One of the most popular crops for us home gardeners is the tomato.
We are always wanting that taste of a REAL tomato and with shop bought ones being dominated by hybrids (that are not bred for taste, flavour or nutrition, but to withstand long traveling distances) growing your own has never been more appealing.
I grow tomatoes in garden beds and pots and I like to have a few different varieties growing so that I have different cropping times, taste and textures.
We know that there are the tried and true varieties that are great all rounder's, such as Romas which are always a staple in my garden or the Apollo which is great cropping variety. But I now also mix in the old varieties of tomatoes that will give me a real depth of flavour, texture, colour and versatility. Here are a few heirloom varieties that will be planted in my garden this year;
The size of a large cherry or small roma style tomato with a thick meaty flesh, thin skin, very few seeds and a delicious intense vine ripened flavour, they are perfect eating from the vine or in salads. They are an old Italian variety that dates back to 1910 and are loved to this day for the production of sun-dried tomatoes. The flavour of them intensifies after drying making them perfect for sauces and pastes. Fast growing, vigorous, and very hardy producing abundant fruit. Sugar Lump: What a treasure for the lovers of cherry tomatoes. This 1800's heirloom originating in Germany remains one of the sweetest small fruit varieties ever developed. Producing long grape like bunches of hardy sweet red fruit, I like that they don't tend to crack or split like some cherry varieties, though staking or caging to help support the heavy yields is a good idea.
Named for its shape and not flavour, this is a very pretty tomato with a beautiful streaked red and yellow exterior and a kaleidoscope swirl of red, pink, orange, and yellow flesh. Known for its excellent flavour, it has a sweet taste with low acidity and a somewhat fruity taste that includes a hint of citrus. I love this as it is a late fruiter and I tend to put it in a pot so I can have it near the kitchen door for late in the season protection.
This is a tomato that gardeners like to keep secret. One of the best tasting tomatoes, bursting with a sweet fruity flavour that will keep you growing this as a favourite forevermore. Also one of the most prolific, reliable, and hardy tomato plants. Do yourself a favour and plant one of these early cropping tomatoes and you won't regret it.
Many people believe that this tomato is better then a roma tomato. With a meaty flesh that is juicy and a sweet flavour that becomes more intense when made into sauce or paste. I love that this is a variety that is so adaptable and can be used as an all rounder in the kitchen.