Tomatoes - A colorful history

This is the time of the year when many of us start thinking of growing tomatoes indoors. Tomatoes were a plant thought to be poisonous by many until Alexander W. Livingston came along and changed that. We should definitely remember him for his great contribution to America Alexander W. Livingston -- . “First published in 1893, Livingston and the Tomato contains both descriptions and drawings of the tomato varieties he developed.” Livingston and the Tomato - Alexander W. Livingston - Google Books. To understand more about the history of tomatoes you will enjoy this article The family of nightshades has many members that are poisonous. We can’t fault people for feeling they should be avoided. As we know they account for many of the foods we eat such as eggplant, peppers , potatoes, tomatillo, tomatoes, ground cherries etc. Solanaceae - Wikipedia. Even today night shades are still very controversial plants Which types are you growing this year?

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When i have time I will check those article. So busy lately!
I narrowed down my choices but still have not decided. I’m going to be extremely busy this year, so no sauce tomatoes, just ones I want to eat, maybe make a little sauce out of any extras.
For Cherries the hybrids
Sun Gold and Jasper. my two favorites.
Lucid Gem (thanks to Antmary)
Brandywine, Cowlick’s
Girl Girl’s Weird Thing
Indian Stripe Heart
Rebel Yell

That’s it so far. I usually grow about 14 different kinds.

And first i have to pick peppers, I’m growing a lot of them.

Beaver Dam
Bhut Jolokia
Big Jim Legacy
Blue Mystery
Carolina Reaper
Elephant’s Ear
NuMex Heritage Big Jim
NuMex Heritage 6-4
NuMex Joe E. Parker
NuMex Sandia Select
Ozarowska Sweet pepper
Tennessee Cheese Pepper
Todo Dia Mira El Sol Chili Pepper
Ministry of agriculture (MOA) Jamaican scotch bonnet

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I started a few in the greenhouse a couple weeks ago. Mainly because I bought a tomato from the store and the sack it came in probably tasted better than the tomato. Plus I figured I heat it for the tropicals so i might as well grow other food. Im sticking to just a couple varieties this year.
Super sweet 100, cherry. we can get bowls full weekly from one plant

Then probably just these other 3 or 4
1 of these-Big boy, better boy, celebrity just whatever ones show up at the stores- Hybrids are always consistent here
Rutgers-did pretty good here last year
Mortgage lifter- never tried before
Roma- very productive here

the one I started in the greenhouse was bush steak, planning to just grow it out in a container

I have never had any luck with the purples.
im going to be trying to grow more and more OP plants to start saving seeds.



I grow toms year round outside in EarthBoxes. Every 2-3 months I just restart a box with two seedlings. ‘Early Girl’ is a proven performer here, with a decent amount of sweetness. Here’s ‘Stupice’ (picture taken yesterday), which also does well here – small fruit with large flavor:


I’m hooked on the heirlooms, sure they can be low producers and susceptible to diseases, but the flavor is just so good on some of them like Indian Stripe. I have to grow them. I grow a few hybrids too, but production is not a goal. I grow enough plants to have many more tomatoes than I need.

German Red Strawberry

Polish Linguisa


Well like apples there are a lot of tomatonuts around the globe, and since you referenced colorful tomatoes in your subject line that reminded me of a tomatonut who really appreciates color. I found him when I saw a “Berkeley Tie Die” tomato and was enchanted with the color pattern. So I had to find the cultivator:


Brandywine, Rutgers, cherry tomatoes are some of my favorites. They sound plain but they really are good. I like black tomatoes to but I usually only get 3-4 tomatoes off a Cherokee purple so I’d rather grow Rutgers that produce 5 x the tomatoes and still have a great flavor.

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I grew Pink Berkeley Tie Dye (different than Berkeley Tie Dye) last year. Nice tomato! I like Indian Stripe a little better though. Both look alike.on the inside. Indian Stripe is smaller, the taste is a little better. I would grow the pink Berkeley again though. It grew well and produced all season. And the taste was very good! I never tried the one you pictured, not yet anyway!

Yes those are excellent, I have seeds to all mentioned myself. Some other purples grow better, it does depend where you are. Like everything else, you have to figure out what works in your area.
AntMary has grown some top rate tomatoes, very impressive garden! I got some Russian seeds off of here this year that sound awesome! Just good old red tomatoes! I will be adding them too, to my grow list!

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Hi, I think I started to get obsessed with growing tomatoes. This year I want to grow more varieties than I really need, so I am trying to stop myself. Even 10 plants is enough if they are allowed to have room. But there are so many interesting varieties… so my plans to grow about 15 this year and to prune some of the trial ones only to one or two stems, so I can evaluate them. Unlike trees, the tomatoes reward with fruits the same year you plant them. I made many salsa cans this summer, and although the process is tiresome, it is very rewarding to open the can of salsa in the winter. It is also time saving and easy when you come home late from work and have quick dinner with a salsa as a side dish. Whole canned tomatoes are made the same way as pickles and are also very good. The new idea for the next season is to make tomato juice of different colors: yellow, green, pink and red. On the picture below in the lower left corner is the can of tomato juice from yellow and green tomatoes.


What’s your salsa recipe, if you don’t mind sharing.

Very nice Antmary!

The thing is that I do not follow recipes and just use what I have from the garden at the moment. Last year I used the packets of Mrs Wagers salsa and I tried to follow their directions more or less. My tomatoes were juicy, so I removed extra juice and added more ingredients like tomatillos peppers, onions, herbs. I also add salt and sugar mainly by taste. Each time when I make salsa it tastes and looks different :grinning:. Each time I end with the three 1 quarter cans of product which fits into my canner and almost no leftovers. I am always wondering, how it is possible because I do not measure anything anymore.

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Consider trialing ‘Black Krim’ this year if you have the space. It’s the earliest of the blacks that I’ve tried and the flavor is excellent. Good producer as well. It’s a slicer, and not overly large (or catfaced, or split to heck, etc).

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Here is the list of varieties I have started:
Ananas Noires
Aunt Ginny’s Purple
Black Cherry
Brandywine Sudduth’s Strain
German Johnson
Herman’s Special
Japanese Trifele Black
Margaret Curtain
New Big Dwarf
Piriform Red Pear
Russian #117
Solar Flare

I plan to grow only one each. These are more than I have ground space for. Some of these will have to be grown in pots.

Black Krim is good, I also liked Paul Robeson. Some had trouble in hot areas though. BK is probably a better choice. If you like sweet, try the yellow/orange KBX, Many excellent yellow/orange types around. I heard Orange Minsk (I could use seeds for this one) is awesome, I grew Amana Orange is it was one of the most prolific tomatoes I ever grew. Nothing bothered it either. Nice size too, a plant will produce 50 pounds or more.

@Z9gardener, ‘Stupice’ and ‘New Big Dwarf’ are winners here.

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Great! I hope they are productive for me.

Looks wonderful Antmary. The different colored tomato juices is a lovely idea. So far I made the red and orange tomato juice, and made a small batch of black, but did not can any… The different colors of juice would look so pretty in jars.


Black Kim was good tasting tomato, but it has thin skin and it cracks a lot. Last year I grew Black from Tula. It was very productive and crack resistant. It was also more resistant to septoria and black spot than many other varieties. It produces medium sized round purple tomatoes. Here are the pictures