You say to-may-to, I saw to-mah-to. But any way you slice it, the tomato will always be a mainstay of backyard gardens. The reason is simple: it’s all about the taste. Vine-ripened, homegrown tomatoes taste infinitely better than the bland impostors found on supermarket shelves. In fact, once you grow your own tomatoes, you’ll probably never be able to eat a store-bought tomato again.
Tomatoes are relatively easy to grow in home gardens, and there’s a smorgasbord of seeds and plants to choose from. Whether you like delectably sweet cherry tomatoes, meaty beefsteak tomatoes, flavorful brandywine or bicolored varieties, unusual heirloom tomatoes, or paste tomatoes for cooking, you can find them all, and more.
Some gardeners prefer to plant only the tried-and-true tomato varieties in their home gardens, while others enjoy the fun (and challenge) of trying out new tomatoes every year. Adventurous gardeners who take a risk on new tomatoes might be disappointed in the taste or performance, but they’re just as likely to discover a juicy new favorite that’s bursting with flavor.
Here are some new tomatoes you might want to try growing in your own home garden this year.
‘Sweet Seedless Hybrid’ is the most noteworthy new tomato this year, because it’s the world’s first seedless tomato! We now have seedless watermelons and near-seedless cucumbers, so why not a seedless tomato? A Burpee exclusive, this new seedless tomato is a medium size (8-10 oz. fruit), mid-season, indeterminate tomato with the perfect balance of flavor and sweetness, meat and gel. Burpee spokeswoman Kristin Gilli was among those who first tasted the Sweet Seedless tomato. According to Gilli, “It’s projected to be the best seller this year, and it took a long time to develop.”
‘Black Truffle Hybrid’ is another Burpee exclusive, new tomato for 2009. An improvement on their heirloom tomato “Black Pear’, this new tomato is rich in both sugars and acids, which creates a deliciously sweet, strong and complex flavor. Black Truffle is an indeterminate, mid-season tomato that produces 6-8 oz. fruit in a lovely deep burgundy hue with purplish-black undertones.
‘Big Raspberry’ is a new heirloom tomato available from the Tomato Grower’s Supply Company. This indeterminate tomato variety produces an abundance of rosy pink scalloped tomatoes with the perfect mix of meaty sweetness on mid-size fruit.
‘Bella Rosa’ is a new tomato that promises to be a serious performer in home gardens, producing high yields of large (10-12 oz.) flavorful fruit in a beautiful red color. This determinate plant is both heat tolerant and disease resistant.
‘Shilling Giant’ is a late-season oxheart heirloom tomato with huge red, heart-shaped fruit that’s perfect for slicing or for making into a richly flavored tomato sauce. Oxheart tomatoes are longstanding favorites in home gardens because they produce nicely flavored, meaty fruit with very few seeds.
‘Virginia Sweets’ is an unusual new heirloom tomato that promises to deliver an abundant crop of sweet, richly flavored fruit weighing at least one pound each! Featuring a golden yellow color with red stripes and a ruby blush on top, these gigantic bicolored beefsteak tomatoes are stunningly beautiful to look at, too.
Whether you stick with your favorite tomatoes or try something new in your home garden this year, may your harvest be plentiful, problem-free, and full of the savory flavor that only homegrown tomatoes can provide.
Tomato Growers Supply Company