Tuesday, March 5, 2013

23 Tomato Plants

We love fresh tomatoes from the garden.  The taste can not be duplicated.  Tomatoes from the grocery store do not compare.  The majority of tomatoes that you get in the store are bland, tasteless, and mealy.  That is why I would consider tomatoes to be the most rewarding to plant.  Not to mention you can get packet of 25 organic heirloom tomato seeds for $2, try beating that price.  That is 25 tomato plants you could grow for $2.

We planted 23 plants.  It sounds like a lot, and I guess it kind of is, but once you break it down it does not sound so bad (or good).

 This is what tomato seeds look like, and the hands of my beautiful daughter :)  Her hands are way cuter than mine, so she is now my hand model.  We plan to save our seeds this year, so hopefully we will have more for next year.

We planted 5  tomatillo plants last year. Grande Rio Verde specifically. They grow about as tall as a tomato plant, but are not as bushy and full, and do not produce as much fruit.   The fruit is pretty interesting, the size varies but most were about the size of a golf ball, and covered with a husk.  The husks grow bigger and faster than the fruit inside.  When the fruit fills out in the husk, and the husk stars to split, they are ready.  The fruit is super sticky, and they are kind of a pain to pull off the husk and wash off the stickiness. I used them sparingly fresh from the garden, and canned the majority of them as salsa verde.  Being that I still have a half a dozen pints left, I am only planting one lonely tomatillo plant this year.   These tomatillos will be used fresh, no canning this year. 

Snacking Tomatoes
I call these snacking tomatoes, as that is what the are used for.  Last year we were picking about a pint of these a day.  My son can easily polish off a pint on his own in one sitting, so it worked well.  I shared them with neighbors, and at work.  I am secretly planting a plant of each for our neighbors, Mrs. Cindy and Mr. Dan, as they liked them a lot too.

Black Cherry Tomato
This is one we will probably plant every year now, and it is our second year planting it.  The fruit is about the size of a normal cherry tomato, and the color varies from a greenish red, to a dark red.  All the tomato eaters at my house love these!

Egg Yolk
I like small yellow tomatoes, butt he yellow pear tomatoes we planted last year were slightly mealy so I wanted to try a different variety.  Very excited to try these, I love having all different colors of tomatoes.

Slicing Tomatoes

These I plant to slice for sandwiches, salads, and whatever else we can use them for right off the vine.  If you are Jonathan that means it is perfectly acceptable to pick a tomato off the vine and eat it like an apple.

Red Tomato - Riesentraube
This was a free gift that came with our seed order.  Therefor it must be planted.  I am only planting 2 plants as I am not sure what to expect.

Bonny Best
I bought these because my mother in law's name is Bonnie, and I like her :) I am planting 3 plants. And they have rave reviews. I plan to use them for slicing, and the over abundance for canning.
  Here is the description from Baker Heirloom Creek's website:
The famous old canning tomato that was introduced in 1908 by Bonnie Plant Farm in Union Spring, Alabama. It became one of the most respected canning varieties in America in the first half of the twentieth century. Medium-sized fruit are round, red, meaty and loaded with flavor. A good producer that makes a fine slicer too. Becoming hard to find due to modern, flavorless hybrids.
How could I not buy them after reading that?

Solar Flair
These seeds were a special addition to Baker Creek's catalog this year from Wild Boar Farms. I am also planting 3 of these. I read a very interesting article about the farmer, and had to try them, and they look gorgeous.  Again, they will be used for slicing, and the excess will be canned or frozen.

Amish Paste Tomatoes
This is the third year we have planted this variety.  The first year we were in the process of moving, and I planted them in my parent's garden.  These are great canning tomatoes, and great for sauce, as there is not a lot of juice in them. That is why I am planting 6 plants. They are similar to a roma tomato, but even better if you ask me.  I will plant these every year.

  I planted all of the tomato in peat pots.  I hate peat pots.  They suck the moisture out of the soil, get moldy if you water them a lot, and they never compost like the description says.  But . . .they were the only pot I could find in the size I wanted.  So I am using them.  I will not plant them however, I will take the plants out before planting, and then compost the pots.  They take forever to break down.

This is what happens when you lose the lid to your only small seed tray.  It has been replaced with a crockpot liner bag, and it's the perfect size.  I do not use these in the crockpot, that would be like microwaving in plastic and that gives me the heebie jeevies.

And this is what it looks like when you run out of plant markers.

I am so excited to have my tomatoes planted, I am sure I will have more updates on them soon.


Laurie Byrne said...

Mmmm......can't wait for tomatoes from the garden!

Nancy said...

Sounds like you'll have a great variety of delicious tomatoes this year! About tomatillos...I have planted them a few times in the past and last year only planted one...it was loaded with blooms but I only got one tomatillo from the plant. I looked online and it suggested that you plant two in order to get any fruit and that's what I will do this year too. Also, with the peat pots, I get them really wet before planting and make holes in the bottom before burying them. It seems to help a little more. :)

Carrie said...

Thanks, I will plant another one then. I think I am going to plant those every other year, as I can not eat all of that salsa verde in one year. Hopefully I can find a better recipe by then too, the kind I made was a little to "tangy" from the lemon/lime juice.

When I have planted the peat pots, I think I ripped off the entire bottom because I was worried the roots woudl get trapped :)