It’s the crazy tomato lady again. Yes, I went overboard again this year and have three raised beds of tomatoes. If you have followed my blog over the years, you will know I am just slightly crazy about tomatoes. There are so many kinds of tomatoes to grow and I want to try them all. Today I want to share with you six great tomatoes to grow on the lower mainland of BC. I know what you are thinking, tomatoes are fussy and get blight easily. The blight thing I get but this year I rigged up covers that worked to keep the rain off. Tomatoes aren’t as fussy as people think. They just need a good start and proper supports as some plants can grow very tall. If you want healthy plants, buy them from someone who specializes in tomatoes. We are passionate about our selection and how we grow them. They are fawned over when babies like they are our own children. If you want to start tomatoes from seed, look no further as all of mine are grown from seed. Seeds are easy to start.
Often we have cool summers and those huge beefsteak tomatoes don’t ripen until late summer. It’s best to grow a short season tomato like Stupice for an early crop. I picked two pounds of Stupice tomatoes yesterday and have to pick again soon. Stupice is a perfectly round red tomato about the size of a golf ball. It’s slightly acidic but great for salads.
One of my most sought after tomatoes is San Marzano. I grew one flat of eighteen plants this year and sold twelve to one person. I will remember to grow more next year. It’s not the earliest tomato to ripen. I have had one tomato so far and as you can see they are still green. San Marzano tomatoes are paste tomatoes sought after for cooking.
One of the new tomatoes I grew this year is Kellogg’s Breakfast. This meaty orange beefsteak produced its first tomato weighing in at 1.5 pounds. The one above is just about ready to pick. There is nothing better than having one slice fill a sandwich. This is one tomato I will grow again. I would suggest growing this from seedlings as it does take longer to grow. Seeds would need to be started inside in March for this plant to mature for the home gardener.
I starting growing tomatoes for a seed bank several years ago. I love taking a limited amount of seed and being able to save hundreds more for the seed bank. Above is Sylvan Gaume which is a lovely tomato. It’s a bit of a funny grower with branches this way and that but certainly worth the effort after tasting this one. Tomatoes range from 2″-4″ across and are delicious fresh.
Another great tomato to grow is King Humbert, an Italian heirloom. It’s a paste tomato with excellent flavour. Unlike many paste tomatoes that have very meaty flesh, this one is juicy and great for fresh slicing as well as cooking.
I would be amiss not to mention my favourite red cherry tomato called Peacevine. I have had excellent feedback from customers about this plant. It can grow to five feet high but it’s so productive you will be picking cherry tomatoes almost everyday. The fruit hangs in large clusters making it hard to resist popping one in the mouth as you walk by.