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Vegetables
Small-Type Tomatoes

Featured Recipes: Gardening Tips:
Tomato Disease Codes
We have listed the diseases to which select hybrids have been bred to be resistant~one of the true benefits of improved hybrids.
V: Verticilium Wilt
F: Fusarium Wilt
F1: Fusarium Wilt Race 1
F2: Fusarium Wilt Race 2
N: Nematode
A: Alternaria alternata
L: Septoria leafspot
ST: Stemphylium
TMV: Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Gardening Tips:
Green Means 'Go'
If you're wondering if your tomato plants (or any annual crops) are getting the soil fertility they need, keep an eye on the 'seed leaves'. This is the first pair of leaves to emerge when a seed sprouts and remains at the base of the stem as the plant grows. If the seed leaves stay healthy and green, you're doing something right with the soil in that row. If they are pale, yellow or withered, you need to prepare the soil more carefully next time you plant.

Juicy Fruits
The more water a vegetable contains, the more water you need to give it in dry, hot weather. Tomatoes, cukes and celery stems are especially thirsty. If you can, group them together and run a soaker hose through the patch.

Not-So-Strange Bedfellows
According to the theory of companion planting, tomatoes and basil benefit one another when grown in the same plot. Certainly, they cause each other no harm, for we have often interplanted the two in a row, especially when we're training tomatoes vertically on strings. There's plenty of space in between them for bushy basil plants. After all, they keep excellent company in the kitchen, whether you're serving fresh tomatoes strewn with the pungent green basil leaves or cooking both up into a luscious sauce for pasta. It's handy to be able to pick the two together. And who knows? Perhaps the basil's strong scent repels insect pests that might otherwise prey on the tomatoes.

Cooking Tip:
Variations on a Theme
At the height of tomato season, platters appear on the table regularly, and we never seem to get tired of them. But it’s nice to vary the dressing. Sometimes it’s just a simple vinaigrette. Sometimes its a heavier balsamic vinegar dressing with olive oil and honey. Sliced red onions are often part of the mix. Basil, either with the leaves whole or cut into ribbons, is a frequent player. And sometimes I make a pesto with my lemon basil and some good olive oil--maybe a little extra lemon as well, and some parmiggiano cheese. It stays a brighter green than other pestos, and is wonderful spooned over the tomatoes.
Taming Tomatoes
The better your tomato crop, the more important it is to support those heavy, leafy vines, laden with ripening fruits. My favorite system is to train them in circular cages~and I don’t mean those flimsy ones you buy at the garden center which are neither tall enough nor strong enough to support the weight of indeterminate (vining) varieties. Instead I purchase sheets of concrete reinforcing wire, which is sold at hardware stores in flat rectangular sheets of heavy duty metal grid, with 6”-by-6” openings. Just the right size for reaching in to pick. Each sheet, cut in half, will make two 5’ tall cylindrical cages. Cut the sheet in half with wire cutters, leaving stubs of wire that can be twisted around the opposite sides to form a cylinder about 18” in diameter. I also snip off the horizontal wire at the bottom, leaving more stubs I can poke into the earth to hold the cage steady. As the tomatoes grow you can train them a little, removing the bottom suckers up to the first fruiting branch, and guiding each uppermost tip to stay within the cage as it grows. But most of the time the vines will simply rest their elbows on the on the wire, so to speak, as they climb, remaining staunchly upright.
The Tao of Tomato Sauce
Although I tend to eat with the seasons, there’s one summer crop I’m never willing to part with when frost threatens~ tomatoes. The trouble is, I’m often too busy or lazy for the hours I’d need to can them or cook them down into sauce. Fortunately I’ve found a way to let tomato sauce “just happen”. When frost is predicted I pick all of my ripe Plum Tomatoes, rinse them off, cut out the little core at the stem end, and place them in 1-gallon sealable plastic bags, in the freezer. Whenever I need them I can take them out individually or by the bagful. I quickly slip off their skins by holding them under hot tap water for a few seconds while they’re still rock hard. This way, much less of the beautiful, nutritious pulp clings to the discarded skins. Once skinned they can be tossed into soups and stews, or turned into a completely effortless tomato sauce. To make it, I just set the frozen tomatoes in a steamer or colander, over a pot, and let the liquid drip through the holes into the pot as they thaw. This water, which is nearly clear, can be added to another recipe or discarded. Meanwhile, while I’m off doing something else, the tomatoes have become a little pile of rich, concentrated goodness~in other words, a sauce. All they need is a little olive oil, garlic and herbs.



Absolutely nothing compares to eating a sun-warmed, homegrown tomato straight off the vine. This garden mainstay is easily grown and most rewarding. Start seed in a warm, bright, well-ventilated area six to eight weeks before setting out. Transplant out after the last frost date. To encourage stockiness, sink seedlings deeper into the well-enriched soil than you grew them - soil should cover the lowest layer of leaves. Position stakes, cages or supports at that time to avoid disturbing the plants later on. Keep soil evenly moist and well-fertilized. Once harvested, store tomatoes at room temperature, as anything below 50°F destroys the enzyme which gives tomatoes their flavor.

When a variety is said to have determinate vines, it means that the vines top out and all of the fruit ripens at once. When a variety is said to have indeterminate vines it means that the vines keep growing and bearing fruit until a killing frost.

Average seed life: 2 years

     
#4255 Principe Borghesi Sun-Drying Tomatoes: 75 days
Principe Borghesi is an Italian heirloom grown exclusively for sun drying. Traditionally, the whole plant was dug up and hung out to dry in the hot Mediterranean sun. Borne heavily on compact determinate plants, it yields abundant, small, plum-shaped, ruby-red fruits with a rich tomato taste that intensifies as it dries. To dry, we suggest cutting stems of the ripe fruit and drying in a dehydrator or on a baking tray in a gas oven heated only by its pilot flame. Dry until shriveled, leathery-tough and intensely flavored. Terrific in sauces, salads, soups, stews, pasta salad and creative bruschetta toppings. (OP.)

Packet of 50 Seeds / $3.35

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#4300 Sungold Cherry Tomatoes: 65 days
This exquisite cherry tomato ripens from green to golden, but wait! Sungold isn’t fully mature until, at the last minute, it becomes pale apricot-orange. Watch for the subtle color change, then savor the intensified taste: uniquely rich and sugary, with a hint of tropical fruit. Round 1” tomatoes attached to draping, symmetrical limb-like trusses, are borne on indeterminate vines to about 3’ (VFN TMV). It may be a bit slow at first, but it yields reliably non-stop until the frost. A hands-down taste test winner, Sungold is elegant in salads, although most never make it to the kitchen. Like candy alone or terrific with goat cheese. (F1.)

Packet of 15 Seeds / $3.95

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#4305 Sugar Pearl Cherry Tomatoes: 60-65 days
Disease- and heat-tolerant, this beautiful, early maturing, uniform gem has a fresh, wonderfully sweet taste. Sugar Pearl yields loads of crisp-firm, round, bright red fruits weighing in at about a half an ounce each. Its productive, vigorous and tall indeterminate vines produce a dozen or more fruits per cluster, so staking is a must. VF. (F1.)

Packet of 15 Seeds / $3.85

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#4310 Super Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes: 65 days
An improved low-acid, “Sweet 100” variety, the name says it all: it is Super Sweet! The breeders have added a couple of features we like: crack resistance and an extra burst of sugar in each 1” fruit. Super Sweet 100 is borne thickly on draping trusses. It grows TALL on indeterminate vines, so stake it and give it room, then enjoy a bumper crop of juicy cherry tomatoes until frost. It is perfect for pasta, briefly sautéd in halves with chopped garlic and arugula in olive oil. Serve over piping hot pasta; garnish with ground pepper, parmigiana and fresh basil. (VF)(F1.)

Packet of 15 Seeds / $3.85

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#4315 Orange Pixie Large Cherry Tomatoes: 65-80 days
A outstanding find at last year’s trials, Orange Pixie yields gorgeous, deep golden-orange fruit in the shape of little pumpkins, each weighing in at about 4 ounces. They have a firm, meaty texture and exceptional flavor. A determinate variety with large, rustic rugosa leaves, it is amazingly adaptive: it will grow to just 18” tall in a container, but will stretch up to 36” if grown in the garden. (F1STA.)(F1.)

