Thursday, July 30, 2009

Check It Out: Winning Tomato

Winning TomatoTOMATOMANIA, the world's largest tomato seedling sale, hosted its second annual Tomato Derby.

In the running were Scorospelka, a red Russian heirloom, a stout plant loaded with small to medium-sized fruit; Champion, the largest fruit of the group; Early, a newer hybrid with an oval shape like Roma; 4th of July with lots of perfect small red orbs; Jenny, a hybrid orange cherry that is tall and full of fruit; Matina, a red potato-leafed heirloom variety with small ping pong-sized fruit; Stupice, a smaller red heirloom (from Czeckoslavakia) that produces in clusters all season long, Golden Mama, a yellow Roma-style hybrid; Sprite, a teardrop-shaped red cherry borne on a small wispy plant; and Gardener’s Delight, a large red cherry carried on a large, beefy and very healthy looking plant.

This year’s group of ten gathered at the starting line in Ojai, CA (Zone 10, elevation 1550 ft.), and were put in the dirt in mid-April. All were planted in 18-gallon pulp pots in a blend of planting mix and potting soil, and all watering, feeding and care were provided as consistently as possible.

“After months of bland-tasting, store-bought tomatoes, everyone’s eager for the first home-grown crop of the season,” says Scott Daigre, producer of TOMATOMANIA. “And if you love tomatoes, you want to know which ones are fast growing and great tasting, which is what the annual derby is all about.”

The winner of the Tomato Derby? Stupice (shown in front in the yellow bowl). This Czech variety, which was a top-three finisher in TOMATOMANIA’s 2008 East Coast Derby, is always mentioned in lists of early varieties. Beyond its speed, this heirloom favorite is as reliable in high heat areas as it is in more temperate northern or coastal microclimates. Bearing its fruit in clusters, these round red tomatoes taste great and continue to produce throughout the season on sturdy potato-leafed plants.


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Visit Our Sister Sites at Bonnier Corporation:

Copyright 2009 Garden Design. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.