My 2019 Comprehensive Tomato Report

September 15, 2019
last modified: September 15, 2019

Tomato tonnage goal of 600 lbs for the year might be reached:

1 BHN 589 -- 35 lbs (top producer of very tasty huge toms)

1 Tycoon -- 25 lbs (lost some to disease)

1 Rutgers -- 20 lbs (lost many to disease)

1 BHN 602 -- 20 lbs (late plus lost some to disease)

1 Campbell 33 -- 10 lbs (lost many to disease)

4 Better Bush -- 20 lbs total (all four dwarfs lost many toms to disease, so only 5 lbs per)

Total from determs = 130 lbs

from indeterms up till Sept 10th:

10 Bolseno -- 350 lbs (all ten plants are still going strong and I expect at least 10 more pounds per plant till first frost kills them in early Nov)


grand total to date 480 lbs



Comments (2)

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a

    This is one of those rare years where the flavor was off on all tomatoes. Bolseno which always has the WOW-factor when tasting, was just good. Better Bush (the first dwarf I ever grew years back) went from excellent tasting to so-so. I don't know what the factors were to make this, but it happens. Shell reported in 2017 that all her tomatoes were off in taste (and she grows 100's of them). Even her best tasting which are always on her premier grow list -- Purple Dog Creek and Druzba -- were just good that year. With that in mind here is the report.

    New this year was applying Mycostop (per Richard's instructions) at the roots of all tomatoes 4 times during the season. It was a magic bullet on all (Wilts, fungal, etc.) diseases except Septoria. The plants looked so healthy that I thought Mycostop will handle all, until Septoria attacked, and I was too late spraying with copper and neem oil to save them. All tomatoes were decimated by mid-August except Bolseno. Bolseno is still going strong (all 10 plants) even though there is about 20% damage on the leaves. Now that September is here -- Septoria disappears, so I expect to have good harvests till end of October (all are loaded with green fruits and many, many blossoms). Next year I'll start spraying neem oil every week from transplant (to kill the thrips that descent from the trees to bring on Septoria to the tomatoes) until September, and I will ALWAYS use Mycostop (thanks Richard)!

    The only indeterminate variety I grew this year (because of disease pressure that has killed all good heirlooms in the past two years just about halfway through their production) is Bolseno -- all 10 plants set fruit under the most adverse conditions (100+ degrees for several days, 95+ for many weeks, and early and continuous Septoria attack)! The ten plants have survived in good shape, and I'll give them the last dose of Mycostop on Thursday. I'll report on Bolseno tomato production till frost kills them.

    This year BER and soft (rotting) spots were a big problem here early on. The BER disappeared by end of July, but the soft spots persisted till end of August (when I pulled the last of the determinates). Bolseno had about 10% BER and about as much soft spots till mid-August -- now all are perfect!


    BETTER BUSH VFN HYBRID -- the worst of all this year. This dwarf tomato had excellent productions and superb old-time tomato taste in years past, this time it had about 30% BER and about 30% soft spots. The so-called "soft spots" is a disease condition where there are spots on the skin that look off-color (yellowish and even brown). When gently pressing on such a soft spot the flesh beneath feels mushy. When cutting off just the damaged skin one sees a black rotting wedge which goes towards the center. If one or two spots only, you can cut away the rotting flesh and still use the good part left, but when several...there is not much left so tomato gets thrown away! I threw away more than half the tomatoes, so Better Bush was a bust here, plus the flavor was way off.

    RUTGERS VFA -- the best tasting (near the end) of all determs I've grown (even in years past of many determinate varieties). Started off with about 20% BER, some had soft spots but not many. The good ones tasted good in the beginning, the later ones tasted superb. Near the end Septoria really did a number whereby about half had many soft spots -- so about 35% total got thrown away. The plant is about 5' tall, very bushy and super productive with 8-10 oz red globes full of juice and tangy flavor (the good ones). If it weren't for the disease destructiveness here, it would be on my grow list each year (threw away about 35% and still kept about 20 lbs good ones). This is a hundred year old heirloom that you can save true seed -- so a big plus.

    BHN 589 VFFT HYBRID -- the overall winner! Nearly as good tasting as Rutgers. I can see why market growers are paying $40 for 250 seeds! About 5' tall bush that spreads to about 4 feet loaded with cannon-ball sized tomatoes (14-20 oz) of perfect shape, red color and no blemishes. Threw away only 2 due to BER, and about 3 from soft spots when Septoria had devastated the plant at the end. Picked over 35 huge pound-plus tomatoes that had excellent firm texture, full of juice, great balance of sweet and acidic flavor (a truly old fashioned tomato taste that leans toward tangy). If it weren't for Septoria, I believe this one will consistently produce 45+ pounds per season of long-shelf-life superb looking and tasting huge tomatoes!

    Tycoon -- second overall in production and third in taste. 5' bushy with few BER and soft spot problems.

    BHN 602 VFFF HYBRID -- last to ripen, also not as good as BHN 589 in taste and production. Won't grow it again considering how much better is BHN 589.

    Campbell 33 Tomato -- a few had really good taste, but lost about half to BER and rot. Not very productive, but this could be because of Septoria.


  • whgille

    Thank you Tony for your very detailed tomato report.

    Here in Central Florida it is time for me to put the tomatoes in the garden, it is still very hot so I am putting them in a different places with a little bit of shade till the weather gets better.

    I got a mix of sizes and colors and a Bolseno thrown in.


Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268