Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tomatoes for Tuesday!

Have I mentioned yet that I am addicted to tomatoes? Well, I am, absolutely! Every year, I pledge that I won't plant as many as before, but I do. I can't help it; I'm drawn to tomatoes as a bee is to honey, as a flea is to a dog, as a ....you get the idea. But, tell me, one person does not need 20+ plants -- do they???? I NEED them...I don't know how to can, but I freeze or give away what I don't eat.

I already have planted those tomatoes that were part of my Burpee live plant order a few weeks back and they are doing well. Otherwise, I have gathered them along the way. For instance, I planted a few tomatoes I purchased from James, of Solitude Farm, who comes to our little Farmer's Market in town. At a yard sale the other week, I snagged another one for a song (not really, you don't want to hear me sing). Yesterday, I traveled to the mainland to Thomas Gardens Nursery and found some gorgeous specimens I just had to have, seen in the photo.

Here's a record of the new additions--

From James, these are all new to my garden:

Aunt Ruby's German Green Tomato (80 days; heirloom; indeterminate). Described as succulent and sweet, with 1 pound fruits. It can be prone to concentric cracking. The reviews are either love it or hate it, and production seems variable. But, I love green tomatoes, so I will give it a try.

Japanese Black Trifele (75 days; heirloom; indeterminate). Actually, it is not Japanese in origin at all. I have read that it hails from Russia by some accounts, Estonia by others. It's a beautiful teardrop-shaped, burgundy colored tomato with greenish-black shoulders. Fruit are small, just 6 ounces, but it is said to produce well, resists cracking, with a delicious, smoky taste.

Japanese Black Cherry (hybrid). Also not technically Japanese, as this plant has US origins! It is described as a high yielder, with huge clusters of fruits having the typical smoky taste of a black tomato.

From Laura's yard sale:

Champion (70 days; hybrid; described by one source as determinate, but indeterminate by another). Almost seed-free, these are said to the the ultimate sandwich tomato. They should thrive in my Southern garden, tolerating both heat and drought. It produces 12 ounce red, meaty fruit. This is also new to me.

From Thomas Gardens:

Pineapple (90 days; heirloom; indeterminate). Having grown these before, I can give them the thumbs up. They are mild in flavor for a yellow tomato and are quite prettily ridged. It's a beefsteak type, with few seeds, and with good yield.

Patio (hybrid) I always have one or two patio tomatoes in my garden. They also lend themselves to a container garden because they are compact in size. Fruits are small, but flavorful and it yields and yields and yields!

Green Zebra (86 days; termed a "created hybrid"; indeterminate). Quite possibly, my favorite tomato, ever!! Love it, love it -- I describe the taste as "zingy" -- and it's just so pretty! Fruits are quite small, just 3 ounces, but perfect for Caprese salad! I have had mixed luck with it though...two years ago, all three of my plants just wilted. They weren't necessarily planted next to each other either!

San Marzano (85 days; heirloom; indeterminate) This plum tomato is regarded as the ultimate for sauce. Grown originally near Naples, Italy, it does well in warm climates. The first year I grew these, I had terrible problems with blossom end rot. I fared better other years and can attest that they are delicious and produce very well.

No doubt, this will NOT be the last tomato post! Gotta go, dirt beckons...

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  1. My Aunt Ruby's German Green got battered by hail last year -- just when it was looking gorgeous. Cannot wait to see what yours do this year!

  2. You are going to be one busy girl harvesting all those yummy tomatoes. I love tomatoes too. I am going to can even more this year so the planting plan has increased. Any excuse right?

  3. I so addicted to tomatoes too! I wish I had a more room to grow more varieties. Store bought tomatoes are so awful that I relish the ones from the garden. --Jackie

  4. Hehe - I just started my garden, and I am already up to 3 tomato plants and 2 types of seeds I am attempting to start - perhaps my addiction is just beginning ;-)

    You wouldn't be able to kick my sister out of your garden once harvest time comes on - LOL, she is a tomato fiend, though she hasn't started growing them yet.

  5. Ohh. I love all those heirloom tomatoes too.
    My friend and I can and freeze and dry, and it doesn't seem if there is ever enough tomato towers to go around. I need to start making them! I don't have any heirloom varieties this year--just a lot of my boring proven producing varieties. Roma, Celebrity, Early Girl, Ace.. but I'm sure I'll find an heirloom somewhere.
    Thanks for the compliment on Grizzly Pic.

  6. Your tomato plants look healthy.. Planting as many as yours is ok, then you can be generous by giving away... Kakdah and the eldest son are now visiting her mom, and she brings along our home grown tomatoes.... Cheers! ~ bangchik

  7. I am an heirloom tomato nut myself. I have just a small balcony garden, but I grow small-fruit in containers. This year I have my favorites sun-sugar hybrid and black plum, plus 4 others. I'll check back in to see how yours are doing. (I actually bought a packet of seeds for the patio hybrid, but decided to save it for next year.) Cheers!

  8. I bet you can hardly wait to bite into one of those. Yum.

  9. I can't believe how many varieties of tomatoes you've planted! I honestly didn't even know so many existed. When they're visible on the vine, please post photos - I imagine they're beautiful colors.

  10. Hello there and thanks for sharing your enthusiasm with tomatoes with us, because I was going to compost all my extras that no-one else wanted, BUT now I am going to grow them all and freeze some like you do. You saved my tomato plants :)
    ps. thanks for the comment and visit on my blog.

  11. I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.