Re: [tomato] Tomato Digest V1 #154

margaret lauterbach (
Sun, 28 Feb 1999 07:52:31 -0700

>I really feel at a loss here.  If we only are going to 'talk' about
>heirlooms,  then your list and
> about covers it
>Chuck.   There's not much more to say.
>Louis Mensing
I would be happy to talk about hybrids.  The first year I grew Celebrity
tomatoes, they were red, uniform, uncracked and delicious.  I could hardly
wait to grow them again.  The second year I grew them, they were few, puny
and tasted terrible.  The old fellow in the garden center, from which I had
purchased the plants, said, "Well, we had a cold snap a few weeks ago.
These hybrids just can't take a bit of cold."  I let the rest of the crop
rot (I had other tomatoes in my patch).  Friends persuaded me to give them
one more try.  So I grew a couple of plants again the next year.  Small
crop, terrible taste.  Man at the garden center said, "Well, we had some
hot weather a few weeks ago.  These hybrids can't take hot weather."  

I also grew Floramerica a few years ago.  Gorgeous plant, large showy
trusses of beautiful, perfect tomatoes.  Every time a gardening friend came
by, she asked, "what kind of tomato is that?"  "Floramerica."  We picked
some and brought them inside.  I accidentally dropped one, and it bounced
and rolled into the other room.  No visible damage to the tomato.  We cut
into another to taste it.  Suffice it to say I've never grown it again.  

Now Mr. Mensing, you may live in an ideal tomato climate where you don't
have unexpected cool or hot weather during the growing season.  That's
fine.  You would probably do well to grow hybrids.  I don't, so I don't
like to grow hybrids.  If I drop a tomato, I want it to splat.  I don't
want a tomato with a tough, thick skin nor a tomato with firm flesh.  I
don't want an unreliable producer, either.  I have been called a "list
policeman" for urging new gardeners to try non-hybrids and to try paste
tomatoes other than Romas.  Yes, I grew Romas many years ago.  The plants
succumbed to curly top disease, and the fruit was small, tough and on the
sour side.  My taste preference runs to sweet.  Now are you satisfied Mr.
Mensing?  And tough guy Anderson?  There's some discussion of hybrids and
Romas.  Margaret Lauterbach, who obviously isn't the only "list policeman"
on the list.