Thursday, February 4, 2010

I've been slack in my posts over the past week.. I've been busy working on a few in-depth articles for the new magazine, Gardens East.. Hopefully that's a good excuse? It's been over a week since I promised a list of our favourite tomatoes, so I thought I'd share that with you today.

I have placed all my seed orders and am anxiously waiting for them to arrive in the mail (maybe today?) But, it's not too late for you to order a few of these tomatoes, should any tempt you.. I generally start my tomato seedlings indoors under lights around April 1st. They are then transplanted in the garden around the 3rd week of May. If frost threatens, I cover the tomato cages with sheets or floating row covers.

Try growing a few different types of tomatoes this summer - or perhaps a rainbow of colours? Last week, I talked about some of our favourite black tomatoes, which are a must for the garden, but also consider trying some yellow, orange or striped types. Size is also varied and can range from tiny currant tomatoes to huge 3 or 4 lb monsters! When picking varieties, be sure to check the Days to Maturity listed in the seed catalogue so that you know whether your growing season will be long enough to mature the fruits.

Although we grow about 20 varieties per year, these are the ones that stand out and are planted again and again.. I didn't re-list the black tomatoes, so refer to last week's post for info on Black Krim and Cherokee Purple..


It’s been about 12 years since I was introduced to this incredible tomato and it’s still the most popular vegetable in my garden. An indeterminate type of tomato, Sungold produces an endless supply of bright orange cherry-sized fruits that boast a super-sweet tomato flavour, perfect for salads or eating out-of-hand. The vines are very vigorous, early producing and resistant to both Fusarium and Tomato Mosaic Virus. I usually grow a few plants in patio containers on my back deck as well as in the garden, because you can just never get enough of the sweet-as-candy fruits. (Renee’s Garden, Cook’s Garden, Johnny's Selected Seeds)

Costoluto Tomatoes

An Italian tradition, Costoluto is a delicious heirloom beefsteak tomato. The plants are vigorous and produce a generous crop of medium to large-sized tomatoes, ideal for a gourmet bruschetta. The fruits are also very beautiful! They're heavily pleated, deep red and very juicy. My sister Lisa loves the classic tomato appetizer of sliced garden tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, basil and a drizzle of olive oil. This is the perfect tomato for this salad - not only is it beefy and delicious, but thanks to their pleating, the cut slices resemble flowers. Gorgeous!

Persimmon Tomatoes

Another heirloom tomato, Persimmon is a must-have tomato in our kitchen garden. The meaty fruits are big and juicy and ripen to a glowing orange. My mother-in-law declared them her favourite tomato and their sweet flavour has guaranteed them a permanent spot in our garden.

Big Rainbow

Big and beautiful! This is what happens when tomatoes have threesomes! They produce a superb specimen with huge, juicy, meaty fruits in a pretty mix of red, orange and yellow. The streaks of colour appear on both the inside and the outside of the 2 lb fruits, which are simply delicious. According to my husband, they taste as if they've just been sprinkled with sugar... mmmmm...

Happy Gardening!

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