I thought I would share my opinions on the tomatoes I currently have growing in my garden. I'm pleased with all of them except for one but despite that I plan on saving seed from all of them.
Christmas Grapes: I got this as a little plant from a friend who I believe got it from someone else...anyway, these are fantastic. Bright orange, juicy, and possibly I'm imagining it- a fruitier flavour than regular tomatoes. Unfortunately they are in a planter rather than the ground- I'm sure I would have had way more fruit.
I have a a Rutgers, a Cherry, a Rainbow Blend and one other growing in a planter. They were grown from seed from the dollar store and I had very little success - these are survivors and unfortunately the wind took the label from one of them so I don't know what kind it will be.
The weather is very harsh in Merritt. While we have loads of sun we also have a lot of wind- it can be quite brutal to little plants just starting out. Next year I will start all my plants indoors to avoid loosing so many and wasting time. These are all still green so I don't have much to say beyond that except that they are now growing vigorously despite the tangled looking mess.
The following were purchased as little seedlings to compensate for the misery of so few from seed surviving:
100 Sweet: It is sweet- really delicious. I didn't realize tomatoes could actually taste sweet like this- I used to think that it was a marketing gimmick!
Roma: Still green but looking good. It's a bush type and looks like it will produce a lot of fruit.
Sugar Snack: even sweeter than the 100 Sweet! My favorite so far.
Lemon Boy: Haven't tried it yet- the label indicates it will be yellow coloured which will look interesting in a salad.
Health Kick: Didn't taste particularly special - like a typical tomato. It has produced abundantly however. In fact, it was probably the first plant that put out fruit.
Early Girl: Haven't tried it yet and there was nothing early about it. It put out fruit rather late actually.
Cupid: Disappointing compared to the other two. it could be that I'm used to those little ones tasting so sweet so this almost 'store bought' taste is probably not as bland as I really think. Maybe.
I also have 3 tomato plants that were germinated from 2005 seed from my mother. I don't expect to see any fruit from them because after waiting a week for them to sprout and seeing nothing I had thrown them out...only to find that they HAD sprouted almost two months later. Just planted them out of sentimentality.
I also have what looks like a cherry tomato that I got as a gift from an old Italian a few blocks away. I was in great admiration of his garden and later on my husband and I talked to him and he showed us the property across from him which he also owns and where he has planted about 100 tomato plants! Beans, cabbages, herbs,...tons of stuff that he cans for winter.
His plant was just a little bit behind in producing fruit from the fastest but it was also not receiving quite as much sunshine. The first tomato I plucked from it was somewhat deformed. I'm not going to say what it reminded me of. :)
This is my garden at this point in time. Well actually, I wrote this a week ago and things have changed. This is for my own reference but might interest someone who is new to gardening and trying it in a near desert area. I've had way more success with flowers than vegetables but that's to be expected...next year I will only plant vegetables I have a real liking for as well rather than things that I thought I ought to plant. Currently growing on the south fence in the back garden
Maple tree is doing spectacularly this year- this last month alone it jumped quite a bit. It is probably my biggest pride and joy.
3 cherry trees doing all right. All had there tops broken somehow or other and consequently are growing split. I may tear them out to make way for veggies and flowers for next year.
Strawberries on the south fence did terribly. If we got a dozen that was a lot and all were piddling in size. Probably too much shade from the compost pile, east fence and south fence itself.
Beans: (scarlet runners) good location as they are now receiving a lot of sun and appear to have excellent drainage. Unlike their counterparts in the front garden...
Iris: which I don't want here but haven't got a suitable location for yet- can't tell how they are supposed to be doing as they have been moved a lot. They are my favorite flower actually and thankfully these ones are really tough.
Pepper plants that were purched as plants: one is actually producing peppers; could probably use more sun. All plants recieve some shelter from wind because of south fence.
Currently growing on the west fence:
Nettles: not a bad spot but a bit exposed to wind because of rickety fence...possibly gets to much sunlight and soil could be better.
Grape vine: actually on south wall of shed is doing well although the grapes are on the bottom. Could be it needs more support and/or protection from wind.
North side of the house's south wall:
Lettuce: to hot for it without cover although it does well with it. This is only a termporary location till they're finished.
Sunflowers: do well considering they were dropped on hard-pack by the birds and are growing randomly.
On the west fence:
4 tomatoes grown from seed have really come a long way- I'm still waiting to see if they can yet produce fruit/flowers. Tomatoe plant from friend gets a bit blasted by wind but otherwise o.k. and are now producing fruit.
Carrots, radishes, goards, cabbage, chard, bucket potatoes all o.k. but get a lot of heat and a fair bit of wind- everything is in a container of sorts or box.
Front of house, south side/north wall:
A mix of hollyhock or mallow (short), wild larkspur (good) and odds and ends that surrvived germination failures. A lot of 'throw away' things wind up in here and if it survives may make it to other locations in the garden.
On the west fence:
a Transplanted Artemesia cana does well for the little sun it gets.
Ditto for a robust columbine.
Sunflowers are doing well.
Poppy transplants are o.k.
Tomatoes are doing really well but could have used wind shelter. Fruit is tasty.
Cucumbers not so good- blame it on weather and too much watering. They're actually improving just recently.
Corn that's growing with the tomatoes is doing so-so.
Apple tree has lots of apples.
Pansys underneath apple tree always do well.
In the main vegetable garden:
The soil is really not fine enough for the carrots and I never thinned them.
Onions and garlics were to much guess work. I think I would rather buy them when they're cheap.
Peas needed more support. I totally goofed on this one.
Pepper plants from seed never really made it.
Spinach is doing really well. Couldn't even keep up with the little I grew.
Cabbage had a hard time. Did better in the back.
Chard does EXCELLENT. Great stuff in salads and probably good for winter soups as well.
Broccoli does EXCELLENT. Too bad I spaced it so close together.
Beans just won't thrive. All the wax died, so did most of the scarlet runners. Mama's germinated ones are 50-50.
Corn is finally getting bigger.
Potatos are doing well and moreso towards the middle- excellent really all things considered. (We had redug them- big trauma).
Papver somniferum, pansy, nasturtium all doing well under apple tree as well as what appears to be forget-me-not.
Semper vivum, prickly pear, snow-in-summer, rose campion, sunflowers, marigold all doing well in their locations.
One blueberry is definately dying, the other struggling.
Gooseberry is o.k.
Raspberries are 50/50- hard to say what's normal. Mama's old one is on it's way out but the other two have produced a bit of fruit.
Cedars are doing well. Quite recovered from their first year.
Calendula flowers are thriving.
Gladiolas are doing great although most are forking into two flower shafts which makes for smaller blooms.
Sunflowers doing great of course.
An old lupin from the coast finally gave up the ghost.
Sweet peas did wonderful.
Columbines did EXCELLENT.
Papaver somniferum did EXCELLENT. What the hell am I going to do with nearly 4 cups of seed?!
Willows: 3 of 5 died.
Seed mix under lilac did well considering the crowed conditions: papaver assortment, cosmos, african(?) daisy, candytuft, baby's breath
Clematis finally did an about face and looked nice if not perfect.