Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Heirloom Tomato Mystery

From Gardening

Ahh, well, last time I posted I ranted without photos. I had hopes that the heirlooms I grew from seed wouldn't suffer the same fate as my transplants, but this was what I discovered when I looked more closely at the Amish paste tomatoes. I guess the other tomatoes I grew from seed from the same company were organic but not heirloom, and are doing so well that I made tomato salad for dinner. Next year - no heirlooms. I'm kind of in mourning about it. After reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I had it in my head that eventually I would grow only heirloom plants in my garden, so we could have unique varieties of plants that we couldn't just buy at store. Good for genetic variety, good for feeling like the time and cost is justified.

Admittedly, the heirloom greens grew without problem. Maybe it is just tomatoes that aren't meant to be. I find ripping the plants out by their roots incredibly therapeutic, and I'll quit pouting soon.


  1. Blossom End Rot....bummer!!

    If there should be a next time, add calcium to the planting hole. I have heard of organic farmers using egg-shells in their compost (I live in town and keep my compost vegan incase of rats). I read on the Square Foot Garden forum that chopping up calcium supplements and adding them to your water bucket stops BMR dead in its tracts. I've just been chopping calcium pills and sprinkling them on the soil above the roots before I water. It seems to help.

  2. Hmm. I'd take it down to the nursery and ask them what it is, so that you know whether it was anything to do with heirloom / organic or not.

    Personally, I never grow anything that's not heirloom: I can get crunchy, tasteless tomatoes in the store, so why grow them?

  3. @Rainsong - I did grind up calcium pills to add to the soil when I planted, since I didn't plant in manure like I knew I should have done (the three-way planting mix I use for everything else is good for everything but tomatoes really). Maybe I will try adding more to the ones I didn't rip out, the ones on the side of the house. It could be a good experiment.