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2019 Tomato Trial Results

by | Aug 1, 2019 | Food, GARDENING, Greenhouse, THE LATEST | 0 comments


So it is late July and I am returning from a week away and when I come home I am in for a big surprise! The tomatoes in my big 16 x 20 foot greenhouse are literally falling off the plants! And this means one thing… it is time to tally up the tasting notes and record the data for this year’s crop of tomatoes.

I try to be a disciplined gardener and only grow one plant of each kind but this year two plants came back from fruit  left in the greenhouse. And that means I have more to show off than I thought. Read more to see what I found out!  PS Thanks to Laurie for doing th tasting with me. It is always good to have a second opinion. (Read to the bottom for the great tomato challenge)

The 2019 collection. Most are greenhouse-grown in Donna Balzer’s BC Greenhouse with polycarbonate sides and roof. They were seeded February 14, germinated around February 19 and planted in greenhouse mid-March.


#1 CHOCOLATE STRIPES: Plant came from Ted. This is the only one I didn’t grow myself but it was so good I thought it was worth sharing.  Size:100+ mm. Type: Heirloom Beefstake Colour: Red with green stripes. Shape:  flattened oval. Notes:  grown outside and still ready early
Tasting Notes: Nice tomato flavour, meaty, nique looks.  At first the taste is tart and then there is an after-sweetness. Nice for a large tomato. *Lauries overall favourite.


Grown outside but started first in Ted’s greenhouse. This one is described by a person from Regina on the Baker Creek seeds catalogue as ” These were our first red tomatoes of the season. They even ripened before the short season determinate tomatoes. The taste is amazing and the plants were heavy setting even in our very short growing season. The taste is sweet, not mealy, and slightly smoky.” I agree they are unusually early and tasty for an heirloom! I will be saving seeds and starting them myself next year.


#2 REISTOMATE: Seeds came from Emma Biggs in 2018 and even so 100% germinated in 2019. Size: 70-90 mm. Type:  Uniquely shaped Heirloom with double flowers and multiple fruits. Colour:  Red.  Shape:  like bubbles. Greenhouse grown.
Tasting Notes: Skin separates from fruit, tangy but not sweet. Papery thin skin left in mouth.


Such a crazy looking fruit! Too bad it doesn’t taste good too!

#3 CHOCOLATE SPRINKLES: Seeds from Stokes but these ones reseeded themselves in a self-watering box and produced fruit early even though they were not started ahead of time and transplanted. Size: 25 mm. Type:  Cherry. Colour:  Red/green. Shape: oval. Greenhouse grown.Tasting Notes: Delicious, not seedy. Nice texture. Sweet, crisp, flavourful but skin a bit tough while biting in. ** Donna’s favourite.


Fruit of Chocolate Sprinkles is a pretty colour. These are so vigorous they grew and produced fruit by August 1 even though I didn’t even seed them. The seeds were obviously left over from last year’s fruit and  germinated sometime about mid-May in the greenhouse.

#4 BIGDENA: Seeds from Johnny’s select seeds. Size: 60-90 mm Typre: Beefsteak. Colour: Red. Shape:  round to flattened. Greenhouse grown.
Tasting Notes: Very little flavour but so beautiful and uniform. Almost bland. Fleshy (like an ideal tomato), bland.


Toronjina “tastes like sunshine” said Laurie, former high school foods teacher and neighbour who helped with the taste tests.


#5 TORONJINA: Seeds from Johnny’s select seeds. Size  15-30 mm. Type: Cherry. Colour: Orange. Shape: round. Greenhouse grown. 
Tasting Notes: Tangy, sweet. Brighter flavour. “So fresh it tastes like sunshine.”

#6 SUNRISE BUMBLEBEE:  Seeds from Westcoast seeds and self seeding. Size: 22-26 mm, Type: Cherry. Colour: Orange with red stripes. Shape:  oval. Greenhouse grown. Note: The seeds that sprouted on their own in the greenhouse produced fruit before the ones started indoors and transplanted into greenhouse. 
Tasting Notes: Tart, not as flavourful as other cherries but so pretty on the plate. Skin chewy. Chewy, fresh flavour.


#8 EDOX: Seeds from Johnny’s select seeds. Size: 20-25 mm. Type: Cherry. Colour:  Red. Shape: round. Greenhouse grown.
Tasting Notes: Tough compared to other cherries. Sweet but not sugary. Skin too thick. Flavourful. 

#9 JULIET: Seeds from William Dam Seeds. Size: 25-30 mm. Type:  paste. Colour: Red. Shape: oval. Greenhouse grown.
Tasting Notes: Bland but evenly coloured with light sweetness. Produces early and heavy. Different smooth flavour. Thin skin left in mouth.


Better than sungold because they don’t split as readily but not as sweet as this gardener expected. 

#10 SUNSUGAR: From William Dam seed. Size: 10-25 mm. Type: Cherry. Colour: golden-orange. Shape: round. greenhouse grown.
Tasting Notes: Tangy, sweet, dry skin left in mouth. Sweet but not as flavourful as Toronjina, skin separates. 

#11 MOUNTAIN MAGIC: William Dam seeds. Size:30-40 mm. Type:  Cocktail. Colour: red. Shape: round. greenhouse grown.              Tasting Notes: Bland, seeds small, nice medium-sized but chewy with uniform flavour. Chewy, dense, easy skin to dissolve. Nice looking inside.    


Bigdena, cut in front of Chocolate stripes. These two are ideal for slicing and sandwiches.



Have you got a great photo of an odd or weird or favourite tomato? Send it to me  AT [email protected] and win. Contest closes Aug 15.

PS Do you have questions about Gardening? Join in the conversation on my facebook live event every Monday by clicking right HERE.


 Donna Balzer is the Brand Ambassador for BCGreenhouse Builders and she has two greenhouses in her big backyard.

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