Monday, May 18, 2009
Central Coast Tomato Trials - part 1
First fruit set on May 18! The variety is Camp Joy.
If you live in an area with cool or short summers, you know the pain of not being able to grow most tomatoes. Here on the central coast of California, we've got some "issues", to say the least. I tried to grow some tasty varieties last year like Green Zebra and Cherokee Purple, but they just wouldn't set many fruit and the few that set were tiny. Enter the "Central Coast Tomato Trials". I am determined to grow some nice tomatoes here. After a lot of research, these are the 11 tomato varieties that I am trialing:
San Francisco Fog
Also 2 tomatillos:
Green Toma Verde
These candidates have been described as "short season" or "cool summer" varieties. Some were suggested by friends, the others were discovered in seed catalogs. The starred* varieties were purchased as seeds from Gary Isben's TomatoFest. Gary puts on TomatoFest each summer in Carmel, CA with hundreds of heirloom varieties available for tasting. That way you "know before you buy" (and grow).
All of the plants were started from seeds at the end of January. Except, for a couple of duplicates that I started in late Feb. Plants were set out in the ground around the first week of April. I wish I had enough space for several plants of each variety, but that is simply not the case. So, I'm only able to fit in 2 plants of Camp Joy, Early Girl, Glacier, Paul Robeson, Stupice, and Sungold. The other varieties only have 1 plant. I know this is very unscientific, but it's the best I can do at this point. My primary goals are taste, reliable fruit set and good production of normal- or close to normal-sized fruit for the variety. Secondary goals are taste, total production, and disease resistance. I'll keep you updated through the summer and fall on our progress.