Most homegrown tomatoes never make it into a spaghetti sauce because gardeners, like myself, can barely wait to grab a sharp knife and slice off a piece of warm fruit—fresh off the vine. Europeans once believed that this bright and shiny fruit was poisonous. Luckily, they discovered that only the leaves weren’t edible. The savory fruits are actually nutritious and packed with a good source of Vitamin A, B6, C, E, and K. The French call tomatoes pommes d’amour or love apples. Italians know them as pomi d’oro or yellow apples. Whether you pronounce it tuh-MAY-toh or tuh-MAH-toh, a good tomato is always worth the wait. I hope that growing your own tasty tomatoes is already a ritual in your house—or, you’ll begin a new one this spring.
TOMATO-MANIA: Best of the best! Look for these favorites this spring at Pasquesi Home & Gardens.
‘Beefmaster’: Large, meaty tomatoes on indeterminate vines… produces until frost. Harvest: 80 days.
‘Beefsteak’: Big and juicy! A favorite tomato for slicing on burgers. Harvest: 70-85 days.
‘Big Boy’: Big slicer, big taste and big producer! Resists cracking. Harvest: 78 days.
‘Celebrity’: Classic, medium- to large-sized tomato that is prized for its flavor. Harvest: 65 days.
‘Champion II’: Same great flavor as the original but improved disease-resistance. Perfect for salads, burgers and sandwiches. Harvest: 65 days.
‘Early Girl’: The first tomato of the season! Use it to jumpstart your harvest. Up to 300 tomatoes per plant before frost. Harvest: 50 days.
‘Juliet Grape’: Bite-sized, sweet grape tomato with an oblong shape. Tolerates heat and produces lots of little tomatoes throughout the season. Harvest: 60 days.
‘LaRoma III’: Meaty, Roma tomato flavor that intensifies through cooking. Use in sauces. Freezes well, too. Harvest: 76 days.
‘Red Grape’: A bright red, one-oz. tomato that is a bit smaller than a cherry tomato. Perfect for salads! Harvest: 60 days.
‘Super Sweet 100’: Sweet as its name! Long-branched, clusters of tomatoes that are high in Vitamin C. Eat these snack-sized gems right off the vine. Great in juicers, too. Harvest: 65 days.