Tag Archives: growing tomatoes

Assessing My Tomatomania Tomatoes

"Golden Girl," "Japanese Black Trifele," "Momotaro" and a smattering of the cherry tomato with the best name ever, "Honkin' Big Black Cherry."

The first week of August was absolutely blazing–I may hate it, but the tomatoes love it. I’ve been harvesting a basket of tomatoes a day. My friends and neighbors are happy. I’m happy.

But not all of the tomatoes are happy. I’ve seen more biotic diseases this season than in years past. I don’t know if it’s the varieties I chose or the fact that I have grown tomatoes in the same garden plot for five seasons now. Space is limited, unfortunately, and I don’t have the option of planting in a new area every season.

The least successful plant was “Pink Berkeley Tie-Dyed.” Its leaves began yellowing within a month of my planting it; I got about 10 ripe tomatoes from it before it died; they were very pretty but the flavor was not so special that I’ll repeat the experiment. I yanked the tattered remnants out of the ground at the beginning of July. “Missouri Love Apple” has never looked very healthy, and the crop it’s produced has been puny–but what delicious tomatoes!

“Big Mama”–what on earth is going on with “Big Mama”? The plant looks like it’s water-deprived and the fruit itself looks battered. Apparently the limp and curling leaves are fairly typical, judging by other growers’ comments. I thought the fruit wasn’t ripe but when I cut into it, the flesh was a deep red.

“Golden Girl” has become the new favorite of friends and neighbors. Mild in flavor, meaty, low acid–and so pretty! It’s a determinate but I’ve harvested a lot of fruit and it’s still producing.

I love “Japanese Black Trifele”. I actually put in two plants, I love it so much. I don’t know why it’s not officially a determinate–it produces a huge crop within a three-week span and then it essentially stops. For those three weeks, I am a happy, happy woman. I eat them for breakfast, for lunch and for dinner. I even share with certain discriminating friends.

Last and far from least, we have “Momotaro”. It’s a huge monster of a plant and it gives me a huge crop. It will continue to give me lovely medium-size pink fruit well into fall. When all else fails, “Momotaro” comes through.
Now the question is, will “Momotaro” be enough for fall? Or should I try a second crop? “Ace” perhaps? A greedy gardener’s decisions are never easy.