Cherry Tomato Plants for Spring, Part I
Now we come to the main course, tomatoes. The primary bedding plants that we sell are many varieties of tomatoes. These will be planted in early March, so the seeds aren't in the soil yet. The varieties listed are the ones I'm planning right now but if anyone has something they really want, there's still time to add them. And, of course, there's still plenty of time for an unforeseen problem to befall some variety or another. So these are the ones we have seeds for and are planning to grow.
They won't all fit in one blog and I'll have to break each type (red, cherry, paste, colorful) into more than one blog as well. So lets get started with cherries, our largest category.
Sweet Chelsea is an early maturing red cherry. The flavor is sweet and the fruit grows in clusters. It's a large plant and will certainly require support of some type. We started growing this one a few years ago because of a request and have continued to grow it because of the positive feedback. Picture from True Leaf Market.
Rosella cherry is a small, purplish red cherry. It looks a bit like a smaller version of Black Cherry. Very good flavor and it produces long trusses. Rosella is a popular name for tomato varieties, so be aware there are Rosella Purple and Rosella Crimson tomatoes as well. Both of those are large fruits. Rosella cherry is a large sprawling plant. Picture from Baker Creek Seeds, where we purchased our seeds.
Sungold is always a favorite. People have different preferences in regard to tomato flavors but Sungold is one that most agree is very good. It's a hybrid and many growers have attempted to de-hybridize it with varying degrees of success. Some hybrids go back to being open pollenated easily, but Sungold is not one of them. These attempts have, however, often resulted in other great varieties being developed.
Sungold is an orange cherry with thin skin. It produces prolifically and is usually one of the earlier tomatoes to ripen. The flavor is sweet but complex. Picture from Territorial Seed.
Sunsugar is a relative of Sungold. It's also a hybrid, from the same company as Sungold. It was requested more than once last year, so it's on the list this year. It's claim to fame seems to be that it's more crack resistant than Sungold, but most of it's other characteristics are the same. Picture from Totally Tomatoes.
Indigo Cherry Drop is new to us this year, as well. Not to be confused with Indigo Pear Drop, which we've grown for some time and which is a favorite of mine. Indigo Cherry Drop is a round red cherry with anthocyanin (or antho) shoulders. Anthocyanin is an antioxidant that has been bred into tomatoes in the last decade and a half or so from wild varieties. It turns the tomato's skin blue in those places where it's exposed to the sun. So it typically shows itself on the top of the tomato or along one side. You have to look underneath to the non-exposed areas to see if they've turned a ripe color.
These are supposed to be very sweet and a larger cherry. This is another one we're growing because of a request last year. Picture from Totally Tomatoes, where the seeds where purchased.
Snow White cherry is described as extremely sweet and flavorful. I've seen it recommended in multiple places lately and finally succumbed to temptation and bought the seeds. In tomatoes, white means light yellow and is usually associated with a less acidic flavor. These are supposed to be excellent. To see the review that pushed me over the edge, check out Bounty Hunter Seeds' taste test. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCyAj6TCJBI
Picture from Bounty Hunter Seeds, where the seeds were purchased.
Brad's Atomic Grape tomato is a great variety. It's a multicolored grape type with a sweet flavor and skin that doesn't crack easily. You have to wait for some of it's streaks to turn red in order determine it's ripeness, though feeling for that soft ripe feel can also work. These are delightful and pretty. I have a co-worker who got one from us and he's been raving about it every since. I can't blame him, these are super. Picture from Baker Creek Seeds.
I'm leaving this picture enlarged so you can see that not all the tomatoes here are totally ripe. Some are mostly green in the places where there's no antho. You want to wait until they get red or orange stripes.
Indigo Pear Drop is one of the sweetest, easiest to grow cherry types in my opinion. This plant will take less than ideal soil and more shade than tomatoes typically like and keep turning out beautiful, tasty pear shaped yellow/orange cherries with antho shoulders. It's one of my favorites. Picture from Woodlands Creationz seeds, where the original seeds were purchased from.
Red Grape tomato is an elongated red cherry. The plants are vigorous and productive. A great mainstay producer. Picture from Burpee Seeds.
That's all for now. I'll pick up with more of our cherry varieties in the next part.