Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Gardening >
Aug 11, 2011 12:22 PM

This year's Tomatoes

Just a little info on what we grew this year. Three plants, Momotaro, Black Krim and Neves Azorean. The Krim was the earliest to ripen by quite a bit, flavor was good if understated. Heavily lobed fruit, dark maroonish-brown with green shoulders. Momotaro came next, dark pink, fairly regular billiard-ball sized fruit, very mild flavor. Way later was the Neves, by far the flavor champ, really intense but balanced flavor. Fruit was quite red, really various in size, and irregularly lobed.

If we were to do these varieties again, I'd drop the Momotaro and go with the Krim for its earliness and the Neves for flavor. But there are so many varieties to try.....

San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles if that makes a difference.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm jealous of your zone but appreciate your descriptions and experience. Here in NH we just have cherry tomatoes ripe so far plus small, early tomatoes on Stupice which I will continue to grow just for its earliness. I'm able to buy single plants from a local grower so I have one each of about 16 plants. Looking forward to the rest of them ripening ... so far I've picked mostly hornworms.

    1. I'm trying Black Krim too, just have 2 tomatoes almost ripe (we're north of Boston). It hasn't been a good tomato year for me - Krim so far has the most toms on it with about 7, one plant is almost 7 feet tall and has NO toms. Is there such a thing as too much compost???

      In years past my go-to has been Amish paste. I'm now wishing that I'd gone that route again.

      9 Replies
      1. re: gimlis1mum

        Too much nitrogen from any source causes rank tomato plant growth with few blossoms. Yes, there is such a thing as too much compost for tomatoes.

        1. re: Eldon Kreider

          I don't want to go too far off topic but I have a couple of pepper plants that don't have any fruit yet and maybe some blossoms (but heck, it was only 53 deg this morning). Since adjacent peppers are doing well, I'm going to have to find the plant label and cross off my list. As for tomatoes, some seem to defoliate while others are dense with leaves. I wish catalogs carried more information. If the tomatoes taste good, I guess it doesn't matter if they drop leaves.

          I have Amish paste again this year. In the past they have produced nice big fruit with thick walls. But this year I also have a San Marzano to compare.

          1. re: dfrostnh

            Let us know what you think about AP vs. SM. I tried SM once and didn't think they were all that spectacular, but maybe because AP seems to grow much better for me.

            1. re: dfrostnh

              First year for growing San Marzanos, and I'm a little disappointed. Small, well shaped fruit, but not the taste I was expecting. Also needed a zap of tomao paste when cooked for sauce. I'm in San Diego county, inland, and we're nearing the end of the season already for 4 of the tomatoes (started 'em in March), and planted a staggered batch, so some are still green.

            2. re: Eldon Kreider

              thanks Eldon...the plant has plenty of blossoms, but no fruit setting. There are bees all over the place on my sunflowers right next to the tomatoes, and the eggplants are setting fruit, so I'm still a bit baffled.

              1. re: gimlis1mum

                Tomato pollintation is a closed system. Bees don't get into the cycle. One major factor is temperature: should be less than 105 in the day and over 55 at night or you don't get much fruit set. Flicking the individual blossoms can help the pollen get where it needs to go, too.

                1. re: Akitist

                  ooo, I didn't know that. Our temps have been OK so I'll try the blossom-flicking trick

                  1. re: gimlis1mum

                    The other tip I've read is to tap the tomato support post each afternoon. Actually, the tip read to take a hammer to the posts, but I've found a gentle whap works well and the neighbors are less likely to think I'm insane.

                    1. re: pine time

                      heheh...well, the neighbors already think i'm nuts, so whacking a few tomato stakes shouldn't be a problem :-)

                      Ate our first Black Krim today and liked the flavor. Agree with the understated flavor description; I think it is less acidic and therefore less assertive.

          2. This is my first year for a garden and I have had great results. I planted 4 varieties of tomatoes all from seed. Black Krim, red Siberian, Roma's, and Brandywines. I am in Boulder CO, we had a late spring and the tomatoes are just now really starting to ripen. I absolutely love the Black Krim tomatoes, to me they taste like eating a great piece of meat. They are juicy and full of flavor and go well with the cucumbers. The Siberians are beautiful, smaller RED tomatoes, great on a sandwhich (just started eating these). The Roma's are beautiful, I am waiting for a few more to ripen before I make some sauce. The Brandywines are getting big, but still green. I think this weekend may be time to do some fried greens.

            2 Replies
            1. I live in Northern Indiana and have grown three tomato varieties. Two Brandywine (Sudduth's strain) plants, three San Marzano Gigante 3 plants (two in pots), and another plum tomato in a pot, variety forgotten (I bought the plant at a farmer's market). Apart from our excessive heat in mid-July or so, the summer has been ideal.

              This year has yielded some enormous Brandwines. I weighed one at 2.75 lbs, and it was one of a few that seemed not round but almost like the melding of two lobes. The rest are average large, and typically tasty.

              The San Marzano hybrid tastes great, but I find the skins a bit thick for eating sliced and raw. Tonight I plan to make pizza with just raw skinned San Marzano's and fresh mozzarella and basil. Looking forward to that. For two of these and also for the other plum tomato (which is just so-so for flavor), I've used 20" round containers, and the San Marzano's grew well in there, stretching up at least 6'-7' high. The San Marzano's I ordered as seed after hearing they won a taste test:


              I've used a drip irrigation system for the pots to keep the soil from drying out. That probably helped a lot.