i say tomato

dscf2022Now that I’m back in Eugene, after a most excellent research month somewhat dampened by a grueling trip home on metallic flying bacteria traps across country (swine flu, anyone?), I’ve got the garden on the brain.

I feel as if I’ve missed all the delicious Ramping Up to Garden Season this year.  I haven’t had time to browse the seed catalogues or even plan what I’ll be growing in all my rows.*

This week I have to either (1) spread my own compost, or (2) buy compost if mine isn’t ready, and prep the rows for tomatoes.  There’s a bit of weeding to done; I took care of most of it before I left, thank goodness, because the unweeded parts are overrun.

By the time we rolled out of bed this morning, had a debriefing session with the cats, and stopped in for a waffle at Off the Waffle (notice new website featuring the review from yours truly), the farmers’ market had been pretty much decimated.  I noticed that some of the tomatoes were already leggy and overgrown, and all the uncommon kinds were gone.

So…help a laggard out.  What’s shakin’ in the tomato world this year?  I’ll buy starts for my favorites this week if I can find them — Saucey paste tomatoes and Sungold cherries.  Oregon Star won best paste at Territorial; that’ll be my second choice if I can’t find Saucey.  I’ve had great success with Willamettes, so I’ll probably buy some of those or other Oregon-developed slicers.  And I’m always drawn back to some variety of Brandywine, since those fat, juicy, meaty, sweet heirlooms so delicious and I love their funny leaves, even if they aren’t heavy producers.  But I’d like to try something new. I haven’t had much luck with the Czech and other Eastern European varieties — I heard that they do fine in the cooler part of the season and then can’t handle the heat of our late summers.  Dunno if this is true.

Which tomatoes you putting in?  What are your old favorites and new experiments?  Which cultivars should I try?

All I know is I’m looking forward to this:

dscf2126

Mmmmmmm.  Let summer begin!

*I’ve got the caneberries, seascape strawberries, artichokes, leeks/shallots/garlic, rhubarb, some leftover favas and overwintered fennel well underway, plus my usual herbs and a hopeful start on cilantro, so I don’t feel as if I’ve neglected the whole thing, but I missed all the tulips and most of the daffodils, which just makes a person feel unsettled, know what I mean?

5 thoughts on “i say tomato

  1. Lelo 2 May 2009 / 7:59 pm

    I’m looking forward to Mr. Stripey and Tigerilla: two starts purchased today in Canby, along with 5 or so others. I need to get my hands on the Mexican Midgit as well: one we grew last year and loved. Tiny plant with tiny sugary bursts of fruit that were great in salads and just eating fresh. Plus it just sounds so horribly wrong to say its name.

    Welcome back!

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  2. kate 3 May 2009 / 9:27 am

    I have no thoughts on tomato varieties anymore, because the BLT picture has me drooling. Out here in Massachusetts we won’t get good tomatoes until mid-August. My parents in Eugene will be chowing down on Sungolds by July, I’d bet.

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  3. Eugenia 3 May 2009 / 10:59 am

    Lelo: I was hoping you’d see this! I knew you’d have some good ideas. Asking for a Mexican midgit could get awkward.

    Kate: Me too! :) We had sungolds by the first week of July last year, or so say my notes.

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  4. Amy 4 May 2009 / 8:59 pm

    We went to Territorial on Saturday to get Principe Borghese and Sungolds – all out of Sungolds and only one principe. We did pick up a few other varieties – persimmon (huge and delicious heirloom), Santiam, and Roma.

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  5. Eugenia 5 May 2009 / 3:52 pm

    Amy: They have Principe Borghese at Gray’s. I picked some up since they looked better than the Sauceys they had. Also had Sungolds. Still looking for slicers. Persimmons look good in the catalog! Maybe Territorial is restocking this week — Gray’s said more plants are due to come in around Mother’s Day.

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