in our cool climate. Stupice is delicious. Black Prince (Siberian I believe) is a good choice for cooler, short seasons. Black Prince is a delicious, golf-ball sized tomato.

Brandywine is the most delicious tomato I have ever tasted, but I have not had more than 6 or 8 on any plant. Black Zebra does well in our cool climate. The most beautiful tomato I have ever seen.

Thessaloniki (a Greek tomato) has a good reputation but I find that it does not live up to its promise in our cool New England climate. The taste is less than bland.

Fred in Maine


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

Mule Team
Hillbilly
Cherokee Purple
Scarlet Beefsteak
Brandywine
Thessaloniki (a nod to my grandparents)

Does anyone have experience with these in zone 6? Planned uses: can and freeze some, make salsa, general eating and sharing. Maybe a tomato tasting in the fall would be fun.
Yea or Nay?
I chose these from Heirloom Seeds - should I be looking at any other seed suppliers?
Thanks!

****

As was said in a post above, you can grow anything you want to in zone 6 MA and have them mature.

The solution to what you grow is not necessarily going to different seed sources, and there are many, rather, deciding what you want to grow.

Looking and reading thru back threads here, especially those posted in the Spring is a good way to see what others have grown.

For every person who likes and recommends variety X there will be someone for whom it hasn't done well.

So the only way you'll know what does best for you is to make some decisions and grow what you want to.

I've grown all that you list and could tell you which ones I like, but how is that going to help you? It won't.

Each person grows tomatoes in a specific way, no two grow them exactly alike, folks use different amendments, the weather in any given season can differ, so it's very hard to say which varieties might do best in any given season.

What's important I think is for you to know that where you live is perfect for growing tomatoes and you can chose whichever varieties you want to. ( smile)

Carolyn


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

Nice to see, Carolyn ,that you've torn yourself away from the telvision set. I assume there aren't any tennis games on right now?
If I were to get a TV, suspect that tennis would be one of the few thing's I'd watch but hardly worthwhile getting it just for that. Or is that heresy?
OT, I know.


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

Nice to see, Carolyn ,that you've torn yourself away from the telvision set. I assume there aren't any tennis games on right now?

*****

LOL my friend. Yes there is tennis on today and it started today on CBS and will go from 11 AM to 6 PM and then USA picks up from 7 PM to 11 PM/

But I just HAD to go out and try to drive the car this AM. On top of all else that lousy spinal stenosis has come back so I had to be out and about and back home before the pain pill lost effectiveness.

This sure has been an ordeal, but I sent back the wheelchair, I can't ditch the walker, and so yes, I watch a lot of tennis and I read a lot as well. Gotta get the cataract in the right eye taken care of sometime, but I'm taking at least a one year sabbatical from ALL surgery.

Carolyn


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

Doing very well with Brandywines and Cherokee Purples this year. Will be experimenting a bit more next year.


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

So many tomatoes - I really need more land! Since Carolyn says I should be able to grow anything in my zone I'm really struggling. I'm trying very hard to choose based on the descriptions and not the fanciful names. I mean really, Box Car Willie? How can I not grow a tomato named Box Car Willie?


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

hint: don't do it all in one year. Grow a couple of varieties that are proven winners in your garden, and rotate through some experiments.

One of these days I'm gonna grow purple calabash just because I like the name.


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

Brandywine is doing great this year in the garden, so is Belgium Giant which is producing a lot of huge tomatoes.

My best producer here in southern New Hampshire this season is not a heirloom however: it is Beefmaster.


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RE: Heirlooms for New England

This has been a wonderful summer for tomatoes in southern rhode island. Flavors are just incredible, especially for my Marianna's Peace, Aunt Ruby German Green, black cherry, stupice, Cherokee purple & brandywine. I was a bit discouraged early on with some fungal disease that destroyed a few plants, but most of them survived and thrived.


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