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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tomato Review: Window Box Roma

This year, I grew mostly tomatoes for which I had saved the seed, which means the bulk of my crop is coming from Cuor di Bue, San Marzano, and a Black Krim descendant we call "Yulia."  But, of course, that didn't stop me from picking up a variety of one-off plants at the greenhouse and the hardware store, just to play with.  One of these was the "Window Box Roma."

I wanted to try a container tomato because I am experimenting with learning to grow the bulk of my crops in containers.  While I don't think I'll switch to containers on our current property, I will definitely do so if our Key West retirement plans pan out.  So, time to experiment.

The WBR is a bit misnamed, since the fruit are more like a cherry tomato than a true Roma.  It's a determinant tomato, which means that it sets nearly all of its fruit all at once, and they ripen more or less within the same window of time.  An indeterminate, in contrast, will keep setting fruit and letting it ripen until frost or until the plant dies.

The fruit on the WBR is a bit disappointing.  It lacks the true tomato flavor that is the reason that most of us grow tomatoes, being a bit closer to a "salad bar" tomato than I would like.  Of course, the yield is not tremendous, but one can't expect that from a tomato this small.  There are many little round fruits, but they don't weigh up to much.

Overall, I found the WBR not really worth my while.  You can grow a true indeterminate tomato in a container with no problem, which gives you the opportunity to grow a slicer or a canning tomato.  In my world, these are much more useful.  So, next year, I'll give the WBR a pass.

The Analysis

Fast:  Not sure that speed is one of our metrics here; it didn't take longer to plant or care for the WBR.

Cheap: On a price-per-yield basis, this is not worthwhile.  I'll be surprised if I get a pound of tomatoes off the plant, which will make it just about break even with the purchase price.

Good:  While I always say you should grow any veggie you love and that you will eat, the WBR was far too close to a salad bar tomato for me.  It was watery and a bit flavorless, meaning it wasn't worth the real estate in my garden, even if that was a container.

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