Shop for tomato starts at the Resilience Design Plant Sale and Open Garden, May 9-12, 2019.
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 offer some new varieties by local seed companies this year. Look for fun, purple-striped ‘Purple Bumble Bee’, ‘Pinky’ with long, rainbow trusses of cherry tomatoes, ‘Garden Peach’ with a lovely fuzzy surface, and more. I’m also offering an Italian family heirloom from a neighbor, ‘D’Amico’.
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 drainage 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.
‘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.
‘Blush’ – 75 days – Elongated, 1-3 oz. fruit (2″ long) with pink and green marbling over a gold background. Abundant clusters produce into fall. New!
‘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! Open pollinated.
‘Cour di Bue Albenga’ – Heirloom. From Northwestern Italy, this deep red oxheart type tomato is versatile in salads, sauces or roasted. Ruffled shape with delicious, rich tomato flavor. New!
‘D’Amico’ – 80 days– Heirloom. An Italian heirloom saved by my neighbor Angie DiSalvo. She says, “This variety has long, meaty fruit, awesome for sauce and cooking. It’s a family heirloom, brought from Italy by my uncle Angelo D’Amica when he immigrated in 1959. My family still grows them every year. Enjoy!” Open pollinated. New!
‘Delicious’ – 80 days –Heirloom. Large, red slicer with rich flavor that produces well even with cool nighttime temperatures.
‘Galina’ – 65-75 days – Heirloom. A yellow cherry from Siberia that produces well in Oregon and keeps well off the vine. Potato leaf plants. Bears flavorful, crack resistant fruit into cool fall temperatures. Uprising Seeds says: “When the weather gets cool and rainy and the rest of your tomatoes have gone south, these magically get freakishly good.”
‘Garden Peach’ – 75 days – A small, yellow-blushed-peach fruit with a slightly fuzzy surface. Thick skin resists cracking. Sweet, low-acid flavor. New!
‘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! Open pollinated.
‘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.
‘Jaune Flamme’ – 70-80 days – Heirloom. Spherical, orange, 4-5 oz. fruits hang in trusses. A reliable and productive tomato for slices and sauces. Uprising Seeds describes this variety’s flavor as “bright in acidity, and juicy.” New!
‘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. SOLD OUT
‘Peacevine Cherry’ – 75 days. Super productive cherry tomato bears 3/4″ red to deep gold fruits in large clusters. According to Territorial Seeds, “Peacevine earned its name from its high content of gamma amino butyric acid, an amino acid that acts as a calming body sedative.”
‘Pinky’ – 75 days. Cherry tomato with looong trusses of fruit in a rainbow gradation. This is the plant to grow for that! From Japan, up to 60 fruits per truss, with rich flavor, crack resistance. New!
‘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’.
‘Purple Bumble Bee’ – 70 days. Purple stripes and green marbling on grape tomato-shaped fruit make this a fun and unique variety. Crack-resistant fruit. Productive, compact vines are excellent for pots. Adaptive Seeds calls the flavor ‘complex’. Open pollinated. New!
‘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.
‘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.
‘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.
Ready to order? Tomato questions? Requests for next year? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
All photos and content Copyright Mulysa Melco 2019