Top Performers in Tomato Variety Trials

Kathryn Fontenot  |  7/27/2016 12:55:52 AM

2011 Home Garden Tomato Variety Trial

The 2011 home garden tomato trial was conducted at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden in Baton Rouge. This trial was intended to look at disease-resistant varieties, but because of a green­house mishap, it ended up being a trial of the best tomatoes easily available for home garden use. The varieties were chosen from what was readily available in most garden centers and hardware stores. Seventeen varieties were evaluated; three were cherry tomatoes.

Sun Gold

Dark yellow-orange exterior and interior

Cherry

Indeterminate

98 percent of taste testers at the 2011 Houma Tomato Field Day said this heat-set tomato tasted better than Sweet Pea Current tomatoes and Sweet Million cherry tomatoes.

Creole (Source: Naylor’s Hardware Source)

Red exterior and interior

Small

Indeterminate

Blemish-free, firm fruit. Top producer in 2011 trials and second top producer in the 2015 Creole tomato trials. Won taste test in both 2011 and 2015 at the Garden Fest at the Botanic Gardens.


Spring 2012 and 2013 Heirloom Tomato Trials

The 2012 spring season was excellent for heirloom tomato production. The spring weather warmed up early and did not get hot too quickly. Rainfall was average. The 2013 spring season started late because of cool temperatures well after the last frost date and warmed up to high temperatures quickly. This reduced fruit set on the heirloom plants to fewer than 10 fruit per 45 plants. Therefore, data were not collected in 2013. When planting heirlooms, expected yields are extremely weath­er-dependent. This trial was planted at the Botanic Gardens at Burden and replicated at Covey Rise Farm in Husser, Louisiana. Ten heirloom varieties were evaluated.

Thessaloniki

Red interior and exterior

Small

Indeterminate

Firm, blemish-free. Almost looks too perfect to be an heirloom. Top producer in terms of both total and marketable production.

Black from Tula

Maroon-colored tomato with green shoulders, burgundy interior color with a green jelly around the seeds

Small to Medium

Indeterminate

Many concentric cracks. Soft fruit. Do not stack these tomatoes. Second in total production.

Persimmon

Deep yellow to orange interior and exterior.

Extra Large

Indeterminate

Not top yielding but worth noting. Firm for an heirloom tomato. Large blossom end scar and radial cracks. Taste test winner at Covey Rise Farm in Husser.

Mortgage Lifter

Dark pink exterior and interior color

Extra Large

Indeterminate

Not Top Yielding but Worth Noting. Small blossom end scar.

Tied for taste test winner at Covey Rise Farms in Husser.

Pink Brandywine

Dark pink exterior. Interior is pink but with white blotches

Extra Large

Indeterminate

Not Top Yielding But Worth Noting. Large blossom end scar and cat facing. Won taste test during Garden Fest at the Botanic Gardens.


Spring 2013 and 2014 Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus-Resistant Tomato Variety Trials

The 2013 and 2014 spring seasons were dedicated to evaluating tomato spotted wilt virus-resistant tomato varieties. Nine variet­ies were selected for evaluation. The trials were planted at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden.

Tribute

Orange-red exterior color. Interior color is red.

Small to Medium

Determinate

Top producer in 2013 and second top producer in 2014.

Very firm, no cracks. 80% marketable fruit.

Tribeca

Orange-red exterior color. Interior color is red.

Small to Medium

Determinate

Second in production in 2013.

Very firm, no cracks. 80% marketable fruit. Taste test winner both years.

PSO1522935

Orange-red exterior color red interior color

Small to Medium

Determinate

Top producer in 2014 and third in production in 2013. This variety matures earlier than both Tribeca and Tribute Firm tomato; very few cracks. 82% marketable fruit.


Spring 2015 Creole Tomato Variety Trial

Are all Creole tomatoes created equally? That was the question of this trial. Eleven “Creole” tomatoes were sourced from varying seed companies, and the results were, as expected, varying in yields, time to production, plant growth and fruit size. Conducted at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden

Creole (Source: Organic Direct)

Orange-red exterior, red interior.

Small

Indeterminate

Full ripening occurred later in the season (had green shoulder in early season)

Top yielding in trial. Very firm fruit. Minimal scars. First harvest occurred 55 days after planting.

Creole (Source: Naylor’s Hardware Store in Baton Rouge)

Red exterior and interior. Full ripen throughout the season.

Small to Large

Indeterminate

Second in production in trial.

Taste test winner. Some radial cracking. First harvest occurred 71 days after planting.


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