See Tomato Variety Demonstration Photo Page
COMPARISON OF TOMATO VARIETIES GROWN IN VICTORIA COUNTY
Gerrie van Toledo, Victoria County Master Gardener, Cooperator (2008)
Joe D. Janak, Jr., County Extension Agent - Ag/NR
Victoria County



SUMMARY:
Sixteen varieties of tomatoes planted on April 13, 2008 were evaluated for earliness, yield and flavor.  Galilea was the highest yielding tomato producing 8.4 pounds per plant.  It was also one of the latest to ripen the first set fruit and was the variety producing the highest yield late in the season.  Varieties ranged in production from 1.71 – 8.4 pounds per plant.


OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate 16 common varieties of tomatoes for adaptability, yield and flavor.


MATERIALS and METHODS:
On April 13, 2008 a tomato variety demonstration was planted on a plot selected on the Upper Mission Valley Road FM 236 in Victoria County. The soil was sandy loam, enriched two years ago with mushroom compost.  The soil was disked and then tilled to about 3 inches deep with fertilizer tilled in on April 12, 2008.  Twenty-five pounds of 13-13-13 fertilizer was applied to the plot or the equivalent of 938 lbs/ac for a final analysis of 122-122-122 per acre.

Sixteen varieties of tomatoes were planted, two of each variety, replicated three times in a complete block design to make the picking and recording of the tomatoes reasonably easy and reducing the chance of errors.  See Table 1 for variety identification and plot layout.  Tomatoes were planted 3 feet apart within the row with rows 3 feet apart.  Conditions were very dry and the tomatoes were mulched with grass clippings several days after planting and chipped tree limbs were added as additional mulch in May.

The plants were side dressed with 13-13-13 fertilizer in mid-May when fruit was small.  Spinosad (0.5 %) was sprayed on the plants on June 19 and 29, 2008 at 2 fluid ounces per gallon of water for stink bug control.

Tomatoes were picked when ripe or almost ripe and numbers and weights recorded. Every tomato was picked and recorded regardless of insect or bird damage.

 

RESULTS and DISCUSSIONS:

Soil moisture was minimal at planting and remained very dry in the early season.  Irrigation was accomplished by hand watering or overhead sprinkler.  Due to the drought, 5 plants were lost within one week.  Adequate irrigation was applied throughout the growing season.

Between stink bugs, chickens and birds more than half of the tomato's are lost.  The birds mostly concentrated on the two outer rows. Since these two rows have two plants of each variety, the varieties are equally damaged, thus no significant impact on the results. Home raised chickens were allowed to graze and did harvested tomatoes throughout the test. There were very few of them so their impact is limited and random.

The very first visible fruit on May 6, 2008 was from variety 705 Cherry.  See Table 2 for a complete listing of fruit set by variety by date.  Table 2 also shows when the first tomatoes were ripe and harvested and a complete listing of fruit ripening by variety by date.  Also find in Table 2 the date(s) of highest production by variety.  There definitely was a visible trend for some varieties to set fruit earlier (by 20 days), produce ripe fruit earlier (by 13 days) and produce the most fruit at one time during the season (by 48 days) although several varieties had an extended high production period and others did not.

Table 3 shows the pounds of production produced per plant per variety with the Galilea tomato variety producing the highest yield of 8.4 pounds per plant.  Varieties ranged in production from 1.71 – 8.4 pounds per plant.

On June 24, 2008 a “taste test” or evaluation of flavor was completed on four cherry tomatoes by 26 Master Gardeners.  They scored the tomatoes on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the worst and 10 the best. The results are as follows:

VARIETY                SCORE
Dw Cherry Sur         7.5
Bhas 762 DE 7 Che   5.2
704                          7.1
705 Cherry               7.8


Another “taste test” was conducted on July 22, 2008 by 17 Master Gardeners comparing 3 full size varieties.  The results are as follows:

VARIETY               SCORE
Amelia                    5.1
Galilea                    5.8
Solar Fire                6.8


Two remarks need to be made here:  Less people participated in the later survey because everybody just had a big lunch and the first tomato in line (Amelia) was judged unfavorably maybe because people just finished a sweet desert and did not always clear their palate.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:

Appreciation is expressed to Dr. Larry Stein, Extension Horticulturist, Uvalde, Texas for acquiring the tomato varieties.  Also to Gerrie van Toledo, cooperator and the many Master Gardeners who came, harvested and recorded the data.


