| || |
That wonderful week of rain – 5 inches here in Pasadena – got me reading Amy Goldman’s exceptionally informative The Heirloom Tomato from 2008. I made a list of tomato varieties according to her judgements as fresh-eating with excellent flavor and a pleasing balance of acid and sweet. Although the book is from 2008, and she grew her crops in New York, I feel that her scientific breakdown of the Brix (sweetness) values equaled my subjective assessments from many of the varieties that I have grown, so am willing to accept her determinations about others I’m not yet familiar with. At least until I grow them myself!
I usually give a new variety three chances in my garden before I either add it to my must-grow list or don’t-bother-anymore lists for future years. This extensive in-the-garden experience proves to me that either the variety is consistently good or it isn’t worth further space and effort in the garden. Consequently I’ve grown many MANY tomato varieties over the years and have a definite sense of which qualities my family prefers.
Why bother thinking about summer’s tomatoes at the beginning of January, when our nights are barely above freezing and daytimes are at best in the 60s? Mainly because I’m already enjoying eating my overwintering cool-season crops and love planning for summer’s reason for gardening!
For you, if you’re someone who starts your own tomato seeds for transplanting in February and March, my lists may help you determine which varieties to choose.
Or, perhaps more likely, if you’ll wait until you can purchase 4” seedling plants when they become available at local nurseries or upcoming Tomatomania locations or online, my lists may also guide your choices.
Tomatoes In Amy's Book That I’ve Grown and Will Again
Tomatoes In Amy's Book That I’ve Not Grown But Will Try to Find
Varieties In Amy's Book That I’ve Grown, Didn’t Like, and Won’t Grow Again
(Amy listed their flavor as poor or fair)
My 2021 Results: Not Considered in Amy’s Book
In 2021, I harvested 1013 tomatoes from 30 plants, 828 small ones and 185 big ones.
For more of what to do this month, see January’s Monthly Tips
For more main-topic articles from past blogs, see Home Page