Picking Favorites: Great Tomatoes for Puget Sound

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northern exposure tomato

Don’t let cool summers keep you from growing the season’s finest garden treat. Of all the tomatoes I planted this year, here are some my favorites, based on taste, robust growth and prolific nature. These are great tomatoes for you backyard garden.

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Northern Exposure tomato is an all around winner: beautiful round deep red baseball-size toms –firm, meaty, flavorful and possessing an impressive shelf life of up to a week after picked. The plant is bushy, well-behaved and determinate (only grows to about three feet). blog_northern_exposure_sliced

COPY CODE SNIPPET

Old German tomato was new for me this year, planted as a substitute f0r my all-time favorite Pineapple tomato. I’d have to say Old German is my new favorite as the largest, sweetest and meatiest slicing tomato in the garden this year (and the plant was robust to boot).blog_Old_German_tomato

A crazy kaleidoscope of yellow, orange and red, it’s almost seedless and packs a dense meaty goodness that makes it my preferred BLT tomato.

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Two slices manage to cover half a sliced baguette. blog_German_blt

Too many BLTs, so little time

Snow White and Sugar Lump Cherry Tomatoes: small size, but big flavor

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White Wonder tomato is also new to me, a novelty of sorts that pays off with sweet melting low-acid flavor that makes it a pleasure to eat simply with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.blog_sliced_whtwonder_tomato

White Wonder is not the most vigorous vine, but I was happy with the ten or so medium to large fruits that found their way to my dinner plate. blog_fourth_july
Fourth of July tomato was a real winner, though ripening a month later than its namesake would suggest. It’s juicy and sweet and about the size of a ping pong ball–a perfect salad or snack tomato. The vine is very vigorous, the fruit does not split after rains, and it keeps well, too.

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Lemon Boy tomato is a sharp, tangy tasting medium size tomato that adds a nice dimension to fresh eating, salads and salsa.

Amish Paste is the juiciest meatiest paste or Roma type tomato I've ever grown. It's a great fresh eating tomato and not as thick-skinned as most paste tomatoes.
Amish Paste is the juiciest meatiest paste or Roma type tomato I’ve ever grown. It’s a great fresh eating tomato and not as thick-skinned as most paste tomatoes. I found no need to skin them when I made sauce.
Boz and Gracie would rather not eat than eat a hothouse
Boz and Gracie asked that I point out they would rather tap a nap than eat a hothouse tomato. I’d also like to point out that they’d rather take a nap than do a lot of things.

My friends Beth and June (Four Green Acres) have weighed in and it looks like the Persimmon tomato has a devoted following. June, in fact, has a great blog post where she shares her top tomato picks this season. I can’t wait to try them myself and discover other new tomatoes in the coming season.What are your favorite homegrown tomatoes? What I was blogging about a year agoVioletta Fig Finishes Out the Season

21 COMMENTS

    • Found your picture while looking for images of Old German tomatoes. I got the plants from an Amish greenhouse out here in NW Pennsylvania this spring, and they are doing well. Wasn’t sure what they should look like when ripe, so your photos really help. Can’t wait to make BLTs!!

  1. How great, Tom! We did our tomato round-ups on the same day. Mine suffers from the lack of Boz and Gracie photos…and BLTs with mayo. You do know how to live!

    I can’t believe you’ve talked me into venturing beyond Sungolds. Not that I’d ever forsake them, no! But the cracking does pester me. Northern Exposure goes on my list. And I’m going to have to grow Old German along with Ruby Gold: Time for a taste test!

    I loved this post. Can you tell?

  2. Hey Tom-Tom,
    Aya has hard green heirloom tomatoes still on the vine. Do you have any tips for either ripening them off the vine or a recipe for green tomatoes. I never bought the idea to fry them. MA

    • M.A. me thinks you stumbled on the perfect post for this time of year. Just what do you do with all the green tomatoes and/or how do you ripen them off the vine. Stay tuned!

  3. Maybe next year, I’ll grow tomatoes again. Last year, I ended up with a tree of green tomatoes in November!!!!!!!! Ended up making jars of green tomato chutney to give away for christmas. These look lovely

  4. Discovered your tomato post through twitter recently. Just received four Snow White plants I ordered on your recommendation. Can’t wait to see how they compare to my favorite Sungold.
    Thank you!

  5. Found your picture while looking for images of Old German tomatoes. I got the plants from an Amish greenhouse this spring, and they are doing well. Wasn’t sure what they should look like when ripe, so your photos really help. Can’t wait to make BLTs!!

  6. Tom,

    So happy to hear that “Fourth of July” was on your list of favorites.

    Last year, I was so disappointed when I couldn’t find any plants OR seeds at ANY NURSERY in my area of Sea Tac, I pestered Minter’s Nursery, in Renton and they will be carrying Fourth of July plants this year. While there, I will picking up your Northern Exposure, Old German and Amish Paste. I always like to try new varieties OR new old varieties. lol Also love Sun Gold’s but last year was another major “splitting year” for this particular variety (for me).

  7. Tom – Quick question AND time sensitive.

    Just discovered my favorite tomato, “Fourth of July” is AGAIN in short supply. DO YOU HAVE A SECRET SOURCE where these tomatoes are offered in the Seattle area? (or elsewhere) My source, Minter’s Nursery (in Renton) will only be having a few plants and available ONLY IN GALLON-SIZE CONTAINERS in a couple of weeks.

    Thanks for any info you might provide.
    Carol

  8. Carol, I got mine last year from the Puyallup farmers market. There’s a woman there called the tomato lady and she has about 60 varieties going. Usually she sets up on the street behind the main Pavilion.
    Good luck
    Tom

  9. Tom, Thank you so much for getting back to me re Fourth of July tomatoes. Will definitely check out the Puyallup farmer’s market.

    Carol
    P.S. Got your recommended “Amish Paste” today, in addition to “Sun Golds”. No Northern Exposures yet. Still too early to expect a decent selection.

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