Not all heirloom tomatoes, including most of the heavily-ribbed varieties such as Beefsteak and this rare Zapotec Pleated variety, are pretty and smooth - but they make up for looks with exceptional flavor. After washing the sticky jell off tomato seed, I dab them onto paper towels to dry, then cut the paper into small bits, each with a seed, to plant the following spring.
Slow-Roasted Roma Tomatoes
With their low juice content, roma tomatoes are perfect for making slow-roasted tomatoes, which are oven-roasted for seven hours or more. Freeze slow-roasted roma tomatoes in snack size zipper bags for easy access in winter to add to pizza, bruschetta or sauces.
Get the season-long production of an indeterminate tomato in a determinate tomato package with ‘Tidy Rose’ tomato. This plant grows well in containers or small patio gardens. ‘Tidy Rose’ is a beefsteak type tomato that produces fruits weighing 5 to 7 ounces.
One way to help reduce outbreaks of disease in your heirloom tomato patch is to stake plants. Staking tomato plants with stakes or cages keep plants upright and improves air circulation around leaves, which is a key to reducing diseases. Drip irrigation helps keep leaves dry, which also reduces disease outbreaks.
Colored plastic mulches are the result of university research, which has shown that certain vegetables have higher yields when grown on colored plastic mulch. The increased yields are most pronounced with plants growing under less-than-ideal conditions, such as less than six hours of sun daily. Red is the color for tomatoes. Other colors include green or blue for melons, silver for peppers and blue for summer squash (like zucchini or patty pan) and cucumbers.
Tasty and packed with protein, these simple tomato bites are a great way to fill up guests on the cheap. As seen on Food Network, Robert Irvine shares his recipe for stuffing cherry tomatoes with a delicious chicken apple filling.
Tomatoes crack as a result of hot weather and heavy rain. Typically it occurs when summer thunderstorms soak dry soil, plants rapidly suck up the water, and ripening tomatoes enlarge so quickly that they burst their skins. The best defense against this issue is twofold. First, keep soil where you grow tomatoes moist by regular watering and mulch. Second, when heavy rain is forecast, harvest nearly ripe tomatoes. You can let them finish ripening indoors. Some tomato varieties are prone to cracking, including most cherry tomatoes.
Hot summer sun can burn tomatoes, causing a condition known as sunscald. It’s not much different from a sunburn on your skin. Sunscald results in a white patch that has very thin skin. The flesh beneath doesn’t taste good. The problem occurs when there aren’t enough leaves to shade fruit. Staking tomatoes or using cages helps leaves to dangle and cover fruit. Use care when pruning tomato leaves. Make sure you don’t remove all the leaves that shade ripening tomatoes.