The more tomato varieties you grow – especially if you delve into the wonderful world of heirlooms – the more you realize that not all tomato plants look alike. Look closely at the leaves and you will find lots of variations; once you become familiar with a particularly favorite variety, you may even be able to distinguish it early on just by its leaves. Pictures tell the story and take the mystery away from the commonly used tomato foliage terms "regular leaf" and "potato leaf."
Enemy forces seemed to converge over my indoor green thumbs this year, resulting in a near complete seedling failure. What happens when undetermined circumstances produce "lemons?" You make lemonade, of course. Blythe shares how her failed seedling crop may just have changed how she manages her springtimes from here on out.
I start a lot of seedlings each spring – far more than I can fit in my garden. We don’t have much room – this is our home, after all, not a nursery. Yet, with a sunny south facing window, some inexpensive heat mats, a garage with suspended shop lights and sunny driveway, I start hundreds (in some years, thousands) of seedlings successfully. Here are what I consider to be a list of the most important details to pay close attention to.
A hybrid is simply two different plant varieties crossed for specific reasons. You can save the seeds produced by these, contrary to what you may have heard. It’s just more complicated than saving heirloom or open-pollinated seeds.
There are always more decisions for the tomato enthusiast. This blog will help to untangle the confusion around often-misused terms and lead to more appropriate choices for each gardener.
We wanted to know how ‘Indigo Rose’ tomato flavor really stacks up against catalog descriptions, so we asked real-world gardeners to provide reviews.
With so many tomato varieties available, choosing which to grow can be a daunting challenge. By understanding the difference between indeterminate, determinate and dwarf tomato varieties, better decisions for your particular growing conditions and needs can be made.
To be an avid gardener means you need to have special skills. Here's a list of 7 abilities that will take you to the next level.
Yes, you can freeze whole tomatoes! Preserve the harvest in a flash and save the saucing for later.
This is a perfect time for reflection and planning, because the 2016 gardening season is peeking around the corner. Seed catalogs are arriving. I am sure that all of us are really missing freshly picked tomatoes. Here are 5 ideas to use in planning your 2016 tomato garden.
In Part 1, I posted a series of questions to ponder over the winter. Now it's time to take things further and start to devise a tomato growing garden plan for next year.
For much of the country, the tomatoes we are eating now are not the prized specimens plucked from our gardens. They are emerging from our cupboards (dried, canned) or freezers – certainly wonderful enhancements to our cooking endeavors, but not elucidating the summer time level of excitement. But the end of the growing season doesn’t equate to a long, tomato thoughts-free sabbatical. This post outlines how to be planning for next tomato-growing season.
'Orange Jazz' is a productive new tomato variety bred on Baia Nicchia Farm. It has a sweet-complex flavor, with hints of stone-fruit and unique coloration with yellow stripes over orange flesh.
String weaving is a good method for training and supporting long rows of tomato plants. Plan now for next year’s crop. All you need is a simple handmade tool, stakes and twine. The winter storage space for the equipment is much smaller than with other support systems.
So, what to do when you are eating tomatoes at every meal and still have them coming? It is time to preserve them! There are 3 easy ways to preserve the tomato harvest for fresh from the garden taste year round: freezing, water bath canning, and drying.
An abundant harvest of cherry tomatoes can be roasted to make a tomato preserve called tomato confit. The recipe is simple, and the tomato confit can be used to make tomato tarts and tomato bruschetta.
You do not have to have “land” to farm. You can farm where ever you are. A 10th of an acre is enough and, on some days, more than you would want to can handle. Make the best use of your space, care for your soil, be thrifty with water and enjoy the garden and the fruits of your labor.
A transplanting that's done correctly will expedite resumed growth and encourage healthy plants. Here are some simple tips about when and how to transplant brassica, lettuce and tomatoes.
When you save your own seeds,you choose what characteristics you want to preserve by your careful selections. Seed saving is an adventure waiting to happen in your own garden.
I try a number of new-to-me tomato varieties every year, and they come from a variety of places. Here I will introduce you to some of my favorite sources for tomato seeds.
Tap the Tomato Chooser app for info on 333 tomato varieties, plus help deciding which tomatoes to grow in your garden based on the traits you want.
What can you do with mounds of green tomatoes? Turn them into the best enchilada sauce you'll ever have.
This year I took several liberties in developing a new version of salsa verde. I don't grow tomatillos so I use green tomatoes. I won't call it salsa verde (except on the lids of my jars), because it isn't authentic. But let me tell you, it is GOOD. Here is Annie’s Green Tomato Salsa Recipe good for use when water bath canning.
