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Varieties and Sources, part 5: Tomato to Watermelon

Tomato

Tomatoes were first grown by Native Americans. Because they are members of the nightshade family, many Europeans thought tomatoes were poisonous, though early colonists learned otherwise. Thomas Jefferson was an avid grower, developer, and consumer of tomatoes. The earliest variety of tomato that we know about is the Yellow Pear. It was around in the 1600's. Today, tomatoes are the most popular vegetable grown in American gardens, and there are thousands of varieties. A surprising number of varieties 'originate' from Europe, as the Europeans have taken to this vegetable whole heartedly.

Many other members of the nightshade family are also edible, including the ground cherry, the husk tomato, the tomatillo, and the garden huckleberry. If you grow these other nightshades treat them just as you would a tomato.

Tomatoes thrive in heat, and moderately rich soil. We see evidence that tomatoes do not like too much nitrogen, and will yield more foliage than blossoms when over-exposed to nitrogen. Tomatoes are prone to blossom end rot, particularly paste and plum tomatoes. Bone meal will prevent blossom end rot, by supplying calcium without burning the plants. A more economical treatment may be powdered milk. Tomatoes drink a lot of water when it is very hot, yet do best when they have good drainage. Some tomatoes may need some shade during the day. Many tomatoes thrive in yards where they get less than a full day of sun. Tomatoes are set out as plants in the spring when all danger of frost is past. For Wyoming watch for short season varieties that are resistant to disease and wilt. Do not plant longer season tomatoes. You will only be disappointed. For main tomatoes (not paste) we plant about half indeterminate and half determinate varieties. Indeterminates will outperform in a hot summer (2006) and determinates will outperform in a cool one (2004, 2005).

Links: University of Illinois Extension, Tomato History, Tomato Problem Solver, Planting Tomatoes with Legumes, Tomato Art Festival,

Soils: Prefers moderate manure and/or fertilizer. Really prefers well drained soil.

Companions: Beans, Corn, Melons, Pumpkin, Radishes, Squash, and Other Nightshades

Germination: 98 percent when soils are 59 degrees. This one loves cool soils.

Group: Nightshade (Lycopersicon esculentum) Other Nightshade: Egg Plant, Pepper, Potato, Garden Huckleberry, Tomatillo

Blossom end rot: can result from lack of calcium in soil. Till bone meal into the soil, or use powdered milk. But the most likely cause is either: (1) too much water around the roots. Lighter watering and better drainage is the cure; or (2) because of hot weather the plant is simply processing too much water. Add calcium to the soil in the forms of bone meal or powdered milk. Pick when just turning color, and at season's end pick green. Tomatoes don't need the sun, they ripen just fine indoors. Do not let tomatoes freeze.

Planting: Set out after all danger of frost is past.

Click Here To See Our Tomato Support System

Click Here To See How To Trim Tomatoes

Click Here To See The Tomato Family Tree

= Rated for Taste
= Rated for Production



Main Crop Indeterminate Tomatoes:


Days to

Maturity

Name - Description Product
Recommend:
Burp 72, Reim 68, Ttom 68, Recommend
Tomande Hybrid VFFNT
- Wonderful taste,. Ribbed shoulders and oblate. Sets heavily. Indeterminate. Grown in 2007-10. We love the flavor of Tomande. Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below.Medium Seed Potency
6 to 8 ounces
Bakr 80, Burp 80, Cook ?, Feld 80, Gurn 80, John 80, Peac 75, Pine 69, Reim 75, Seed 80-90, Ttom 69, Recommend
Black Krim -
Dark deep red with green shoulders, indeterminate. We grew this in 2003-2012. We will grow it in '13. This may be the best tasting tomato we grow. Note: 2008 was very cold, and this altered the taste of Black Krim. It retained its sweetness, but lost its acidity. From the Baker Creek Seeds Catalog: "Dark red-purple fruit, rich sweet flavor. One of the best. It always places high in tomato taste trials. It's very juicy. An heirloom from Russia with very unique-looking, large fruit. I really like the wonderful flavor. It's popular at many markets on the West Coast; also a favorite of many fince chefs. Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. High Seed Potency ...Heirloom***
6 to 16 ounces
Burp 59, Farm 45, Feld 52, Gurn 52, Jung 64, Park 57, Pine 60, Reim 57, Ttom 57, Vrmt 60, Recommend
Early Girl VFF,
developed by Burpee, the most popular tomato in American gardens, early and hearty. Hint: grow alongside a bigger variety to maximize the size of Early Girl. Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. Grown again in 2013 to see how it stacked up against our favorites. It was not as early or as productive.
4 to 6 ounces
Park 65, Reim 65, Ttom 65, Recommend
Whopper Improved VFFNT
, a nice large tomato, developed by Park, Whopper is a standard for large tomatoes - indeterminate Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below.
8-12 ounces
Reim 85, Ttom 65, Vrmt 65, Recommend
Goliath - VFFNTASt
, Winner of our 2000 tomato trials, and grown every year since, big plants with big fruit, good flavor, superb! Goliath and Early Goliath are steady and dependable producers. Flavor is not as good as other varieties. Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. High Seed Potency
10 to 15 ounces
Reim 58, Ttom 58, Recommend
Early Goliath - VFFNTASt
, Big plants, earlier, with big fruit. Possibly a better tomato than the original Goliath. Seems to resist wilt better than the original. Goliath and Early Goliath are steady and dependable producers. Flavor is not as good as other varieties. Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. High Seed Potency
10 to 15 ounces
Burp 73, Farm 72, Gurn 73, John 70, Park 73, Reim 73, Stok 73, Ttom 73, Vrmt 73, Big Beef Hybrid VFFNTASt, AAS Winner, Some consider Big Beef to be the best tomato yet developed. Grown in 2010, a cold year, and it was a flop for us. But it is very popular with other gardeners across Wyoming. So, you may want to trial this one. Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. 8-12 ounces
Considering:
Bakr 75, Orange Strawberry - From the Baker Creek Seeds Catalog: "75 days. Brilliant orange, oxheart fruits have a pronounced point at the blossom end, giving them one of the most perfect heart shapes of any tomato variety known. The fruits sometimes reach a pound in weight. The flavor of the meaty fruits is robust, complex and surprisingly tart for an orange variety. Few seeds and solid flesh make this variety good for canning or sauce. Introduced by Dr. Carolyn Male via Seed Savers in 1995." Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. ...Heirloom*** 1 pound
Bakr 75, Woodle Orange - From the Baker Creek Seeds Catalog: "75 days. Large, round, smooth fruit are nearly perfect in shape, being a brilliant tangerine color. A super fancy-looking variety that makes a good market tomato; it has an incredible rich and sweet complex flavor that is among the best. This fine heirloom was sent to us from Iowa, and has proven to be a favorite for flavor and yield. A good main-season producer." Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. ...Heirloom*** ?
Cook 70, Deliza Hybrid - From the Cook's Garden catalog: "Marmande variety with sweet, meaty flesh. Customer Favorite. Tomato connoisseurs rave about the marmande variety's meaty flesh and sweet deliciousness. This hybrid brings a new level of disease resistance to this flavorful classic French beefsteak. 'Delizia' is exceptionally vigorous, producing heavy yields of large, succulent, pumpkin-shaped 1 lb. fruits. A standout tomato in our 2010 and 2011 summer trials." See the Determinate Tomato Section below. 8 to 10 ounces
Bakr 80, Golden Sunray - From the Baker Creek Seeds Catalog: "80 days. Uniform, golden-orange globes are so smooth and uniform they look like a commercial variety, but these have a rich, full, tomato flavor that is missing in modern varieties, being both sweet and tangy. Productive vines yield lots of 8 to 10-oz. fruit that excel at markets; great for fresh use and sauce. This tomato was preserved by the late Ben Quisenberry." Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. ...Heirloom*** 8 to 10 ounces
Bakr ?, Pilcer Vesy - From the Baker Creek Seeds Catalog: "New! A classic, huge, yellow beefsteak type that we received from Russia. The fruit are a lovely lemon yellow and are flattened, and ribbed. Fantastic flavor and thick flesh. This is now one of our favorite large tomatoes as they are also quite productive." Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. ...Heirloom*** 8 to 12 ounces
Bakr ?, Golden King of Siberia - From the Baker Creek Seeds Catalog: "This tomato is one of the real favorites here. Big, lemon-yellow fruit are a delightful heart shape. The flesh is smooth, creamy and has a nicely balanced sweet taste. I always find myself "snacking" on these one-pound beauties. Plants are very productive and seem to have some disease resistance. Thanks to Russia for this really great yellow type." Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. ...Heirloom*** 1 pound
Bakr 70, Sioux - From the Baker Creek Seeds Catalog: "One of the best-known historic tomatoes, the medium-sized fruit are early. Productive plants and great flavor made this one of the most popular Midwestern tomatoes in the late 1940's. In 1947, Oscar H. Will & Co. stated, "It out-yielded all other varieties in South Dakota trials." Per Henderson & Co., in 1951, "Two weeks earlier than Marglobe or Rutgers." This tomato was one of our most requested, as people love the smooth, beautiful fruit and heavy yields. Introduced in 1944 by the University of Nebraska." Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. ...Heirloom*** 8 ounces?
Burp 70, Reim 70, Super Sauce - Bigger and earlier than Burpee's Big Mama. From the Burpee catalog: "The world's largest sauce tomato! Burpee Exclusive It’s SuperSauce! The new tomato superhero. A whole lot bigger, a whole lot better, a roma with aroma. Weighing in at 2-lbs., a whopping 5.5” tall x 5” wide, SuperSauce produces gallons of luscious, seedless sauce from a single plant harvest—one tomato fills an entire sauce jar. Very few people in the gardening world consider a paste tomato for anything other than to make paste or sauce. SuperSauce is extraordinarily delicious and versatile as a salad tomato, as well as having a distinctive quality in that its large segments of fruit often make a shape that is perfect for a meaty and tasty hamburger slice, quite different from the horizontal slice commonly used from a large round tomato.Easy-to-grow, indeterminate, disease-free plants yield a summerlong supply of the exquisitely-flavored marinara, tomato gravy or meat sauce plus plenty for slicing and salads." See the Determinate Tomato Section below. Grown in 2013. I, Fred Jacquot was not all that impressed, as it seemed to take a long time to develop fruit, which would not be a good thing in a cold season. Partner Mark McAtee was impressed by its production. 8 to 10 ounces
Ttom 55, Bloody Butcher - Very Early, as early as Early Girl but with better taste. Grown for many years by Bill Simpson. Produces well even in a cool summer. Bloody Butcher is deep dark red inside and out. Round, and about 4 ounces. We grew this for the second time in 2010 just to see if we were wrong about it before. It did not perform well for us in our plots and we will not be growing it again. But, that said, Bill Simpson has great luck with it at his place out toward the airport. So, you may want to trial this variety for yourself. Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. High Seed Potency ...Heirloom*** 3 to 5 ounces
Bakr 75, Ingegnoli Gigante Liscio -Giant fruit up to 2 lbs. Ingegnoli Gigante Liscio has a sweet rich taste, old-fashioned flavor. From the Baker Creek Seeds Catalog: Giant fruit grow up to 2 lbs or more. Bright red, quite sweet and rich tasting, excellent for home gardeners who want old-fashioned flavor. Developed in Italy around 1900 from a cross of the old varieties 'Ponderosa' and 'Saint Louis'. Hard to find now." Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. ...Heirloom*** 2+ pounds
Bakr 65-70, Large Barred Boar - 8 to 12 ounces. From the Baker Creek Seeds Catalog: "Indeterminate. This regular leaf tomato grows faily stocky and not as tall as most indeterminate varieties. Flattened beefsteak fruit are pink-brown with metalic green stripes and weigh 8-12 ounces. Very meaty pink flesh is very flavorful. Select seed, grown by Brad Gates, Wild Boar Farms." Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. ...Heirloom*** 8 to 12 ounces
Burp 80, Porterhouse Hybrid - Porterhouse Hybrid has rich old-fashioned flavor, is a beefsteak type. 2 to 4 lbs. Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. 2 to 4 lbs.
Burp 70, Reim 70, Steak Sandwich Hybrid - Heavy bearing and long bearing. Old-fashioned taste. Steak Sandwich produces fruit that is about 10 oz. Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. 10 ounces
Burp 70, Super Tasty - is extremely tasty with great aroma and texture. 8-10 ounces. Semi-Determinate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. 8 to 10 ounces
Gurn 72, Reim 72, Gurney Girl II - Gurney's says that this is their customers' favorite. Great flavor. Indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. 7 ounces
Reim 76, Ttom 76, Italian Goliath VFFNTA - Indeterminate. Large red, beefsteak type, with excellent flavor. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. 8 ounces
Reim 75, Jumbo Hybrid VF - large red, indeterminate, up to 30 pounds of fruit per plant, close internodes to set more fruit. We grew this in 2003. It produced as well as Goliath. We would grow this variety again - indeterminate. Indeterminates perform well in a warm season and not as well in a cool season. See the Determinate Tomato Section below. 12 to 16 ounces
. . . . .
Varieties We Rate as Failures: First Light (09), Marmande (08), Country Taste (08), Ultimate Opener (07), Delicious (grown by Stella in 2010), Bloody Butcher (10), Rose (10), Big Beef (10), Corona (11),
Varieties We Rate as So-So: Prudens Purple (12), Tigerella (12), Cour di Bue (11), Pink Icicle (11), Pantano Romanesco (11), Anna Russian (11), Homestead (11) Buckbee's 50 Day (09), Ultrasonic VFT(07), Early Cascade, Big Boy, Cherokee Purple, Brandy Boy Hybrid, Gold Medal, Old German, Big Zac
Varieties Bill Simpson Rates as Failures: Ultimate Opener (08), Moskvich (08), Campbells (10), Marglove (10)
Varieties Bill Simpson Rates as So-So: Tomande (08), Marmande (08), Siberia (04), Jet Setter (04), Early Goliath (04),



Main Crop Determinate Tomatoes:


ABOUT DETERMINATE TOMATOES:

Bill Simpson is the gardener who really turned me onto Determinate tomatoes. He invited me out to his place to see what he was doing in his garden. I was surprised by the fact that he planted nothing but Determinate tomatoes, and also by how heavily those plants produced.

Determinate tomatoes reach a point in their growth when they stop growing vines and leaves and put all their efforts into growing and ripening fruit. Indeterminate tomatoes (which is mostly what is sold by greenhouses) keep growing their vines until they are stopped by hard frost. Indeterminate plants usually grow taller and require staking and support. Determinate plants usually stay quite short (there are exceptions) and need no staking and no trimming at all.

We started growing Determinate tomatoes in the 2005 season with 10 plants. This 2006 season we grew 26 Determinate plants. Our only regrets are that we did not grow more Determinates and fewer Indeterminates. Be assured that next year the count on our Determinate plants will rise again.

One problem with Determinate tomatoes is that, generally speaking, they do not have the great flavor that Indeterminates have. There is a chart in Johnny's Seeds 2006 catalog that clearly illustrates this point. It is for that reason that we probably will never get completely away from planting some Indeterminates. However, careful reading of the catalogs tells me that there are some great tasting Determinates. It may just be a matter of hunting for them.

The best reason to start growing Determinate tomatoes is the fact that their production matches our growing season much better than Indeterminates. Note the chart below. We usually get a cool spell about September 3rd, and our first hard frost about September 22. Most Determinates will have ripened a majority of their fruits on the vine by the time that first cool period hits on the 3rd. But, as you can see, it is a different story with the early Indeterminates. Later Indeterminates will be lucky to have produced very many ripe fruit by the time of our first hard frost.

