It’s only the last week of February, but the winds have brought warm air to Vermont. The sun shone all day in a clear blue sky yesterday, and we tramped about outside with nothing more than sweatshirts and one layer (!) of pants.
I’m hesitant to speak too soon—March is known to have a few snowstorms and snaps of sub-zero days and nights up her sleeve. But today is going to be in the 50ºs and I’ll soak it up.
This weather has me bouncing around, bubbling with the sight of spring and seedlings on the horizon. We won’t start the bulk of our seeding for another two weeks or so—March, with her surprises, you know. BUT we do have early rounds of greens, onions, beets, radishes and turnips steadily sprouting and putting out their true leaves.
And just last week, Edge seeded the first round of tomatoes.
These babies are slated for greenhouse growing. If you’re planning on field-grown tomatoes, don’t fret or feel behind! Unless you’re in a warmer zone (we’re in 4a), you have plenty of time to start.
You should start tomatoes from seed 6-8 weeks before your planting date. So if you’re outside planting date is June 1, for example, you don’t need to start seeds until April 6.
Now is the perfect time to order your organic tomato seeds.
Tomatoes are a weak spot for me.
Every year I want to grow more and more, and it’s painful to narrow down the varieties to just a few—I want to try them all! I may have been a tad spoiled when I worked on the Trials Crew for High Mowing Organic Seeds, where we grew 90 varieties. Tomato heaven!
We don’t have the space for all those varieties (well, we could only grow tomatoes, but I’d miss the other vegetables), we make hard choices and narrow it down to 10-12 varieties per season.
Each year we try out a few new ones. Over the years we’ve found our favorites. If you’re having a hard time narrowing it down, here are 7 organic tomato varieties that will not disappoint.
7 Must-Have Organic Tomato Varieties for the Home & Market Garden
Rose de Berne – slicer
If I could only grow one tomato, this would be it. A rosy pink heirloom slicer, it’s meaty and sweet, with a touch of tang. Versatile, great eaten fresh as slices on toast or in a caprese salad, but meaty enough to add into sauces and salsas.
Green Zebra – slicer
This is the ultimate BLT tomato. It’s tang pairs perfectly with the saltiness of bacon. Green Zebra has strong, sturdy plants and produces well into the fall.
Juane Flamme – saladette
These sweet orange tomatoes come on strong and have prolific yields throughout the season. A French heirloom, these 2 ounce fruits are perfect for a colorful tomato salad.
Copia – beefsteak
I love big tomatoes. They’re the epitome of late summer: all juice and flavor. Copia is a beautiful yellow beefsteak with red, orange and green streaks. In my experience, they’re more crack-resistant than Brandywine and Pruden’s Purple, and their sweet flavor is amazing.
San Marzano – paste
You just can’t go wrong with this Italian heirloom. It’s high-yielding and consistent, with a small seed cavity and dense, meaty flesh. Perfect for sauces and salsas.
Esterina F1 – cherry
I know everyone goes crazy for Sungold F1, but Esterina is better. A yellow cherry with consistent sweetness, and seemingly never-ending harvests. It’s crack resistant, and holds longer on the plant than Sungold.
Sweetie – cherry
A red cherry that lives up to its name! These tomatoes ripen in clusters so you can harvest handfuls at a time. We planted these for the first time in 2017, and they quickly earned a place next to Rose de Berne on my “forever and always” list.
Tell me, what are YOUR favorite organic tomato varieties that you just can’t live without? I always love trying a few new ones each summer, so let me know in a comment below.