Arguably America's oldest ice cream company, Bassetts, is still a fixture at Philly's Reading Terminal Market. Both it and the Jersey Tomato hail from Salem, New Jersey, and therein lies the heritage tale.
Canning won't heat up your house when you set up your own portable outdoor canning kitchen.
With bumper crops of tomatoes coming, there are some simple ways to preserve the fresh off the vine taste year round, no special equipment required.
Use garden tomatoes and in-season avocado to create a simple, yet satisfying sandwich.
Separate the tomato water from tomato pulp to make a delicious broth.
Fire roasting is the key to incredibly flavorful canned salsa.
Use green tomatoes from your vegetable garden to create a refreshing summer avocado salsa.
The Drought Pod experiment assists growing tomatoes in drought.
Few other vegetables represent summer as a sun-ripe, homegrown tomato does.This is how we raise and plant tomatoes at the Deer Isle Hostel and Homestead.
There are many tomato tales out there. If you want to know which farmer stories are true, read on to get tips on growing great tomatoes.
Not enough hours in the day? Want to make tomato sauce but are short on time? Use this recipe to make great-tasting tomato sauce (using frozen tomatoes)at your leisure. Perfect for pressure canning and delicious!
With the Drought Pod, the organic mass is inside the pod where it never dries out and by planting the tomatoes, or any vegetable directly beside the barrel, the plant roots can tap into the nutrients and moisture as they so choose.
Jump start your tomato harvest two months before everyone else with these simple instructions!
Home experiment reveals tomato seedlings started in water heated in a microwave do not grow well. How different are we from plants?
Some tomato varieties wilt when temperatures get too hot. Find heat-tolerant tomato varieties that can grow robust tomato plants in hot climates.
Learning how to graft tomatoes yourself not only saves money but gives you unlimited options for what varieties you choose to graft. With a little practice, you can become skilled at this worthwhile technique.
Creating a landrace of promiscuously pollinated tomatoes. Details about my major plant breeding project for the next few seasons and a plea for help.
Readers responded eagerly to our call for recipes to use up green tomatoes. An Ohio woman wowed the judges with her entry.
I learned an important gardening lesson from fighting tomato blight.
It takes a few good rationalizations to get through the busiest part of the growing season.
A perfectly ripe heirloom tomato is one of the great joys of summer, here are some tips for organizing your own heirloom tomato party.
Use these green tomato recipes when garden season leaves you with an abundance of green tomatoes on your vines.
Tomatoes are a great vegetable, perfect for all occasions and relatively easy to grow. Here is a way to double, even triple your seedlings while boosting your existing ones.
EZ Tomato Cages are the brainstorm of two friends, both fed up with purchasing tomato cages that were cheaply fabricated, weak and difficult to store.
We're getting revved up for winter seed swaps, and planning our tomato plantings to account for all the great tasting events next summer and fall. Find out how to find your own local events, or host your own!
In this piece, author Mary Moss-Sprague discusses the simple pleasures of tasty, home-canned tomato preserves.
Have you ever had leftover bread, but you don't want to throw it away or give it to the birds? Here's what you do: Panzanella. This Italian salad will throw your taste buds for a loop, and it all starts with leftover, stale bread.
Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.
Tackling the old wives tale I heard recently down at the hardware store how a penny inserted into the flesh of a tomato plant stalk will help that plant fight off or maybe prevent a blight attack along with data on trying to trap a wild rabbit.
If you've been wondering how to dehrydrate tomatoes, look no further! We've compiled step-by-step instructions on solar dehydrating tomatoes, complete with photos from our own experience drying veggies in the solar dryer at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office.
Describes the process of forming a community garden from the physical and energetic standpoints. The power of teamwork, the joy of accomplishment and the building of a feeling of group unity are described.
A report on the potato onion taste test and some details on the annual tomato harvest and storage methods along with digging up ragweed plants.
Learn how to use less energy canning tomato products.
Solar food drying is incredibly easy with a solar food dehydrator, which requires very little effort to make perfectly preserved produce.
Describes a method of protecting tomatoes from excessive heat using a sunscreen, vermicompost tea, pulling blighted leaves.
Tips for keeping your tomato plants healthy.
Summer intern Megan describes her first time gardening at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, planting cucumbers for the first time and watering the office garden.
Here are two helpful tips that will help you have a successful tomato plant.
