Quite an intriguing name for a tomato, and I'll admit that these made the purchase list because of the controversial nature in which the description was written. Read for yourself at rareseeds.com. [Honestly Rowena, can't you just pick a plain ol' regular tom and leave politics alone?!] Now I don't care to further investigate what the fuss is all about, not to mention the validity of it, but suffice to say that Rouge d'Iraqs are the undisputed tomato producers of the garden this year — and that, fellow tomato enthusiasts, is all that matters right now. What it started me thinking though, is that I should at least leave some notes of my own, especially after what Hanna's Tomato Tastings suggested in reply to a comment of mine. She said, “The best thing to do is run your own test. Sometimes tomatoes grow and taste different depending on where they are grown. A so-so tomato for me may rock where you live. Take a chance and you may be surprised.”
So, from now on I will state a few facts on growing conditions, plant observations, flavor and of course, if I will grow a particular tomato again. Please bear with me as I'm a fledgling giardiniera (gardener). Any extra tips would be greatly appreciated.
area (A) mixed earth/potting soil in a 6-foot corner of the lawn with excellent drainage
area (B) mixed clay/heavy soil situated on a medium slope with good drainage
Growing conditions/light: in full sun for most of the day (at least 8 hours)
Yield: unbelievably prolific, with up to 6 tomatoes in each cluster
Weight: 4-8 ounces, although I did get a couple of 12 oz. monsters!
Flavor/texture: ok taste, with a hint of sweetness and low acidity. Thick-skinned (noticeable when you bite into a fresh one) and a tad mealy but overall, firm enough to slice cleanly.
A keeper or flash-in-the-pan: a keeper if only for the sake of the yield. I use it in asian stirfries and also chopped fresh with cooked pasta, fresh basil, mozzarella and anchovies.
Absolutely no problems with pests or diseases. For the plants grown in area (B), after 1 week of coddling I just let them be and they survived, although visually stunted compared to the ones grown in area (A). I was trying to mimic the growing conditions that you would expect of Iraq, and apparently the clay undersoil was damp enough for them to keep going. All I did was the occasional weeding and staking of the plants.
This indeterminate is determined to grow forever given prime conditions so I ended up cutting the tops in area (A) to ensure that the tomatoes already developing would stand a chance of making it off the vine. I used 4-foot bamboo poles to hold up the plant but next year I'm getting sticks twice the length.
I'd also like to note that this year we had a mild summer. I live in the upper part of a mountain valley where the temps are moderate, with digits reaching the low to mid-80's. We also had occasional rain showers which kept everything green.