Sunday, May 15, 2011
More About Tomatoes
The spring rains continue; any day now the "girls" will leave their pots to be planted out. Many are getting leggy and even though they are hardening off outside, there is little sun to warm them. The transition from inside to outside takes place over a period of ten days or so, in a framed plastic greenhouse. The zipper has long since given up the ghost, so we use document clips to close the sides during the night. If really cold weather is expected, we drape a blanket over and tuck garden fleece around the bottom.
This year, we are trying a number of new varieties like Mexico Midget and Tasmanian Chocolate Dwarf, seed shared by Year Round Veggie Gardener originating from Craig the Tomatoman. The latter I plan to put in the raised bed assuming as a dwarf it will be easy to harvest (as well as Rosella Purple also a dwarf). Wentzell, a local tomato, should do very well for our area and I'm also hoping Granadero, a paste, will produce high yields but good flavor. Wonder how it will measure up to the one San Marzano we purchased at the local farmers market.
As for the purple black types (which I favor), we are trying Black Plum, Black Cherry, Purple Prince, Pruden's Purple and Rosella Purple. For some brightness....Woodle Orange from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed , Sun Gold Cherry and German Gold.
We have grown Green Zebra in the past and found, if left that little bit too long, it felt soft and mealy in the mouth and lost a lot of flavor. It really needs picking early, when it is still firm and so, a bit tart..perfect for salsas with some chopped purple hot pepper, lime juice, onion and cilantro...one of our best fresh salsa tomatoes and so, they're back in the garden this year. (This green tomato must be high in pectin as the salsa is almost jelly)
And now for something completely different, OSU Blue from Annapolis Valley Seeds. There are many pros and cons about it's flavor and blue color, so think we will just 'see for ourselves' how this does in our climate on the South Shore here in Nova Scotia. If nothing else, it's unique but I'm hoping it will be much more than that.
Imagine all those colors... orange, red, yellow, blue, purple black, served on a large white platter; sitting in the shade on a hot summer day sharing the garden's bounty with friends and family. That's what I imagine as I baby them along, encouraging them to grow big and strong, telling them "the soft spring rains are here now and once the soil gets a little bit warmer, you can go outside to play"....