Heirloom Tomatoes

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Theresa Theresa 4 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #827
    LilyRose
    LilyRose
    Participant

    What are heirloom tomatoes? I know they are old varieties but what specifically makes a tomato an heirloom?

    #835
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    Heirloom tomatoes are old traditional varieties as opposed to hybrids which and the offspring of combining 2 different tomatoes. They are open pollinated and you can save the seeds and get the same tomato which is not true of hybrids. Some heirlooms are over 400 years old although a heirloom could be as simple a tomato with a history of its own in production before 1950. Heirlooms adapt to specific ecosystems so if you want to grow some, check to see which varieties perform best in your area. The reason they have become so popular today is because they taste so much better than the common hybrids which are bred for packing and shipping.

    #837
    happychicken
    happychicken
    Participant

    I started growing heirlooms 3 years ago mainly because I had farmstead tomatoes in North Carolina called Cherokee Purple and the sweet, rich flavor was like no other tomato I had ever tasted. My gardening friends warned me that heirlooms were not as disease resistant blah blah, but I haven’t noticed any serious disease problems with them and the flavor is worth any extra effort. Since then I have experimented with many heirloom varieties. Some do better that others and I don’t mind a few duds to get new and different tomato flavor.

    #913
    Theresa
    Theresa
    Participant

    Happhchicken, I agree completely and received the same warnings from my friends about the heartiness of heirlooms. I haven’t had any problems since I started growing them 5 years ago, but I sure have noticed a difference in the fresh flavors as well as the quality of cooked products that I make.

    One of the things that I like best about my heirlooms is that I always know what’s going to grow when I save and replant my seeds. With hybrids, I never know for sure what I’m getting, which was fine, and actually kind of fun when I had space but now that my garden size is limited, I can choose between adventure or guranteed quality. I’ll take the quality.

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