Heirloom or Hybrid?

digitS'

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Hey, C :frow!

I don't know whether I will continue my ongoing (probably 5 year) SunSugar versus SunGold Trials, or not . . .

It is such a task, ya know. As best as I can get it: SunSugar has a more tender skin. SunGold has the edge on flavor. Oh, it is torment trying to decide what kind of weight to assign to these qualities. Torment :rolleyes:.

Steve
 

cwhit590

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Hey Steve-o! :frow

Well it's that time of year for me to finally visit TEG and see what's going on! :lol: Life gets so busy during the growing season and the holidays that this is about the only time I get on anymore! I'm working on uploading photos, so hopefully soon I can post an update on how 2011 went for me. Turned out to be a good season.

Actually Steve, I planned on doing SunGold tomatoes this past year. I normally just buy the few tomato plants I need locally (vs. starting my own seed), but since I've heard SO much good stuff about SunGold, I went ahead and added some seed to my Johnny's order. Being a grower at a greenhouse, I was able to start some of my own seeds at work on our planting benches....I went ahead and started the SunGold seeds along with my personal flower seed....things were going along great....until the tomato seedlings started getting attacked by thrips. :/ So, I tried spraying for the thrips with an organic spray, which burned the young seedlings....shortly after that one of my coworkers sprayed an application of insecticide in that greenhouse that wasn't labeled as being safe for use on vegetables....so after all that, I just decided to scrap the poor little SunGolds. :rolleyes: At least I didn't plant the whole packet...I still have seed left over to try again this year (if I can find it!!!! :D ).

After the SunGold disappointment, I was able to find SunSugar plants in a local nursery, so I gave those a try instead since they were the closest thing I could find. If I remember correctly, the plants weren't as crazy vigorous as other cherry tomatoes, but they always seemed to have a steady supply of ripe fruits...and they were good! Very sweet! I normally don't like eating tomatoes plain...but the SunSugars were a different story!

So we'll see what happens with this year's batch of SunGold seed.....:fl

oh, and Steve, do you save seed from your SunGolds / SunSugars year to year or do you buy new seed each year since they're hybrids?
 

digitS'

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Always new seed . . .

I tried a variety that was supposed to have been developed from SunGold. It is called Wow!

The best idea I had last year was to grow only 1 of those Wows! Terrible production. The fruit tasted fine, the plant itself was huge. But . . . I must have taken only about 10 little cherries or less off that thing! Someone will have to work a little longer on an open-pollinated substitute for the hybrid, golden cherries.

Steve
 

Jared77

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Dang it you two now your convincing me I need to grow some. I was only going to do 1 pot of Sweet 100s but now Im starting to think I may need some SunGolds. :p
 

Collector

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Last season was our first season trying to grow a full garden, so take this with a grain of salt. we grew earlygirl hybrids and got a good harvest off of them, we have grown them before so I knew they would do well. We also tried some heirlooms, Rutgers, Roma, And sweet baby girls. The early season weather was cold, wet and not good for growing. It did not turn warm until mid july here. The Rutgers tomatoes were slow to take off with the weather conditions but seemed to perk up and grow well once things warmed up. The Romas were much the same as the rutgers slow growing in the cool weather. before the first frost hit we pulled up the plants and picked the maters off of them, we picked over 90lbs off the two heirlooms about 10 plants worth. The sweet baby girl, cherry tomatoes were super producers last year, DW was constantly out tying up the branches to keep them from breaking off, they were super loaded.
We are going to be growing the sweet baby girls agai this year for sure. I would like to try the Rutgers again, if the spring weather is going to be warmer. We will look for a replacement for the Romas. Something that matures faster and tolerates our short season better.
 

cwhit590

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Jared77 said:
Dang it you two now your convincing me I need to grow some. I was only going to do 1 pot of Sweet 100s but now Im starting to think I may need some SunGolds. :p
In our area, the Kalamazoo County Master Gardeners hold a fun event each summer called the "Tomato Taste-Off", where gardeners bring in fresh garden produce for a potluck along with different varieties of tomatoes for sampling. Apparently SunGold won the title of "tastiest" tomato variety two years in a row...when I heard that I had to try some!
Like I mentioned before, hopefully I have better luck starting them this year...I want to taste them too! :p
 

HotPepperQueen

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I have tried both. The heirlooms had AMAZING flavor but didn't get very big. I grew Abe Lincoln heirlooms. Otherwise I grow Romas and Big Beef hybrids. They are meaty and good for sauces/juice but I prefer to eat the heirlooms raw.
 

digitS'

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I am generalizing here . . . I have a tendency to do that, then back away from whatever I said. It takes tolerant people to put up with me :rolleyes:.

Flavor has a lot to do with color. Golden cherries are quite a bit different from red.

Plant breeders have put a lot of recent emphasis on sweetness, especially with the cherries. The Japanese plant breeders have been real good at this. Of course, some folks aren't happy about all the sweetness and some think SunGold doesn't have a pronounced enuf flavor and that the taste is cloying. Taste is subjective.

For a number of reasons, Early Girl is the most commonly grown variety in the US. Some folks think of the taste as THE flavor for a fresh-from-the-garden tomato. That thinking probably closely follows from the fact that it is successful in so many gardens. There are other red tomatoes but for something quite different - a pink, yellow or black gets you quite a ways down the road.

After dealing with taste, the issues become disease-resistance, and rates of maturity within the fruit-size classes. Very few heirlooms have any special resistance to diseases. Plant size seems quite closely related to rate of maturity but not entirely so. And, then there are the determinate versus indeterminate decisions.

How gardeners can deal with all these things without committing themselves to growing at least 20 different varieties is just beyond me . . .

Steve :p
 

catjac1975

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Jared77 said:
Dang it you two now your convincing me I need to grow some. I was only going to do 1 pot of Sweet 100s but now Im starting to think I may need some SunGolds. :p
How could you not grow a "Wopper" or "Big Beefsteak?" One thick juicy slice, large enough to fill a sandwich, red and sweet..........
 
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