Choosing Varieties of Heirloom Tomato Seeds

AuldSodLG2Growing heirloom tomato seeds will provide nutritious produce with delicious flavor. Whether you prefer canning, fresh salads, sauces, salsas, or simply sprinkled with sugar, salt or pepper, the rich flavor of sun-ripened tomatoes fresh from the vine will never be quenched by commercially grown hybrids. Open-pollination differentiates this type of seed from man-made hybrids and GMO’s.  Gathering seeds at the end of the season for replanting in the spring creates a sustainable gardening lifestyle. Heirloom tomato seeds collected from throughout the world offer gardeners a wide variety to choose from, with options for every climate.

Tomato plants grow healthy vines loaded with fruit which will ripen throughout the season, adding nutrients and color to meals. The seeds should be started indoors several weeks before transplanting outdoors, according to package directions. Pinching back the tops when transplanting will help the plant thrive, and many gardeners will place a can, milk jug or other protection around the plant for several weeks. Cut worms can wreak havoc on tender tomato vines; several nails placed around the base of the plant will prevent them from killing the plant.

Many varieties of heirloom tomato seeds are available to plant depending upon their intended use. Some popular varieties include:

Bi-colored varieties: Gardeners who are new to these will be surprised. Some of these, such as the Striped German Tomato Seeds include light colored stripes, which if you wait until they turn color, it will be too late! The dark colored Vintage Wine Tomato turns a deep chocolaty-red while retaining green stripes. Both of these varieties bear meaty fruit weighing one pound plus!BensIvoryPear2

White tomato seeds: Ben’s Ivory Pear Tomato Seeds (shown to right) are an example of this variety and are considered a very rare seed that only takes 86 days to germinate. Kids will enjoy their shape and color, while everyone enjoys their sweet taste, reminiscent of apricots.

Red/Pink Tomato seeds: Just in case you thought we forgot traditional varieties, this area is packed full of your all-time favorites! Pink cherry tomatoes, beefy Petrillo seeds and traditional Plainsman Tomato seeds are just a few of the numerous varieties featured here. Red Rock tomatoes are an all-around popular slicer that also works well for canning. It is uniform in size, disease and crack-resistant and at 69 days, will be an early and prolific producer.

Growing heirloom tomato seeds will reward gardeners with the flavor they expect. These varieties have existed for hundreds of years and are hardier than you might expect, however they will thrive and maximize production when treated with care. Supports including staking and cages will help prevent the vines from breaking. Adequate watering and fertilizer will improve production, although for drought-resistant varieties be sure and check out Dry Farmed Varieties. By choosing heirloom tomato seeds you will be able to produce organic produce at home for a fraction of the price charged by stores and farmers markets, while creating a sustainable gardening lifestyle.