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Tomato Choices 2020

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March 7, 2020 by Hope Gardens

the BTD – Berkeley Tie-Dye

There’s nothing better than summer tomatoes. I’ve been growing my own homegrown organic seedlings for my clients for ten years. Every year I try new varieties and yet still stay loyal to my old favorites as well. I also offer bell peppers, chiles, eggplants, tomatillos, herbs and companion flowers. Our seedlings are fed my own kitchen compost, worm castings and specialty organic fertilizers. I sell to the public through appointment. Please text 323-605-5106 to set up a visit.

For more information on tomato growing check out this blog. Happy Spring Warriors!

Berkeley Tie-Dye (above) 65-75 days. Compact plants produce beautiful 8-12 ounce fruit with a very sweet, rich, dark tomato flavor. This port wine colored beefsteak has metallic green stripes and is a great producer in my home garden.

Black Krim 80 days. Dark red-purple fruit, rich sweet flavor. One of the best. It always places high in tomato taste trials and is very juicy. An heirloom from Russia with very unique looking, large fruit. The wonderful flavor is popular at many markets on the West Coast.

Blue Berries 75 days. Here’s a small cherry variety from Brad Gates, Wild Boar Farms. Very dark purple color, which means it’s super-rich in anthocyanins. Unripe, the fruit is a glowing amethyst purple. At maturity it turns deep red where the fruit was shaded; the areas that received intense sunshine are a purple so deep it’s almost black! The flavor is intensely fruity and sugar-sweet! Plants are very productive, yielding all season in elongated clusters that look so beautiful. 

Brad’s Atomic Grape 75 days. Elongated, large cherries in clusters. The color (and flavor!) is a full-blown assault on the senses—lavender and purple stripes, turning to technicolor olive-green, red, and brown/blue stripes when fully ripe. Really wild! Fruit holds well on the vine or off, making this amazing variety a good candidate for market growers. Olive green interior is blushed with red when dead-ripe. Crack-resistant fruit is extraordinarily sweet! Wispy foliage looks delicate but belies these plants’ rugged constitution and high productivity. This release from Wild Boar Farms won best in show at the 2017 National Heirloom Expo! These range some in size from a large grape to plum-sized. 

Brandywine 80 days. The most popular heirloom vegetable! A favorite of many gardeners, large fruit with superb flavor. A great potato-leafed variety from 1885! Beautiful pink fruit up to 1½ lbs each! A classic and easy to grow.

Cherokee Purple 80 days. An old Cherokee Indian heirloom, pre-1890 variety; beautiful, deep, dusky purple-pink color, superb sweet flavor, and very-large-sized fruit. Try this one for real old-time tomato flavor. A favorite dark tomato.

Costoluto Florentino 75-80 days. A super productive and early maturing Italian sauce and slicing tomato. The deeply ruffled fruit makes the flavorful, bright red sauce that embodies Italian cuisine. Indeterminate plants are super vigorous; an all around hardy heirloom. 

Costoluto Genovese 78 days. The fluted, old Italian favorite that has been around since the early 19th century. Fruit is rather flattened and quite attractive with its deep ribbing. This variety is a standard in Italy for both fresh eating and preserving, and known for its intensely flavorful, deep red flesh. Another standard in my garden every summer.

Dad’s Sunset – this one is for my Pops. 78 days. Uniformly round, meaty, smooth, golden-orange tomatoes (the color of the setting sun). Slightly tart, yet a delightful sweet, fruity flavor. One of the best tasting tomatoes. A beautiful tomato on the vine or in the bowl. Wonderful salad tomato. Good disease resistance.The perfect orange tomato! Large 10-oz. fruit keeps very well. One of the best-flavored tomatoes we have tried.

Fantastic 70-75 days. The 3–5 inch, round firm slicers are very solid, and have above average crack resistance. Fantastic’s meaty, bright red fruit are rich in beefsteak flavor that makes this a favorite. Indeterminate, it does better if staked. Very high yielding. The most popular hybrid.

Juane Flamme 75 days. Prolific French heirloom that will set your heart on fire with its sweet, fruity flavor. Like a grown-up Sungold with larger apricot-sized fruits that we loved in our trials. 1.5-2″ fruits hang in neat clusters. A terrific salad tomato that is also great for sauces and for drying. Indeterminate, versatile, prolific, 2-3 oz. My favorite year after year.

Lucid Gem 75 Days. Lucid Gem is quickly becoming one of the most popular anthocyanin tomatoes. This is so because they are excessively beautiful, unique in and out and pretty tasty too. Boasting very dark tops and yellowish bottoms, this gem is just as beautiful when sliced. Check out our images and see for yourself! Lucid Gem tomato is a great choice for market sales. Customers cannot take their eyes off of them. They are sweet, rich and earthy. If you like a juicy tomato, you will find it here. CHEFS LOVE THEM!! Vines are hardy and produce plenty!

Paul Robeson 90 days. This famous tomato has almost a cult following among seed collectors and tomato connoisseurs, who simply cannot get enough of this variety’s amazing flavor that is so distinctive, sweet, and smoky. 7 to 10-oz fruit is a red-brick color. Named in honor of the famous black opera singer, star of King Solomon’s Mines, 1937. Paul Robeson, an American, was also a Russian Equal Rights Advocate for Blacks. This Russian variety was lovingly named in his honor. This is a reliable tomato for us.

Pineapple 75-95 days. Very large, up to 2 lbs each. The yellow fruit has red marbling through the flesh and is one of the most beautiful tomatoes we sell. The flavor is very sweet and fruity; good yields!

Pink Boar 75 days. Gorgeous wine-colored fruits with metallic green striping on vigorous vines. Strong plants loaded with rich, sweet juicy fruits perfect for slicing in salads or as an hors d’oeuvre with basil and mozzarella. Deep pink skin is stunning with contrasting olive stripes and luscious deep red flesh. Indeterminate, 2-4 oz.

Pink Jazz 85 days. Legendary tomato breeder Fred Hempel has introduced one of his most stunning varieties yet, the Pink Jazz tomato! This big beefsteak often weighs in at 1 lb each, dripping with sweet, tomato flavor which is also often described as having peach undertones. Leviathan pink fruit are tiger striped with light pink yellow.

Red Racer 70 days. Hybrid, determinate, 2-3 oz. Don’t be fooled by these compact plants with cocktail-sized fruits Red Racer has been declared small in size but big in taste. An All-American Selection (AAS) winner bred by the team that brought us the flavorful Damsel F1 beefsteak, Red Racer F1 is an excellent performer for the early season. With a good sweet/acid balance, fruits are uniform in size and mature as a cluster. Great for containers and small spaces.

Sungold 57 days. The ultimate cherry tomato. Intense fruity flavor. Exceptionally sweet, bright tangerine-orange cherry tomatoes leave everyone begging for more. Vigorous plants start yielding early and bear right through the season. The taste can’t be beat. 15-20 gm. fruits. High resistance to fusarium wilt and tobacco mosaic virus. Indeterminate.

Sunrise Bumblebee 70 days. Chefs love the luminous swirls of reds and oranges, inside the fruit and out! Everyone loves the sweet, fruity taste, too! Oblong little fruit weighs barely an ounce, and sometimes shows a pronounced beak at the blossom end. Yellow, round cherry tomato with red stripes and pink interior marbling.Gorgeous combination of yellows and reds, inside and out. Excellent sweet and tangy flavor. 20-25 gm. fruits. Indeterminate. 

Wood’s Famous Brimmer  82 days. If you are the tomato grower with a fetish for big red fruit, then here is the tomato of your vegetable fantasies. Developed in the 1920s by W. T. Woods & Sons of Richmond, Virginia, this tomato produces large 3 to 4-inch red fruit of perfect round shape. We are not certain whether this variety was developed as a canning tomato or as a dinner slicer because it makes the perfect BLT sandwich. That said, this tomato variety was created and bred in the Mid-Atlantic region, so it will thrive in our humid Midwestern summers and yield wildly off-the-books quantities of picture perfect monster red tomatoes.