Tomatoes are a big crop here at Happy Acres, and a popular one in gardens everywhere. And no wonder they’re so popular – growing them yourself is the best way I know to get really good tasting, vine ripened tomatoes. This time of year, we have several tomato races going on. Which is appropriate I guess, since this weekend many Hoosiers were watching the annual Indy 500 race a few hundred miles north of here.
But our races are all about tomatoes, and don’t require a helmet or expensive cars. We’ve already had the “first tomato to bloom” race, which was won by Sun Gold. And with a lead like that, it was sure to win the “first tomato to set on” race too!
One of the most eagerly awaited races in many backyard gardens, including ours, is the “first tomato to ripen” race. That one will probably be won by Sun Gold too, with Supersweet 100 running a close second, and Early Girl not far behind that.
But another popular tomato race around here is “first tomato to the top of the cage”. Most of our tomatoes are indeterminate varieties that are supported by homemade cages made from concrete remesh material. Often this race is decided before the “first tomato to ripen” race is won.
I’m also growing a few determinate tomatoes this year that I will support with the stake and weave system. Which means there’s another tomato race going on called “first to flop over and need twine”. The way they are growing, this one should be decided soon!
And of course there’s the “first tomato to wind up on a BLT” race. I believe that one was won by Cherokee Purple last year. I know CP starred on quite a few BLT sandwiches, and hopefully it will be back this year for a command performance.
I’ll be back later on to announce the other winners, as the various races are decided. In the meantime, happy growing, and if you’re growing tomatoes I hope they are all winners for you!