Tomatoes 101 Series | Part 4 | Heirloom Varieties, What's All the Hype About?

Posted in For the Love of Food, Tomatoes 101

Every year our wonderful gardening customers, from the Perth and Kingston area, come to us for Tomato Gardening Tips. Today we are delving into the Heirloom / Heritage varieties and answering the question: What's all the hype about?

If you have been keeping up with our Tomatoes 101 Series, you now know the difference between a vine and bush tomato plant, have discovered which variety is best for your needs and have the skills to keep your tomatoes healthy and thriving. If you've noticed an increased interest in heirloom / heritage plant varieties, you aren't alone ~ here at Gemmell's Garden Centre we are also pretty big fans. Today we are chatting about why we love our heirloom tomatoes and are going to be sharing a few of our favourites plants.

We are sharing a few of our favourite heirloom tomatoes, including Bonny Best tomatoes.
Copyright: nblxer / 123RF Stock Photo

Heirloom & Heritage Varieties

There has been a real trend in recent year towards growing heirloom varieties. So what’s all the hype about? Heirloom tomatoes are old varieties that have been passed down through generations. They have not been hybridized to produce higher yields or from disease resistance, they are true to their original genetics. It long been agreed upon from most veggie gardeners that heirloom tomatoes have superior flavor. They usually are not perfect in appearance which makes them not very popular choices for the mass retail market. Often they are quirky shapes and odd colours like pink, striped yellow and red, dark purple or green.

All heirloom tomatoes are indeterminate which means they grow tall and need lots of staking. If you have a patio garden container you may be thinking you are out of luck for growing one of the heirloom tomato varieties but we suggest talking with us (or your local garden centre) about your options. If you have a trellis, balcony or fence near by we may be able to help you with some creative advice to get you growing a heritage tomato plant. Our favourite varieties include Brandywine, Pineapple, Black Krim and of course our the one we are known ‘best’ for ~ Bonnie Best! They are the beauties pictured above. Swoon!

So what should you choose to grow? Why not try all of them? Every gardener has their favourite variety but the best way to find yours is to just start planting!

Good luck & have fun!

P.S. If you have any other questions, please 'Ask Kelly' - one of our expert team members.