Days to

Maturity

Name - Description Product
The Best:
Park 66, Reim 66, Stok 65, Recommend
Applause Hybrd VFFA
- Determinate. Large fruits, 8 to 12 oz., Rich and satifying flavor, big, early, delicious. Grown in 2008-10. Will grow again in '11. We think Applause is the very best Determininate we have ever grown. In a cool summer (2009) we got at least one 16 oz. fruit off of each plant. Overall tomato production was superb! Low Seed Potency
6 to 16 ounces
Recommend
Burp 65, Valley Girl - From the Burpee Seed Catalog: "Combines big luscious fruit with early maturity on dwarf 22" plants, perfect for small gardens and patio containers." Determinate. Grown in 2012-13 with disease free production. Will grow again in 2014. 10 ounces
Ttom 75, Debut Hybrid - From the Totally Tomatoes Seed Catalog: "(VFFASt) This new variety is sure to make a name for itself with its large, 8 to 10 oz., deep oblate, firm red fruits with smooth shoulders and a small blossom end scar. Excellent for fresh eating and holds well on-the-vine for an extended harvest. Plants are medium-sized with plenty of foliage for good fruit cover and are very prolific yielders. Determinate." Grown in 2013. We had great production from this disease free variety. Will grow again in 2014. 10 ounces
Considering:
Ttom 70, Defiant - From the Totally Tomato Catalog: "This variety cracks the genetic code to produce the first tomato bred for Late Blight resistance. This high yielding plant produces 6 to 8 ounce globe-shaped fruits that combine disease resistance with great old-fashioned tomato flavor." Determinate. 6-8 ounces
Jung 79, Mountain Fresh - From the Jung Seed Catalog: "Mountain Fresh - a widely adaptable, highly popluar, fresh market tomato in the East and Midwest." Tolerates cool and damp. Determinate. " Determinate. 10-12 ounces
John 75, Ttom 75, Mountain Merit - From the Johnny Seed Catalog: "Mountain Merit is a medium-large, 8-10 oz., red slicer with an excellent disease package to keep it healthy in the field. Larger than Defiant PHR, though flavor is not quite as good. Mountain Merit has one of the best disease packages around for a variety of field conditions. Determinate. " Determinate. 8-10 ounces
Burp 65, Reim 54, Ttom 57, Bush Early Girl - From the Burpee Seed Catalog: "The earlier, the better. These extra-large, extra-early tomatoes grow on a true bush. The 4” across tasty red fruits are much bigger than Early Girl, and ripen just two days later. The 18” plants are amazingly compact and self-supporting, yet productive. Disease-resistant." Determinate. 10 ounces
Burp 78, Bush Big Boy - From the Burpee Seed Catalog: "Our classic Big Boy has been made better, especially for small-space gardeners. You get the same number of tasty, big red tomatoes (10 to 11 oz. each), with the same sweet, aromatic, melt-in-your-mouth juiciness as the original. But the compact plants are only half the size! Disease-resistant, easy to grow and ideal for short stakes, cages and tubs." Determinate. 10 ounces
Burp 65, BushSteak Hybrid - From the Burpee Seed Catalog: "Combines big luscious fruit with early maturity on dwarf 22" plants, perfect for small gardens and patio containers." Determinate. 10 ounces
Bakr 65-77, Bison -Determinate, Red. From the Baker Creek Seeds Catalog: "Originally offered by Oscar Will in 1937. Dwarf determinate plants require no staking or pruning. 3-inch, deep red fruits are produced even in cold, damp weather. Has produced as much as 40 pounds of fruit from a single plant!! Another of Dr. A.F. Yeager's triumphs. Our foundation seed came from Todd Wert and Bryce Farnsworth, and originated with the North Dakota State University breeding program." ...Heirloom*** 5 ounces?
Bakr 75, Mountain Princess -Determinate, Red. From the Baker Creek Seeds Catalog: "This determinate early tomato is well-suited to short, mountain climates. It is a heavy producer of small to medium-sized red fruit that has a nice mild flavor. This tomato comes from the Mountain regions of West Virginia and has been grown by generations of rugged farmers for its earliness and production." ...Heirloom*** 3-7 ounces?
Bakr ?, North Dakota Earliana -Determinate, Red. From the Baker Creek Seeds Catalog: "Brilliant red, 6-9 ounce slicing type fruits are produced even in the face of cold wet, springs or hot, dry summers. Reselected from the original Earliana in the early part of the 20th century by famed breeder Albert F. Yeager, working at North Dakota State University. Yeager was working to develop early maturing tomato varieties that would be reliable in North Dakota, and many of his introductions were released through the Oscar Will Seed Co. Foundation seed supplied by Todd Wertand Bryce Farnsworth, and originated with the NDSU breeding program." ...Heirloom*** 6-9 ounces?
Reim 70, Ttom 70, Vrmt 70, Biltmore - Determinate, globe shaped, deep red with green shoulders, tough to beat in farmers' market taste tests. Low Seed Potency 8 to 10 ounces
Gurn 72, Gurney's Burgermaster VFFNT - Determinate, large, smooth, flavorful. Heavy set.Low Seed Potency 9 to 11 ounces
Jung 72, Gran Daddy - Determinate, big fruit, heavy yeilds. Grown in 2007 and heavy production. We would consider growing this one again. Low Seed Potency 12 to 16 ounces
Varieties We Rate as Failures: Daybreak, Oregon Spring, Legend, Corona (11)
Varieties We Rate as So-So: Bella Rosa (13) WayAhead (09), Bush Champion (13)(08), Cold Set(08), Orange Blossom (08), Bush Early Girl (Note: This is Bill Simpson's main tomato), Sun King Hybrid
Varieties Bill Simpson Rates as Failures: Legend (07), SubArctic Plenty (07), Manitoba (04)
Varieties Bill Simpson Rates as So-So: Mountain Delight (08), Oregon Spring (08), New Yorker (04)



Specialty Tomatoes:


Days to

Maturity

Name - Description Plant Height Product
Recommend:

Garden Huckleberry , a nightshade relative of the tomato. Start indoors and set out. Plants will only be an inch tall at set-out, but will grow quickly, treat like a tomato, fertilize well, each plant forms a tall 'cane' on which grow 1/4 inch berries so dark purple they look black. DO NOT PICK TOO EARLY. Wait until berries have been shiny for a week or two. Berries go through four distinct stages. 1. Green, 2. Purple w/green tinge, 3. Black-hard-shiny (not ripe yet), 4. Black-dull-softer to the touch (Ripe). Those stages are depicted below.

