2012 Test Garden Results

My apolgies for not updating the Test Garden page to 2013.  My goal is to show results for the last 5 years of all tomatoes I have grown.  The trends seem predictable depending on the weather.   A work in progress.  

The 2012 season was much warmer than the last two years.  Most fruit ripened much earlier was a bit smaller but more flavorful.  This year I grew more yellow, bicolored and green tomatoes for their rich, sweet flavor and low acidity.  Not that I don't love the reds too!  My freezer is full of, seeded and peeled, roasted and whole tomatoes as well as Marinara sauce. 
To document my crop, I photographed the tomatoes before I picked them.  All the photos are from my 2012 garden.  The descriptions include quotes from tastings with neighbors and friends.  The dates at the end of the descriptions are from first ripening to last harvest.
Early Tomatoes: Stupice, Glacier, Bloody Butcher and Sioux were early welcome treats and produced well throughout the season. 
Flavor and Productivity: My neighbors and my favorites were Anna Russian, Sudduth’s Brandywine, Dixie Gold Giant, Marvel Stripe, Orange Russian and Virginia Sweets.  The bi-colored were especially sweet and flavorful.   
Sauce and Paste, Opalka, San Marzano Redorta and Amish Paste were prolific, large and meaty. 
Impressive, Large and Beautiful: Reds:  Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter, Hugarian Heart and Believe It or Not  Other colors: Aunt Ginnies's Purple, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Aunt Gertie's Gold, Dawson's Russian Oxheart, Orange Russian 117, Gold Medal, Virginia Sweets
Green Tomatoes:   Little heralded, but absolutely delicious, Aunt Ruby’s Giant Green and Chile Verde were very tasty, sweet and tart.  I love their flavor and how visually interesting they are in recipes. 


Not only are cherries addictive right off the vine, they are delicious when roasted.  They are very pretty when pickled.  Though the summer was warmer, the fruit was smaller, but very flavorful

Sungold: Lots of peachy sweet, orange gold cherries.  8-13 to 9-30
Yellow Reisentraube:  Very prolific, small, dark yellow round grape cherry, luscious, rich sweet flavor  8-16 to 9-30
Isis Candy: Small, late crop of sweet little orange cherries.  9-15 to  10-3
Red Currant: Clusters of additively delicious, perky sweet, tiny red fruit.  I found myself grabbing a handful every time I passed the plant.  Very early, 7-31 to 9-27.
Reisentraube: Clusters of large, round, red grape cherry tomatoes.  Crunchy, delectable, sweet flavor with a smooth, tart finish. 9-03 to 9-27
Yellow Pear: Prolific, adorable, pretty lemon yellow pear shaped cherries.  Pleasantly sweet and delectable.  8-25 to 9-30
Gail's Sweet Plum: A good crop of brilliant red, round-plum, very sweet and rich.   9-7 to 9-30
Sugary: Prolific, amazingly scrumptious, sweet, crisp, brilliant red plum cherry.  8-10 to 9-27
Black Cherry: Lots of large dark cherry tomatoes with very earthy, fully developed, spicy flavor.  9-13 to 10-11
Elfin: Luscious little plum shaped red cherries that popped with sweet delectable flavor.  8-17 to 9-
Indigo Rose: Beautiful, black, extremely prolific.  Very intense, dusky flavor when fully ripe.  7-31 to 10-19




Larger than the cherries, these flavorful, lovely little gems will make your salads beautiful.  Also great for roasting.

Old Ivory Egg: Bountiful and early crop.  Small, yellow, egg shaped, fruity, nutty, sweet/tart..    8-25 to 10-03
Vilm's: Good crop of small, red plums with a pointy end.  Luscious, firm, smooth flavor.  8-25 to 10-03
Flamme: One of my favorites. Small, prolific, lovely orange, delectable, juicy and firm.    8-10 to 10-3
Ceylon: Beautiful, small, red ruffled, full body, lightly tart with sweet finish .  8-25 to 10-1



I had tons of tomatoes for canning and freezing.  I like the flavor when frozen, it is as close to fresh as you can get for sauces.  I forze some whole and some peeled and seeded. 


