2011 Garden Plan – Tomatoes

On the never ending quest to find the “perfect tomato” I find myself more and more in love with this fruit. Not only are they ubiquitous in our diet, easily adding the perfect dimension to sauces, salsas, soups, salads and on and on, but they are also as varied as you could imagine.

2011 will see a rainbow of tomato colors here at the gardens – white, yellow, orange, pink, red, green, blue, black, and bicolored. Wow.

Even more! Every shape and size imaginable. Cherry, pear, strawberry, oxheart, round, flat, ruffled, pleated, fuzzy. Yes, fuzzy.

It never ceases to amaze me how one variety can grow fast and tall, while another one grows short and bushy, yet both are just the way they are supposed to be.

Several varieties have been started, which will be available for fresh produce in season, and for trials. We are focused on finding the “best” short season variety for our area. I’m looking at taste, production, cold tolerance and earliness.

While we are busy finding out which are our favorites, the ones that deserve a permanent spot in the garden, we made sure to start extras of some of the varieties, so that you good folks could try some too. The following varieties are currently available for sale:

  1. 42 Days – Extra early salad sized tomato. Determinate growth, 45 – 50 days to maturity.
  2. Amana Orange – Old fashioned tomato flavor, this golden orange medium sized tomato is great as a slicer. 70 – 80 days to maturity.
  3. Brandywine – Considered to be one of the best tasting beefsteak type heirloom varieties. Very popular. 80 days to maturity.
  4. Bonny Best – A long time standard variety for canning. Indeterminate, 70 days to maturity.
  5. Moonglow – Produces medium sized yellow-orange tomatoes on an indeterminate vine.
  6. Roma (Red) – Standard red paste tomato.
  7. Roma (Yellow) – A really yummy bright sunny yellow paste tomato. Matures around the same time as the red roma. Indeterminate.
  8. Siberian – Cold tolerant, plant produces lots of mid sized red tomatoes early in the season. Determinate, 60 days to maturity.
  9. Striped Cavern – A hollow bicolored tomato with few seeds. Perfect for stuffing. indeterminate, 80 days to maturity.
  10. Sugary Grape – One of 2010’s favorite cherry varieties. This grape shaped tomato is red, yet almost pink! Indeterminate, 70 – 75 days to maturity.
  11. Warren’s Yellow – A newer variety, produces trusses of cherry sized yellow tomatoes. Indeterminate, 70 – 80 days to maturity.
  12. Yellow Pear – Lives up to its name. This cherry tomato looks just like a little yellow pear. Mild flavor. Indeterminate, 75 days to maturity.
  13. Zarnista – A early producing plant producing 2 1/2″ red tomatoes on determinate plants. 55 – 60 days to maturity.

You will find me at the Big River Farmer’s Market Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. If you are interested in a particular variety, please let me know before the market, as there are limited quantities of most varieties. If you are among the more adventurous – just let me know! I may have one or two extras of some heirloom varieties that are not listed here.

Happy Gardening!

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