shown above include Sweetie, Red
Pear, Black Cherry, Orange Banana, Indigo Apple,
Paul Robeson, Green Zebra, Pink Accordion, Ruby
Gold, Cosmonaut Volkov and Rutgers.
range in size from quarter-inch cherries to 1- or 2-pound
beefsteaks. The smaller the fruit size, the more prodigious the
harvest. Some cherry tomatoes can yield hundreds of fruits while
larger beefsteak varieties will produce a dozen or less. To
maximize your harvest, focus on mid-sized tomatoes, then round
out your selections with cherry and beefsteak varieties.
Top performing Heirlooms this year:
An early (65 days to harvest), consistent producer even in a
cool summer; few blemishes. The 8- to 12-ounce flattened red
globes have a rich, full-bodied flavor that is great for that
first tomato sandwich. It was named by Igor Maslov, a Russian
space engineer, for his friend, Vladislow Volkov, a cosmonaut
who died when his spaceship crashed.
One the few pinks I have found with wonderful flavor. It has
semi-hollow fruit suitable for stuffing, and its stunning
ruffled accordion look when sliced adds art to a plate of
‘Ruby Gold’: A
beefsteak tomato with pale yellow flesh streaked with red.
Meaty, with a mild sweetness and little to no acidity.
This medium-sized 8-ounce orange is meaty, sweet and usually
blemish-free. This All America Selections winner from 1943 is a
cross between ‘Tangerine’ and ‘Rutgers.’
‘Japanese Black Trifele’ – A black tomato the size and shape of a Bartlett pear.
Despite its name, it’s a Russian heirloom with a rich, subtle
smoky flavor. Few blemishes and a good producer.
Evergreen’: Introduced in 1956 by Glecklers Seedmen of Metamora,
Ohio, this medium-sized beefsteak is a prolific producer of
fruit that is sweet but not too sweet. It’s ripe when the outer
skin turns yellow but the inside remains a brilliant green. Some
have pink striping at the blossom end.
The first white tomato, a paste type, with a surprising flavor.
It is white to pale yellow when ripe and adds color to homemade
Heirloom Tomato Catalog Sources:
Fedco: A grower’s
co-op. Excellent prices. Honest descriptions.
Baker Creek: All
Seed Savers: A
great organization devoted to preserving heirloom seeds.
High-quality seeds; free shipping last season.
Johnny’s: A good
source of newer hybrids.
Fall gardening tasks
Succulents in Flower Pots