Packet of 35 Seeds / $3.55

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#4320 Red Currant Tomatoes: 70-80 days
This miniscule heirloom has won the hearts of gardeners, cooks and children alike. Currant continuously produces hundreds of tiny, tasty tomatoes as long as the weather stays warm. A wildish relative of the domesticated tomato, its vines can live with leaner soil than most and is slightly drought tolerant. The seedlings are small: grow on to about 6” tall before planting out in full sun. Give Currant’s sprawling, indeterminate plants stakes and room. They grow 3’ tall or more up and out. The diminutive fruits are intensely ‘tomato-ey’ and tart. Red Currant. (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.35

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#4325 Sungreen Cherry Tomatoes: 70 days
These lime-green cuties are anti-tart, boasting the same Brix value as Sungolds. Translation? Candy-sweet! This hard-to-find indeterminate Japanese hybrid completes the Cherry Tomato rainbow. Harvest when the fruit turns greenish-yellow is tender to the touch. TMV. (F1.)

Packet of 10 Seeds / $4.45

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#4330 Black Cherry Tomatoes: 75 days
A great find, this glistening, ebony-purple gem is a 1”, perfectly round variety with an incomparably sweet and complex flavor. Its indeterminate vines yield prolific quantities of ripe Black Cherries that are easy to spot and pick. Once you have grown them, you will have to make space for them in your garden every year. Black Cherry and Sungold are our two favorites, and are quite addictive! (OP.)

Packet of 50 Seeds / $3.65

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#4340 Yellow Currant Tomatoes: 70-80 days
This miniscule heirloom has won the hearts of gardeners, cooks and children alike. Currant continuously produces hundreds of tiny, tasty tomatoes as long as the weather stays warm. A wildish relative of the domesticated tomato, its vines can live with leaner soil than most and is slightly drought tolerant. The seedlings are small: grow on to about 6” tall before planting out in full sun. Give Currant’s sprawling, indeterminate plants stakes and room. They grow 3’ tall or more up and out. The diminutive fruits are intensely ‘tomato-ey’ and tart. Yellow Currant. (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.55

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#4345 Juliet Grape Tomatoes: 60 days
A sweet little gem from China, Juliet produces large, elongated, grape-shaped tomatoes in clusters of 13 to 30. Crack-resistant in summer's heat and sun, they have moderately thick flesh so that they can be sautéed without losing their shape like other varieties. Indeterminant.(L)(F1.)

Packet of 25 Seeds / $3.75

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#4360 Red Jelly Bean Grape Tomatoes: 60-70 days
These sweet, little gems are really like garden candy: no one will be able to resist plucking them off the vines and popping them into their mouths. Clusters of 15 to 30 crack-resistant Jelly Beans are borne on vigorous, disease-resistant(VFFAST), indeterminate vines. Easy to grow, they are small grape-shaped tomatoes that are incredibly sweet with a firm texture. We are so happy to bring you both the red and yellow Jelly Beans! Children of all ages love them. Red Jelly Bean Tomatoes. (F1.)

Packet of 15 Seeds / $3.95

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#4365 Yellow Jelly Bean Grape Tomatoes: 72-75 days
These sweet, little gems are really like garden candy: no one will be able to resist plucking them off the vines and popping them into their mouths. Clusters of 15 to 30 crack-resistant Jelly Beans are borne on vigorous, disease-resistant (VFFAST), indeterminate vines. Easy to grow, they are small grape-shaped tomatoes that are incredibly sweet with a firm texture. We are so happy to bring you both the red and yellow Jelly Beans! Children of all ages love them. Yellow Jelly Bean Tomatoes. (F1.)

Packet of 15 Seeds / $3.95

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#4370 Red Pear Tomatoes: 70-80 days
This shiny skinned pear-shaped heirloom is a top pick for canning and pickling because of its concentrated tomato gusto. Vigorous, medium-sized indeterminate vines produce scads of 2” by 1” fruit on clusters all summer long. (OP.)

Packet of 50 Seeds / $3.25

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#4375 Yellow Pear Tomatoes: 70-80 days
This shiny skinned pear-shaped heirloom is a top pick for canning and pickling because of its concentrated tomato gusto. Vigorous, medium-sized indeterminate vines produce scads of 2” by 1” fruit on clusters all summer long. (OP.)

Packet of 50 Seeds / $3.25

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#4380 Indigo Rose Cherry Tomatoes: 80 days
Black and purple-blue Indigo Rose is eye candy for the garden with appealing inner beauty and taste. Developed at Oregon State University, it has antioxidant-rich skin pigmentation and sweet deep red flesh with a complex, slightly plum-like flavor. Harvest when the shoulders are black and its bottom turns red~direct sunlight brings out the most striking coloration. (OP.)

Packet of 15 Seeds / $3.95

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