Arugula is also known as Salad Rocket, Rucola, Rucoli, Roquette, or Colewart. It is an annual salad green with a peppery flavor. Arugula prefers cooler temperatures, so plant it early in the spring and late in the fall. Pick the leaves small for less peppery flavor. The leaves will get much stronger when the plant bolts (sets flowers). The white flowers are edible, or you can leave them to get seeds for the next planting season. From planting to first harvest is about 40 days, so if you plant new seeds every three weeks or so, you should have a continuous harvest. If growing arugula in the summer, or warmer climates, plant it in partial shade. Otherwise, spring and fall plantings should be in full sun. Arugula is a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folic acid, and iron. In ancient times it was used as an aphrodisiac. The plant is said to grow two or three feet tall, but I believe this includes the flower stem. One half cup (1/2c) of arugula is two or three calories.
Shape: Oblate, almost boxy
Notes: Indeterminate. It seems like nobody has ever grown this out to add their own comments. Every single reference I've found online is the same origin story that was given in 2012 when Seed Savers Exchange offered the seeds for the first time. In fact, every photo I've found is the exact same as the one taken from SSE in 2012. What's up with this tomato? I'll need to grow it out to get more information (and when I do, I'll post it for the rest of the world to see).
Size: 1-3 pounds
Notes: Indeterminate open pollinated heirloom variety originally from Burpee. It is a bred down version of Beefsteak for smoother fruit. Great storange tomato, plant will produce right up until frost. I did find two references to it being a World Record holder, one as the largest tomato ever produced (7-pounds, 12-ounces) and one as the most tomatoes from a single plant (340-pounds). Blight resistant, rarely cracks, said to have excellent flavor, and produces prolific yields, both in size and quantity.
Size: 12-18 ounces with variations
Notes: Indeterminate heirloom variety, also known as Henderson's Crimson Cushion, Red Ponderosa, and Red Beefsteak. Irregular ribbed fruits vary greatly in size. I've found reports of them beins as small as 4 ounces, and as large as 2-pounds, but most claim them to be 12-18 ounces. Wilt resistant, regular leaf, no central core (true beefsteak), prolific production or tomatoes good for slicing.
Notes: Indeterminate heirloom from Mexico, requires support for large plants. Prolific production, regular leaf. Sometimes a mutant white version shows up.
Size: 7 inches
Notes: Indeterminate paste variety, meaty with few seeds, absolutely requires caging, but is also known for tipping bending and breaking cages, so alternate options could be a good choice for this one. Originally from North Carolina, use these for ketchup, pickling, or even fresh eating. Regular leaves are whispy, so water based on the soil condition, not the leaves (it always looks thirsty). High yields with good shelf life.
Color: Yellow with Orange stripes
Shape: Oblate, sometimes irregular
Size: 12-16 ounces
Notes: Indeterminate, open pollinated, regular leaf, cross between Green Zebra and Marvel Stripe. Originally bred to be red with yellow stripes, but selectively bred since then by another seller to be yellow with red stripes. Red with yellow stripes is Jeff Dawson strain. Yellow with red stripes is Gary Ibsen strain. Also called Tigercopia?
Color: Dark rusty orange with dark green stripes
Size: 3 ounces to 2 pounds, 3-6 inches
Notes: Indeterminate, open pollinated, heirloom variety is blight resistant, but has some issues with cracking, bugs, and being easily bruised. Often reported as one of the first varieties to set fruit, or first to ripen. Heavy production on what is described as a small plant. The size of these tomatoes is all over the place. I've found references of them being as small as 3-4 ounces, and as large as 1-2 pounds. It may have a lot to do with location (colder areas seem to produce smaller fruits). Great for making a dark salsa or slicing on a sandwich.
Color: Dark Red to Purplish Red
Size: 10-13 ounces, 5 inches
Notes: Indeterminate heirloom from Tennessee. These plants can grow in excess of eight feet tall and require strong staking and do best with meticulous care to keep all of the branches within the cage. They can produce more than 20 tomatoes per plant.
Color: Dark carrot orange
Suze: 10-12 ounces, 3-1/2 inches
Notes: Information on this variety seems a little jumbled. Some sites list it as determinate, some as indeterminate, some claim it's a beefsteak, others say it's round. It is said to have ten times the beta caritene of other tomatoes, and is an improved version of Caro Red. Regular leaf, low acid, drought tolerant, good taste and heavy yields. No problems with cracking.
Size: 8 ounces
Notes: Determinate eight ounce red tomatoes are often described as round, but all photos show them as being oblate. Good disease resistance, does well in humid growing conditions, said to have high yields and be a "good shipping variety" but nowhere could I find any information on flavor. Can be grown in a large container.
Color: Purplish Red with dark Green shoulders
Size: 8-14 ounces
Notes: Indeterminate, open pollinated, might need staking. This variety resists cracking, is heat and drought tolerant, but is thin skinned (bruises easily), and is slow to ripen in cooler climates. It's smoky flavor has been likened to the after-taste of steak. It's meaty and has few seeds.
Size: Up to 2 pounds, but usually 12-24 ounces
Notes: Indeterminate potato-leaf plants grow seven to nine feet tall and require staking. An Amish heirloom, it is prone to cracking and deformities.
