By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter
I will have to say I am a tomato lover.
I just love those little globes of red delight that sometimes springs love.
But when I think about tomatoes, I always think of the color red and romance.
For me, there is no other color for tomatoes then red but guess what; tomatoes come in a rainbow of colors.
Tomatoes can come in a range of colors that includes creamy white to lime green and pink, yellow, golden orange, and the favorite red. As a matter of fact, the red tomato is so popular that there are 434 different red varieties. The next most popular is orange to yellow colored tomatoes, which include 82 varieties along with 62 pink to purple and 62 varieties that are different then those listed.
When picking your tomatoes, keep in mind that color is deeper then skin deep. It even has an affect on the taste of the tomato. Tomatoes that are not red tend to be milder in flavor. Yellow and/or orange tomatoes have a little stronger flavor while those with unusual hues have unique flavors. Black and purple tomatoes tend to have a hint of saltiness and a winey flavor. While white tomatoes have their own flavor.
Combining these different colored tomatoes in the garden, not only adds variety in appearance but also in taste.
But regardless of the color of fruit you choose, the most important thing is to pick plants that are healthy. When choosing plants do not be fooled into believing that you can get a jump on the season by picking plants that are blooming and/or fruiting. Planting these plants with the blooms and fruits attached will cause a lot of plant stress. This stress can cause the plant to drop the blooms and/or flowers, decreased quality of fruit or death of the plant.
The better choice is to pick a plant that is not too leggy; leaves are unblemished and clear of disease, and bloom and/or fruit free.
If you buy plants with blooms and/or fruit, make sure to remove these reproductive structures before planting in the garden space. Keep in mind though, that these structures will need to be removed carefully. The best approach is to pinch off each individual bloom and/or fruit. Dispose of both of these in the trash and not in the compost pile.
So until we blog again, colors in nature provide signals of warning to passersby. Tomato colors, on the other hand, open the window to a world of possibilities in taste and culture.