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Official 2010 Tomato List

May 6th, 2010

I’ve finally planted my tomatoes and have a final list for the 2010 growing season. I was hoping to grow around 10 different types, but the wonderful selection got the best of me again. My final list includes 15 varieties (10 fewer than last year).

I’m growing some of the ones I grew last year and a few new varieties as well. Here’s the official list. New Varieties for 2010 are:

Goldman’s Italian American – Unique, beautiful and large tomatoes that have a squat, pear shape, being ribbed and pleated. These have a bloody, intense red color when ripe. Thick, red flesh is perfect for delicious sauces and preserves. Found at a Roadside stand in Italy, by Amy Goldman and named after her father’s grocery store in Brooklyn. This variety has good flavor, fresh or canned.

Winterkeeper – 10 oz. fruits, solid green until storage then turn a pale yellow outside and red inside.

Lemon Boy – A popular hybrid tomato, particularly with commercial growers, known for its uniform, lemon-yellow colored fruit which generally grow to about eight ounces. Borne in clusters, the fruits are a treat to the eyes and have a nice mild, sweet, tomato flavor. The plants are vigorous and are resistant to several common tomato pests so they are quite easy to grow. The vines also tend to be quite productive. Maturity: 72-75 Days, Determinate

Chianti Rose – Big, beautiful heirloom beefsteak with fabulous flavor: a cross of traditional pink Brandywine and an unnamed Italian variety. More tolerant of cool summers; crack-resistant. (from Renee’s Garden)

Super Bush Container Tomato – This scrumptious hybrid is specially bred for high yields of heavy fruits with juicy-sweet, rich tomato flavor on space-saving 3 foot plants. Perfect for pots and patio containers. (from Renee’s Garden)

Italian Pompeii – Tall and productive Italian hybrid vining variety, loads up early with heavy harvests of meaty, rich-flavored plum tomatoes for fresh eating or sauce. (from Renee’s Garden)

Amish Paste – This large, meaty heirloom was discovered in Wisconsin although it hails from the Pennsylvania Amish. It has a superior taste, brilliant with a nice balance of sweet and acid. Excellent fresh or in sauces.

Varieties that are the same as last year:

Principe Borghese – The Italian heirloom that is famous for sun drying. Small 1-2 oz. grape-shaped fruit are very dry and have few seeds. They have a rich tomato taste that is wonderful for sauces. Determinate vines yield clusters of fruit in abundance, perfect for selling in fresh markets and making specialty products. Determinate, 70-75 days.

Zapotec Pleated Tomatoes – (Lycopersicon esculentum) Rare/Traditional. Named for its creators, the Zapotec people of Oaxaca, the pink fruits are large, with ruffles like a pleated dress. They can be stuffed and baked like a bell pepper, or served raw. Sow seed in flats indoors and plant out in garden in 6-8 weeks when all danger of frost has passed. Plant in rows 24-36 inches apart. Needs trellising. Harvesting tips. Pick individual fruits as they ripen. When frost threatens, entire plant can be lifted, including roots, and hung upside down indoors to ripen remaining fruits. (Soil Temp. for Germ.: 70-85°F, Days to Germ.: 10-14, Plant Spacing: 2′-3′, Days to Maturity: 80-85, Full Sun/Moderate Water)

San Marzano Tomato – For canning, paste, and a killer spaghetti sauce, it’s hard to beat ‘San Marzano’, a sought-after heirloom from the Campania region of southern Italy. A highly prized Italian heirloom tomato for its fruit with firm pulp and thick skin, used in the concentrate industry as well as for canning ‘peeled’ tomatoes. This is truly the Italian standard for sauce and paste and a heavy producer. The fruit are long, often mistaken for large peppers from a distance. Fleshy with few seeds, often with ‘dry’ seed cavities, and with an authentic flavor that will take you back to Italy. A vigorous grower (we couldn’t believe the size of the harvests even in zone 5), vines start bearing later in the summer but then come on fast and furiously, producing heavy, 3½-inch-long tapered fruits in clusters of five or six. ‘San Marzano’ is low in sugar and acid, which gives it superior flavor when cooked. The vigorous plants are extremely prolific and produce until the first hard frost. Indeterminate, 80 days.

Cherokee Purple – Given to heirloom tomato collector Craig LeHoullier by J. D. Green of Tennessee, it is at least 100 years old and was reported as originally grown by the Cherokee Indians. The fruits are large (twelve to sixteen ounces), dark pink with darker purple shoulders. Excellent complex flavor, slight sweet aftertaste, perfect slicer for tomato sandwiches! Try this one for real old-time tomato flavor. Indeterminate, 80 days.

Costoluto Genovese – The Costoluto Genovese tomato is an old Italian preserving tomato variety. It’s heavily lobed and often convoluted shape is indicative of early nineteenth century tomato varieties, but makes an oddity in today’s vegetable garden. The Costoluto Genovese’s stellar flavor is intense and acidic. Because of its odd shape, this tomato is best for sauces and pastes where the skin is removed. This indeterminate variety should be started indoors six to eight weeks before the last spring frost. Sow one-quarter inch deep in flats or pots, keeping the soil mix moist, not soggy. When several leaves have developed, harden off seedlings and transplant eighteen to thirty-six inches apart in the garden. Full sun. Has ribbed fruits, about 5 – 7 ounces, Indeterminate, 90 days.

Brandywine Tomato – 80-100 days, indeterminate – It is by far one of the best known heirloom tomato varieties. There is a lot of lore surrounding the ‘Brandywine’ category of tomatoes. Reportedly it is an old Amish heirloom, dating back to 1885 and named after Brandywine Creek in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The disease tolerant, regular leaf plants yield fruits that are red, globe shaped, and full of flavor.

White Beauty – Plant produces good yields of 8 oz creamy white tomatoes. Tomatoes are very sweet and meaty. It is creamy white inside and outside, with few seeds! Add color to gourmet dishes, or make a white spaghetti sauce! Creamy white, meaty and delicious, most about a half pound. Indeterminate, 85 days.

Sub-Arctic Plenty or World’s Earliest – One of the very earliest tomatoes, the compact plants produce lots of 2 oz red fruit. It one of the best for cool conditions and will set fruit in lower temperatures than most. It has even been grown in the Southern Yukon. Developed by Dr. Harris, Beaverlodge Research Station, Alberta, Canada. 49-59 days.

I started my tomatoes a few weeks ago and earlier this week I repotted them into larger containers. They’ve been living on the front porch and are thriving. It looks like the temps will get down into the 40’s one night later this week which means I’ll be carrying them all into the garage overnight. I might move my cold frame and put them in it so I don’t have to carry them in and out again.

What’s your 2010 tomato list look like?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.