I’ll be offering a limited number of tomatoes starts for 2018. Starts will be available by pre-order (email firstname.lastname@example.org), or you can shop by appointment or at the Plant Sale at Beach Elementary on May 11 & 12. Minimum pre-order 6 plants, please.
It’s nearly tomato time! Here is a list of the tomato starts I am growing this year.
Varieties new to the list this year are marked New!
I’m excited to have Pineapple Tomato back again this year! It’s a gorgeous, huge, flavorful yellow/orange heirloom that produced really well for me in the past and I’ve found seed again. Sleeping Lady was the earliest tomato to ripen last year and produced for a long time.
Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) – Indeterminate unless noted.
Lovingly and organically grown in North Portland’s Overlook Neighborhood, these sturdy tomato starts will thrive and offer one of the sweetest joys of the summer garden. There’s nothing like a homegrown tomato!
Plant once the soil is warm, in late May, or use season extenders like cloches or wall o’ water. Keep them in a greenhouse or your sunniest window until then. Harden them off by placing them outside briefly in a shady spot for a few days, then for a longer period in part sun, then plant in rich soil in full sun.
Consistent watering practices, amending the soil with lime and calcium and keeping soil mulched will help avoid disease issues like blossom end rot.
Provide a sturdy cage at least 3′ tall for determinate and dwarf varieties and 5′ tall or more for indeterminate varieties, or a tall pole/trellis for training if you like. Tomatoes can be grown very successfully in pots. I recommend 5 gallon containers or larger, with good drain holes. They will need daily watering for most of the season.
3.5″ pot, $3.50 each
‘Amish Paste’ – 72 days – Heirloom. Don’t let the name deter you, this is a versatile fruit. They have become a favorite canning tomato of mine, but are also great for salsa, sandwiches and salads. They are meaty, oblong fruits, light red fruits. This particular line is early producing, higher yielding and has larger fruit than other ‘Amish Paste’. Tolerant of partial shade. Great for training up stakes if you’re short on space. Selected for the ‘Slow Food Ark of Taste’
‘Ananas Noir’ – 85 days. Heirloom. Large multi-colored fruit grow up to 1.5 lbs. The skin is striped with green, yellow, purple and orange with a red/green interior. Sprawling plants need support. New!
‘Brazilian Beauty’ – 55-65 days – Heirloom. Small vines bear lots of small, mahongany fruit with a sweet, tropical flavor. Known for its early bearing and unusual color and flavor.
‘Black Krim’ – 80 days – Heirloom. Large, beefsteak-type up to 18 oz. Dark burgundy fruit with amazing, rich flavor. Can produce well in cool weather or even in partial shade. Seed grown in the Willamette Valley by Carol Deppe.
‘Brandywine’ – 82 days. Heirloom. Renowned heirloom with reddish pink skin grow to over 1 lb. each. Superb flavor.
‘Cherokee Purple’ – 72-80 days – Heirloom. Large, rounded, beefsteak-type. Dark burgundy fruit with green shoulders and amazing, rich flavor.
‘Chocolate Cherry’ – 70 days – Large, dark cherry type (1″) with great flavor. Very productive. Resists cracking. Mix these with red and orange cherry tomatoes for a rainbow salad!
‘Gold Nugget’ – 60 days – Determinate. Early, yellow cherry-sized tomato. Bred in Oregon for our climate. Biodynamically-grown seed. Grow in the ground or in a large pot. Productive, sturdy plants. Great for snacking right off the vine. A favorite with kids!
‘Green Zebra’ – 75 days – Unique green striped fruits have an excellent sweet/acid balance. Fruits weigh about 3 oz and turn golden when ripe.
‘Italian Roma’ – 80 days – Heirloom. An excellent red sauce tomato that’s also great for slicing in salads and sandwiches. Compact vines are very productive. Determinate – ripens most fruit all once time, and a uniform size for canning.
‘Red Cherry’ – 70 days – Classic large, bright red cherry tomato with great flavor. Very prolific. Eat them off the vine, skewer them for the grill, slice them in half, drizzle with olive oil and roast on low heat… heavenly! If you have extra, dry them for a sweet winter treat. Mmm, sun-dried tomato pesto! Open pollinated.
‘Pineapple’ – 90 days –Heirloom. Very large, yellow with red and orange streaks. Fruits up to 1 pound each. One of the best large tomatoes for our weather. I grew this one for the first time last year and it was outstanding. Pick fruit left on the vines before the rains come, let them ripen indoors. Resistant to blossom end rot.
‘Pruden’s Purple’ – 67-72 days – Heirloom. A large, Brandywine-type tomato (up to 1 lb or more) that is dark pink/red. Wonderful flavor and texture and produces earlier than most large tomatoes. Withstands cool weather well and can produce well in partial sun. I’m very happy to be growing many seeds from Willamette Valley seed grower Carol Deppe, author of ‘The Resilient Gardener’. Her plant selection work focuses on growing plants that are suited to our climate and are productive and flavorful. This heirloom tomato is from her seed, as are ‘Amish Paste’, ‘Black Krim’ and ‘Stupice’.
‘San Marzano’ – 80 days – Heirloom. Classic Italian plum tomato for sauce or slicing, grown from Italian seed. Amazing for pizza sauce! 5-7 oz. fruits.
‘Sleeping Lady’ – 70 days – Dwarf tomato. Stocky, patio-sized plants grow only 3′ tall. Great in pots or greenhouse. Flavorful 3-6 oz. fruits are dark mahogany colored. This was the earliest tomato to ripen in my garden last year!
‘Sun Gold’ – 65 days – Hybrid – Sweet gold cherry type – the best! Grow in the ground or in a large pot. Productive. Great for snacking right off the vine. A favorite with kids.
Tomato questions? Requests for next year? Email email@example.com