In previous years, we’ve planted a lot of tomato varieties. Our second year, we went bonkers with 29 different varieties! Over the last 8 years, we have learned a lot about what planting and tending approaches work best for us; every summer we learn a little bit more and feel better equipped going into the next year. Believe it or not, last year was one of the least fruitful crops for us, so we’re still very much on the learning curve.
We’ve experimented with a lot of different planting and maintenance methods. This year we opted to go as simple as possible; only 6 plants! We skipped the fish heads, and just planted them as Laurel recommends. This is the first time we’ve purchased her mail-order tomatoes and 2 months into the process, we’ve been extremely pleased.
What was our selection process? In the past, it’s always been about how unique the tomato is. This year, it feels as though the decision-making was a bit more practical. Smaller tomatoes have done historically well for us, so those had to be included. Laurel had some varieties that are labeled as heat-tolerant that I haven’t been able to find at local nurseries (Super Sioux, Dagma’s Perfection, and Fireworks), so we’re experimenting with these. They don’t look as interesting as the blue tomatoes that were released last year, or perhaps some exotic heirloom, but hopefully they’ll fare better in the heat we experience. The 3 other tomato plants have 2 varieties grafted onto one plant; kind of like having a “two-headed” tomato plant. So technically, we have 9 tomato varieties that take up the footprint of only 6!