Friday, March 11, 2011

It's Time for Tomatoes!

The last average frost date for my zip code is March 15, and for the next several days, both daytime and evening temperatures will be above 50 degrees.
Time for Tomatoes

And you know what that means -- it's Time for Tomatoes! And just in time, because my transplants have been pressing their little leaves against the window, like puppies pressing their noses against the glass, wanting to Go Out and Play.
Like puppies pressing their noses against the glass,

Looks like I can let them off their leashes this weekend. This year I am planting three cherry tomatoes and three full-size varieties. That ought to be enough for two people, plus enough to share.

'Juliet' is a red grape tomato and 'Sun Gold' is a orange cherry variety. Both these varieties will flower and set fruit from May straight through to fall's first frost.
Juliet and Sun Gold tomatoes
In addition, I'm trying a Chocolate Cherry tomato this year. I've heard good things about it.

In the heavyweight category, I've invited the old, reliable 'Celebrity' hybrid back this year, and two heirlooms. I planted 'Cherokee Purple' last year, and was happy with it. It produced several tomatoes in the spring, took the summer off, and surprised me with a few fall tomatoes from a bug-ridden, drought-stricken plant.
Cherokee Purple tomatoes

In addition, I was excited to find a single transplant of 'Jaune Flammee' at, of all places, Central Market. I've wanted to grow this juicy, mid-sized tomato since reading about it on the Zanthan Gardens weblog.

Mmm! My mouth is watering. Yes, it's Time for Tomatoes in my garden. What's it time for in yours?

Words and photos © 2009-2011 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. It IS time for tomatoes! How did that happen already? Time flies when you're digging in the garden. This is my first visit. Love the blog. Keep up the good work.

  2. I think I am going to try celebrity again and see how it goes. Time does fly. I can't believe it is already mid March. It is going to get hot before we know it.

  3. I took the plunge and planted my transplants a few days ago: Juliet, Cherokee Purple, Lemon Boy, Green Cherokee (never heard of it before), Black Prince, & Black Krim. Where did you find your Sun Golds? I love how sweet and critter-resistant they are. Great photos!

  4. Roberta, thanks for visiting and your kind words! I'll have to check out your blog as well.

    Amy, I planted 'Celebrity' two years ago, and it produced more in a big 15 gallon pot than 'Early Girl' did in the ground. We'll see what 'Celebrity' does in the ground.

    Iris, I found Sun Gold at Shoal Creek Nursery last weekend. They had a large variety of all sorts of transplants.

  5. Yummm yum, that sounds like it will be a delicious season for tomatoes!