Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The method I'm using, this year, to grow five heirloom Tomatoes

This year I'm growing five heirloom varieties of Tomatoes Buckbee's New , Black Cherry, Matts Wild Cherry, Oregon Spring and Stupice. I'm also doing something that I have never tried before I'm not going to prune off the sucker growth on any of the varieties. One of the gardeners that I follow on YouTube, , Brendan in Ireland did an experiment last year with some of his tomatoes and found very little difference between those that were pruned and those that were not. The only problem that I can see that this might cause for me is getting all of the tomatoes to ripen in our short season and that really isn't a problem as I want a lot of green tomatoes this year to make Chow Chow.

A little more information on the varieties: (Descriptions are quoted from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds , Territorial Seeds and Johnny's Selected Seeds.)

Buckbee's New - A pre-1930 variety introduced by H.W. Buckbee of Rockford, Illinois. Their 1930 catalog states, "The largest fruited, the smoothest, the finest in quality of all early scarlet tomatoes." Not as early as 50 days, but this is indeed a good producer that has an old-fashioned tomato taste; red and medium-sized. These are from seed that I saved from last years crop.

Black Cherry - Beautiful black cherries look like large, dusky purple grapes; they have that rich flavor that makes black tomatoes famous. Market growers report that this variety is an incredible seller; large vines yield very well. Very unique and delicious. These are from seed that I saved from last years crop.

Matts Wild Cherry - These small cherry tomatoes are packed with more taste than you can believe. 5/8- 3/4", deep red, round fruits have a tender, smooth texture, and loads of sweet, full flavor. High sugar content (11º Brix). Though the taste is superior, it doesn't yield well and the fruits are soft, so grow on a trial scale at first. Teresa Arellanos de Mena, a friend of former Univ. of Maine AG faculty members Drs. Laura Merrick and Matt Liebman, brought seeds to Maine from her family's home state of Hidalgo in Eastern Mexico. It's the region of domestication of tomatoes, and where these grow wild. Matt gave us the seeds. Some resistance to early blight and late blight. Indeterminate These are from seed given to me by

Oregon Spring - This now-famous determinate, slicing variety was developed at Oregon State University. Their research shows that Oregon Spring will produce incredibly early yields of 4 inch oval tomatoes when planted outside a month before your last frost date and given no protection except on frosty nights. These are from seed given to me by

Stupice - This cold-tolerant tomato ripens sweet, red, slightly oval, 2 inch fruit that make an excellent choice for first-of-the-summer salads, lunch boxes, and juicing. Stupice consistently gets high marks for taste throughout the summer. Pumps out fruit over the entire season. Bred in the former Czechoslovakia. Indeterminate potato leaf variety. These are from seed given to me by
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