DISCLAIMER CLAUSE:

Trade names of commercial products used in this report are included only for better understanding and clarity.  Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Texas A&M University System is implied.  Readers should realize that results from one experiment do not represent conclusive evidence that the same response would occur where conditions vary.

Table 1.  Tomato varieties (on left) showing variety identification and three replications in plot layout on right representing six planted rows. Gerrie van Toledo, Victoria County Master Gardener - Cooperator, Victoria County, TX 2008.
A Amelia
B Dw cherry Sur
C Ofri
D Galilea
E Bhas 762 DE 7 Che
F Tous
G 704
H Inbar
I Fauna 17
J Solar Fire
K Sure Fire
L Sun Pride
M Celebrity
N 602 Round
O 444
P 705 Cherry
   I           I           I
   I           I           I
   H          H          H
   H          H          H
   G    P    G    P   G    P
   G    P    G    P   G    P
   F    O    F    O    F    O
   F    O    F    O    F    O
   E    N    E    N    E    N
   E    N    E    N    E    N
   D    M   D   M    D   M
   D    M   D   M    D   M
   C    L    C    L    C    L
   C    L    C    L    C    L
   B    K    B    K    B    K
   B    K    B    K    B    K
   A   J     A    J     A    J
   A   J     A    J     A    J

   1   2      1    2     1    2  
Table 2.  Fruiting Maturity and Production Characteristics of Top Tomato Varieties, Gerrie van Toledo, Victoria County Master Gardener - Cooperator, Victoria County, TX 2008.
TOMATO                FIRST
VARIETY                FRUIT
                                 SET

705 Cherry                 May 6
704                            May 14
Bhas 762 DE 7 Che     May 14
Celebrity                    May 14
Sure Fire                    May 14
602 Round                 May 14
Fauna 17                   May 14
Dw cherry Sur           May 14
Galilea                       May 26
Tous                         May 26
444                           May 26
Sun Pride                   May 26
Ofri                           May 26
Solar Fire                   May 26
Amelia                       May 26
Inbar                         May 26
TOMATO               FIRST
VARIETY               FRUIT
                            HARVESTED

705 Cherry                  May 29
704                             May 31
Dw cherry Sur             Jun 2
Bhas 762 DE 7 Che       Jun 4
602 Round                   Jun 8
Amelia                         Jun 8
Fauna 17                      Jun 8
Sure Fire                      Jun 8
Tous                            Jun 8
444                              Jun 10
Sun Pride                      Jun 10
Celebrity                       Jun 11
Galilea                          Jun 11
Inbar                            Jun 11
Ofri                              Jun 11
Solar Fire                      Jun 11
TOMATO         HIGHEST
VARIETY         PRODUCTION
                             DATE   

602 Round                   Jun 11
Inbar                           Jun 18
Bhas 762 DE 7 Che       Jun 25
Fauna 17          Jun 21, Jun 25
Sure Fire                      Jun 25
Ofri                   Jun 25, Jul 16
Dw cherry Sur              Jun 27
Celebrity                       Jun 27
444                                Jul 2
Sun Pride               Jul 2, Jul 6
Tous                              Jul 4
Solar Fire                        Jul 4
Amelia                            Jul 6
705 Cherry                    Jul 11
704                               Jul 23
Galilea                           Jul 29
Table 3.  Yield of Top Tomato Varieties, Gerrie van Toledo, Victoria County Master Gardener - Cooperator, Victoria County, TX 2008.
                                                  TOTAL      NUMBER      POUNDS
TOMATO VARIETY                    HARVEST       OF          HARVESTED        INDEX  
                                                   POUNDS     PLANTS     PER PLANT      
Galilea                                          42.00              5                    8.40                200
Tous                                            37.25              6                    6.21                148
704                                              30.00              5                     6.00               143
Bhas 762 DE 7 Che                       28.50              5                     5.70                135
705 Cherry                                    30.75             6                     5.13                122
Celebrity                                        30.00             6                     5.00               119
444                                               29.50             6                      4.92               117
Sun Pride                                       25.00             6                      4.17                99
Ofri                                               20.75             6                      3.46                82
Sure Fire                                        16.50            5                       3.30                78
602 Round                                     19.25             6                       3.21                76
Solar Fire                                       17.75             6                       2.96                70
Amelia                                            17.50            6                        2.92               69
Fauna 17                                         13.00            5                       2.60                62
Inbar                                              15.00            6                        2.50                59
Dw Cherry Sur                                10.25           6                        1.71                 41

TOTALS/AVERAGE                       383.00          91                        4.21               100