It's time to talk tomatoes.
We asked avid home gardeners Jo Anne and Alejandro Trigo — owners of Mid-City-based Two Dog Organic Nursery — to share their favorite picks for tomato plants to plant now for summer harvest. (Many of the organic, non-GMO seedlings are available now at their appointment-only nursery, and can be pre-ordered, but may also be found at other well-stocked gardening outlets.)
Here are Jo Anne's picks for 11 succulent and strikingly beautiful heirloom and new-introduction tomatoes for 2017, with her commentary on why they are winners for every gardener:
Here are their picks for 11 of the juiciest, sweetest tomatoes you can plant, and Jo Anne's descriptions of what makes them such winners:
1. Aunt Ruby’s German Green
"A gorgeous midseason heirloom beefsteak, emerald green inside and out."
2. Black Krim
Mahogany-toned beefsteak with intense smoky/slightly salty flavors; tolerates cool weather.
3. Good Old-Fashioned Red
"Highly productive beefsteak, with rich, intense flavor for sauces, sandwiches and salads."
4. Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye
Perennial early to midseason favorite beefsteak, with complex flavor and stunning coloring in port wine with metallic green stripes.
5. Solar Flare
Bright red with gold striping, this sweet and tart midseason beefsteak is "a true showstopper" with fruit topping one pound apiece.
6. Amos Coli
"This is a fabulous and rare paste variety, a 110-year-old California heirloom with large, meaty, well-balanced red fruits perfect for sauces."
7. Brown Berry Cherry
Abundant yields of tiny fruit, dark mahogany and smoky-sweet flavor. "The first truly dark cherry tomato," easy to grow for midseason harvest.
8. Brandy Sweet Plum
"An accidental cross" between the Brandywine and the Sweet 100, these "jade-pink, elongated cherries grow abundantly on compact plants."
9. Amy's Apricot Cherry
Pretty early season variety producing "loads of small, robust apricot-colored fruit" and "rivaling our bestseller, Sungold."
10. Rosella Purple Dwarf
"Part of the exciting dwarf tomato project," this variety, one of five dwarfs that Two Dog grows, produces full-size heirloom fruit on dwarf plants reaching no more than 5 feet tall.
11. Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry
"New and different to us," this early season Polish variety that is akin to a tomatillo "bears tons of little fruits in papery husks whose taste is a delicious combination of pineapple, vanilla and tomato." High pectin content makes them great for pies or jams.