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Growing heirloom slicing tomatoes is rewarding, but selecting a few varieties from among the many outstanding heirloom tomato varieties can be difficult. Tomatoes are sensitive to temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions and factors. Here are a few of our favorites:
The most famous heirloom tomato, slicing or otherwise, is undoubtedly Brandywine, the luscious pink-to-red tomato with flavor so outstanding it continues to inspire gardeners and generate interest in heirloom tomatoes and even the entire category of heirloom vegetables. GardenZeus believes that every tomato lover should grow Brandywine at least once; but beware, many plants labeled and sold with the Brandywine name, such as Brandywine Black, Brandywine Yellow, Brandywine OTV and even plain Brandywine, may or may not be closely related to the original heirloom Brandywine tomato and may or may not have that luscious tomato flavor. For those who have tried Brandywine once or twice and found it to be nothing special, you might consider trying again; perhaps the strain you tried wasn’t a true Brandywine (and it is, of course, also possible that you might not like heirloom Brandywine).
Other standout heirlooms slicing tomatoes include:
– Black Krim, which is unsurpassed as a black tomato, and for those who love the rich flavor of black heirlooms. Other black or dark red tomatoes include Paul Robeson for a black tomato that requires less heat and Black Prince for a dark red tomato that performs well in cooler climates.
– Black Zebra, a reliable black tomato with green stripes.
– Green Zebra, recommended by GardenZeus more for its reliability and attractiveness as an addition to salad, or to a bowl of sliced or whole tomatoes, than for particularly exceptional flavor.
– Big Beef and Beefsteak for large heirloom beefsteak tomatoes with excellent flavor (note that hybrids are also sold under these names, so if you want heirloom seeds, be sure to read descriptions carefully); Gigantesque for a large heirloom beefsteak tomato that performs well in cooler climates.
–Tobolsk for a productive yellow heirloom and good choice for those who prefer the sweet taste of yellow tomatoes; Tobolsk will perform the best in moderate or cooler climates.
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