This year, I got 15 varieties of tomatoes that I carefully labeled with a Sharpie as I planted them. I was using some new “easy to write on” labels I bought on Amazon.
The new labels are useless. Either the sun and/or what little rain we have had erased the Sharpie ink, which is hard to do.
I should have documented on paper what and where I planted, but didn’t.
I am about over my infatuation with heirloom tomatoes. I will stick with the Cherokee series of purple, chocolate and carbon, but I am going to be growing mostly hybrids, such as Champ II and Celebrity, in the future.
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Heirlooms do not yield well, are prone to disease and are more prone to cracking and splitting, but they take just as much time and effort to grow from seed as a hybrid.
The average consumer wants a pretty tomato with few flaws and most heirlooms do not allow for that. I will continue to grow some heirlooms such as the Cherokee series because of flavor, but growing heirlooms for sale is just not profitable. I decided the heirloom tomato fad was done two years ago when heirloom, or more likely heirloom-looking hybrids, started showing up in supermarkets and on the tables of resellers at the farmer’s market.
Dean Mullis writes from Laughing Owl Farm in Richfield.