What is this blog and/or any mention of The Ever-Growing List? Explanation.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

2014 Tomato Review

Detailed pictures of varieties & garden time-lapse coming this weekend!

The seeds (brands/descriptions/links).

Sowing to Harvest
Sowed indoors: February 22nd
Transplanted: April 19th
Transplanted outside for hardening: May 3rd
Planted in garden: May 18th

Harvest: Early August (slightly later than usual)

Harvest sample
(L to R: Certified Organic, Great White Wonder, Brandywine, 4th of July, Rutgers, Big Rainbow, Sweeties)

As with last year, I conducted a taste-test with the help of my dad, and these were the results.

1.) Big Rainbow
  • For the second year in a row, Big Rainbow was the CLEAR winner. We probably shouldn't have started with these, as it immediately set the rest of the varieties up for failure and our taste-buds on a downward spiral.
  • Orange/yellow/red (can vary) outside; swirled insides w/perfect texture.
  • It is a perfect, sweet, meaty tomato--the kind of tomato you're going to give someone who doesn't like tomatoes if they give you ONE chance to change their minds. 
  • Almost like a candy, delicious. As with last year, even sweeter as the season goes on.
  • Sizes can vary from small & round to... gigantic mutants.

2.) Brandywine
  • Dusty pink in color
  • Medium size
  • Sweet and sour
  • Absolutely beautiful insides; meaty, okay texture.
2a.) Sweeties
  • Varied from size of grapes to golf balls
  • Delicious, sweet, pop-'em-in-your-mouth flavor. 
  • These are the way to go. Love them.
3.) Rutgers
  • Good, plain tomato.
  • Mild.
  • Small, round.
4.) Certified Organic Beefsteaks
  • Sour, nothing particularly special. 
  • All plants produced very small tomatoes the same size as the Rutgers variety. Plants given away to others yielded the same results.
5.) 4th of July
  • I wanted to love these just based on the name alone!
  • Produces BEAUTIFUL consistently round, vibrant red fruits.
  • Taste wise, a mediocre tomato which didn't place with the best. 
  • What really placed this so far down is, wait for it, the unbelievably mealy texture. I didn't even finish my test slices.
  • Good candidate for sauces and stews.
6.) Great White Wonder
  • Pale yellow
  • Very large!
  • This was my pride and joy for the growing season (aka my "oddball" variety, as my dad would call it). I had tried one earlier in the season, and it had a delightful, light, very mild taste. However, when the full crop came and it was time to taste test, the taste of these can't even be explained. Not good.

Unranked is the Giant Belgium Pink. I had a whole entire row planted, which produced plenty of foliage... and not one (edible) fruit!

Next year, from this crop, I will again grow Big Rainbows and add the Sweeties. Nothing else particularly stood out like the BR and Black Krim had from 2013.

Friday, May 23, 2014

2014 Garden: Update

While I had lofty goals for this year's tomato garden, it was probably a good thing that half of the seeds I ordered never arrived in time (and 2 months late), as, currently, my garden wouldn't have been large enough to host 12 different varieties. Even after giving away at least half of my army, I still have about 20 plants left, which I will most likely do with as I did last year, which is put them in front of my house with a "free tomatoes" sign.

Sharing, indeed, is caring.

Actual 2014 crop:
Certified Organic Beefsteak
Great White Wonder
4th of July
Giant Belgium Pink
Rutgers (while it didn't score well in my "top of the crop" for 2013, I had extra seeds around...)
Big Rainbow

Sowed indoors: February 22nd
Transplanted: April 19th
Transplanted outside for hardening: May 3rd
Planted in garden: May 18th

I await the first pick!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Official 2014 Tomato Variety List

Being that the middle of February (seedling sowing!) is in just a couple of weeks' time, it was time to weed (pun intended) through my tomato-seed wishlist and narrow down the candidates. After some research, I've come to a final list of tomato varieties I've purchased and intend to try for this 2014 season. There's a mix of traditional reds and experimental blues, whites, and bi-colors.

New for 2014
Brandywine - Heirloom, beefsteak, red.
Giant Belgium Pinks - Heirloom, dark pink.
OSU Blue Tomato/"Smurf" tomato - The blue tomato! Pricey seeds, only 5 in a pack. I am excited to see if I get anything out of these seeds. I hope so!
Pineapple Tomato - Heirloom, bi-color.
Black Sea Man
Watermelon Beefsteak
Forth of July - An early variety tomato, which I am looking forward to. The usual waiting time for tomatoes between the end of June and the end of July is torture.
White Wonder (Heirloom) - A white tomato; I'm intrigued!

From 2013
Big Rainbow (I can't wait to eat these. They're like candy right off the warm Jersey vine!)
Black Krim

I've opted not to start peppers this year, which will free up a lot of time and space for tomatoes. I've become deeply fascinated and interested in the various species of tomatoes and how different their tastes and textures can be. One day I'd like to try to cross-pollinate and come up with my own! One day! For now, I'm determined to have an insanely awesome mostly-tomato garden all summer long.

How many times can I say the word tomato? TOMATO!


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