Growing Heirloom Tomatoes

Every year I grow tomatoes. The past few years I’ve only grown a few plants and had pretty good success. This year though, my intention is to grow enough tomatoes to can for the winter, so I’ve scaled up this operation. :)

I’ve also grown more interested in growing heirloom varieties. I thought about getting ALL heirlooms this year, but was worried if they failed I’d be left with nothing. So here’s my basic tomato plan this year.


growingheirloomtomato

12 Roma ~ for salsa, sauce, diced, and spaghetti sauces

1 Yellow boy ~ I LOVE yellow maters in my salsa ~ will probably get a yellow pear as well.

1 Jet Star ~ because my mom insisted I needed a Jet Star tomato plant.

1 Brandywine (heirloom)

1 sub artic plenty (heirloom). This is one of the earliest producing tomatoes available ~ so maybe this year I’ll win the prize for the first tomato on the table. :)

I wish I had a better idea of how many is enough vs. too many ~ but I guess I’ll find out as the season progresses.

I’m really liking the idea of growing heirlooms, and helping to keep these varieties going through the generations.

I’d love to know what your favorite tomato is to grow ~ especially heirlooms. I plan to grow even more of them next year if things go well this year. If you know of a “roma” type heirloom I’d love to hear about it. Romas are my favorite tomato, but I’d love to find an heirloom variety.

Starting from Seed:

This is the first year any seeds I started have come up and lived. They usually end up super spindly and ugly. With some seed starting success under my belt I’m thinking I will start tomatoes from seed next year as well. It will be much cheaper and I’ll have more of a selection to choose from.

Do you start your tomatoes from seed? If so, where do you get your seeds from?

Well I was hoping to get these heirlooms in the ground today ~ however, it is COLD and windy again here today, so I am thinking that may not happen. Maybe tomorrow will be better. I do have plastic milk jugs to put over them, so if I get motivated today maybe I’ll try to get out there. :)

Stay tuned for the flower trough we’re putting together!

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6 Responses to “Growing Heirloom Tomatoes”

  1. Todd
    Twitter: acnefreelife
    says:

    Hey Jackie!

    I have never been into gardening in the past…

    But, with my grown interest in health, including nutrition over the past few months due to my blog, I can not wait to help my mother grow some tomatoes!!!

    I have no idea if she starts the tomatoes from the seed. But, I shall find out soon :)

    -Todd
    Todd´s last blog ..5 More Reasons to Avoid Sugar for Glowing Skin

  2. Jackie says:

    Oh Todd,

    Just wait! There’s nothing as delicious as eating a tomato you grew right off the vine all warm and filled with sunshine and nutrients! This is helping us eat more locally as well ~ which is a goal of mine.

  3. Todd
    Twitter: acnefreelife
    says:

    Yea, well unfortunately I never liked tomatoes until just a few months ago!

    So, even though my mother grew them fresh, I never ate one :(

    Now, simply because I chose to (honestly), I love tomatoes! So, I can not wait!!

    Eating more locally grown foods is a goal of mine too. When I purchase my first home this summer (blog income pending) I hope to have my own garden :)
    Todd´s last blog ..5 More Reasons to Avoid Sugar for Glowing Skin

  4. Tina says:

    I love homegrown tomatoes and have tried to grow both the Globe and Roma varieties but gave up on them because the plants always get eaten (I think I have a squirrel or deer problem). Do you have these issues and do you put chicken wire around your plants?
    Tina´s last blog ..Childrens Ride on Toys Help Kids Reach Important Developmental Milestones

    • Jackie says:

      I don’t have deer or squirrel problems ~ I did have chicken problems last year though. :) The likely culprit is worms. There are tomato worms that can take out an entire tomato plant in a day. They are green and blend in very well with the plant. You have to keep a good eye on your plant and pluck them off and kill them (feed them to the chickens). It is good to put some type of cage around your tomatoes though ~ this helps support them and keeps the fruit off the ground.

      One year I had cutworms (worms that come when you first plant and just cut through the little stem killing your plant) come through multiple times. I was very motivated. We rebought tomato plants 3 times that year. The chickens have been digging and eating out of the newly tilled area so I’m hoping they’ve gotten rid of all the cutworms.

  5. Ellen says:

    Hi Jackie,

    I LOVE growing veggies. This is also going to be my first year starting from seed- I intend to start my seeds in little cups on the porch and transplant into the garden at the end of May.

    I just read that when you first transplant a small plant, you can remove the top and bottom of a can with a can opener, and stick that over the plant to protect it from wind for its first few weeks. Then, I use tomato cages or stakes.

    This is what I just got in the mail from HenryFields:

    1 TOMATO BEEFMASTER HYBRID PKT.
    Delivery Estimate: 04/02/10 – 04/04/10
    1 TOMATO HYBRID CAROLINA GOLD PKT
    Delivery Estimate: 04/02/10 – 04/04/10
    1 TOMATO HYBRID SUNSUGAR PKT
    Delivery Estimate: 04/02/10 – 04/04/10
    1 TOMATO GOLDEN RAVE PKT.
    Delivery Estimate: 04/02/10 – 04/04/10
    1 TOMATO CELEBRITY HYBRID PKT.
    Delivery Estimate: 04/02/10 – 04/04/10
    1 CUCUMBER HYBRID SWEET SUCCESS PKT-15
    Delivery Estimate: 04/02/10 – 04/04/10
    1 PEA GARDEN GREEN ARROW PKT-225
    Delivery Estimate: 04/02/10 – 04/04/10
    1 PEPPER SWEET BELL HYBRID MIX PKT
    Delivery Estimate: 04/02/10 – 04/04/10
    1 CANTALOUPE FIELD’S SWEET GEM HYB
    Delivery Estimate: 04/02/10 – 04/04/10
    Ellen´s last blog ..How To Talk To Teens About Sex

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