April 3, 2010

Tomato Seeds Planted

I've really had to sit on my hands and delay the tomato seed planting. Every year I start them in mid March and by the time I can plant them out around mid May they are a bit too leggy and I really have to bury them deep. This year I was going to show a bit more self restraint and hold off on seed planting until early April. Today, I had to deliberate over which seeds to plant and I looked back on the last 10 years of garden notes. Funny enough it seemed like each year has been challenging for tomatoes. Granted, I do like to plant mostly heirlooms so maybe that's my issue. I figure why plant a tomato that has no diseases if it means it has no taste. I compromised by planting one F1 hybrid Polfast just in case we have another "challenging" summer for tomatoes.

I really like tomatoes with different colors so I think that turned out to be this year's tomato theme. I planted Golden Queen tomato which is an heirloom with golden orange color. I last planted this 2 years ago and had a bumper crop. They're not the prettiest in shape because they tend to split into twins but the taste is excellent and they have huge fruits. Tigerella was my favorite tomato last year because of it's red and yellow-orange stripped fruits. It was prolific last year and even though they're only about 3 inches around they are great for salads. A fun yellow tomato is Manyel. I like to alternate this one with orange tomatoes in a Caprese salad. Beautiful! I'm going to give Pineapple another chance because the few that I got last year were big beefsteak type tomatoes that were blemish free with orange and yellow stripes. I guess I really prefer the taste of orange tomatoes to the almost too sweet red ones. I am going to try one large red heirloom, Coustralle. It is supposed to have 3 lb fruits with great flavor however last year it succumbed to the late blight first so I never got to see if this variety lives up to its great ratings. I'm hoping for a relatively hot summer with no late blight and maybe I'll get the chance to try this variety which is the latest to ripen at 85 days from transplanting.

The seeds are in and I'll keep you posted on their progress.


garden girl said...

Looking forward to seeing how your tomatoes do Rachel! I hope this will be a better year for them. We had no blight here, but with our cool summer, it took forever for the tomatoes to ripen.

We're trying a few new varieties here, including a Siberian that's supposed to be more tolerant of cool temps and matures early for extra insurance.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Iam trying a new one for me called Brandy Boy. It is a cross between Brandywine and one of the "Boy" tomatoes.

We'll see, wasn't too impressed with Brandywine.