It’s tomato time! Here is a preview of the tomato starts I am growing this year. Starts will be available by pre-order (email firstname.lastname@example.org), or you can shop by appointment or at my Open Garden and Plant Sale on Sun. May 21 from noon to 6 pm. Minimum pre-order 4 plants, please.
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. Other new-to-me varieties are heirloom Brazilian Beauty and Sleeping Lady from Bountiful Gardens seed house.
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 else 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’.
‘Brazilian Beauty’ – 55-65 days – Heirloom. Small vines bear lots of small, mahongany fruit with a sweet, tropical flavor. This one is new to me this year. I chose this one for it’s early bearing and unusual color and flavor! New!
‘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.
‘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!
‘Delicious’ – 80 days –Heirloom. Large, red slicer with rich flavor that produces well even with cool nighttime temperatures.
‘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!
‘Indigo Rose’ – 70 days – Purple fruit with red and orange blotches are high in anthocyanin. Small salad tomato size. Oregon State University introduction. Classically bred and open pollinated. New!
‘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.
‘Peacevine 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. New!
‘Stupice’ – 55 -60 days – Heirloom. A very early red slicing tomato that does fine in cool springs and wet weather. Tolerates a range of conditions, including cool/damp weather, and bears throughout the season. Potato-leafed plant. 2.5″ fruits. Prolific, with classic tomato flavor. Uniform size for canning.
Tomato questions? Requests for next year? Email email@example.com