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The Great Colorful Tomato Challenge of 2018

This year we grew out a bunch of colorful tomatoes in our Victory Gardener grow out patch. We decided to grow a bunch of different types of colorful tomatoes and see which one was the best. we chose the cultivars based on experience, rumor, name and look.

Colorful tomatoes are a new comer to the game. They are being created as fast as they can be. People like the variety, the look and the effect these colorful tomatoes have on the plate. 

  • Colorful tomatoes look fantastic in a salad and in most dishes.
  • Colorful tomatoes come in all sorts of sizes and shapes to compliment your cooking.
  • Kids like to see the colors and it encourages them to try the fruit.

The Colorful tomatoes are making a big splash with all sorts of different ones available. Each year I hear about more colorful tomatoes that are supposed to be the best.  Some of them are variegated containing several colors in one tomato. Other colorful tomatoes are dominated by one color that is out of the ordinary. I find that deep colored tomatoes can take a while to reach their full color and maturity. If it is your first time growing a colorful tomato it might be hard to know when it is ripe. Getting it right with colorful tomatoes takes time and effort. Hopefully this review will help you know a little more about some of them. 

We planted the following 7 Colorful Tomatoes this year: 

  • Hillbilly
  • Berkeley Tie Dye
  • Blue Berry
  • Indigo Apple
  • Black Beauty
  • White Tomesol
  • Green Zebra

Results from Worst to Best:   

Green Zebra: Unfortunately, our Green Zebra did not make it to fruit. It seemed to be doing really well from seed to plant. Upon transplant it took off and put out some good foliage. Then it just died.  It just gave it up and died rather quickly. Not sure what killed it, but we did not get a single tomato.

Berkeley Tie Dye: I had high hopes for this tomato due to its name and the color variations it was supposed to have. However, unfortunately this plant did not do well. It grew into an interesting small tight bush. It got lots of curling big leaves and seemed to be doing well. Then it just died. We did not get to taste it. I will try them again next year. 

Indigo Apple: This was a Wild Boar Farm Tomato seed. The tomatoes were a little larger than a cherry. They came in clusters like cherries and were used like cherries in cooking and eating. The plant did well but like many darker tomatoes they took longer to mature and gain flavor. It put out a medium yield.

White Tomesol: This was my first time growing a white tomato. They started green and then seem to just be drained of their color and fade away to a pail yellow cream tone. The tomatoes once ripe were tasty if not a little acidic. The thing about this tomato, is once picked the fruit lasted longer than any other tomato before going bad. It did not matter if I put them in the fridge or on the counter, the White Tomesol wins the Longest Shelf Life Award this year. 

Black Beauty: I had never grown the black beauty tomato before. This tomato was a very deep color. It took a good about of time to come to their full color. But when they did the outside was positively black. The plant was exceedingly lanky. It escaped its cage almost immediately and keep going across the lawn. It did want to be contained at all. Next year I will grow this one going up a 8 foot cattle panel and use ties to keep it in line. 

Blue Berry: This was a Wild Boar Farm Tomato. This tomato was one of my first cherries to bloom and put out fruit. The fruit was tart and acidic. The plant put out a lot of beautiful and colorful tomatoes. The cherries were each red with a dusting of purple on top. They were very beautiful and made a nice splash in the salad. This tomato was a great offset to my other cherries offering color and style.   

Hillbilly: This year’s winner is the Hillbilly. This tomato is wonderful. It puts out a lot of beautiful variegated tomatoes with yellow and red coloring. The tomatoes range in size from big to medium.  The flavor is fantastic. They are the low acid of a yellow tomato with the added taste of a red. They are great for eating fresh, sauces or canning.

This year has brought some new colorful tomato cultivars into my garden and I am very happy to have discovered the Hillbilly, Black Beauty and the Blue Berry Cherry. They will be included in the 2018 seed collection on-line, in our plant nursery farmers market booth, and in our own suburban garden. 

Published on Dec 6, 2018

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