Oh Juliet, How We Do Love Thee

I apologize to fans of classic literature for that title, but I won’t apologize to anyone for my love of Juliet – not even to my wife. See, it was my darling wife who pointed out many of Juliet’s wonderful charms to begin with! Confused? Don’t be, because Juliet is one of our favorite tomatoes, and has been for many years.

handful of Juliet tomatoes (click on any image to enlarge)

Juliet is either a mini-Roma type, a saladette tomato or a large grape tomato depending on which way you look at it. This 1999 All-America Selections F1 hybrid tomato is prolific, disease-resistant, holds well on the vine, and the tomatoes almost never split or have blossom end rot. They grow in clusters, with up to 18 of the 1 to 2 ounce tomatoes per cluster, though clusters with 6-12 tomatoes are more common. Juliet has a sweet, rich and full tomato taste with nice balance.

cluster of 12 Juliet tomatoes

It is our favorite tomato for drying, and for oven roasting. The tomatoes are easy to hold for slicing in half, and they look like little red raisins when dried. They’re good fresh and they’re great for using in salads like the Tabbouleh in the below photo. They’re also good in salsas, and I often use them in our Cherry Tomato Salsa. They’re even good for sauces and other cooked dishes. So why aren’t more people growing Juliet? That’s a good question!

Tabbouleh salad with Juliet tomatoes

Actually, I don’t know how many gardeners grow Juliet. They must be fairly popular, because they are carried by a lot of different seed companies. It’s just that I hear a lot more folks wax poetic about Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, or Cherokee Purple, or Brandywine. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But if I could only grow one tomato, it would likely be Juliet. That’s how much we love this tomato, and how versatile it is.

there’s almost ten pounds of Juliet tomatoes in these containers

The somewhat similar looking Italian heirloom Princepe Borghese is famous for sun drying, but it left a lot to be desired in our trials. We found the taste to be bland at best, and it has been prone to BER here. And the yields are nowhere near as large as Juliet. I know they have their fans, but not here at Happy Acres.

Juliet vines about 90 days after planting out

Juliet vines are vigorous and indeterminate, and usually keep on producing here until frost if we keep them watered and fertilized. It’s a bullet-proof tomato worthy of high praise in my book. You can consider this post my love sonnet to you, Oh Juliet! I’ll be back later this week to show you how we dehydrate tomatoes like Juliet, and others, here at HA.


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26 Responses to Oh Juliet, How We Do Love Thee

  1. Jenny says:

    Very nice tomato plant! I might have to try it next year as I’m very not impressed with my roma or san marzanos.

    • Dave says:

      I’ve had problems with both those varieties too. The San Marzanos I grew were very prone to blossom end rot. Super Marzano is a hybrid cousin that seems to be doing much better here.

  2. kitsapFG says:

    Based on that glowing recommendation, I think I will add them to my potential grow list for 2013!

  3. I bought a couple of pints of Juliets at the end of last season, and they did incredibly well as winter storage tomatoes — simply spread out in single layer and left in a cool place, we had fresh tomatoes into the new year!

    • Dave says:

      That is a good point – Juliets are great keepers! They even keep for a long time on the counter top, better than most tomatoes do.

  4. zentMRS says:

    Just gorgeous! I may have to add them to our list for next spring!

  5. GrafixMuse says:

    I think I want to grow Juliet next year. They are so pretty, seem to be versatile, and disease resistant. I almost considered trying Juliet before after a rather difficult tomato year. I had forgotten until now.

  6. Mike R says:

    I was looking for a Roma tomato last spring for sauce and salsa but was not impressed with any that I saw. I wanted an indeterminate with good disease resistance and vigor. I’ll have to try this variety next year.

    • Dave says:

      Mike, Juliet is a long time favorite here for sure. I am growing Super Marzano here this year and it is doing well for us. It’s an indeterminate Roma type with fairly large tomatoes and disease resistance. Big Mama is another one that does well for us.