Goldman's Italian American: My plants produced small, mild plums instead of the giant, ruffled pears.  The seed source, Terroir claimed the variety is unstable, but I suspect a bad batch of seeds.  Tatiana and Baker Seed are offering the Goldman's this year and reassured me that the variety is good, but I will hold off until I see what the blogs say for 2013.   This year I will try Cuore Di Bue,  Large Italian Red Pear and Stump of the World for large ruffled tomatoes. 
Sant Clara Canner: Many small, red, tasty fruit.  Good for slicing and salads.  9-06 to 9-27
Amish Paste: A very good crop this year. Very sweet, appetizing, dark red, firm, meaty and juicy, great for sauce and slicing. 8-25 to 10-09
Opalka: Prolific, fairly early, large, full bodied, savory, paste tomatoes.  Excellent for sauce or slicing.  8-19 to 10-19
San Marzano Redorta: I have grown these for years.   A good crop of  huge, meaty, delectable, deep red paste tomato. 8-25 to 10-16



With our cooler summers, the early tomatoes are the way to go if you can't wait for mid season.  They are smaller, but delicious.  A great way to start the season

Manitoba: Early, fair crop of small round, red mild tasting fruit.  8-25 to 10-09
Medford: Very early, fair size crop, small, red, mellow, juicy.   8-19 to 10-09
Sioux: Prolific, early medium size very pretty ruffled fruit.  Juicy, spritely, earthy, sweet.  8-19 to 9-27
Glacier:  Very early and prolific, small, savory, bright red fruit.  8-06 to 10-06
Chalk's Early Jewel: A small crop of pretty red, oblate, small with  light, tangy flavor.  Were not very early belying it's name.   8-30 to 10-3.
Stupice: Very early, good producer, crimson, small, sharp, delectably sweet .  Produced well throughout the season. 8-10 to 10-09
Bloody Butcher: An early, very prolific variety. 1 1/2 to 2 inch bright crimson, crunchy, zesty, luscious  flavor.  7-31 to 9-31






A bountiful crop of full flavored, medium sized, mid season red beauties.

Amish Salad: Clusters of very sweet round, small fruit. 8-25 to 9-218
Pantano Romanesco: Prolific, handsome, bright red ruffled, fruit.  Hearty, juicy, sweet full flavor.  8-25 to 9-27
Red Brandywine: Small crop of medium size pink/red fruit, good texture with a full, honeyed balance.  9-11 to 10-06
Palla Di fuoco:  "Fireball" Good crop of smooth round, medium size, meaty, fruity and bright.  8-25 to 9-27
Marglobe: Good crop, nice size, firm and very tasty,  These are a staple in Italy.  8-29 to 9-27
Zapotec: Small crop of lovely, deep pink, pleated medium size  9-13 to 10-13




It is exciting to produce breathtakingly, beautiful enormous tomatoes. Luscious flavor and juicy firm, texture are enough to entice me to harvest them, despite how impressive they are on the vine.

Henderson's Pink Ponderosa: Several, bright deep pink, medium sized, ruffled fruits with rich, full flavor.  8-25 to 10-03
German Giant:
Small crop of medium sized,  bright red tomatoes with great texture and smooth, rich flavor.  8-25 to 9-21.
Believe It or Not:  Small crop of lovely red, very large, ruffled flavorful fruit   8-25 to 10-8
Pruden's Purple:  Giant dark crimson oblate fruit with green shoulders   Delectable, juicy, with savory full flavor.   9-16 to10-03
Hungarian Heart: A fair crop of stunning, large, crimson, juicy. mouth watering, nutty, oxhearts.  One friend described it  "like your first summer kiss"  8-25 to 10-06
Radiator Charie's Mortgage Lifter: Bountiful crop of huge, oblate, ruffled, pink red fruit.  Luscious, tomato flavor, deep red interior, firm and juicy.  9-03 to 9-30
Sudduth's Brandywine: My favorite Brandywine.  Impressive crop, huge, ruffled, deep red.  Very sweet and meaty, sublime,  like a fine wine. 8-17 to 10-03

The Bi-Colored's  beauty and luscious flavor make this my favorite group of tomatoes.   The Orange Russian and Dawson's Russian Oxheart were amazingly abundant.

Virginia Sweets: Enormous, lovely, deep red and orange striped tomatoes, Luscious, sweet with firm skin and gorgeous interior  9-16 to 10-16
Marvel Stripe: Beautiful golden orange with dark orange striations, large, oblate, ruffled fruits.  Gorgeous yellow orange interior.  Superb flavor with firm, juicy texture making it one of my neighbors and my favorite for slicing. 8-30 to 10-16
Gold Medal: I had a few gigantic, stunning gold, orange and red striped fruits.  Delectably sweet and juicy.  9-15 to 9-29
Orange Russian 117:  Bountiful crop of giant, stunning, orange/red, bi-colored, oxhearts.  Gorgeous yellow orange interior, sublime flavor, firm, juicy texture,  A favorite for my neighbors and I.   8-25 to 10-19
Dawson's Russian Oxheart: A close cousin of Orange Russian 117.  This tomato knocked my socks off with it's productivity with just one plant.  The flavor was as luscious and sweet as the Orange Russian.  8-26 to 10-16.
Peach Blow Sutton: Fair crop of small peach colored beauties, with fuzzy skin and deep pink interior,  mildly sweet.  9-10 to 10-03
Casady's Folly: These usually reliable bi-colored plums struggled early in the season, there was some blossom rot  I was able to harvest some fruit that were sweet and firm.  9-06 to 9-30
Striped Roman: These plants did not do well.  There was a blight problem,  I was able to harvest a few fruits.  9-06 to 9-30


The dark, earthy, full flavored fruit is a nice compliment both visually and tastefully to the rest of the tomato crop

Aunt Ginnie's Purple: Good crop of large handsome dark red, oblate fruit.   Very juicy, meaty, sweet, rich, classic tomato flavor that pops.  8-26 to 9-21
Cherokee Purple:
Good size crop of medium sized, oblate, deep red with black shoulders.  Mildly earthy, nice balance of sweet and tangy, lush and juicy.  8-25 to 9-29
Purple Russian: Small crop of plum shaped, medium sized, dark red fruit with green shoulders.  Juicy, sweet, deep purple and green interior with crunchy skin. 8-26 to 9-29
Japanese Black Trifele:  Small, early crop of earthy, full-flavored, juicy, dark red with green shoulders, small oval fruit.  8-25 to 9-27
Black Krim: A fair crop, more red than black this year, earthy, full bodied flavor with a shy sweetness.  8-25 to 10-09
Anna Russian: Another bountiful crop.  My favorite among the darker tomatoes.  Pear and oblate shaped, dark red with black shoulders, Rich savory flavor, good body, sweet with a tart finish.   8-30 to 10-3
Russian Black: Fair crop, fat plum shaped, dark red, juicy, light, airy balanced sweetness.  8-26 to 10-05

These tomatoes are so lovely, sweet and low in acidity, I wonder why they aren't more popular.  They make for succulent sauces, jam, sorbet and are gorgeous sliced on pizzas. 

Aunt Gertie's Gold: A small crop of huge, ribbed yellow gold fruit.  Meaty and delectably sweet.  9-16 to 10-9
Yellow Mortgage Lifter: Huge plentiful, ruffled, deep yellow  Very sweet with a sprightly tart finish. Juicy and meaty.  9-06 to10-03
White Beuaty: Several elegant, yellow, medium size, ruffled fruit,  Very juicy, good texture, honeyed, with a touch of acidity.  9-06 to 10-09
Hugh's:  A few huge, stunning, yellow, ruffled beauties. Firm, lemony, pungent and sweet.  9-16 to 10-06.
Great White: A very good crop of splendid, large, yellow tomatoes..  Meaty, juicy with lush sweet/tart flavor.  9-16 to10-06
Orange Banana: Medium crop,honey sweet, pretty orange medium size plums.  8-25 to 10-09
Dixie Gold Giant: A substantial crop - gigantic, exquisite, yellow to orange.  Excellent texture, superb, honeyed savory flavor.  One of my favorite yellow/gold tomatoes.  8-27 to 10-1
Yellow Brandywine: Small, crop, deep yellow oblate.  Buttery, sweet, boastfully rich with hints of caramel, juicy and meaty.  8-30 to 10-06
Chile Verde: I planted several of these attractive lime/yellow green plum shaped tomatoes.  Their zesty, earhy flavor with a sweet and tart complexity made for yummy salsas.   9-08 to 10-06
Green Giant: A few large lime green with dark green shoulders.  Juicy, mild, rich and sweet.   9-13 to 9-27
Aunt Ruby's German Green:  Several enormous tomatoes.  Amazing flavor, very refreshing, delightfully sweet  with a little cucumber kick. Good texture and juicy.  9-16 to 10-05