Despite the weather issues, despite the fungus, despite being both crazy busy and having nothing to do except water and moan about bugs… and the whole pandemic thing- the tomato haul so far is intense.
I’ve already been gushing about the Spike- and that was a real dark horse in terms of yields, if not size. The small stature wasn’t a surprise, Spike is sold as a 1oz tomato- bigger than a cherry, but not by much. They are a real winner in the taste department though I am happy to say. The hanging gardens is also doing well, though the poor plants are on their way out- the powdery mildew was a killer this year. That again, not a huge surprise, cherries are good performers. Julia Child and Petaluma hill purple were disappointments but that’s much more due to my issues not finding stakes and putting the purple in a pot. and possibly some bug/fungal issues with the Julia Child fruit rather than just the vines.
Wowzers. Half the Julia Child are like that. I might get one or two fruits but disease or fungus is really attacking them.
The other issue with the Julia child was that something… many somethings… like to live in them.
The other high performer was the glacier- again a small 1-2oz slicer, quite nice and an easy grower.
But my god! The Black Krim!
That is a proper heirloom beefsteak!
Proper heirloom beefsteak(s)! PLURAL!
And there’s more ripening on the plants! The messy fungal plants but who cares!
I am in awe- I had no cages and the wind kept blowing the vines over. The weather vacillated between oddly hot and oddly wet- and yet I’m getting multiple beefsteaks in San Francisco!
The real amazing thing is- they taste good! There are a few cold weather tomatoes that claim to be big and tasty and they fall very flat. San Francisco fog is the classic mistake- They’ll grow, you’ll get some, and they’ll taste like mush. Of course, even a mushy home grown tomato is ripe and better than store bought so people will content themselves with that. Nowadays however with better access to farmers markets, the San Francisco fog is just not cutting it. Why put so much effort into a home grown tomato that tastes OK when you can buy something so much better seasonally. But the Black Krim gives you yields and taste in bad weather, so for about the price of a seasons worth of farmer’s market tomatoes (which some of which are often Black Krims, they’re a reliable farmers market variety) if you invest in seeds, plants, soil and some elbow grease, you can grow twice as much of your own!
I will still moan about bugs- you cannot stop me.