Produces1/8 to 1/4 inch berries. Makes some of the best jam ever. Has thousands of tiny seeds per jar of jam. Folks with diverticulitis should not eat the jam.

? ?
Bakr ?, Recommend
Chichiquelite Huckleberry
- Heirloom, a garden huckleberry that is smaller in size than the standard berry we have often grown. It also boasts heavier yeilds. Grown in 2007. Our starts failed in '08. We will grow this in '09. Very sweet on the vine and never bitter like the others. Vastly superior. Medium Seed Potency ...Heirloom***
3 to 5 feet tall 1/8 to 1/4 inch berry
Bakr 70, Seed 77, Ttom 80, Recommend
Black Plum -
Best small (plum) tomato for a true tomato taste, superb....more than superb. Grown in 2002-08. Will grow in '09. We think this is the best small tomato you can plant. Plants are vigorous and prolific. We will grow this instead of any cherry tomato. It's that good. High Seed Potency ...Heirloom***
3 to 6 feet 2 to 3 ounces
Burp 82, Recommend
Red Lightning -
We have always grown pear tomatoes for their flavor. No More! We will grow Red Lightning instead. Plants are vigorous and prolific, producing 2" fruit that are delicious. Fruit has yellow, orange and bright red verticle streaks, similar to Red Zebra.High Seed Potency
3 to 6 feet 2 to 4 ounces
Considering:
Bakr 75, Jung 70, Ground Cherry -From the Baker Creek Catalog: "(P. pruinosa) 70 days. Huge yields of tart-sweet berries. This is the common type used by the Pilgrims; excellent for pies, jams, and preserves of all kinds; also delicious fresh. The fruit grow inside a paper-like husk (the same as Tomatillos). Grow it the same as you would tomatoes." ...Heirloom*** ? ? ounces
Burp 80, Big Mama - Huge paste/salsa tomato, 5 X 3 inches, new for 2002, Big Mama does much better in Mark McAtee's back yard than it does in our main plots. Go figure. Indeterminate. High Seed Potency 3 to 5 feet 4 to 14 ounces
Shum 70, Ttom 70, Sunny Goliath VFN, Big plants with big fruit, yellow flesh and more tart taste, superb! The plant is as vigorous as the original Goliath. We would consider growing this variety again. - indeterminate High Seed Potency 4 to 6 feet 10 to 15 ounces
Bakr 75, Chocolate Stripes -Big, fruit, and really big on flavor. Indeterminate. ...Heirloom*** ? ? ounces
Bakr ?, Black Giant -Big fruit, 6-14 ounces, people rave about its flavor. Highly productive vines. Indeterminate. ...Heirloom*** ? 6 to 14 ounces
Ttom 70, Totem Hybrid -plants grow just 18 to 30 inches tall, Determinate, heavy yielder. Grown in our home gardens in 2006 and 2007. This is a true patio tomato. ? 2 to 3 ounces
Varieties We Rate as Failures: Early Cascade, Sweet Million, Suncherry, Sungold, Black Prince, Icicle Series (11), Amish Paste (10)
Varieties We Rate as So-So: Red Pear (08), Yellow Pear (08), Sweet Baby Girl (07), Giant Valentine (06)

Watermelon

Watermelon is an ancient food. There is evicence that the Ancient Egyptians grew it. Watermelon will produce fruit in Wyoming. We had one come up volunteer in 2001 and it produced a delicious melon. They can be hard to get started. Set out as plants as soon as all danger of frost is past. Watermelons prefer soils that are 60 degrees Farenheit or warmer, so you may want to cover with plastic. Watermelon like lots of water and loose, friable soil, fairly rich in nitrogen. Plant only short season varieties.

