Introducing Heirlooms for the Beginner Gardener: Heirloom tomatoes! Yummy!

Views: 503, Replies: 9 » Jump to the end
 Introducing Heirlooms for the Beginner Gardener

By wildflowers
July 29, 2011

Heirlooms are a perfect choice for the beginner gardener. The seeds of many of these old cultivars have been saved and passed down for generations because of their easy-to-grow habits. They are those wonderful old fashioned flowers that your grandmother grew forever in her garden, or those delicious tasting tomatoes that you might remember eating as a child. But it doesn't stop there; as you begin to consider growing heirlooms, you will discover many unique and interesting flowers, herbs, vegetables and fruits.

[View the item] Give a thumbs up

Name: Tami Smith
Naylor, GA (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lilies
Gardens in Buckets Container Gardener Clematis Garden Art Region: United States of America Bulbs
Image
mollymistsmith
Aug 2, 2011 4:16 PM CST
Thanks for a great article. I have been planting heirloom tomatoes for 2 yrs now and they are superb!
Tami
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
Image
Horseshoe
Aug 2, 2011 5:43 PM CST
Yes, thanks for the article...

Shoe ("heirloomist" since 1986, always searching for more!)
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
The WITWIT Badge Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Birds Bee Lover
Dragonflies Herbs Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Composter Hummingbirder
Image
wildflowers
Aug 3, 2011 6:09 PM CST
Hi Tami & Shoe (fellow heirloom growers),

Tami, glad you are enjoying growing them; have you tried saving seeds yet?

Shoe, nice to meet you! Wow, you must have some really good favorites to recommend after 25 years growing them. Whistling

Thank you both.
Christine
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Tami Smith
Naylor, GA (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lilies
Gardens in Buckets Container Gardener Clematis Garden Art Region: United States of America Bulbs
Image
mollymistsmith
Aug 3, 2011 11:51 PM CST
No I haven't saved any of the seeds yet. I hope to next year. Smiling Group hug
Tami
Name: Angie
Concord, NC (zone 7)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Winter Sowing Region: North Carolina Daylilies Roses
Clematis Butterflies Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Seed Starter
Image
Hemophobic
Aug 23, 2011 11:31 AM CST
Heirloom tomatoes can't be beat! I always grow Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, Rutgers, Marglobe and any one of the pinks, but this year added Mortgage LIfter and Mountain Pride, which I'm not sure is an heirloom, but it sort of literally flopped in my garden. No production whatsoever, so I won't try it again. I've tried Oxheart, but did not like it, plus the plant practically ate my garden and the roots were unbelievable. When I tried to pull it out in the fall, I had to resort to digging them out. A monster of a plant it was and not worth the effort. When I retire and can have a proper garden, it will be all heirloom plants!
I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day. ~F. Frankfort Moore, A Garden of Peace

Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Perpetually happy!
Forum moderator Tip Photographer I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Critters Allowed Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Keeps Goats Keeper of Poultry Frogs and Toads Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian
Image
threegardeners
Aug 23, 2011 11:36 AM CST
Shrug! I've tried growing heirloom tomatoes a few times...with disastrous results. I end up with maybe 3 tomatoes out of half a dozen plants. I've had to go back to "regular" tomatoes just so I can get some to eat! The ones I have now I'm going to get a bushel or so from 6 plants.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
The WITWIT Badge Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Birds Bee Lover
Dragonflies Herbs Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Composter Hummingbirder
Image
wildflowers
Aug 23, 2011 1:46 PM CST
Lee Anne,

Maybe you need to try a variety that produces well in your climate. I know there are a few cold climate varieties - I'd have to research to come up with some. I say this because your yield can depend a lot on the weather. This year we've experienced so much heat, the severe drought has caused the flowers to all drop before they can even make any fruit. I've pulled most of them. Cool temps and excessive rain will also hold them back. Plus, tomatoes are heavy feeders, so good, rich soil can often correct many deficiencies.

It is true of course that some of the heirlooms just don't produce much- but there are folks that think it's worth the effort to get the flavor.

There are some very prolific varieties out there, Abraham Lincoln comes to mind, it yields lots of red fruits that are very tasty and produces up until frost, for a long growing season! Stupice has always done quite well. Black cherry is another that grows lots of cherry sized (actually a little larger) fruits - they are at the top of my list of favorites - they will also give you fruit up until frost.

What "regular" tomato are you growing, if it has a name?


May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Perpetually happy!
Forum moderator Tip Photographer I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Critters Allowed Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Keeps Goats Keeper of Poultry Frogs and Toads Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian
Image
threegardeners
Aug 23, 2011 1:54 PM CST
I remember "Stupice" as being one of them that flopped.

Right now I'm growing a "beefsteak" tomato. My growing season is very short....last frost was June 5th this year....first frost will be sometime the first week of Sept.

Hot (high 80's) days and cool nights (60's or 70's). Lack of rain is never an issue.
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
Image
Horseshoe
Aug 9, 2015 11:12 AM CST
Shucks. And bummer that you are not getting a good supply of tomatoes, Lee Anne. I agree with wildflowers about Abe Lincoln...it's been a good producer for me, oftentimes getting first fruit about 60 days or so (although touted to be 75 day maturity.)

Smaller tomatoes often times produce more fruit per plant so maybe that is an area to pursue. I'd recommend Heidi.

The cherry types often produce like gangbusters but go with a reputable source for the true "heirloom" cherry. By the way, "Black Cherry" is often listed as an heirloom but it definitely is not, having not come into being until the late '90s and not released until the early 2000's. (Shame on those seed companies stating the misinformation just to make a sale.) It's a great producer though and is OP.

I sure hope you get a good harvest, at least enough to carry you through the winter!

Shoe (back to fermenting tomato seeds...)
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
The WITWIT Badge Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Birds Bee Lover
Dragonflies Herbs Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Composter Hummingbirder
Image
wildflowers
Aug 9, 2015 1:00 PM CST
Heidi is one that I haven't tried, yet. The recommendation is appreciated. Smiling

Lately I've been hearing chatter about Jagodka tomato being very early, doing well in cool climates. It's another one that I will be looking forward to trying as an early tomato.

Good to know about the Black cherry tomato. It's still my favorite cherry tomato.

Also fermenting seeds.

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

« Back to the top
« Garden.org homepage
« Introducing Heirlooms for the Beginner Gardener
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

National Gardening Association

© 2016 Dash Works, LLC
Times are presented in US Central Standard Time
Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Cape Fuchsia"

About - Contact - Terms of Service - Privacy - Memberlist - Acorns - Links - Ask a Question - Newsletter

Follow us on TwitterWe are on Facebook.We Pin at Pinterest.Subscribe to our Youtube ChannelView our instagram