• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
What's Bloomin'


The Tomato - Heirlooms are a Gardener's Best Friend

More has been written about the "lowly tomato" than any other garden vegetable. Gardeners with little more than an apartment deck head for the garden center each spring and purchase tomato plants for their container or even a deep-welled box or hanging pot. To grow and eat tomatoes right off our own vines is one of the season's greatest pleasures. Sometimes people who don't like  fresh tomatoes want to grow them - just for the fun of it as well as to see this amazing plant produce.

Last year in our community garden all of our efforts to raise lucious Big Boy and other large fruits, failed miserably. Too hot, too dry, were the buzz words we kept hearing and saying. But, in one raised bed, one of our gardener's tomato plants flourished and yielded large numbers of delicious fruit. This plant was loaded with tiny yellow (sweet-tasting) pear-shaped tomatoes and kept right on producing well into October.

When looking for this plant while blogging, I discovered that its seeds are heirloom which answers the question of why it did so well in spite of extreme heat and dry soil. Burpee's sells seed and plants for this one. You can see it and order from this web page: http://www.burpee.com/vegetables/tomatoes/cherry/tomato-yellow-pear-prod001024.html?catId=2271&trail=&siteID=ytULUNhPBpk-NzAwg._lFbIeE1xKqtGj7A

I will be looking for this plant at garden centers in our area. I'll also look for regular red  heirloom tomatoes and see if they have fewer problems with weather changes. I know heirlooms drop seed and come true season after season. If you decide to plant heirlooms this year, you will have the seed to pass on to family and friends for years to come. 

The gardener who inherited the soil from that raised bed will find wee seedlings popping up here and there so I need to give him the good news so he will not till them under or toss them on the compost pile.