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Gardeners, foodies and cooks all crave the tender, rich, juicy tomatoes that their grandparents grew.  Heirloom varieties offer that taste memory, and it is the holy grail to grow your own.

Hybrid tomatoes are perhaps “easier” to grow as they are bred to be smooth, round, red orbs with no cracks or green shoulders, etc. If your goal is high yields, or longer storage and no unsightly attributes, then a hybrid variety might be for you. While they typically don’t have the old-fashioned taste qualities, there are some that are quite good.

This category covers the bases of growing, cooking and selecting the best plant for the intended use.

Characteristics of Best Heirloom Tomato Varieties: by Color

This is a summary of the flavor, growth performance and unique qualities of what I consider to be the best heirloom tomato varieties. I have been growing, tasting and testing heirloom tomatoes since 1997 and this guide is based on that cumulative experience. It includes the characteristics of each color category of heirloom varieties. What …

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Best Tomato Cages vs Staking vs Fencing

Many people who are new to  growing heirloom tomatoes in the ground start with a tomato plant, a bag of fertilizer and a tomato “cage” purchased at a garden center.  Here are some alternatives to typical cages that will result in more tomatoes, a longer season for tomatoes and higher quality tomatoes. Range of Methods …

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How to Get the Earliest Tomatoes (Heirloom or Hybrid)

When I sell the tomato plants at the Farmers’ markets in early spring, customers are always curious about “when” they’ll get their tomatoes.  The answer is definitely one of those, “it depends”  qualifiers.  Here are a few tips to help answer this question: Criteria for Getting the Earliest Tomatoes (Heirloom or Hybrid) In general, there …

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How to Harden off Seedlings Before Transplanting Outside

Hardening off young tender plants so they can withstand the heat, wind, rain and cold swings of Spring is the most important thing you can do before transplanting seedlings in your garden, particularly if you started your plants indoors. For me, hardening off young plants is a difficult task because I grow so many of …

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Growing Food in Pots for Decks, Patios or Balconies

For many people in urban settings, growing tomatoes and edible plants in pots is necessary due to space constraints (or lack of an aread with 6 hours of direct sunlight). This video and post explains the 6 key requirements for growing food in containers or pots.  Benefits of Growing Food in Pots As noted above, …

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