Posted on 03 April 2009 by

Instant Tomatoes (Just Add Water)

tomatomaniaBy Scott Daigre, Tomatomania guest post

If only there was such a thing.

Whether growing in San Diego or Syracuse all tomato gardeners suffer from one common malady; impatience.

Since you pulled out last year’s plants you know you’ve been dreaming of “next year” while enduring store-bought tomatoes.

But then it seems you plant new seedlings and have to wait until summer’s almost over for this year’s crop to ripen!

There’s a solution to that waiting game. Plant short season varieties that will get you the very first available tomato of the season.

Last year after their TOMATOMANIA! weekend the folks at White Flower Farm in Connecticut, the venerable plant purveyors, decided to find out which tomato variety among their wide selection would fruit first. They chose 12 early varieties for their “Tomato Derby” and planted two of each in their test field just before Memorial Day.

One of each pair was planted in a well amended garden row, its partner in a suitably prepared container. All were fertilized, watered and cared for on the same schedule.

Yes, they waited patiently, and by July 4th, after a dramatic stretch run, they had their winner. Matina, a small red heirloom variety, was winner by a nose. In Place and Show, in what was practically a photo finish, were Stupice, the Czech heirloom, and Prairie Fire, a well known hybrid sprinter. All smallish reds, the top three were all planted in containers. Their grounded partners followed (and fruited) in fine style, ten to fourteen days later.

So whether your summers are uncomfortably abbreviated or (like me) you just have no patience at all, plant short season varieties in containers for the best – and quickest — results. If not these Derby winners, try Taxi, Golden Mama, Oregon Spring or Ida Gold. The heirloom group known as the Siberians (yes, they even work there!) are also very reliable. These are tomatoes created or selected with your impatience in mind.

So don’t forsake your favorite beefsteak variety but satiate your desire for immediate gratification with one or more of these choices this summer!

It’s almost like having an instant tomato!

3 Responses to “Instant Tomatoes (Just Add Water)”

  1. our friend Ben Says:

    Great post!!! I’ll add these to my list. Thanks for the recommendations!

  2. Patsi Says:

    Plant short season varieties is a great suggestion for us impatient gardeners.
    We found that Russian heirlooms are good for that also.

  3. Growing Tomatoes Guide Says:

    Planting short season varieties tomatoes in containers is a great idea to get you the very first available tomato of the season. Container vegetable gardening is a excellent choice for the first time home gardeners because there are no weeds, no digging, nor any need to rotate crops. Get a few plants established and give them reasonable care, and soon you’ll have — great results! Most important is to choose large enough containers or pots (larger is better) and to water properly.

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