Article: New Tomato Varieties Abound

Article from The Lynchburg, VA News & Advance Online: http://www2.newsadvance.com/lna/lifestyles/home_garden/article/don_davis_new_tomato_varieties_abound/23312/

By Don Davis
Published: January 20, 2010

New tomato varieties come along every year, and some of them are worth growing. All of the new ones listed here are hybrids.

Sweet and mild are the words used by Harris Seeds to describe the flavor of Carolina Gold. It is a large tomato with a unique yellow-gold color and firm texture. This plant is determinate, which means you can expect a short vine and a concentrated harvest season.

Another new tomato from Harris Seeds, P.O. Box 24966, Rochester, N.Y. 14624-0966 (http://www.harrisseeds.com) is Sweet Treats. This pink cherry tomato is advertised as being very pleasing to the tastebuds due to just the right balance of sweetness and acidity. Sweet Treats has an indeterminate growth habit, indicating it will probably grow six feet tall or more.

Tye Dye looks and tastes like an heirloom tomato but it grows with the vigor and disease resistance of a hybrid. Its gold flesh is marbled with streaks of red, and its flavor is called sweet, mild and non-acidic. You will see this indeterminate tomato’s picture plastered on the front cover of the 2010 catalog from W. Atlee Burpee Seeds, 300 Park Ave., Warminster, PA 18974 (http://www.burpee.com).

Also worth considering is the new Burpee tomato called Big Pink. This is a medium size tomato vine with bright rosy pink tomatoes of medium size. The catalog says they are flavor-packed.

Tomatoes the size, color and shape of strawberries are borne in profusion on a new indeterminate tomato called Tomatoberry Garden. According to the catalog from Park Seed, 1 Parkton Ave., Greenwood, SC 29647-0001 (http://www.parkseed.com) this tomato is not simply delicious. It is called irresistibly delicious and appealing to the whole family. Beyond that, it is supposed to be super-sweet and extra-juicy.

Tinkerbell is another new one from Park Seed and it resembles a miniature Roma tomato. Its description includes key words such as heavy-fruiting, indeterminate and snack and salad lovers’ favorite. At a half ounce, Tinkerbell is small enough to be classified as an elongated grape tomato.

Brandymaster is a hybrid version of the widely grown and loved heirloom called Brandywine. It comes in three colors: red, pink and yellow. This is a tall indeterminate plant with fruits weighing up to a pound. Its flavor is said to be rich, incredible and world famous.

Also from Totally Tomatoes, 334 West Stroud St., Randolph, WI 53956 (http://www.totallytomato.com) is Tough Boy, a pink fruited compact indeterminate tomato. It is called Tough Boy because it is resistant to cracking. Flavor is described as very sweet.

It is buyer beware when ordering tomato seeds from a catalog. As an example, the Granny Smith tomato I grew last year was advertised as having “real tomato taste” and a flavor that is “full, sweet and natural.” In reality it had no flavor at all compared to the other tomatoes in the garden.

Davis is an Extension Agent for the Virginia Cooperative Extension. He can be reached by calling 455-3740.

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