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Posted on 08 April 2008 by

The Tomato Whisperer

Tomato WhispererBy Michael Nolan

Mother Nature just doesn’t seem to want to agree with my timetable for planting tomatoes this year.

Severe thunderstorms and sporadic tornado warnings notwithstanding, the temperatures will go from a balmy and beautiful 75 for several days and then plummet rather suddenly to the 30s overnight.

As any true tomato gardener knows, these conditions are just not helping me start this year’s crop.

It was just last week that I finally started the first of my tomato seeds indoors. Yes, I realize I’m late, but you seriously wouldn’t believe the weather.

Thus far this year I hope to enjoy: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 25 March 2008 by

SUN Gene Gives Tomato Its Shape

tomato-tasting.JPGBy Michelle Fabio

Ever wonder why cherry tomatoes are small and round while Romas are long and oval-shaped?

Crop scientists at Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) did, and through studies “identified one key candidate gene that was turned on at high levels in the tomato varieties carrying the elongated fruit type, while the gene was turned off in round fruit.”

They named that gene SUN after the “Sun 1642” type of tomato, which looks like a Roma with a pointy end.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 07 March 2008 by

Best Tomato Varieties for Containers

Tomato potBy Michelle Fabio

Maybe you would love to grow tomatoes but don’t have access to a plot of land that would be suitable. Well so long as you have room for a container and a sunny spot on your porch or balcony, you can have a fabulous container garden.

We recently talked about getting started in container gardening, but below you’ll find some more tomato varieties that would prosper in such an environment, as recommended by

For small varieties to be grown in 3- to 5-gallon pots: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 12 February 2008 by

The Best Tomatoes

Heirloom - TomatoCasual.comBy Michelle Fabio

Being the avid tomato gardener you are, you probably know exactly which tomatoes will be sprouting up in your garden this year.

But in case you’re still undecided, Mother Earth News has compiled a list of “America’s Favorite Tomatoes” based on the opinions of Seed Savers Exchange members as well as other tomato experts around the country.

The results of the survey talk about the differences between hybrid and open-pollinated varieties and group favorite tomatoes into categories for early growth, tomatoes for making sauce and paste and sandwiches, and for varieties called “great green and zebras” and “oranges, strawberries, and lemons.”

Go to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 05 February 2008 by

New Tasti-Lee for Sweet Tomato Lovers

Tasti-LeeBy Michelle Fabio

Who says that there are already enough tomato varieties to please everyone?

If you’re someone who loves a sweet, deep red tomato, researchers at the University of Florida had you in mind when they came up with the brand new Tasti-Lee.

The new tomato has high levels of sugar as well as red pigment, which the tomato breeders say means the Tasti-Lee provides more antioxidants than your average tomato. Red-colored lycopene is reportedly nature’s most powerful nutritional antioxidant, which means that it reduces the amount of damage done to body cells by oxygen–damage that can eventually lead to cancers, heart disease, and other illnesses.

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