By Su Reid-St. John
Like me, you probably have your favorite tomato varieties that you grow year after year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spice things up a bit by adding a couple of new ones to your garden! This year, consider growing a tomato you’ve never tasted before, one that will surprise you as you watch it grow, and delight you when take your first bite.
Here are three new-to-Bonnie tomatoes to you’ll be happy you planted:
A bush-type variety that’s ideal for growing in pots, Container’s Choice is a small plant with a big payoff. “This is a real good tomato,” says Macky Sweeney—and he should know, since his job is to oversee the test garden at Bonnie’s headquarters in Union Springs, Alabama. “It’s got a wonderful flavor, and while it took a little longer than some others to begin producing, when it started it really did its thing.” While it’s a determinate plant, which means most of its fruit ripens within a short period of time, Sweeney reports that Container’s Choice continued to produce longer than many of the other determinates in the test garden.
Patience is key to this unusual tomato. “It’s very slow growing, so at first you might think you’re wasting your time,” Sweeney says. “It puts out lots of grape-like clusters of fruit that stay green for a long time. But then you walk into the garden one day and see deep purple color on the tops, dripping over the fruit like paint.” Meaty and delicious, the fruit is worth the wait. What’s more, the plant is hearty and low maintenance. “Just keep it watered, get out of its way, and let it do its thing,” Sweeney adds. “It’s so much fun to watch.”
You may have heard the name “San Marzano” before — in fact, there’s a good chance you have a can of San Marzano tomatoes on your pantry shelf right now. But why settle for store-bought when you can pick them fresh from your own garden? “This is an excellent cooking tomato, just the thing for sauces and canning,” says Sweeney. More oval than round, a San Marzano fruit looks like a cross between a Roma and a pear-shaped tomato. “The plant produces well and is easy to grow,” he says. “Plus, it tastes good!”
Click on the links above to find out more about each of these distinctive tomatoes, then visit our Tomatoes page for loads of info on planting, growing, and harvesting. We hope you’ll give them a chance in your garden this summer!