Monday, 17 September 2012

Tanja's Top Twelve Tomatoes 2012

Yes, revised on September the 29th! Two new additions make it now my top 12 instead of top 10 :) You will see why I had to add them, they are amazing!

This year, I started 46 varieties of heirloom or heritage tomatoes at my little greenhouse business, Nitty Gritty Greenhouse ...

I trialed as many of them as I could in my own greenhouse, the hoop house, and in my garden...

Taking into consideration the fact that we had a dreadful June, was so very blustery and cool ...and this, after such a warm and lovely month of May...
Sigh, climate change is messing up all our gardening schedules ;)

These are my favourite heirloom tomatoes for this year, in no particular order...

Black Seaman ,,,, yummers!
These guys were a little bit later than the others ...but were worth the wait!
They are smokey, sweet, and so rich in flavour.  
While the other 'black' varieties did not fare so well outside (thrived in greenhouse though)
this guy produced tons of huge tomatoes, with little to no blossom end rot or cat-facing.
By far the very best black tomato in my garden this year!  
You can see why this one was added late!
Martino's Roma :)
Is producing loads of gorgeous fruit, with no blemishes and no foliage issues...
Just tons of lovely tomatoes, all ripening at about the same time! 
As it is meaty with few seeds, it is the perfect paste tomato for salsas, sauces, canning, etc...
For me, the perfect slow roasting tomato!
Is a mid to late season tomato though, so will not work in short summer areas.

Peche Jaune - also known as Garden Peach
A small yellow variety that produced tons of tasty fruits.
They ranged in size from large marbles to Indian rubber ball ...
Flavour is mild and sweet, great texture.
Very prolific and a fairly early producer.

Canada Long
I cannot say enough about this paste tomato...
The fruit is huge! at least 5" long!
Is very meaty, so makes for a fabulous processing tomato.
Really good producer, with a good amount of these gorgeous huge tomatoes, just one plant is enough to make several batches of sauce or salsa. 
Tastes terrific.  
Chalk's Early Jewel
This tomato produced tons of fruit throughout the whole summer
Ranging from small to medium slicer in size.
Flavour is tangy but not too acidic, with a firm, meaty texture
Dix Doights Des Naples ( Ten Fingers of Naples)
Produces large amount of fruit in these lovely clusters
They are very meaty with very little juicy, seedy bits.
Perfect for pastes, sauces and salsas.
I was actually surprised to find myself liking this old heirloom variety
I tend to prefer the smoky blacks and paste tomatoes ..
But this old favourite of many, has a fabulous flavour!
Is meaty and juicy, great texture, is not at all mealy, phew!
Perfect for sauces and processing with thin skin and much meat to it.
However, I prefer it on sandwiches. One huge slice is all you need!
Is zesty yet sweet, so delicious.
Ludmilla's Plum
This one is a super favourite, think it is my number one tomato this year!
Is meaty, large, pretty and tasty.
Did well in both the greenhouse and in the garden.
Produces just loads and loads of these huge paste tomatoes.
 Terrific for canning, saucing and fresh eating!
Prudens Purple (is actually pink!)
Huge pretty tomatoes with a meaty yet juicy interior.
Is a fairly early producer of these huge beefy fruits.
Is a rival of the Brandywine, with it's own fan club.
... and for good reason.
An all round great tomato!

Chianti Rose
Another top favourite of mine!
Was surprised every time I picked them, at how very pretty these tomatoes were!
A small beefsteak variety that produced a lot of fruit, throughout the entire season
The tomatoes are a very pretty pink in colour!
Have a great texture with thin skin, and a good producer ..
Sweet yet a bit of tang, truly a tasty tomato!

Green Zebra
Fabulous flavour!
Ranks really high, one of my top tomatoes ever grown.
Zesty and zingy, yet not sour.
Fabulous flavour, unlike any other tomato.
A good producer of these 2 inch round, globe shaped fruits.
Tomato is ripe when the tops are yellow!
Potato Leaf White
Love this tomato!
Mild yet sweet and tasty, with a bit of tang. 
Fabulous flavour, great texture, small beefsteaks!
Perfect for unusual spaghetti sauces and fresh eating.
Thin skinned and a very good producer.

Purple Prince (Black Prince)
Once again, was one of the earliest and most prolific tomatoes I grew.
Tasty with a hint of smoke, great dark purple red in colour.
Is the best of the blacks that I grew this year...
While many of the others had tons of cat facing, this variety had NONE!
No blossom end rot, no leaf problems, a super tomato to grow
Great in taste, thin skinned, prolific.
And as a 'Just Because' ... am throwing in my two faves from last year....
I did not grow them myself this year, as I was obviously too good a salesman this spring! Sold out of these varieties early on in spring and had none left for myself ;)
Chocolate Stripes
Juicy, tangy, sweet and smoky in flavour.
A really good producer of mid sized slicers.
A pretty tomato that is oh so good on sandwiches!
My favourite tomato in the world... so far ;)
Black Cherry Tomato
Sadly, I have no pictures of this tomato when it is ripe and has that tint of black to it.
 As you can see, it is very pretty though, shiny and glossy
Thin skinned perfectly round tomatoes grow in long drupes.
They are so tasty, so delicious, and so sweet!
In fact, not being a fan of cherry tomatoes at all ...
This is the one and only cherry tomato that I have ever liked :)


  1. Tanja, where do you purchase your tomato seeds - do you have a favorite vendor?

  2. Kathleen, thanks for that question1 Is so nice to send a shout out to some of my favourite companies... I absolutely like to stay Canadian but also buy from well known US seed suppliers, like Baker's Creek and Renee's Garden. Have also been looking at Landreth Seed Co this year. We have several really fabulous one here in Canada though, I adore Heritage Harvest Seeds, Two Wings Farm here on the island, and I must say that Upper Canada Seeds is one of my all time fave's.. oh, and also the Cottage Gardener. I hop around, bits from here and there, I also like West Coast Seeds, as they are fairly local, but they are not just heirloom, so I only look at bits and bobs. I only do heirloom and prefer organic, when possible. However,as I grow them very sustainably and totally organic, I am not as fussed.


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