Tomato trial update... the final countdown...

12 April, 2013

Over the summer of 2012/13 I have trialled 16 varieties of tomato in my little garden in Melbourne's west.

I had originally planned to test these toms in three areas: first to crop, largest crop per plant, and taste. Unfortunately I only managed the first two of those, as not all fruited at the same time so there wasn't able to be a true taste test to see which tomato reigns supreme.

Most of my trial tomatoes are looking pretty sad.


Only two tomatoes are still flowering and fruiting:

Isis Candy - still with some ripening fruit and flowers.
Garden Peach - staging a revival and flowering again. Will fruit follow?... stay tuned.

However, now that the tomatoes are pretty much done for the year, I can assess which tomato performed the best in terms of providing me and my many tomato beneficiaries with toms this season.

But first, the award for first tomato to fruit goes to.... Siberian. [smattering of polite applause]

And now, the moment we have all been waiting for. The award for best producing tomato 2012-13 goes to...

Garden Peach!


Runners up were Ned Kelly and Siberian.

Results as below (average per plant, from two plants grown):
Garden Peach - 1665g
Siberian - 1625g
Ned Kelly - 1580g
Principe Borghese - 1355g
Isis Candy - 1345g
Rouge De Marmande - 1305g
Lemon Drop - 1295g
Gardeners Delight - 1275g
Black Cherry - 1230g
Tommy Toe - 1140g
Green Zebra - 850g
Mortgage Lifter - 780g 
Big White Pink Stripe - 560g
Black Krim - 280g

Earl of Edgecombe - DNF
Beam's Yellow Pear - DNF

Of all of these, I will definitely grow Garden Peach, Siberian, Ned Kelly, Isis Candy, Lemon Drop, Gardeners Delight and Green Zebra. The others are maybe's for now, but I will probably give them another go. I have seeds to use up.

Does anyone have any other must-grow tomato varieties I should put on the list for next year?

20 comments:

  1. Your tomato trials must have been a really interesting project. I just don't have the outdoor space to do that - not to mention the UK weather and blight risk! I've grown Gardener's Delight in hanging baskets and am trying Green Zebra for the first time this year. I'm much intrigued by the origins of the tomato called Mortgage Lifter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm interested by your growing tomatoes in hanging baskets - I'd love for you to blog about how you do that. I imagine the plants being pulled out by the weight of fruit - oh, the optimism! Mortgage Lifter supposedly came from an American tomato breeder who bred the variety, sold the seeds or plants (I can't recall which), the proceeds of which paid off the mortgage. Top name!

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Pink Brandywine, Cosmonaut Volkov, and Djena Lee's Golden Girl do well for me in the hot humid south of the US, but a friend who grows bushels of tomatoes prefers Beefsteak. I'm trying out a couple dozen new varieties this year as well which include Mortgage Lifter and Black Krim, hopefully there will be some standout tomato types.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sold on Cosmonaut Volkov just for the name! None of my beefsteak style toms did really well this year, but maybe I just need a better variety...

      Delete
  4. I don't grow any of your top performers so will definitely give them a go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't speak highly enough of Garden Peach. I got the seeds from Eden Seeds, from memory.

      Delete
  5. I know you didn't taste test but what does Garden Peach taste like? I am planning on growing Siberian next year but I might give Garden Peach a go as well. My best performing tomato this year yield wise was Tigerella with 1250g but I think that was largely because less of its fruit were lost to rodents than anything else. The one I found most useful was Yugoslav (also 1200g yield but I did lose quite a few of them, my dad has had at least 5-10kg from his plant -outside Melbourne with cooler nights which I think the plants prefer). I got Black Krim seeds from a new source this year (ie not Diggers)and it did better than it has done for me in the past (still only 800g but who knows how many I lost).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I can sum up the taste of Garden Peach in a quote from a friend I gave toms to: "I would sell my soul to the devil to grow tomatoes that taste this good." Luckily for their soul that is not required. They are a thin skinned, quite sweet tomato. They have a slight furriness on the skin, which is where I'm guessing the name comes from. Oh, I am jealous of your dad - oh for 5-10kg of fruit per plant! I will definitely be adding Tigerella to my list!

      Delete
  6. So interesting.
    My yellow pear down the side of my house are going gangbusters and three plants stretch 4 metres long, 2 metres high. Its a new garden and I west facing little microcosm. I'm not sure if your seeds are the same plant, I bought them on Ebay, but I can vouch for these tomatoes. Also I'm in Sydney where its still quite mild.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's funny, because I have had yellow pear toms (not sure if it was BYP or another variety) grow before and they were great croppers! Maybe it was just a bad year for them here?

      Delete
  7. I couldn't be without Black Russian.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have grown Black Russian, until I had them stolen out of my front yard just as they were ripening. I was so disappointed I couldn't bear to grow them the following year. Time to give them another go, methinks.

      Delete
  8. I'm very impressed with the thoroughness of your trial, much more scientific than my method! There are several on your list that I haven't heard of before. I'm going to bookmark your post for next summer so I remember to try some of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers! I hope its useful. I'll definitely be learning from your experience an trying Tigerella!

      Delete
  9. Hi Bek, I second Tigerella. I have been growing them for years now - they jus come up in the compost, and are so delicious, and an early cropper.
    I also grow tomatoes in hanging baskets, but cherry and grape varieties only. I'm thinking of trying Tommy Toes in baskets next year.
    I'm really interested in your Garden peach variety. Is it really the peach colour of the photo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent, Tigerella is on the list for sure! Now I very much want to try hanging baskets also. Do you find they dry out though? Yes, Garden Peach really is that colour. It also gets a slight reddish blush when really, really ripe, so it looks even more peach like!

      Delete
  10. Thanks so much for this Bek. In spring, I will keep this post of yours handy when making my choices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem. I'm glad its useful to more than just me.

      Delete