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100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden covers every facet of raising these nearly lost treasures, including when to plant seeds and transplant seedlings, ...
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100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden covers every facet of raising these nearly lost treasures, including when to plant seeds and transplant seedlings, ways to prevent foliage diseases, cultivation, propagation, and more.
Following the step-by-step how-to is a stunningly photographed and comprehensive field guide to 100 tried-and-true heirloom varieties, from the spicy Green Grape--the only true ripe-when-green cherry tomatoe-- to Omar's Lebanese--a superbly flavored pink beefsteak that can grow as large as four pounds.
Part of the fun and excitement of growing heirloom tomatoes is to experience the fantastic range of colors and tastes. First-time growers of black-type tomatoes are often astounded by the unique color. Some, unfortunately, are so put off by the unconventional appearance that they never get to truly enjoy the wonderful flavor.
There are those who claim that black tomatoes have a salty or even smoky flavor, but I've found them to be absolutely rich and sweet. When ripe, Black from Tula has prominent green shoulders and a dusky rose-black coloring. (When grown in the North, the black types don't develop the true blackish color that they do in the South.) The chocolate flesh is contrasted nicely wiht the deep green gel capsules that encase the seeds. The photograph also shows a distinctive spiral pattern of concentric cracking.
Black from Tule has a very heavy foliage cover of regular leaves, and is somewhat susceptible to early blight. The yield is moderate. It performs better for me than all the other black types except Noir de Crimee.
COLOR/SHAPE: smoky, dark reddish black with green shoulders; oblate
SIZE/ARRANGEMENT: about 10 to 12 ounces each, growing singly or in clusters of two or three
PLANT/FOLIAGE: indeterminate habit with heavy cover of regular-leaf foliage
TASTE: rich and sweet
SEEDS: available commercially
Excerpted from 100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden, copyright (c) 1999 by Smith & Hawken. Reprinted by permission of Workman Publishing.
Preface: Cultivating an Heirloom Tomato Obsession
ORIGINS OF THE TOMATO
What Is an Heirloom Tomato Variety?
Classification of Heirloom Tomatoes
SELECTING HEIRLOOM TOMATO VARIETIES
GROWING HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
Siting the Garden
Sprawling, Staking, Caging, and Pot Culture
Fermenting Tomato Seed
How to Ferment Seeds
CREATING YOUR OWN HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
Selecting for a New Variety
Dehybridizing a Naturally Created Heirloom Variety
Dehybridizing a Known Commercial Hybrid
Genetic Traits for Selection
How Many Plants Do I Have to Grow Out?
Tomato Traits and Genetics
FIELD GUIDE TO 100 HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
Commercial Sources for Seeds and Books
Seed Sources for Individual Varieties
Well-known expert and longtime member of the Seed Savers Exchange, Dr. Carolyn Male has grown thousands of tomato plants. Here she chooses her favorite one hundred heirloom varieties. She gives details on each variety, including how it is used, its size, shape and arrangement on the vine (i.e. clusters) and how it measures up to standards of taste, yield, disease resistance and plant vitality. She also provides the colorful histories without succumbing to repetition of unproven legend. Each variety description is paired with a glorious full-page color photo, including the vine, leaves, fruits on the vine and usually one sliced so you can what's inside. There are also separate sections on disease prevention and treatment and step by step directions on seed starting, raising seedlings, transplanting outside, care, harvest and seed saving using fermentation.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 18, 2010
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