1. Tomatoes are technically a fruit, not a vegetable as is often thought. I should say they are a fruit botanically, legally they are a vegetable. Zucchini are also botanically classified as fruit. I’m not sure of their legal status though.
2. Different sites vary, but it is thought that there are at least 10,000 and perhaps more than 25,000 varieties of tomatoes. It will take a while to try each one. Here are 15 varieties to get you started.
3. Tomatoes are most commonly red, but they can be green, yellow, orange, striped, pink, brown, purple, white, and black.
4. Tomatoes are often categorized by use: Slicing, which includes all the large varieties, Paste which includes romas and plums, and Snacking or Salad tomatoes including all small fruited and cherry types. Of course, they can all be used any way you want.
5. Tomatoes store longer if kept stem side down. You should never refrigerate an uncut tomato.
6. Generally speaking, the more blossoms in a cluster the smaller the fruit will be. Cherry types like the one shown above can easily have 10-12 flowers, whereas a roma might only produce 6 or so.
7. The tomato closest to the main stem will ripen first. Lucky bugger.
8. Tomatoes are about 95% water. That’s the main reason squirrels go after them. Place a pan of water out for the squirrels, and you may save your tomatoes from damage.
9. Tomatoes are the most commonly grown edible in the garden. No surprise there.
10. Tomatoes are either determinate or indeterminate types. Indeterminates produce over a longer period of time and tend to grow taller. For canning purposes many gardeners plant determinate varieties to get as much of the fruit in a short period of time as possible. Determinate plants will stop producing pretty suddenly. It’s not your fault, they are just done.
11. Tomatoes are not self-pollinating as is often misunderstood, though they are self-fertile. This simply means they have both male and female parts on the same flower. There is no action the flower can take that will move that pollen though, they do need just a wee bit of help. Bees can do it, wind can, you can gently shake the plant, or use a tuning fork. Note this help from you is called hand-pollination.
12. Tomatoes may drop their flowers, cleverly called Blossom Drop, if conditions are not good for the plant. Often it is caused by extreme temperatures. We rarely get temps hot enough here for it to happen, but we have seen it in the greenhouse. That’s where, by the way, we keep the tuning fork.
13. Probably the most common tomato problem is Blossom End Rot. This is caused by the plant’s roots not being able to uptake sufficient calcium. This is highly preventable by planting tomatoes very deep or in a long trough, and/or by adding calcium to the soil. The easiest source of calcium would be Tums or the generic equivalent. If you get BER, you can try watering with diluted milk at the base of the plant. Often by the time you see it, the plant is already beginning to produce fruit that does not have BER, but it won’t hurt to take precautions.
So there you have it. Did you know all 13?
Thank you for sharing this post.