Magazine article The Saturday Evening Post

Think Small When Growing Tomatoes

Magazine article The Saturday Evening Post

Think Small When Growing Tomatoes

Article excerpt

My romance with small toma- toes began in the wintertime in an unromantic place-the supermarket. The cherry tomatoes were the only ones with any flavor on the produce shelf. What's good in a carton, I reasoned, must be sensational in the garden.

My hunch proved right, and I now grow various little ones for salads, relegating my larger tomatoes mainly to stuffing and cooking or slicing for sandwiches. My experience seems to be shared by more and more people, judging from the increasing abundance of small tomatoes at parties, in salad bars, and in listings in seed catalogs. Tests conducted on some small ones indicated that they had twice the concentration of vitamin C than in the larger varieties.

A cherry tomato even made it to the Reagan-Gorbachev Moscow summit, meriting a line to itself on a banquet menu.

The latest seed catalogs have a dazzling number of small tomatoes on display. They range in taste from mild to very sweet and in size from three quarters of an inch to two inches, and they come in numerous shapes and various shades of red or yellow. The Tomato Growers Supply Company of Fort Myers, Florida, which deals exclusively in tomato seeds, offers no fewer than 19 cultivars, including a dwarf named Florida Petite that needs only a four-inch pot. Another, Florida Basket, is a lowgrowing plant ideal for a hanging planter.

My favorite is Yellow Pear, a cultivar with a tantahzing blend of tart and sweet. But I also keep trying others for variety and contrast. …

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