Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fast & Easy Heirloom Tomatoes

Luscious Heirloom Tomatoes could be the most popular crop this summer.

Seems like every morning I get a few emails asking about heirloom tomatoes. Brown and green thumbs alike are wondering.... What's good? What's bad? Bad? There's no such thing as a bad heirloom. You don't get to be this old by slacking on flavor.

They're also asking... What's easy? What's fast?

Fast and easy? Now that I can answer.
Living high in the mountains, my growing season is pathetically short but there are lots of cold hardy, quick-growing tomatoes to choose from.

Here a few of my faves:

Paul Robeson ~ This Russian original is probably the tastiest, easiest heirloom to grow. Hefty, black-red tomatoes, bursting with flavor, ready for picking in about 65 days.

Black from Tula ~ If you’re big into BBQs, Tulas are absolutely worth the effort. Ready for harvest in about 80 days, with a bold, delicious smokey flavor. Roast the Tulas, place them on a burger and learn, first hand, the meaning of love at first bite.

Peacevine Cherry ~ Think Napa Valley and all those luscious grapevines... If you have a fence bordering your garden, consider planting this crazy rambler. She’ll stretch a good 15 – 20 feet along the fence line and display big clusters of tasty little tomatoes, ready for picking in less than 60 days.

Elfin Grape Tomato ~ This little guy is great in a flower pot on your sunny deck. Nothing small, at all, about the flavor. Tasty 3/4 inch grape tomatoes are ready for a salad in about 2 months.

* Before you get all wild and crazy with Miracle-Gro and other chemical fertilizers, think about it. You're planning to eat these goodies. Miracle-Gro is a synthetic fertilizer that is prohibited from use in certified-organic farming. But, then you already knew that, didn't you?


ErnieSue said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I have been out shopping all day and could only find Brandywine down here in the south end of the SL valley. I'm going to keep looking and hopefully I can find some of your recommendations. I've been following your blog for a few years now and I love it. Thanks for keeping this blog so fun and interesting.

Kate said...

Thanks for the note and your kind compliments.

Check out the Wasatch Community Gardens plant sale, in the SL valley, beginning of May. You should be able to find all of these heirloom tomato seedlings. If not, online resources are your best bet.

Happy Gardening! ~ kate

Wunx~ said...

Hey Kate -- Hope you're planning on hitting the Wasatch Community Gardens sale (May 9th) with me again this year. I do love encouraging you to go over your budget.

Don't forget about Traces on 11 East, they always have lots of heirlooms too.

Jeannie said...

Thanks for the info Kate. I'm having to do indoor gardening as we are not able to do ANY outside watering where we live. I was wanting some heirloom type baby tomatoes to grow in a container. My whole dining room has been converted into my greenhouse--ha ha--but I'm not watering outside so I dare the water police to say anything!

Kate said...

No watering whatsoever? Wow. That is a tough situation. How in the world can we veggie gardeners survive with that type of restriction?? I guess we'll have to learn to love fried cactus! :D

Matt said...

Derek and I just finished potting our little heirlooms!

We got them from Traces and they have a ton. We're growing Green Grape, Black from Tula, Black Cherry, Purple Cherokee, Mr Stripey, Pinapple, Silver Fir Tree, and Black Seaman.

Kate said...

Woohoo! What a great collection of heirlooms!

I hope you 2 are planning to host a BBQ this summer! I'm excited to sample Mr. Stripey. :)