Part of gardening is knowing what to do with your veggies after you've grown them. Here, we will examine what to do with those pie pumpkins this upcoming Fall.
At the gardens of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, we're preparing to plant sweet potato slips, hardening off transplants, and enjoying an abundance of spring cabbage. Learn tips and tricks for getting your transplants ready for the great outdoors.
This crustless quiche is easy to make, and the flavor of the roasted tomatoes permeates every delicious bite.
Spring is here and those tomato plants that were started in January are settled into their new hoophouse home. I have hopes for early tomatoes; will a late freeze stifle this goal?
Tomato frenzy has begun! Here are the tomato varieties I'm growing in my 2012 vegetable garden.
Sue Parker shares her grandmother's secrets to a strong tomato crop.
Having early tomatoes is a new goal of mine going into the first spring with my hoophouse. Join me and follow my blog to see if my strategies work.
“Black” tomatoes still reign with the best of the reds and pinks bi-colored and cherry tomatoes still growing in popularity.
Try something really unusual on your toast or English muffin: Tomato jam. And it tastes really, really good!
Check out the best photos of Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Long’s first harvest of heirloom tomatoes this summer.
Creating tomato grafts may be a great way to grow tomatoes organically. Tomato grafting has emerged as one good way to bring resistance to soilborne diseases to susceptible heirloom varieties.
You don't need vegan recipes to cook vegan. Make delicious vegan dishes out of regular recipes by substituting tofu for meat in chicken-cauliflower salad. In dairy-based recipes, such as wheat berry pudding, use vanilla coconut milk in place of dairy milk. Pair with crusty white bread and avocado-corn salsa for a delicious vegan meal!
Done with flimsy, store-bought tomato cages that fall over when the wind blows? Build long-lasting, heavy-duty tomato cages to fit your garden with one of our four plans.
Don't waste your green tomatoes! Pull them off the vine before the frost comes and ripen them indoors.
What is the strongest, easiest-to-store tomato cage you’ve used?
A homemade solar food dryer allows you to dry tomatoes and apples for delicious and nutritious winter snacks and addition to your meals.
I’ve learned that gardening in small spaces can be challenging, but I’ve had great success with a Topsy Turvy tomato planter this year. Have you used similar products in your home? How do you handle gardening in small spaces?
One reader submits a photo of her tomato harvest, shaped in the form of a peace sign. Don't forget to submit your own photos to our CU Photo Gallery. Maybe your favorite moments will pop up on the homepage one day for all the world to see!
Consider grafting your favorite tomato varieties onto disease-resistant rootstock to foil soilborne diseases.
Editor in chief Cheryl Long explains how to find the best-tasting vegetable varieties to plant in your garden, and talks about three of her favorites: ‘Carmen’ sweet peppers, ‘Sungold’ cherry tomatoes and ‘Floriani’ grain corn.
Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.
The staff at MOTHER EARTH NEWS plants tomatoes and peppers during a seed-planting project at the office.
The experience of growing one's first garden is a thrill one will never forget.
Amy Goldman has done gardeners an unprecedented service with The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table, an excellent source for comprehensive flavor ratings of 200 heirloom tomato varieties.
How to make canned green tomato relish.
How to make Thai-inspired fried green tomatoes.
How to roast green tomatoes to be eaten alone or to boost the flavor of other recipes.
Learn how to make fried green tomatoes with a cheesy crust with this twist on a classic Southern recipe.
Readers share tips and tricks for storing green tomatoes and keeping them longer.
Readers share recipes and ideas for using up all those end-of-season green tomatoes.
Find out the pros and cons of using aluminum cookware, and learn how to distinguish aluminum from stainless steel.
Find out the risks of growing food plants on galvanized wire, and what precautions you should take when handling galvanized materials.
To better accommodate the planting schedule of gardeners in the southern United States, California’s Natural Gardening Company will make a dozen varieties of tomato transplants available by mid-August.
Learn how to make your own plant supports; perfect for tomatoes or similar vine fruits and vegetables.
Don't want your tomatoes to rot? Treat the problem here!
Have you kept up with the recent salmonella outbreak in tomatoes? According to the Centers for Disease control, the outbreak may have moved on to hot peppers.
Still anxious about the Salmonella found in tomatoes? Although some cases have been reported as recently as late June, don’t let it stop you from enjoying fresh, seasonal tomatoes.
Try these organic techniques to help prevent tomato early blight.
Bruschetta, the classic Italian appetizer, brings out the best of a few basic ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil and fresh bread.