Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Tanja's Top Ten Tomatoes - 2014

Each year, I grow and sell anywhere from 40 to 50 varieties of tomatoes at the greenhouse .. and, of course, feel that I must personally trial each and every one of them ; )

However, this spring, I sold out of some varieties before pulling my own tomato plants aside, and was therefore only able to test run 36 of the varieties. Oops!
This is not a really bad thing though, as some of them were varieties that I have grown for several years already, so am more than familar with their traits.

This years winners are chosen only from those 36 varieties that I grew this year, though please note, the ones that have made my top ten list in the years past, will stay on the my favourites list forever.
These are all varieties that you can feel good about growing in the PNW.  The gardening zone here in Nanaimo, British Columbia is 7, with drought conditions in summer and long, wet, cool springs. 
For past years favourites, please see here.... 

Here, in no particular order are this years favourites...

The REDS....

1. Stupice -
Golf ball sized tomatoes that started producing in early summer... and kept on going and going to the very end of summer. What a great crops of tomatoes!
They are tangy and yet sweet, utterly delicious.
Highly recommended as a great salad tomato. 

2. Ropreco
This small paste tomato started flowering and fruiting very early in the year
 and is still going strong today (September 28th).
Is a tidy determinate tomato, grown outdoors, in a fibre pot, with a small tomato cage. 
Though the tomatoes are quite a bit smaller than any other Roma styles that I grow (1 to 2 inches long), they are very meaty, very yummy and very prolific, which more than makes up for the lack of size.

3.  Obeyeyie
This large heart-ish shaped tomato is dense, meaty yet juicy,
with the very best tomato flavour that I think I have ever had!
When I bought it, the write up said that it is a sprawling determinate that does not need staking. 
I have one in the greenhouse, no cage or stake, sprawling all over the place and one in the garden in one of those really large tomato cages... it is bursting all over the place. 
This is not a tidy small plant, lol. 
However, the fruits are these gorgeous pleated heart shaped tomatoes! Some are more squat and less heart shaped, but they are all stunning to look at! 
Love this one, will grow it again and again, however, will give it much room ; )

4. Sasha's Altai
 A nice early tomato that was voted one of the top ten tomatoes in the world by Organic Magazine! 
A bright red slicer tomato, slightly flattened in shape, very sweet, juicy and free of blemishes.
The tomatoes were quite large, great for sandwiches, and a decent producer of really early tomatoes.

5. Beaverlodge Slicer
Another tomato that started producing really early in the season and kept on producing all summer long. Tasty red tomatoes, good flavour and nice amount of flesh to pulp.
The tomatoes were pretty, red, round slicers, a wee bit bigger than a golf ball. Lots of fruit on the vine all the time. I would say this was one of the most reliable fruiters for me this year. 
Was also nice and early, a determinate (bush type) that required no staking or fussing, 
just a cage and it stayed nicely contained.   
6. Sweet Pea Currant
This tomato was a surprise. I did not expect to like it, at all.
In fact, I expected this plant to be much too fussy, with all those really small, wee tomatoes.
Actually, if you were to try to pick each one off the vine individually, it would likely feel like a huge chore!
However, if you pick a cluster at a time... well, is no hardship at all.
In fact, hubby and I would often grab a cluster as we worked in the garden,
munching as we worked.
 The flavour is hard to believe, is so good, like eating candy! 
Sweet and juicy, totally yummy.
Perfect for fresh eating, for salads, and for de-hydrating into 'traisins'.
One of my top three picks for this year, for sure.


Only one yellow made the list this year, and I must admit, it was phenomenal.

7. Fargo's Yellow Pear - 
This is the tomato that gave and gave and gave this year... 
Loaded with these perfect little yellow pears! 
Super productive, healthy plant, no BER, and tasty fruits. 
Is a determinate plant (bush type) so very manageable, too. 
The ideal plant for anyone who loves tomatoes for salads or fresh eating.
You only need one! 

The BLACKS....

8. Black Cherry
As usual, the Black Cherry made the top ten...
I tried to go with new ones, different from the norm, but there are a couple that stand out each year.
The Black Cherry tomato is by far one of the best tomatoes ever, definitely on of the best cherry type tomatoes of the world.
The flavour cannot be beat and it produces well each year.
Perfect for salads and fresh off the vine eating. 

 A comparison of the Black Cherry and the Brown Berry. 
The Brown Berries were much more orange than red in colour. 

9. Brown Berry
Large reddish brown cherry tomatoes that taste terrific!
Now you all know by now, that I am not a big fan of cherry tomatoes in general...
Yet here we are, three small tomatoes have made the top ten this year.
This brown little berry (more orange than brown, do not let the name fool you) is delicious,
with a true tomato taste.
There is nothing bland about this one, it is zingy yet sweet, with a deep, rich taste that all the dark tomatoes tend to have. 

10. Paul Robeson 
This one does not deserve to be at the bottom a it is in my top three favourites for this year,
 yet someone has to be number 10, so might as well be Paul Robeson.
I always prefer the dark aka 'black' tomatoes, so am not surprised that I loved this one.
The flavour is deep, robust, lively, and so tasty.
The perfect tomato.
If I had to pick one tomato to grow, based on this years results, this is the one that I would pick.
It produced early, did not suffer from BER, and kept on giving.
While it was not one of the biggest producers of tomatoes this year, it was the tastiest and very reliable for all of that.


A couple of other tomatoes deserve to be mentioned as they just barely missed making the list this year....

Black Plum was in the top ten last year and was spectacular this year, as well. Is just that the others did just a wee bit better! Had some BER but produced really well, yet again and, as always, tasted fabulous.

Black Prince aka Purple Prince was also fabulous again this year.
The only reason I did not list it in the top ten is because it has been there over and over again and I wanted to highlight some of the others...
It is decidedly the perfect tomato though and deserves to be noted.
A great producer always, little to no BER ever, and super tasty tomatoes.
The plant is huge and sprawling, takes up tons of space, but produces like mad, too, so is okay. 

Psst, by the way. BER stands for Blossom End Rot ...

The is BER
Blossom End Rot

Hope you had a terrific heirloom tomato year!
Am already looking forward to next year!

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