I’ve got tomatoes on the brain these days. Last weekend I had a table at Seedy Saturday at the Brickworks here in Toronto and the highlight was trading for some new tomato varieties. I walked away with at least ten new varieties feeling like a kid in a candy shop. That giddy feeling hasn’t worn off. I love tomatoes! The hard part comes next in deciding which to grow.
Later, when I got home from the event I took stock of my total tomato seed collection and was shocked to discover that I have collected over 130 varieties. I had never bothered to count before now. No wonder I have a harder and harder time narrowing down the list that will end up in the soil each year!
Last year was my best tomato season ever. By the time the hard frost hit we had harvested 110lbs of ripe fruit (NOT including cherry or currant varieties) plus another 30 or so pounds in green tomatoes. I don’t think I grew more plants than I have in the past as there were years when I was able to split the plants up between 3 gardens, and I recall one year just under a decade back when I was able to fit 16 plants into the community garden plot, plus the same on the roof. I think the windfall came down to even better, sunnier growing conditions and a really hot summer.
Well, another Seedy Saturday has come and gone. And really, I could just cut and paste last year’s post, or the one before that, or the one before that, because frankly, it’s pretty much the same for me every year. I start out with good intentions. But it’s busy from the moment I arrive and there is no time for me to go about shopping at the other tables. I never have a list except the one that is in my head. The crowds are too thick. I give up.
This year’s event was in a new (and gorgeous) location and the crowds were bigger than ever! Growing your own food is taking off like gangbusters!
Unfortunately, I came back with some kind of virus and have been holed up since Saturday dying a slow death. Boo.
Fortunately, I managed to scavenge a few packs of this and that at the event although most were from Sorellina (the Queen of Tomatoes), and they are primarily determinate (bush) tomatoes. I am always looking to try as many determinates as I can in pots every season. I scored so many this year, it will be a struggle to find space for them all, but I will have fun trying. Some of the varieties sound really exciting!
- Tomato ‘Yellow Pygmy’ – A very small, yellow, determinate.
- Tomato ‘Pink Ping Pong’ – I got this from Sorellina because I thought it was on my list but it was actually just something I recently saw and not on my list.
- Tomato ‘Koralik’ – Red cherry, determinate.
- Tomato ‘Czech’s Bush’ – I’ve grown this one for a couple of years now. It’s one of my favourites in containers and very reliable. Short and stocky plants with mid-sized, red fruit.
- Tomato ‘Mountain Princess Dwarf’ – Pink salad tomatoes. I figure the name could work to get princess-crazed girls into gardening.
- Tomato ‘Dwarf Medium Ruffled Pink Oblate’ – Ruffled tomatoes on a dwarf plant — I’m in!
- Cucumber ‘Crystal Apple’ – This was a freebee from the woman who own the seed company, Cubit’s Organics. I have not grown this variety since it so closely resembles my beloved, ‘Lemon’. Now that I have these seeds I will give it a try.
- Carrot ‘Purple Haze’ – This was a trade. I’ve been growing this variety on and off for years and figured I can never have too many seeds.
- Radish ‘Red Meat/Watermelon’ – I tried these for the first time last year and they are fantastic! Dark on the outside, hot pink on the inside, and surprisingly tender and delicious.
- Radish ‘China Rose’ – A winter radish with an elongated shape and a bright rosy exterior.
- Spinach ‘Bloomsdale’ – I don’t often grow spinach but figured I might this year. ‘Bloomsdale’ is a good container option.
- Lettuce ‘Sierra’ – One of only two items that was actually on the original list. ‘Sierra’ is a beautiful, heat tolerant, Batavia (looseleaf meets crisphead) variety with green leaves and burgundy tips.
- Lettuce ‘Sunset’ – And this is the other original list item. It’s a slow-bolting looseleaf variety with gorgeous, deep red foliage.
See also: 2008, 2007, 2006…