Today there are more than 10,000 recognized tomato varieties and hundreds of heirloom tomato varieties available to the gardening community. With this vast collection, it can be quite overwhelming to the normal person who would just like to cultivate a few heirloom tomato plants. Selecting the ideal tomatoes for your area’s weather conditions and garden plot size makes for an interesting mission. This article on heirloom tomato varieties will present you with various different types of tomatoes and bring some valuable knowledge on some of the many favored varieties.
What are Heirloom Tomatoes?
Heirloom tomato varieties are old varieties that have superb flavor and strong growth. This enables them to be planted year after year. An heirloom tomato can be described as open pollinated varieties with essential qualities, which also having, been grown over 50 plus years. Most heirloom tomatoes have been handed down from generation to generation. There are still some heirloom tomato varieties that are popular that were grown over 100 years ago.
What Does Open Pollinated Mean?
Most heirloom tomato varieties are open pollinated offering the richest flavored fruits and the bonuses are that the seeds can be saved to plant in subsequent seasons. As home gardeners, we look for tomatoes that have the most flavor and since open pollinated heirloom tomatoes win hands down in the flavor department, this a good choice.
Now, to help you understand what open pollination really is. Open pollination applies to plants that are pollinated by natural methods, such as vibration, by wind, or by insects like bees. Tomato plants need pollen to make fruit for their own survival. Tomato plants are self pollinating. This means that the male and female parts are contained within the same flower. In a tomato plant, pollination almost always occurs within the same flower, and happens when the vibrations from the wind or other natural occurrences scatter the pollen granules around inside the flower itself. One positive thing about growing open pollinated tomatoes is that you can be rest assured that the daughter plant will be the same as the parent plant. Some gardeners are in the opinion that open pollinated tomato plants are stronger because they have gown in a natural surrounding and become accustomed to that particular environment. Read the rest of this entry »