A Gross Of Tomatoes

It does roll good off the tongue, doesn’t it? or is it just me?… “a gross of tomatoes”…

Except of course, they are not yet tomato plants, just 144 seeded cells with the promise of 144 seedlings. Seeded on Februray 22 (although the labels read 2/21 because I meant to do it on the 21st but did not get to them until the 22nd, and then was too lazy to change the labels). Hard to look at that one flat and think that’s a potential of 144 tomato plants. Hard not to go and seed an other gross… it seems such a long time away until we can pick tomatoes. Especially when the wind is howling outside.

tomatoes-ripening-on-vine-2008-08-161

But let i howl, let it howl, let it howl… just don’t blow away the chicken coop. or the hoophouse…

It dawned on me – finally! – how beautiful and appetizing a platter of sliced colorful tomatoes drizzled with a simple herb vinaigrette and the shredded leaves of basil is. How long did it take me to acknowledge that truth? Way too long, obviously, but I am making amends. So … I started more non-red slicing tomatoes than usual this year:

  • Marglobe – 2010 indeterminate. New to me
  • Maremmano – 2010 determinate. New to me
  • White Wonder – 2010 indeterminate. New to me.
  • Cherokee purple – 2009. A taste winner last year! moderately productive but a very dark red large tomato with green shoulders
  • German Tree – 2008 indeterminate. A super large pinkish tomato.
  • Green Zebra – 2010 indeterminate. New to me
  • Flame aka Hillbilly – 2008 indeterminate. A fat beautiful orange-y tomatoes infused with strikes of red.
  • Fantastic- 2006 indeterminate
  • Celebrity – 2005 determinate
  • Floramerica – 2005
  • Early Girl – 2005 indeterminatetomatoes-picked-2008-08-204

Although looking at the list, looks like I could add a brighter yellow in the mix. White Wonder is supposedly a pale yellow.Recommendations, any one?

More cherry tomatoes – and more colors too.

  • White Cherry
  • Black Cherry
  • Sungold
  • and Red Cherry started in January (OK, that’s going over a gross!)

I might still start some Red Currant cherry later, but those should give me lots of cherry tomatoes for drying. And some extra to sell. There seem to be a nice little demand for cherry tomatoes. They are just irresistible, nestled in a little basket, their bright little cheeks enticing you “eat me, eat me”.

Paste tomatoes for sauce, soup, tomato confit & tomato paste. I mostly planted indeterminate to spread the harvest. Roma should come handy when I am teaching my canning tomato workshops in mid-summer.

  • San Marzano Redorta – 2008 inderminate
  • Long Tom – 2008 inderminate
  • Amish Paste – 2009 indeterminate
  • Roma – 2009 determinate

Who germinated first?…. yes, we have a winner: WHITE WONDER tied with MAREMMANO! One of each is just pushing its delicate tender little neck through the grit. Always.such.an.exciting.moment. Well, yes, I live in the country. Germinating tomato IS an exciting moment.

Sigh…



7 thoughts on “A Gross Of Tomatoes”

  • That is quite a list of tomatoes and your gross of 144 tomato plants should keep you very busy this summer. My new favorite tomato that I just discovered last year is Kellogg’s Breakfast. A large yellow tomato that was so very sweet and meaty, perfect for eating fresh, drying, or even sauce.

  • That’s an impressive list, Sylvie, and your seed-starting efforts are inspiring. Up here in the frozen north, however, we don’t want to get TOO inspired, TOO soon, or wind up with leggy jungles under the lights while the ground is still frigid!I have started some leeks and lettuces, though.

    For a yellow tomato, what about the good old Jaune Flamme? I haven’t grown that for a while, but I recall it was always reliable and tasty, on the tart side (which I like) for a yellow tomato. I tried the Wapsipinicon Peach last year, and it was worth it just to be able to say the name–however: The plants were particularly blight-prone, and I got about three tomatoes total, which were delicious, and pretty, though too few.

    Have fun~ Brett

  • Brett – Thanks for the suggestions. Wapsipinicon Peach? Ok Brett say it 10 times real fast… I did try Jaune Flammee in my former city garden. They were OK – not a heavy producer if I recall correctly. Maybe I should try it again before deciding they are not the best yellow for my climate.

    So many tomatoes, so little space.

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