A Few of Laurel's Favorites
People often ask, " Laurel, let's say you are about to be stranded on a deserted island, your canoe is taking on water, and you have to swim to shore. You have 1 minute to grab your swim fins, snorkel, some garden tools, books, your shades, a case of wine, your dog, and 10 tomato seed varieties from among the hundreds you always have in your pockets. Which ones would you choose?"
"How about 25?", says I.
A Guide to the Symbols
(H) Hybrid. The few hybrids we list were developed with great flavor as the main criterion. These are delicious varieties which we have grown and taste-tested to ensure superior flavor.
(SD) Semi Determinate. Just one variety, Florida 91 is semi determinate. The plant reaches a certain predetermined height and then stops growing.
Most of the fruit is borne over a 4 to 7 week period. But they DO keep on producing -- just a smaller crop. So don't give up on them. Keep feeding and watering!
Our Sunshine Symbol means this variety grows beautifully in all climates, and does especially well in sustained high heat but not hotter than 95º. Pollen normally becomes sterile above 95º
Extra heat tolerant.
A specialty plant, developed to produce consistently in very hot weather, up to 97º- 98º.
Our Penguin Symbol means this variety grows beautifully in all climates, and does especially well in cooler temperatures and produces late into the cool season.
Grows beautifully in most climates and is extra cold tolerant. However, this does not mean North Dakota in winter. Your tomato plants need night temperatures consistently above 50º F.
(E) Early ripening variety, with 78 days or less to ripe tomatoes.
(VE) Very early varieties, usually less than 68 days from plant-out to ripe fruit.
(EE) Extremely early ripening varieties, ready to pick in only 45-60 days from planting.
My Top 20
'Stranded On A Deserted Island' Favorites
Paul Robeson ($7.95) (VE) (HG)
This is my all-time favorite tomato and our top seller for 22 years.
It is a gorgeous, dark and dusky-hued fruit with intensely sweet earthy taste with a hint of tanginess, a luscious velvety smooth texture, beautiful skin, rich with juice and high production. You will love it. The seed was made available by Marina Danilenko, a Moscow seedswoman.
This luxurious tomato is named for Paul Robeson (1898-1976), the elegant, renowned and charismatic operatic singer, law school graduate, champion athlete, film star, stage actor and boundlessly brave champion of civil and personal rights throughout the world. This marvelous plant will give you its perfect 3" - 4" fruit in only 65 days from planting. Incredible; a symphony. I do believe this is the finest tomato in existence.
Jutland, in MY TOP 3!
(E)70 days. (Pronounced
Along with Dirty Girl, Jutland is my new 'go to' variety for the best dang tomato for BLT's and any fresh eating. A perfect 3 to 5 ounce, thin-skinned, plum shaped, brilliant red tomato, some smooth, some with a pointed tip and the most sublime flavor we've found in a tomato this season. I keep saying " Where have you been all my life?"
It appears in several different shapes on the same plant -- some very elongated, some short and plump, and, a
s with many tomatoes of this shape, the foliage is rather wispy.
Sliced into 'coins' or halved lengthwise, it is my new favorite for salads, sandwiches and cooking. True story.
Juicy, sweet, tangy, delicious, thin, very tender skin and old-fashioned tomato flavor make Jutland a must-grow for the most dedicated and adventuresome heirloom tomato fans.
Can be used for sauce, yes. I'd recommend this one for fresh eating.
INew for 2024!
Apricot Zebra ($7.95) 75 days.
These preciously delicious 2 ounce salad tomatoes are as tasty as they are beautiful.
A stunning shade of tangerine with micro-thin pale green streaking that turns to brilliant yellow
-- when that happens it means they are ripe!
that glows in the sunlight
Bigger-than-golf-ball-size fruits are firm but not hard, thin skinned, luscious and
on a sturdy, vigorous
Bright, refreshing flavors are backed with scrumptious sweetness making Apricot Zebra a garden treasure that can disappear mysteriously as they begin to ripen.
Be sure you can trust your Pickin' Person.... because I can't.
Apricot Zebra tomatoes are criminally irresistible.