Final EarthBox 2014 Recap — The Tomatoes And Tomatillos

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here. 2013 recap here.

Tomatillos — 21.2 pounds. Both of the tomatillos survived 2014. In 2013 one of the two plants died off midsummer. This year it may have helped that one variety had a vertical habit, and the other was sort of “droopy”. We also gave them “their own space” well away from the tomato plants. The total yield increased almost 50%, up from the 14.6 pounds in 2013. For reference, the two types were “De Mipa” and “Mexican Strain”.

140628 tomatillo

As far as support – the Ultomato stakes weren’t really up to the task, especially for the vertical tomatillo plant. We’ll need to consider something else for next year.

We expanded from 6 tomato plants up to 8 in 2014. For comparison, the 2013 yield was 91.5 pounds, the 2014 yield was 138.0 pounds. On a per plant basis the yield improved from 15.5 pounds up to 17.25 pounds. (Note the “terracing” of the tomato plants on the left. The tomatillos are in the back center.)

140724 overview

Black Krim — 24.5 pounds. [75 day, Indeterminate. Heirloom] Won every taste test. The richest “tomato” flavor. Terrific yield. Winner.

Glacier — 10.8 pounds. [56 day, Determinate. 13.9 pounds in 2013.] Didn’t win any taste tests, or even finish very highly. Somewhat “watery” when compared to the other varieties. The lowest yield of 2014’s tomatoes. I’m inclined to try something else next year.

Mountain Princess — 11.6 pounds. [68 day, Determinate. Heirloom.] Relatively poor yield despite a prime location. Unexceptional taste. I don’t think they’re a keeper.

Oregon Spring — 13.4 pounds. [60 day, Determinate.] Ripened early. Did well in the taste tests. Good “tomato” flavor. Keeper.

Roma — 17.2 pounds. [75 day, Determinate. 26.0 pounds in 2013.] Lower yield than 2013 but the fruit was larger and more of it ripened.

Sungold — 18.4 pounds. [65 day, Indeterminate. 19.2 pounds in 2013.] Another taster favorite. Super performer and distinctly different and sweeter from anything else we grew in 2014. “Candy.” Keeper.

Taxi — 25.9 pounds. [65 day, Determinate.] Great yield. Attractive and it did well in the taste tests. Keeper.

Tigerella — 16.2 [65 day, Indeterminate. Heirloom.] Average yield, average taste, but they are interesting to look at. Late to ripen. I’d be fine with trying another variety instead.

A few pounds of tomatoes got crushed when the cages blew over. Overall though, 2014 saw improved yields and riper fruit. Cherokee Purple might be something to try in 2015, given how well the Black Krims were received.

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