Monday, May 14, 2007

Heirloom Tomato Plants

For information on quick-growing heirloom tomatoes, click here.

This is way too pretty to be an heirloom tomato. Most tomatoes have been hybridized to look perfect. The downside to messing with the natural order of things is that it also removes most of the flavor.

All I really needed was one itty bitty tomato seedling. One - quick growing, sweet, juicy, perfect for a container, willing to happily flourish on my deck - tomato plant. But, turning me loose at a Community Garden plant sale is just asking for trouble.

So, I went a little hog wild. I bought these luscious veggies pictured below, plus a trunk load of flowering perennials and one ultra risky 99 cent investment in a Rouge Vif D'etampes.

But that's okay. It's for a really good cause: Wasatch Community Gardens

Heirloom Veggies:
When you think of heirlooms, visions of Grandma's jewelry box dance in your head. Well, most Grandmas. Mine preferred junk jewelry over the diamonds, rubies and emeralds we all hope to inherit.

When you think of heirloom tomato plants think.... ugly. Ugly, ugly, ugly... the best tasting tomatoes you'll ever find would have a tough time winning a beauty contest.

This is what I'm planting in my garden:

Black Russian Tomatoes

Armenian Cucumbers

King of the North Red Bell Peppers

It's entirely possible to grow veggies at high altitudes. Raised beds, with amended soil, improve your odds. Containers are great. Because up here in the mountains Mother Nature really is out to get you. If she discovers you're trying to grow veggies, she'll schedule a late season freeze in your honor, just to ruin your plans.

Veggies grown in containers grow faster. Plus, you can drag them back into the house on an exceptionally cold night.

Looking for unusual veggies and heirloom seeds? Look no further than Seeds of Change. They are working hard to improve your odds of growing heirloom, ultra rare, and good old fashioned farmhouse vegetables.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kate,

I live in Sandy, can you tell me where I can purchase nice heirloom tomato plants in the area?

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

You'll have lots of fun growing tomatoes! All they really need is time and sunshine. :)

Here are 3 good online resources:, and

However! You might want to check out the Wasatch Community Garden Plant Sale coming up on May 9th in Salt Lake. Here's the link.

You'll find lots of great heirloom seedlings available at this sale. Get there early as all the best stuff is usually gone by 10 a.m.

Paul Robeson, Vintage Wine and the Peacevine Cherry are 3 tasty varieties that should grow very well for you.

A few others to consider...
Black from Tula
Brown Derby
Elfin (grape tomato)

Have fun, let me know how it turns out. :)

Happy Gardening


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