Every so often, a new variety of fruit or vegetable becomes an overnight sensation. Such is the case with the hybrid strain called a grape tomato. Originally introduced as an exotic item in upscale grocery stores, this vegetable has become extremely popular for both produce growers and customers alike. Producers benefit from the its hearty skin and high yield per plant, while customers enjoy the enhanced sweetness and convenient size.
The original tomato plants found in South America produced fruit not much larger than plums. The larger and heartier varieties of tomatoes favored by consumers were the result of cross-breeding and other hybrid growing techniques. A demand for smaller tomatoes resulted in the development of the 'cherry' tomato, which became a popular item for snacking and salads.
As the years rolled by and consumer preferences changed, the cherry tomato began to lose its appeal. Its thin skin and high water content made shipping difficult, and many consumers were not impressed with its variable flavor. Meanwhile, a new strain of tomato was created in Southeast Asia which combined the thicker skin of the beefsteak-style tomato with the size and flavor of the Italian Roma tomato. The result was a first generation hybrid fruit with a thick skin, low water content and an intense sweetness. Because it resembled an olive or grape, this new variety became known as a grape tomato. You might have to try one of these.
How about this tomato? Cherry Juliet An All America Selection winner. Produces beautiful red saladette type tomatoes on a vigorous vine. Juliet yields 1-2 oz tomatoes with great flavour and the meatiness of a saladette tomato. The fruit is highly resistant to cracking and sets in long clusters of up to 10-12. This hybrid begins to set early, 60 days after transplanting and continues to deliver throughout the season. Another type of grape tomato.
Tomato Large red cherry An excellent salad tomato, with clusters of 5 on spreading, hardy vines, with dark green foliage. Full-season, high yields of deep scarlet, round, 1 to 1-1/4" diameter, flavorful fruits. Green fruits may be pickled, while ripe ones are used fresh or for preserves.
Tomato, Yellow Pear
April 20, 2016 Yellow Pear Tomato is a very old heirloom tomato variety that’s been documented for more than 200 years. Plants produce bright yellow, pear-shaped cherry tomatoes with a sweet, mild flavor. Gardeners like this variety because it’s unusual and even cute. Traditionally, it was eaten fresh and to make fresh tomato preserves until recently, when chefs and restauranteurs have made it a favorite in salads, pasta, and salsa.
The plants are large, sprawling, and hardy. They require staking or cages, especially if you don’t prune suckers.
We will be having these for planting and for sale next weekend. But just remember we could have that killing frost till May 15th, and tomatoes don't like any cold. Use your own judgment. Till next time, Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa