We are now in the planning, thinking about what just happened, and what we want to have happen next. Since I live in Minnesota, I plant earlier tomatoes like Early Girl and Better Boy, also Sweet 100. It is fun, and before we move on to other stature or types of tomatoes. So I had to shop around for some new maters and have grown to love Cherokee Purple and Sun Gold. I think our dwarf project has helped some of the smaller companies get something special that they can offer. I start all mine from seed, and baby them into big, healthy transplants, but they all succumb before producing very much. The flavour … I take note of them, because when I go around to groups, I want to be able to respond to people’s questions about them. Largely exempt from pest & disease, the Tommy Toe is a must have in any warm season veggie patch. That’s one of the ways I try to help other gardeners, and I get lots of questions about that: “I’ve tried variety X; I’ve tried variety Y, and it’s brown.”  And I am like, “No, it should be green.” I’ll recommend to them a seed source. People should understand that you have a lot of your plants in grow bags or pots in what was once your driveway before you commandeered it. I have some interesting thoughts about those. It’s daunting thinking about how the calendar flips so fast, thinking about all the things I want to do, but also about how the sun on my property is starting to decrease…. Sometimes, we have thousands of tomato plants just because we can’t help ourselves! So now it’s on the always grow list. Time flies for gardeners, and I would expect time for us maybe goes by faster than for anyone else. I say it that way because often words are used in advertising to make something seem better. Your email address will not be published. They are very compact and can be grown in small pots. TO ENTER TO WIN a signed copy of “Epic Tomatoes,” Craig LeHoullier’s book, simply comment below, answering the question: OK, go ahead: Tell us your top tomato (or tomatoes)–the one you always grow–and also whether any in Craig’s list might find a place in your garden this year? Craig and I kicked off my annual winter seed series on the December 19, 2016 edition of my public-radio show and podcast, when I virtually shop the catalogs with various expert friends and otherwise talk about seedy stuff. Or maybe people are beginners and don’t want to overdo it. All Rights Reserved. The thing is, we’re doing this for nothing; not getting paid. There are always new tomatoes and trends or fads in every crop, but I don’t think you’re the kind of gardener who grows with the fads, are you? The best tomatoes for growing indoors are the smaller varieties such as Pixie or Tiny Tim, but there are some of the larger, slicing tomatoes that grow well in indoor settings. Some people really like that; it’s almost an effervescence that just bubbles on your tongue. A. Saw it on some show where Stephen Fry (at least I think it was him) went somewhere in Europe and a very experienced tomato … Margaret's weekly public-radio show, from Robin Hood Radio in Sharon, CT, the smallest NPR station in the nation. For purples, of course ‘Cherokee Purple,’ ‘Carbon,’ ‘JD’s Special C Tex.’. Q. We tell everybody exactly what we’re doing if they choose to go to our website. They didn’t have the rainbow of colors or the incredible array of sizes back when this first showed up, so no real breeding improvement was done on it. A. A. So between 2005 when it started and now, in 2016 at the end of it, we now have 66 stable, open-pollinated varieties—meaning you can grow them and save seed from them and share them. Sophie’s Choice is a dwarf heirloom tomato variety that doesn’t exceed the 2 feet height usually and looks great in small 5-gallon containers. Dwarf tomato plants grow to maximum heights of 2 to 3 feet, and develop fruit in an array of sizes, shapes and colors. I did a second planting, and picked a lot of them green before the first frost. cuba, mastering microgreens, with kate spring of good heart farmstead, gifts for gardeners: my tried-and-true gear, david lebovitz’s french onion soup (from ‘my paris kitchen’), pumpkin custard: holiday pie, minus the crust, https://robinhoodradioondemand.com/podcast-player/17424/ecological-fall-cleanup-with-doug-tallamy-a-way-to-garden-with-margaret-roach-october-5-2020.mp3. ‘Kellogg’s Breakfast’ or ‘Yellow Brandywine’ or ‘Aunt Gertie’s Gold’ are all really nice orange varieties, and the ‘Kellogg’s Breakfast’ tends to be a sweeter tomato, with the other two having a really nice tart bite to them. So you have one in the Pacific Northwest, one in Oregon, one in California, and one in New York—so these are spread around the country, with Southern Exposure in the mid-Atlantic, and Commonwealth also in Virginia. The fruits take about 45 days to ripen. What we are talking about really is the stature of the plant. Boronia - I’ve had average tasting and superb tasting Boronia plants in my garden. This is so because they are easy to grow, most are great tasting … Tiny Tims are so small they usually don't need to be supported. The Yellow Canary tomato is very similar to the Red Robin in that it reaches only about a foot in height and can also grow well in low light. Your email address will not be published. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports. I grew up on Big Boys in Virginia in the Sixties, but moved out west 30 years ago and the Big Boys do not do well here. A. A. Field test results from Florida, California and Texas show that this variety has … Q. You’re doing it because you are crazy; totally crazy. I shred them in a blender, bring them to a simmer for 10 minutes, refrigerate them till the solids float to the top and freeze the the solids. They’re handsome plants, and that’s another reason to grow them. It has been just remarkable the explosion of tomato varieties, and there are so many factors for that. Several varieties are widely grown and relatively easy to raise at home. Q. Plants go in with protection after Mother’s Day and first frosts start hitting late September during the huge fall harvest for the mid to late season varieties. They’re compact and best for containers and short growing seasons. But we get the chance to see how this stuff goes down. I’ve rounded up the best tomatoes … Black Krim is a large, dark red-green tomato with a bold, full balanced taste. In an average year, how many tomatoes would you say you’re growing—how many plants? In 2016, the show won three silver medals for excellence from the Garden Writers Association. The Small Fry tomato is a dwarf variety that grows bright red, 1 inch fruits in clusters of 7 or 8. Tomatoes are the glory plant of the gardening world. ... little and often is the best way to feed tomatoes. Unlike many other varieties, the Small Fry fruits continuously. So there have been a lot of inadvertent slight changes that get worked into some of these varieties through the years. What are some of the intense-flavored ones—is ‘Lillian’s Yellow’ one? So really it was born out of a perfect storm of ideas, and need in 2005. ‘Purple Russian,’ which is essentially ‘Roma,’ but in the ‘Cherokee Purple’ [below] appearance and flavor. A. I keep an eye on them. A man named Archie Hook in Indiana made people aware of that back in the 1940s. Tomato ‘Apero’ ‘Apero’ is a cherry variety with Brix rating of 9.5. …which is going to necessitate smaller gardens and real careful, tactical thinking about what I need my garden to produce. And then we get to plant a little seed and see how that grows around the country and around the world. Learn how your comment data is processed. Whenever people come to my yard and look at the straw bales or grow bags [above], they’re like, “What are those drop-dead gorgeous tomato plants?” And I’m like, “Let me tell you about our dwarf tomato plants.” [Laughter.]. They grow to about 1 inch in diameter and are red cherry in color. In a perfect world, they wouldn’t, but it isn’t a perfect world because gardeners save seeds in different regions in different ways and different bees buzz he garden at different times. Small tomato plants that deliver big flavor are just right for growing in small gardens and on decks, patios, and balconies. Or play the Dec. 19, 2016 show right here. The weight of the fruit on Patio F Hybrids may require that the plant may need to be supported. I’d say on average, 150 to 200. There is a restaurant I went to in Florida once, Bern’s Steak House, where they give you a phone book that is a wine list, and there are thousands of wines in it. A. It’s crinkly and dark green, and they can come in both the potato version with the smooth edge, and the regular toothy version. Celebrity TomatoesThe celebrity tomato looks exactly like what you would picture when you think … But open any seed catalogue, and you’ll quickly be overwhelmed. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, University of Illinois Extension: Tomatoes. Read along as you listen to the show using the player below. I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 30 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. It is an oxheart, wispy leaves, it needs staking and tending. Q. I thought tomatoes would be the right way to kick off the seed series, because tomatoes have got to be the favorite thing people grow. Q. Over the past four years, we’ve saved seeds every year and keep getting a delicious, Roma-type tomato with great fresh flavor on a super-vigorous, fast-growing and early-fruiting plant. My virtual harvest in all.. 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