Monday, March 3, 2008

Tomato Seeding

All the tomato seeds were sown on February 29th and put under lights on heat mats. Multiple seeds of each variety were sown into 4-inch pots to be separated and potted up into individual pots later on.

Here are the varieties I planted this year with descriptions mostly from Tomatofest:

Andine Cornue: Paste type. Also known as 'Poivron des Andes' (also 'des Andes') for its pepper-like form, this remarkable tomato has taken France's bio (organic) growers and gardeners by storm since its introduction several years ago. It was brought to France by a French plant collector from the Andes. 'Andine Cornue' has almost no seeds. The long, pointed fruits have full sweet flavor and a melting texture. Excellent for both fresh eating and sauces.
Black Cherry: A tall, vigorous plant that produces abundant crops of 1", deep mahogany-brown fruits. The only round, truly black cherry we've found. Fruits are irresistibly delicious with sweet, complex, full flavors, characteristic of the "blacks."
Green Grape: Cherry. This old-fashioned bush tomato is an heirloom originally developed by the Tater Mater Seed Co. from crossing the Yellow Pear with Evergreen. The distinctive, 1”, yellowish green fruits are borne in clusters of 6-12 that resemble large muscat grapes. Fruit has a translucent pale-green on the inside.
Isis Candy: Cherry. One-inch round, yellow with red tinge and marbling. Gold flesh. Typically a 'cat's eye' star of yellow on one end of fruit. The delicious sweet taste is rich and fruity.
Ananas Noir: This unusual variety was developed by Pascal Moreau, a horticulturist from Belgium. The multi-colored, smooth fruit (green, yellow and purple mix) weigh about 1 1/2 lbs. The flesh is bright green with deep red streaks. Everyone loves their superb flavor that is outstanding, being both sweet and smoky with a hint of citrus. Heavy yields.
Aunt Ruby's German Green: One of my all-time favorites. Heirloom beefsteak variety from Ruby Arnold of Greeneville, Tennessee who passed away in 1997. Slightly flattened, 1 pound fruit that ripens to a pale greenish-yellow ("lime jello green") with a slight pink blush that extends to the inside. Superb, fruity sweet and slightly spicy taste.
Carmello: The French Carmello is among the most productive tomatoes ever bred. It is popular in European markets because of it's exceptionally fine flavor. Bears large crops of heavy, juicy tomatoes with flavor that just doesn't stop. Another favorite because it consistently produces great tasting fruit, even in cooler weather.
Hillbilly: An Ohio heirloom beefsteak originally from West Virginia producing 1-2 lb. huge, heavily-ribbed, orange-yellow fruit with red mottled skin and red streaks within. Very sweet, fruity flavors. Low acid.
Large Pink Bulgarian: Vigorous vines producing large, dark-pink, round, flattened fruit with solid flesh, few seeds and a very enjoyable mild sweet flavor.
Olomovic: Heirloom, Bred in Czechoslovakia by Milan Sodomka.. Prolific, semi-determinant vines yield 4-5 oz. delicious, red flattened globe-shaped fruits. early-mid season
Orange Queen: a 4-6 ounce golden tomato with low acid and few seeds. Juicy and delicious. Thrives in colder climates. Resistant to cracking. (80-90 days)
Paul Robeson: Seed for this Russian heirloom was made available by Marina Danilenko, a Moscow seedswoman. This favorite tomato was named after the operatic artist who won acclaim as an advocate of equal rights for Blacks. His artistry was admired world-wide, especially in the Soviet Union. This "black" beefsteak tomato is slightly flattened, round, and grows to 4-inches. It’s deep, rich colors stand it apart from others…a dusky, dark-red, with dark-green shoulders, and red flesh in it’s center. Very flavorful fruits with luscious, earthy, exotic flavors and good acid/sweet balance.

Tomato germination dates:
Andine Cornue - March 3 - the first!
Black Cherry - March 4
Green Grape - March 4
Isis Candy - March 4
Ananas Noir - March 4
Aunt Ruby's German Green - March 5
Carmello - March 7
Hillbilly - March 6
Large Pink Bulgarian - March 5
Olomovic - March 4
Orange Queen - March 4
Paul Robeson - March 4

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