Hybrid and Heirloom Tomatoes Face Off in River Farm Trial
Tomato variety names included ‘Mr. Stripey’ and ‘Early Girl.’
American Horticultural Society staff, volunteers and River Farm visitors have conducted a taste test of heirloom and hybrid tomatoes grown at the farm and selected top winners.
Varieties were chosen based on their local availability and adaptability to growing conditions in the mid-Atlantic region. Almost every color of the rainbow was represented, and sizes ranged from cherry to huge beefsteak varieties.
The tomatoes were all grown in containers and received similar amounts of water and fertilizer during the growing season.
The judges gave the top ratings for flavor to heirloom varieties “Mr. Stripey” and “Peacevine Cherry.” The hybrids “Early Girl,” “Golden Jubilee” and “Prize of Trials” scored highest for appearance.
The AHS gave the tomatoes a trial in the demonstration edible garden at its headquarters at River Farm in celebration of the tomato’s prominent role in American gardens and kitchens.
“With our informal trial, we hoped to expose River Farm visitors to the wonderful variety of tomatoes that are available, while encouraging them to try something new in their own gardens,” said River Farm Manager and horticulturist Sylvia Schmeichel in a news release.
River Farm is open to the public 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Sept. 29.
Founded in 1922, the AHS is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to making America a nation of gardeners, a land of gardens.