Monday, August 22, 2011

Heirloom Tomatoes

It was a big year for me in the garden.   I planted a bunch of stuff from seed.

I'm not very good at seeds.   I plant them too early in little pots and then they take off and then they dry out and then they flop and then they don't do so well after that.    It makes me nuts.

For years, I bought tomatoes, eggplant, fennel, etc. in pots.    It worked fine, but we've been very limited as to the available varieties.   A few hybrid tomatoes and peppers and whatever single variety of eggplant, fennel and leeks they have - if any.

Sioux on the vine
 I wanted more variety.   And then I discovered Baker Creek and one trip through their catalog had me wondering if I ought to try seeds again.    I started slowly last year.   Then this year I thought I'd try tomatoes - and it worked!    I grew beautiful tomatoes!

[To be completely honest, I bought one plant of Early Girl just in case all my seedlings died.  She, of course, took right off and bore first.] 

Bonny Best

I tried these varieties:

  • Bonny Best
  • Hazelfield
  • Sioux
  • Red Zebra
  • Riesentraub

The Bonny Best is at the end of a row, away from the sprinkler.   It's a smaller plant, and I wonder if it just didn't get the water the other plants got and that's why it's smaller.   The fruit is round and regular, but not huge. 


Hazelfield is a great producer.   Very large plants, very large fruit.  Some is irregularly shaped - like the one in the  top left of the photo [right].   They take their time ripening, but the yield is worth it.  

Sioux tomatoes

Sioux is also a very heavy bearer.  The fruit is also large and sometimes irregular.    These ripened about a week before the Hazelfield. 

Red Zebra was my effort to try a type of tomato that wasn't red.    I'm just not into the yellow and lighter tomatoes.    My kids talked me into these.  

Green tomatoes - Red Zebra

The fruit are smallish, but by golly,  they're adorable.   The stripes show up even when they're green so you'll be able to tell which plant this is as soon as it sets fruit. 

Red Zebra Tomatoes
The biggest surprise for me is that this is a delicious tomato!    It's got a dry pink flesh that will be perfect for sauces.   I loved it.  

I'm especially pleased with this tomato because I have never been able to grow romas.   These are even better!

I'm hoping for a bumper crop of these.   I've got big plans to oven roast these with some olive oil and garlic.   Then pop them in jars to freeze for the winter.    Mmmmmm.

Now that I know I can grow things from seed, I'm sold on heirloom tomatoes.    Now I just need to learn how to save seed so I can grow them again next year.  


  1. That is exciting Robin!!! All of your tomatoes are beautiful!

  2. I do love those stripey ones too! I saw a conversation on FB where ppl were saying that tomatoes were hard to grow, and I thinking: only if you lived in Vancouver! If Indiana doesn't have perfect tomato growing weather, I don't know what it has. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...