Lazy Ox Farm

  (Alton, Missouri)
Tomato variety trial notes, etc.
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Tomatoes for Hot Summers

You never know ahead of time what type of summer you are going to have. Had we known we would have record breaking heat and drought we would have done a heat tolerant tomato variety trial. But, last year we had unusually cool and wet, so who knew? Our temperatures rose into the 90's and 100's in late June, and did not drop down into the 80's until very late August. Nights were mostly in the 70's. We were hot, and so were are tomatoes.

Of the 60 or so tomato varieties we grew, these were the stand-outs: Juan Flamme, Homestead, Anna Russian, Nyagous, Thai Pink Egg, Sun Gold F1, Super Sweet 100 F1, Juliet F1, White Beauty, Speckled Roman, Rose de Berne, Black Cherry, and Green Grape.

These did okay, and were worth growing: Abraham Lincoln, Legend, Orange Banana, Speckled Roman, Black Zebra, Arkansas Traveler, and Amish Paste. 

And here is the list of "don't bother" if you have hot, hot summers: Ananas Noire (We have not harvested one single fruit!), Reisentraube, Isis Candy, Marmande, Old German, Pineapple, Bush Beefsteak, and Prairie Fire. Some of these grow exceptionally well where summers are moderate, but don't grow 'em in Texas!

More on Tomatoes Varieties

Ahhhhh, tomahhtoes! We love them. We can't get enough of them. They are piled all over our kitchen counters waiting to be processed into seeds and sauce. We have little plates with drying seed covering every horizontal surface that isn't already covered. We live tomatoes this time of year.

The current stand-outs from our tomato trials this year are Japanese Black Trifele, Nyagous,  Anna Russian and Reisentraube. JBF and Anna Russian are the heros of our late summer garden, pumping out plenty of beautiful fruits when most varieties are slowing down. Honestly, it took them a long time to get going, probably because of our record breaking heat and drought. Most of our tomatoes spent the better part of August sulking about the weather.

Japanese Black Trifele is a "black" tomato - really brown/red with green shoulders. It has a unique shape - like a little pouch drawn up with a string. The flavor is sweet, rich, and juicy. The greenish shoulders are very firm, which I believe discourages the fruitworm and the grasshopper - the scourges of our late summer garden! 

We grew Anna Russian in an attempt to identify our "Joe's Pink" variety, which was given to us without a name. It is a pink oxheart, but not even close to Joe's Pink. It is very similar to Cuor di bue, another pink oxheart we offer. They both produce plenty of medium large to large, pink, juicy, and very sweet and flavorful fruits. They are so similar, we will probably only offer one of them as a plant, but both of them as seeds.

We are out of room for today. More later!

















Tomato time!

July 28, 2010:

     The tomatoes are coming on hot and heavy now. They're a little late because we were so busy growing and shipping plants for you all that we got our own garden going later than usual.

     The German Johnsons and Joe's Pink Oxhearts are stand-outs right now. "Wow" is all I can say! Big, productive, and just beautiful. Oh, and extrememly tasty, too. The German Johnsons were not so great last year. I guess they like our exceptionally hot summer this year. The Joe's Pink, having been grown is this area for years, are supremely adapted. What an awesome tomato! I feel like a super star growing these.

     On the "Why Bother" list so far are Orange Flesh Purple Smudge and Old German. OFPS is currently all the rage, and it looks so beautiful in pictures. Well, ours have no purple smudge and the flavor is so-so. Its a small, yellow/orange tomato. I think Juan Flamme is better if you want a small. orange tomato. It is more productive and tasty. Old German is a small, yellow/orange tomato, too. It also is lacking flavor. I don't think we will offer these two next year, although I have not written them off yet. They have a couple more months to impress me.

     Look for Thai Pink Egg in our offerings next year. What a very cool tomato! It sets loads of perfect, firm, small, egg-shaped maters that are a gorgeous pink color. We grow lots of pink tomatoes, but this one is in a color class all its own. Now, I must admit that I am not sure about the flavor yet because my 5 year old daughter, who is a pinkaholic, picks and eats them before they are fully ripe. She is drawn to them like an ant to honey.


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