  7. david says:

    Hmm I’ll make a note of that tomato. They are beautiful!

  8. Daphne says:

    I’ve never grown it, but I’ve seen people either love it or hate it. But everyone says that it is prolific.

  9. Patsy says:

    This post makes me very happy because I have Juliets growing and look forward to trying them for the first time, especially after reading your glowing review. Mine are not red yet though. I also have San Marzanos and I’ve noticed blossom end rot on them but not on the Juliets.

  10. Norma Chang says:

    After reading your post I am going to try Juliet next year.

  11. Rick says:

    I will have to give these a try. We tried a roma type tomato a couple of years ago and I wasn’t that impressed but I’ve been wanting to try again so I will have to give Juliet a try next year!!

  12. Michelle says:

    Wow, what’s not to like about Juliet? I wonder if she would be happy growing in my cool coastal climate? If she produces until first frost for you that may indicate a tolerance of cool weather. I may have to introduce her to my garden next uear.

  13. Oh! You’re breaking my heart! (I can’t eat tomatoes anymore, tragically.)

  14. TS says:

    I am having a major wilt problem (probably fungal) with most of my tomato plants, but one Juliet plant I have is one of the few that seems to be not affected by it. The tomatoes don’t look as beautiful as yours, but they are trying to produce. By the way, your blog is wonderful! I have been learning a lot.

  15. Marcia says:

    Oh my! those are little lovelies. I need to remember to look for those next year. I didn’t plant any small or cherry tomatoes this year and regret it.

  16. Dave's SFG says:

    I planted 2 Juliets this year after seeing my neighbor grow them. Her husband loves them but she doesn’t care for them. I agree with you they are prolific and vigorous, haven’t split or acquired BER, and the plants are attractive. But truthfully, I don’t care for them either. They are tough, fairly dry with little jelly filling the cavities. They have little flavor until fully red ripe. I can see they would be ideal for drying (you remind me again that I need to acquire a dehydrator), or roasting and for dishes like tabbouleh. I, too, have had little luck with most of the paste tomatoes I have tried, getting lots of disease and BER, but I don’t see Juliet as a substitute for my purposes. To calibrate things further, Sungold and Cherokee Purple are two of my favorite tomatoes. Glad you like the Juliets, you gave me lots of ideas how I can use them.

    • Dave says:

      I have to agree that they aren’t my favorite tomato based on taste or texture alone. But I rarely eat a lot of the small fruited or Roma types by themselves while raw. Sungolds have a much better flavor fresh, but they’re a lot of work to dry compared to Juliets. It all depends on your tastes, and intended uses for sure!

  17. I must admit, I’m impressed at the size of the fruit clusters on Juliet. I love it when we find a tomato variety that exceeds our expectations. The trouble with tomatoes, is what does well for one gardener, in one location, may completely fizzle somewhere else. I think that’s what makes tomato gardening fun though, finding those special varieties that are happiest in one’s own garden! It definitely looks like you’ve found a winner!

    • Dave says:

      You are so right, what works in one garden may be a total flop in another! I do tend to try many of the AAS selections because at least they are supposed to be trialed in gardens all over the U.S. But Sugary is one AAS tomato that I find totally bland and tasteless. I’ve tried it several times, and my verdict is always the same – blechhhh!

  18. Liz says:

    Sold – now I just need to find an Australian supplier…

  19. maryhysong says:

    That does look like a nice tomato, but I try to steer clear of hybrids because I save most of my own seed. So far this year Princepe Borghese and Snow White have done well (Princepe never gets BER here) and the Italian Heirloom and Black from Tula are also doing well. The Amish paste have been the latest to deliver fruit.

  20. I love tomatoes and enjoy reading about what others are growing. I featured this fabulous post on The Green Thumb Thursday Garden Blog Hop. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Pingback: Green Thumb Thursday Featuring Oh Juliet, How We Do Love Thee | Seven Springs Homestead

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