I thought I'd give a brief review of some of the tomato varieties I grew this year. Unfortunately I don't have any good pictures of the individual types, because often once I get them in the house I start mixing them up to let them ripen and often can't remember which is which!
I had a good mix of heirlooms and hybrids, figuring the hybrids had the better shot at overcoming disease and would be more productive. This may be true, but I honestly haven't seen a huge difference.
All in all, it hasn't been a good tomato year. My poor tomato plants really don't get enough sun and the disease has made for very weak plants. But anyway, let me make some comments on a few of the varieties:
For taste, I have to say the Red Brandywine and Cherokee Purple win hands down. They were delicious and I only wish we'd gotten a few more of them. On the opposite end of the taste scale was Indigo Rose. They were horrible! A huge disappointment. I like to try new and interesting varieties of vegetables so this tomato looked very intriguing. It boasted a deep purple color, almost black due to a very high lycopene content. Well, the color is only in the skin. The tomatoes are little salad types with an almost white flesh and they were watery and tasteless. I will not waste space in the garden on them next year.
Production kudos go to my Romas, which were large and plentiful despite growing on some pretty miserable looking plants. The Amish Paste, which I love, did very badly this year. The few I got were very small and tasteless, even though in the past they've grown huge and for a paste tomato are generally as tasty as the big slicers.
Also winners in the production department are Juliet, Eva Purple Ball and Burpee Big Boy. Which isn't saying much, because production in general was abyssmal.
I tried San Marzano for the first time. In the beginning I was very disappointed with them because they all had blossom end rot, but as the summer wore on, that disappeared and the tomatoes improved. Not sure if I'll grow them again though, because they were dry and mealy. If I had enough to make sauce, they'd be great, but just to can or eat, I find them pretty dull. Two heirlooms that have in the past given me huge and tasty tomatoes were Granny Cantrel's German Red and Henderson's Pink Ponderosa. This year the few they produced were small and unimpressive.
My Burpee Fourth of July has given a steady supply of small round tomatoes. It produced the very first tomato harvested in early July. The flavor is forgetable, but it is still chugging along.
Cherry tomatoes: Sungold is far and away the most delicious. I just wish it produced more! I also have Super Sweet 100, good taste. Also produced poorly. Matt's Wild Cherry is very disease resistant and last year it produced well into the Fall. I find the very small tomatoes it produces annoying, but they do taste good. Riesentraube is an heirloom that produces a larger cherry that looks a lot like a Principe Borghese. Although I never get the big grape-like clusters pictured in the seed catalogues, they did produce a steady usable amount. The taste is average I think.
That covers most of the tomatoes. This is probably not the most accurate report due to the overall poor quality of this season's production. Some tomatoes that are usually stars in my garden really failed this year, but that doen't mean I won't plant them again. Then there are some that will not be back. And of course I'll always be looking to find a new winner!