After reading the post about catalog shopping, reader Martha S. asked which tomatoes and peppers I’ll be growing this year. The list is a little long so I decided to put it here instead of in comments. Feel free to debate with me on which tomatoes everyone should try – I love to try new varieties, especially if they are highly recommended.
Here’s my list, so far, of the tomatoes:
Salad slicers: Jaune Flamme
Paste: Amish Paste*
Oxheart: Orange Russian 117
This is the short list I’ve come up with, but I know there will be more to add once I’ve finished swapping seeds with a few folks. Chan, the globe-trotting gardener who gave me the Tajik giant tomato plant last year (fruits weighed 1.8 pounds each), is at it again, talking me into giving the Shishito Peppers a try. You’ll notice they’re listed under both “sweet” and “hot” because Chan tells me that you never know what you’re going to get from your plant – one pepper will be mild, another will flame your eyeballs out. Sounds fun.
Stuart has promised to send me seed of his favorite tomatoes, Creole, Old Brook, Gail’s Sweet Plum, and Demidov, which he says were both tasty and productive in his Colorado garden. As a dwarf plant, Demidov did well in containers, but if you can’t find it, give Super Bush a try.
I admit, I don’t grow vegetables in pots – I’m fortunate to have enough space for a good-sized garden. To be honest, I have a little problem called “forgetting to water” that I’m guilty of with my containerized plants. This is never bad enough to kill them off, but they seesaw between drought and drowning, which is a recipe for blossom end rot in tomatoes.
When choosing your tomatoes, try to plan for early, mid-, and late season fruit, to ensure that you have love apples throughout the season. We have a short growing season, due to snow squalls that pop up to surprise us in late May or mid-September.
Any variety that sets fruit at higher temperatures is also a plus, since our summers can be scorching hot. One of the more common causes of blossom drop – where the tomato doesn’t set fruit and the flower fades – is daytime temperature above 85-degrees F plus nights that remain above 70. Black From Tula is one type that likes the warmth, or if you prefer a hybrid, look for Heat Wave.
*Denotes tomatoes listed on Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste.