Now is the time, Everett gardeners, to let me know if you want to buy a tomato start from The Toy Box. I charge $1.00 for a soil block tomato (easily slips right into a pot until spring planting time) or $2.50 for a 4-inch potted plant. All but two (Grandma’s Pic and
Momotaro) are either heirlooms or open pollenated. (I=indeterminant (needs to be supported and suckers pinched, can get as tall as 6 feet), D=determinant (bush, most productive if they have room to sprawl) I have seed for the following:
New for season 5 at The Toy Box
- Jaune Flammee: I, Earlier, orangish, small tomato, new this year at The Toy Box
- Gold Medal: I, Salad Size, gold skin with golden flesh that has a red blush, also new for me, about 80 days
- Ruth’s Perfect: I Ever get something and you don’t remember why? I was surprised when I saw this in my stash.
•Beaverlodge Plum: D, Short season (really short, 55 days in Oregon, a little later in Everett). Last year a single plant was so abundant that we just started bagging them up and throwing them whole into the freezer. We’ve never done that with tomatoes in Everett. Most of the wolf moon tomato sauce we made in January was from Beaverlodge Plums. NOTE in wet years, they were poor producers. Beverlodge will survive in cold wet weather but she more then thrives with a little heat like the 2013 season in Everett. Territorial Seed Company
•Black Plum Paste: I, early to mid season (about 65 days in a good year) This small plum is another sure producer in normal Everett summers. She can fool you, turning pinkish red with green shoulders just before ripening with chocolate streaks. Some say the flesh is mealy (I think they just waited too long to pick it), some say the flavor is spicy (as in a little different from other tomatoes). In all the years I have grown and used black plum, I have never done a formal taste test. I will say that I was afraid to just eat one the first season (2010) we grew them in Everett because of those poor reviews but I like them right off the vine. I like them even better in soup! Cool, wet, we still get tomatoes. Our seed was originally from Greenheart Gardens on Lopez Island.
Sheboygan: I, Mid-season Deep red makes a fantastic sauce. Uprising Seeds
•Oroma: I, Mid-season Just like Sheboygan except for pointed ends and slightly larger size. Territorial Seed Company
•Cuore Di Bue: I, Full season, An ox-heart type (I am told the name is either Italian or French for ox-heart, I speak neither French or Italian so I cannot confirm nor deny). I sometimes see these referred to a purse type tomatoes because of their shape. The vine is aggressive and will quickly get out of control (as in going and doing what it wants). I used this to my advantage and made it into a double stem plant in the SFG. However, the potted plant I grew in the green house was a tangled mess. I could not tell what was main stem and what was wild child. While on the subject of green house, this tomato produced far more fruit outside then it did inside… which might have something to do with all the energy going to vine production in the green house (this is only my 3rd season for Cuore Di Bue). Lush production of green tomatoes that ripen nicely on the side board in the house in a normal Everett summer. Loads of Red fruit in the garden last season (2013). Territorial Seed Company
•Striped Roman: I, late season. First trialed at The Toy Box in 2013, it was a favorite. We ordered seed, forgetting that 2013 was a fluke. Very pretty, even green, earlier then advertised. Territorial Seed Company
Small Fruit Tomatoes, most are early in the PNW
•Gold Nugget: D, very early Yellow Cherry. Honestly I thought I ordered Sun Gold (the cherry everyone raves about) but received these. They are good, not very fussy, grow happily in a pot on the deck so I keep growing them season after season. Always the first tomato in Everett, which is a big deal to me. Gold Nugget likes support even as a potted plant. Territorial Seed Company (2012 taste tested)
•Stupice: I, very early red-orange. We had our first Stupice about 5 days after the first Gold Nugget. Big tomato taste, tiny (apricot size) fruit. First Toy Box trial last season (2013). This year I will probably tell you how they do in a normal season. Said to do well in cold wet weather (normal Everett “summer”). Nearly every serious North West gardener I know grows these. (2013 taste tested)
•Silvery Fir Tree: D, fire-engine red. I always grow pots of SFT to give as gifts. Named for the foliage, the ornament like fruit is small and rather squat. A three bite tomato, some even larger depending on the weather and water. They actually seem happier in a pot then in the garden, but maybe I neglected the plant in the garden? Territorial Seed Company (2012 taste tested)
Legend: D, orange, said to be extra early, but seem to be average (mid season) in Everett. I keep growing them because they do well in a large pot (I tend to run out of garden space). Advertised as having large fruit. They are bigger then SFT and Stupice, but I would not call them “large” Might be because I keep growing them in pots. Territorial Seed Company
•Ceylon: I, Red, Mid to Late season. Just the cutest little tomato in the garden. Ceylon did much better if I faithfully pinched off the suckers. She never got very tall for an indeterminant. Season 4 (2013) was her trial year. This year I’ll try her in a pot, in and out of the green house. She came to the Toy Box in our best tomato year ever. We had so many tomatoes (never said that before) that all I remember about Ceylon is how cute she is. Uprising Seeds.
Classic, full season Tomatoes:
- •Siltz: D, red. This is a long time Toy Box favorite! The first of the classic tomatoes to ripen, Siltz has always been happy growing in a
black plastic pot, with or without support. It is almost like Siltz is a PNW native. She doesn’t seem to notice when it rains or gets cold. In the PNW you cannot stop what you are doing and wait for better weather. In typical Everett “summers” Siltz is a heavy producer. Earlier and better tasting (in my seldom humble opinion) then the famous Early Girl (developed in Oregon). Grown side by side, I have stuck my finger through hidden blossom end rot (YUCK) on early girl, but seldom have that problem with Siltz. (BER happens in Everett when it is too cold for the plant to take up the calcium it needs). Territorial Seed Company (2010 taste tested)
•Black Prince: I, early- sort of, chocolate color. Ray loves these. I think he ate every one that came ripe last year. I know what they look like but did not taste any. This year I will beat him off with a short stick to make sure I get at least a taste! (actually I love that he had a favorite) Territorial Seed Company
•Momotaro F1: I, semi early, Pink?: I will give Momotaro (said to be a favorite in Japan) one more try in the green house. Too hot or too cold and it drops blossoms. The package says 6 to 7 oz fruit. The only outdoor tomato I have ever seen was smaller than a golf ball. Very pretty stems. They remind me of swans necks. Territorial Seed Company
- Grandma’s Pic F1: Very pretty on the vine, a good bet for fruit in a bad tomato year. (2013 taste tested)
Chianti Rose: I, mid to late season, Pink. Said to be a beefsteak, I did not get any that big in Everett (in the greenhouse). I accidently gave away all but one Chianti Rose last season so I just had the one plant in the green house. The slugs were very attracted to the fruit. No idea why. This year I will try some outside.
•Super Lakota: I, orange red. One of many outside but in the green house it out produced every tomato except Grandma’s Pic F1. It tasted much better then Grandma! I’ll try it again outside but I will absolutely grow more in the green house. Yum! Mid size, easy to control vine, lower maintenance then Grandma.
•Persimmon: I, light orange (persimmon color). There is not a better tasting tomato in the Toy Box. I baby this short vine along all summer because the delicious fruit is worth it. Not so much fussy as just really long season. I usually end up letting it grow as long as possible, then picking them green to ripen over fall and winter in the kitchen. One ripe persimmon is worth all the waiting (sometimes a couple of years before a ripe tomato happens) The texture is not as awesome when it ripens in the house but the soup and sauce it is added to will get complements.