Bonus! A comprehensive list of our favourites including everything from your all-time favourites to rare heirloom varieties.
Welcome to the vibrant world of tomatoes, where diverse flavours, colours, and sizes promise a culinary adventure and a rewarding gardening experience! From the smallest cherry types to the largest beefsteaks, tomatoes offer something for everyone. At Clearview Garden Shop, we’re passionate about these versatile fruits, and we’re here to guide you through the process of growing them here in Greater Vancouver.
Preparing Your Soil:
Tomatoes prefer well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Amend your soil with compost or well-rotted manure to boost its fertility. Tomatoes prefer a slightly acidic pH between 6.0 and 6.8. If your soil is too alkaline, you can amend it with sulphur to lower the pH.
Planting Your Seedlings:
When the risk of frost has passed, and soil temperatures have warmed to at least 10°C, it’s time to plant your tomatoes. Dig a hole deep enough to bury two-thirds of the plant, as new roots will form along the buried stem, providing a stronger support system. Space your plants 2-3 feet apart to allow for air circulation and growth.
How to Care for Tomatoes:
- Watering: Keep your tomato plants consistently moist, but avoid waterlogging the soil. Deep watering is better than frequent light watering as it encourages deep root growth.
- Sunlight: Tomatoes need at least 6-8 hours of sunlight each day.
- Fertilizing: Use a balanced fertilizer to feed your plants throughout the growing season.
- Pruning: Remove the suckers that grow in the leaf axils for a better yield.
Harvesting, Using, and Enjoying Your Tomatoes:
Harvest your tomatoes when they are fully coloured and slightly firm to the touch. Enjoy them fresh in salads, cooked in sauces, or even sun-dried for a taste of summer all year round! Remember, tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, and the antioxidant lycopene, making them a healthy addition to your diet.
Comprehensive List of Our Favourite Tomato Varieties:
Here at Clearview Garden Shop, we carry a wide range of tomato varieties. Each one has a unique taste, size, and growth habit, making it perfect for a specific use:
- La Roma III Red: A popular paste tomato, perfect for sauces and canning.
- Super Fantastic: Produces large, meaty, and flavourful tomatoes great for slicing.
- Tumbler: A trailing variety ideal for hanging baskets or containers.
- Little Bing: Small but packed with flavour, great for salads.
- Little Napoli: A compact plant perfect for container gardening, producing tasty small fruits.
- Little Sicily: Another compact variety, bearing sweet cherry-sized tomatoes.
- Bellatrix: A disease-resistant variety that produces an abundant yield of round, red tomatoes.
- Darkstar: Known for its dark-coloured fruits and rich, complex flavours.
- Baby Boomer: A cherry tomato variety that produces hundreds of fruits per plant.
- Steakhouse: As the name suggests, this one produces large, beefsteak-style tomatoes.
- Artemis: A classic variety that produces consistently round, juicy tomatoes.
- Black Krim: An heirloom variety known for its dark, almost purple fruits with a unique, rich flavour.
- Early Girl: True to its name, this variety matures early, producing medium-sized, round fruits.
- Fourth of July: Celebrate the summer with this variety that starts to bear ripe fruits around the 4th of July.
- Lemon Boy: A unique variety with vibrant, lemon-yellow fruits that have a mild, sweet flavour.
- Purple Zebra: A striking variety with deep purple fruits streaked with green, a true standout in any garden.
- Raspberry Drop: Produces sweet, raspberry-coloured cherry tomatoes.
- Sunset Torch: Known for its vibrant, sunset-hued fruits that add a pop of colour to your garden and your plate.
- Blushing Star: Produces large, pale fruits that blush pink when ripe, with a wonderfully sweet flavour.
- Laguna Red: A classic variety that produces large, juicy, red tomatoes perfect for sandwiches and salads.
Looking for tomatoes that are even more niche? Ask us about these varieties: