Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tomato Mania is here!

I love spring.  There are 100's of reasons to love spring - tomatoes are just one of them.  This year, as with the last, I couldn't contain myself at the Tomatomania event at Tapia Brothers Farms in Encino and came away with eleven plants.  Yes, 11.  I think last year was ten, so I'm getting worse.

I'll regale you with the details now and you can salivate.  You can click on any of the highlighted links for more details.

Sweet 100's - typical small cherry that I plant in a hanging self watering container.  99% fail proof.

Cherokee Chocolate - I made a mistake here as I wanted the cherokee chocolate cherry tomatoes but I didn't realize they were out of those and only had the full size.  This is a beef steak sized tomato and should come out looking like the picture.
Cherokee Chocolate
Italian Ice -- a 1" - 1.5" they move from green to ivory white/light yellow cherry tomato that is sugary sweet and is a wonderful summer snack.  

Taxi - I bought this one for Dena as she has been bugging me for a sauce tomato.  Saucing tomatoes are normally Determinant plants, meaning that you can determine their size and ripening cycle.  They are usually all ripe together so you can make your sauce.   Taxi matures its bright yellow tomatoes in just 65 days. This determinate variety grows to about 2 feet tall and 2 feet across. Expect heavy yields of mild, non-acid tomatoes for 3-4 weeks.

Red Zebra - This is thought to be a naturally occurring cross between Green Zebra and an unknown, though certainly red, parent. The beautiful and tartly flavored offspring are gorgeous 2 to 3", round cherry-red fruits with rich orange streaks. I'm sure I'll regret buying this one.  These smaller hybrids are always trouble makers having all sort of issues.  We shall see.

Red Grape - A typical grape shaped red cherry that grows in large clusters. If you like cherry tomatoes I'm going to have a shit load of them!

Sunchola - What was I thinking?  Another cherry? Yes.  Sunchocola fruit has more smoky, sweet flavor, juicier texture and lower acid. Productive, dark green, indeterminate plants produce clusters of 8-12 fruits measuring 1" wide x 1/5" long and weighing slightly more than an ounce.

Dr Wyche's Yellow HeirloomThis heirloom was introduced by the late Dr. John Wyche, who at one time owned the Cole Brothers Circus and used the manure of elephants to fertilize his heritage gardens. The 1 lb fruit is solid and smooth; their color is a glowing tangerine-orange and has a tropical, sweet taste.

Crnkovic Yugoslavian - This one I'm really excited about.  Because it's supposed to be BIG! Extra large 1 - 2 pound pink beefsteaks.  Yes, it's really from Yugoslavia - at one time.

Japanese Black Truffle - Russian Heirloom - The deep burgundy color, with undertones of purplish-black, is as rich as the flavor. We find it high in both sugars and acid, creating a sweet, strong, complex flavor that is hard to beat. The 6-8 oz. pear-shaped fruits.  Again, what was I thinking?

And last but not least - Champion II - A step up from the original Champion, Champion II has the same flavor with much-improved disease resistance for easier gardening success. This variety is a garden favorite, producing large yields into the fall.  Disease resistant - yes!

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