Help! I have grown way too many tomatoes again. I get into planting mode and don’t know when to stop. So I am having a plant sale this weekend. Not only will I have over 500 heirloom tomato plants, there will be vegetable and herb seedlings as well. If you are looking for perennials, a colleague of mine is bringing his collection of plants to sell. Many of my tomato seedlings are grown from seed that I have saved over the years. That means they are suited to growing in our climate here in Delta.
On the list you will see names of tomatoes you have never heard of before. Plants like King Humbert tomato which was named to honour Umberto, king of Italy in 1878. The fruit is fig shaped and has a wonderful flavour. Even though its classed as a paste tomato its not as meaty as most. I loved using it sliced into salads last summer. King Humbert tomato is a determinate plant so it grows to about three feet high and produces most of its fruit all at once. That makes it great for canning or making tomato sauce.
The red and yellow pear tomatoes are heirlooms dating back to the 1800’s. I treat them like a cherry tomato and enjoy popping one or two in my mouth as I work. After all a gardener gets hungry when in the garden. I have a few of my personal favourites again this year with Wapsipinicon Peach topping the charts for the best yellow tomato. Its golf ball sized fruit is so sweet and not as acidic as some of the reds. You will also find traditional favourites such as Mortgage Lifter, a large dark red heirloom tomato. The Mortgage Lifter tomato is well known as it got its name from the man who developed it and sold enough plants to pay off his mortgage of $6000. Wouldn’t we all love to do the same? If only mortgages were that low.
Many people come to my sale looking for tomatoes I may have grown the previous year. I try to grow a lot of the more popular heirlooms but each year some of my old seed is grown out so I can collect seed in the fall for new plants. Yes, I rotate the tomato types each year so I don’t risk seeds being too old to germinate. Here is a list of the tomato plants I will have for sale this weekend.
Paste & Canning tomatoes:
Japanese Orange Trifele
Dwarf Tomato Project Plants:
Dwarf Victoria #1
Dwarf Arctic Rose
All my tomato plants are outside now and are able to be planted in the garden. It looks like May is bringing us the warm nights that tomato plants require. Tomato plants like it to be 10C at night to do well. So save the date: May 6 from 9-2 at 4606 Arthur drive in Ladner. Parking is limited so park on a side street and walk over.