Heirloom Tomato, Pepper and Onion Varieties We are Trying This Spring

Reader Contribution by Jenny Underwood
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by Hudson Valley Seed Company
Hudson Valley Seed Company offers 'Amish Paste': https://hudsonvalleyseed.com/products/amish-paste-tomato

We are now in early planting season. Unfortunately, it is way too wet right now to break our garden and really still a bit chilly (still chances to drop into the 20-degree Fahrenheit range at night), but I’m itching to get in the dirt. Yet, we can still actively work on our gardens.

First, we have our vegetable seeds started in pots under a grow light in our warm living room. In fact, our tomato seeds sprouted yesterday!  The peppers take a bit longer and the native flower seeds will take even longer but so far, everything is off to a good start. The varieties we planted this year are listed below.

Tomatoes

‘White Tomosil’, ‘Amish Paste’, ‘Dad’s Sunset’, ‘Rainbow’, ‘Mountain Man’.  All but the ‘Mountain Man’ are heirloom tomatoes. The Mountain Man tomato did surprise me last year and produced extremely well with delicious, pretty tomatoes.  Its only downside was that it didn’t keep well (it would start to get spotty very quickly).

The ‘Amish Paste’ were absolutely wonderful and produced huge paste tomatoes.  I had many that weighed over 12 ounces each. The ‘Dad’s Sunset’ and ‘White Tomosil’ were both delicious fresh eating tomatoes and seemed to keep nicely. The ‘Rainbow’ is a new variety for this year but from the looks of it I’m going to love it.

Peppers

‘Ozark Giant’, ‘Jimmy Nardello Italian Frying Peppers’, Jalapenos and ‘Nadapenos’ (which have the flavor but no heat). We planted all ‘Jimmy Nardello’ peppers last year for our sweet peppers and while I loved the flavor and crunch it was a major pain to process for all the salsa, relishes and sauces I made. So, this year, I opted for a large bell pepper too along with the smaller frying pepper. I also added the heat-less jalapeno because my husband loves the flavor but dislikes hot foods. However, I love hot foods and pickled jalapeno peppers are one of my things to eat.

Onions

We’ve also ordered our onion sets already.  This year we’re only planting white ones called ‘Candy’. In the past years, we’ve planted both white and red but unfortunately the reds never do as well. Next year, I’m thinking we will start our own onion sets from seed.

Today, I was able to prune my herbs and berry bushes back. I took out all the dead canes and already the new buds are forming. That’s super exciting for me. While you wouldn’t technically have to prune your berry bushes, they do so much better if you do and they look much nicer. Pruning your herbs now prevents new growth from coming up through last year’s woody growth. This is difficult to care for and looks untidy.

Jenny Underwood is a homeschooling mom of four who lives in a fifth-generation homestead in the Missouri Ozarks, where she gardens, forages, hunts and preserves food for her family. Connect with Jenny at Our Inconvenient Family.

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