Heirloom Tomatoes Are not Red and Round, Mostly

I would never have planted Heirloom Tomatoes had I not won 8 packets of seed from TomatoFest. It was April when I planted the seeds. First ripe tomato picked mid July, pulled plants August 10.

The reason I would not have planted these otherwise is that our soil and climate are not kind to late-planted tomatoes. Root knot nematodes stunted every plant and eventually they declined and started dying.

The most resistant to nematodes was Dagma’s Perfection. The roots were huge but had the tell-tale knots nevertheless.  The fruits were superb, pale yellow with red striping. The trouble with people accustomed to red tomatoes, we sometimes let them rot before we realized they were ripe.

Green Zebra has produced some fruits, also a lime green that we didn’t watch closely enough and let some rot. There are 3 more Green Zebra in a front flower bed. One has fruits. I am going to pull the other two.

Kellogg’s Breakfast Tomato was a bust. The plants declined; the only one left is in a front flower bed. It has been shy to put on a bloom. I am going to pull that last plant.

 
 
 

Black Krim I suspect was not happy planted in hot, humid and this year wet, South Georgia. The one in a flower bed gets some shade and has produced some nice fruit. It never gets to a shade I would call mahogany; have to watch these for ripeness.

 
 

Black Cherry was a happy plant despite the nematodes but finally succumbed. I put one in a two gallon flower container and it still has nice 1″ fruit forming and ripening, good for salads and snacks.

Flamme is an orange fruited plum type tomato that is just delicious and produced nice salad tomatoes. This one in a flower bed is still producing.

Aussie produced a very few big tomatoes before giving up.

 

Brandywine started out well but gave up just as the others did after producing some nice fruit.

When I pulled the plants in the patch, only Dagma’s perfection had roots of great size, yet knotted from rootknot nematodes.

My plan for next year is to make a new patch somewhere less likely to harbor nematodes, probably plowing up a patch of Bahia Grass. Dagma’s Perfection, Black Cherry, Black Krim and maybe Brandywine are those I’ll plant. Too many plants and I had trouble keeping up with who was whom.

I’ll also plant some VFN resistant seeds to compare how they fare. This year’s patch will grow cole crops for a couple of years before tomatoes go there again.

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