Links: WHFoods, University of Illinois Extension, Ohio State University, Benefits of Watermelon,

Soils: Prefers loose soil, with lots of humus. Sandy is fine. Do not add fertilizer.

Companions: Potato

Germination: 94 percent when soils are 77 degrees.

Group: Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus) Harvest when the curled tendril near the stem begins to dry up, when the surface color of the fruit turns dull, when the skin is rough and resists penetration, or when the part touching the ground turns from light green to a yellowish.

Planting: Set out or direct sew after all danger of frost has passed.

Click Here For Watermelon Size/Weight Chart

By Spring 2009 I was convinced that the way to grow watermelon in Wyoming is to give it an extra boost of heat, particularly during June, which is usually on the cool side. I did this by building a small tent over each bed. The ten allowed light to enter, but kept heat trapped inside. The watermelon seemed to like this. At the end of the season I got a note from a fellow gardener who raised her watermelons in a hill of pure horse manure. I think one reason she was successful was that the manure, like my tent, gave the watermelon a boost in heat. Also, from what I have been able to read, watermelons are probably the most demanding of all plants in the garden for good rich fertilizer. The horse manure probably filled that need.

Days to

Maturity

Name - Description Product
Recommend:
Bakr 70, Recommend
Melitopolski,
- Red flesh, sweet, striped skin, from Volga River area of Russia. Slow to start, then came on strong later in the season after it got some heat. ...Heirloom***
10 inches
Bakr 85, Cook ?, Feld 85, Gurn 85, John 76, Jung 75, Peac 76, Pine 80, Seed 63, Stok 75, Vrmt 74, Sugar Baby, - Probably the best loved watermelon in American home gardens. Red Fleshed, Sweet and flavorful. 7-8 inches, 8-10 lbs. Open Pollinated. 8-10 lbs.(1/3 Rule)
Bakr 85, Farm 80, Feld 88, Gurn 88, John 85, Jung 90, Peac 88, Seed 93, Stok 85, Vrmt 90, Crimson Sweet, - AAS Winner 1964, Striped, deep red flesh is sweet and juicy, 10-12 inches, 25 lbs., vines produce 3 to 6 fruit. Grown in 2009, a cold season. Production was not great. The flavor on the ones we got was superb. Will grow again. 17 lbs.(1/3 Rule)
Have Grown In The Past, Still Considering:
Pine 79, Glory Sugar, Dark red flesh, very sweet, very juicy, no cracks. The melon Bill Simpson gave us from the 2008 trials was one of the best watermelon we have eaten. 19 pounds
Under Consideration:
John 79, Jung 80, Stok 72, Sweet Favorite, - From the Johnny catalog: "Best oblong watermelon for northern, cool areas. Bright green rind with darker stripes. Avg. 10-12 lb. here, larger farther south. Ripens much earlier than others of the oval-oblong, striped type and yields well. Bright red, sweet flesh. Resistant to anthracnose and fusarium. 1978 All-America Selections winner. Avg. 1-2 fruits/plant. Avg." 30 lbs.(1/3 Rule)
Bakr 80, Dixie Queen, - red fleshed. 40 lbs. Trialed in 2010, a very cold season. We were very impressed, and will grow it again in 2011. 30 lbs.(1/3 Rule)
Jung 75, Shiny Boy, - from the Jung Catalog: "The deep red flesh of these 20 pound globe shaped, striped melons has sweet, tropical taste and crisp texture. Their average weight is 20 pounds or more. Vines up to 12 feet long can be grown vertically if space is limited. Disease resistant, weather tolerant, high-yielding plants grow well in any region with warm growing conditions." 13 lbs.(1/3 Rule)
Bakr 78, Pine ?, Shum 87, Kleckley's Sweet, - red fleshed. 30 lbs. 20 lbs.(1/3 Rule)
Burp 78, Million Bucks, - red fleshed. 25 lbs. 17 lbs.(1/3 Rule)
Bakr 78, Verona, - red fleshed. 20 lbs. Trialed in 2010, a very cold season...could not get it to germinate. Bill Simpson had great luck with it at his place in the same year, go figure. 13 lbs.(1/3 Rule)
Bakr 78, Fairfax, - red fleshed. 30 lbs. 20 lbs.(1/3 Rule)
Gurn 87, Pine 87, Stok 85, Sangria Hybrid, - red fleshed. 20-23 lbs. 14 lbs.(1/3 Rule)
Varieties We Rate as Failures:
Varieties We Rate as So-So: Gypsy

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