What Color is Your Tomato?

| 3/13/2013 9:33:40 AM

Karen NewcombWarmer weather and the thought of spring send a gardeners imagination into overdrive.  Tomatoes in the garden are a tradition, and we tend to plant the same variety year after year.  A trip to the local nursery may have some colored varieties, but if not buy the seed and start them yourself.

Who doesn’t love a great tasting slice of tomato, picked fresh from the vine?  But why stop with one of hundreds of the red varieties?  What if you grew a rainbow array of red, white, green, pink, purple/black, striped, yellow and orange slicing tomatoes, planted side by side for a visual extravaganza?  Imagine that translating into a platter of fresh sliced tomatoes set before your dinner guests.  Perhaps with thin slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and topped with garden fresh basil and drizzled with a good olive oil.  Yum!

Let’s start with a good red variety.  While heirloom tomatoes have become the popular choice the past few years, you may prefer planting hybrids.  I would also recommend, if you have the garden space, plant an early, midseason, and late variety.  If space is limited plant for the main season.  If you live in a short season growing area, I recommend the early varieties. You can find the heirloom varieties below from Annie’s Heirloom Seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Bountiful Gardens, Seed Savers Exchange, Terroir Seeds, and Totally Tomatoes.  For a complete list of heirloom and hybrid tomatoes and where to purchase the seed visit:

Red slicing tomatoes 

Early varieties 

Marmande 70 days.  A French heirloom that is scarlet, lightly ribbed and full of flavor.  Medium-large size red tomato that produces even in cool weather.  Semi-determinate plant. 

Stupice (OP) 65 days.  This is a Czechoslovakia variety.  It is red with small to medium-sized, 3-6 ounce fruit.  Indeterminate plant.  This would be a good variety for short season areas.

Kathleen Snyder
4/17/2013 4:20:19 AM

I like to see some info about the best canning and paste tomatoes ......

3/15/2013 3:57:01 PM

Karen, Welcome to the GRIT blogging community. From reading your first post, it's for sure you will be a great asset to all our GRIT bloggers. I just haven't gotten past the fact that a tomato doesn't have to be red. It's just a physiological thing for me. Purple, black, and yellow just aren't what a tomato is supposed to look like. I guess I'm just too last century and having a hard time coming into the modern culture of multicolored tomatoes. So out of all those tomatoes, which one in your favorite to grow? Have a great tomato raising day.