Color: Dark Purple over Yellow
Notes: Indeterminate variety created by J and L Gardens and released in 2012. Plants grow to six feet tall, and tomatoes are deep purple on top and yellow on the bottom. I have seen this one also labeled as "Purple Yellow Light Bulb" which is the wrong name. This variety should not be confused with older sibling Bosque Blue, which is a similar but different variety (from the same tomato breeder). I have not been able to track down details on exact tomato size or if it needs to be caged/staked.
Color: Purple to Black
Size: 2 to 2-1/2 ounces, 2 inches
Notes: Indeterminate, open pollinated, cross from OSU Blue. Said to be one of the darkest available "blue" tomatoes. They turn from red to deep purple or black where exposed to the sun. This may be the proper name of a variety currently being traded and sold as "Dancing With Smurfs." Can be grown in a large container. Though not required, it does do better with some support.
Color: Dark Purple
Notes: Cross between OSU Blue and Amy's SugarGem, released in January 2011. Plants grow five to seven feet tall. Skin is thinner than Indigo Rose. Will produce right up until frost. The tomatoes will become darker when exposed to direct sunlight and cooler weather. Some of the photos I've found seem to indicate that the inside is green.
Color: Dark Red (Burgundy) with Green stripes
Size: 3-4 ounces, 1-1/2 to 2 inches
Notes: Indeterminate late season, vigorous with good disease resistance. Prolific production. Suitable for containers.
Color: Rusty Brown / Red with Green, Purple, or Black shoulders
Shape: Oblate to Beefsteak
Size: 4-8 ounces, or 12-16 ounces
Notes: Determinate Russian heirloom, early for a black tomato. There seems to be some mixed feedback on what size these should be, with some sites reporting 4-8 ounce oblate tomatoes, and others reporting 12-16 ounce beefsteak type tomatoes. Can be grown in a large container. Potato leaf, prone to cracking and cat-facing. Flesh inside is marbled. Good options for use include slicing for a sandwich or dicing for a salad.
Color: Pinkish Red
Shape: Beefsteak, slightly ruffled
Size: 10-18 ounces, or 1-2 pounds, or over 3 pounds
DTM: 80-90 or 112-184
Notes: Indeterminate, regular leaf heirloom variety from Kentucky. Some references suggest it may be a renamed version of Barnes Mountain Pink, but given the wide range in sizes and days to maturity, I'm wondering if perhaps the two different varieties are often mislabeled as one another due to the similar name. Said to be prolific and grow about five feet tall.
Color: Dark maroon / Brown, darker shoulders
Size: 6-8 ounces, 3-4 inches
Notes: Indeterminate Russian heirloom from the Crimean Peninsula. Grows up to four feet tall, does better if staked or caged. It can be grown in (large) containers, is heat tolerant (will actually get darker in warmer weather), but is prone to cracking. Green seed gel. Black Krim can be used for slicing, salads, or other cooking.
Color: Rust / Deep Maroon / Brick Red with Green to Black shoulders
Size: 4-5 inches, up to 12 ounces
Notes: Indeterminate Russian heirloom, said to be the largest of the black tomatoes. This plant grows to four feet tall and produces "good" yields, though they may be prone to cracking. Regular leaf. Interesting tidbit - the potato leaf variety is called "Spudatula" Good for slicing or canning.
Color: Deep Purple to Mahogany Brown
Size: 1 to 1-1/2 inches, about the size of a grape
Notes: Indeterminate, plants grow six to eight feet tall and do require a cage. Open pollinated, disease resistant, regular leaf, abundant yields.
Color: Yellow Orange with Vertical Red Streaks
Shape: Ribbed Beefsteak
Size: 1-2 pounds
Notes: Indeterminate, plants get six to nine feet tall and need to be staked; perhaps to the point of seeming over-kill. Good disease resistance, may be prone to cracking or cat-facing, and often slow to produce, but is said to be "worth the wait" until late August or mid September. This variety originated in Polk County, Minnesota. It starts green, turns yellow-orange, and then develops red from the bottom. The inside has red streaks throughout the orange flesh.
Color: Dark Red with Green stripes
Shape: Ruffled Beefsteak
Size: 4-14 ounces
Notes: Originally greated by Brad Gates (Wild Boar Farms). There seems to be a lot of difference in size, some report smaller 4-8 ounce tomatoes, and some claim 8-14 ounce tomatoes, so I'm going to guess it has a lot to do with growing conditions. It is indeterminate and is said to grow five to seven feet tall. I've found a few reports of this variety being prone to cracking. Regular leaf.
Size: 5-7 or 8-12 ounces
Notes: Heirloom variety from Wisconsin, good for paste, canning, or slicing. Plants grow to 3-4 feet tall and must be staked. Some reports of tomatoes over one pound and plants over 6-feet tall. Not prolific, but good tasting. Slips skin easily and boils down without lumps. Don't worry if it takes longer to set fruit or ripen. Good keeper if you can't get to making sauce right away. Few seeds in this meaty variety.
Seed Stash Blog
In an attempt to keep my seed stash organized, and yet easily accessible, I'm going to use this blog. The plan is to make a blog post for each seed variety as I research it, tagging it to pertinent information. That way, I can come back later and search through the seed stash (even if I'm not at home), or sort results by growing factors!