Saturday, May 15, 2010

In Search of the Perfect Tomato

May 15, Tomato Planting Day

For as long as I can remember May 15th has always been the day to plant tomatoes, a bit of wisdom passed down from Father to daughter. This Spring has been so cold that we weren't sure it was going to happen, but today was the perfect day and  
our tomatoes are in the ground! 

Tomatoes have always been the star of our vegetable garden. For many years we planted dozens of plants that provided bushels of tomatoes to make enough quarts of stewed tomatoes to last our growing family an entire year.  Our needs have changed as children have married and began their own gardens. What hasn't changed is our love for tomatoes. They are still the star of our garden.  This year we decided to try something new. 

We are in search of the perfect tomato. Keep in mind that some tomato's are best for canning and others for the sheer pleasure of eating. This year we are concentrating on the "delicious for eating straight from the vine" variety.

Our research has brought us to discover five different varieties to experiment with.  With our plants in the ground our experiment is well under way.  Our potential favorites are each new to us and we're anxious to reach harvest stage of our experiment.  Patience is required.  Only time will tell if they will remain our favorites after the taste tests are conducted later in the summer.

Sun Gold - A very sweet, tangerine-colored cherry tomato. Word is this is a highly requested favorite! We planted this one for the grand kids to pick.

Cherokee Purple - This heirloom tomato is said to have medium-sized 10-12 ounce fruits with rose/purple skin and a brick red interior. Very rich tomato flavor.  Sounds delicious!

Hawaiian Pineapple - A large, golden-orange beefsteak heirloom tomato with fruit that that grows up to 1-1/2 lbs. The taste is described as luscious, very rich, and with a sweet pineapple-like flavor. Hm-m. Sounds too interesting not to be included.

Fourth of July - This tomato claims to be the first on the block to have vine-ripened red, luscious tomatoes. The flavor is described as particularly good for an early tomato, and improves even more as the season warms up. it's always good to include an early variety to jump-start your taste buds!

Brandywine - Many gardeners believe this heirloom is the best tasting tomato in the world! This pink beefsteak type has rich flavor and can weigh up to 1 lb. We have great expectations for this variety.  We actually planted three of these!

Maybe you'd like to conduct 
your own research and experiment. 
What varieties are on your favorites list?  
Let's compare again when the harvest begins!


  1. I've always planted Beef Steak tomatoes, together with whatever new varieties I might try. They produce a nice, "meaty" tomato with just the right ratio of fruit to juice for me. :) I do like to experiment, however, and there are many new varieties I'd love to try. I'll be following your tomato progress with interest!

  2. So glad you're trying Cherokee Purple! It is my personal favorite.

    I can also put a stamp of approval on Sungold. Its little gems are sweeter than a true full-size tomato usually is, but nearly universally adored by everyone. Very easy to stand in the garden eating them like grapes, too. ;)

  3. Thank you for leaving a message for me on Blotanical, I love your title Grandmother's Garden. I do so enjoy having my grandchildren in my garden with me. Your views of the mountains are unbelievably gorgeous. Tell me do you get a view tax like we do here? I decided not to grow tomatoes this year because of the blight.Hope I can still get good ones. Meg

  4. I think the perfect tomato was the one my dad used to grow 40 years ago. Wish i knew what it was- I can still remember the smell and the taste immediately it was picked...


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