Garden Connect: Plum Tomatoes

ImageLet’s talk tomatoes.

As part of the GardenConnect plan I needed to choose one plum tomato. My first thought was “What’s a plum tomato?” One thing that’s interesting about talking online to other gardeners is that we don’t all use the same terms for everything, particularly when we’re in different parts of the world. (It turns out “beets” are also called “beetroot”. Who knew?)

The term I’m most familiar with for these types of tomatoes is “paste tomato,” and I grow a few of these plants each year because the tomatoes are especially good for making sauce. (Honestly, I don’t really care about pasta sauce, but I do love salsa, and these tomatoes are great for that!)

My first thought was that for this project I would go with an Amish Paste tomato, a really popular American heirloom. Heirloom varieties are plants that have been grown for generations by people saving their own seed. The Amish Paste originated in Amish settlements in the United States, and has been recognized by Slow Food USA for having exceptional taste. Cool right?

But then I got nervous. This garden project calls for only one tomato plant: What if it dies? How sad would that be? I’ve had terrible luck with heirloom tomatoes in the past, losing many plants to disease. (I thought it was just me, but our next door neighbors report the same thing. Maybe climate is a factor?)

Anyway, at this point, when I’m looking through seed catalogs, I want tomatoes that are advertised to have excellent disease resistance. Those are almost always the hybrids, and one I’ve had particularly good luck with is a hybrid variety of San Marzano, so that’s what’s in the picture above.

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