**Originally I wrote this article for Bakespace.com but I haven't seen any further movement on the blog lately. I didn't want this topic to get old. It is time to get thinking about your Tomatoes!**
Why are tomatoes so important to the home gardener? Simple... a produce of intense flavor, multiple uses, an abundance of choices available, and many varieties give high yields. When I think of tomatoes I think of my grandmother's garden, and all those wonderful sauces she prepared from them. She however lived in the Northeastern United States when I was a child, I now live in the hot and humid Southeastern United states. What varieties worked for her, won't exactly work for me and not necessarily will work for you.
Things to consider before you choose a tomato:
*Your Cooking Needs
Here are a list of Types and Varieties. Some hybrids, some heirlooms, and some open pollinating hybrids. Each type is listed by popularity for different regions of the United States. If you are not in the U.S. look at the climate type listed and see how they measure up to your region.
Brandywine – Available in Red, Pink, Brown and more. A popular heirloom variety all over the country. Brandywine does particularly well in areas such as: The hot Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, interior South, shorter season North Central and Rockies, humid Gulf coast, arid Southwest, and shorter Northeastern summers. Brandywine are early developers.
Cherry Tomato Choices:
Sungold – An Open pollinating hybrid, does really well in the Midwest, Mid-atlantic, Interior-south, Northwest, Rockies, Southwest, and Northeast.
Super Sweet 100 -Another hybrid, does well in the Midwest, Mid-atlantic, Interior-south, Northwest, Rockies, Southwest, and Northeast.
Paste Tomatoes (Also good for canning):
Amish Paste– An heirloom variety that thrives in all regions of the US. Said to have an amazing flavor.
Currently the most popular colorful heirloom is the Cherokee Purple. It needs an extra long hot summer to ripen though, so it is not best for all regions. It may be a fun one to try in your garden if you are looking to try your hand at an heirloom variety this year and you have the long season it needs!
For more information on tomatoes, varieties and how to grow them check out www.MotherEarthNews.com and search tomatoes. A lot of the information in this article was found from their site using information from their readers all over the United States.
Here's a yummy Heirloom Tomato Tart by Whirlybird I found on Bakespace I can't WAIT to try this summer: