Seven Delicious Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Tomatoes

The tomatoes are finally finished and sadly its time to dig out the vines, pull up and store the stakes and wheel barrow the vines ragged remains to the tree prunings heap at the rear of our property. As much as I don’t relish the approach of winter it does give me time to relax a little and plan out my planting schedule for next year.


Like last season this has been a bumper one with more tomatoes than we could ever hope to use. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with several new varieties and have achieved good results from the old tried and true performers like beefsteak and moneymaker. As described below several other types have been less than impressive.

I may ease back a little next year because 40 plus plants creates a fair amount of up keep but in spite of this I still hope to trial a few new varieties. I simply refuse to eat shop or supermarkets tomatoes as they are insipid and tasteless. Additionally who knows what sprays have undoubtedly been used on them. Here in New Zealand it seems that consumers don’t have a right to know, if they did I’m sure more would dig up some dirt and grow their own.

Never mind I will just go without until next summer. It’s no big deal as homegrown garden fresh tomatoes are always well worth the wait.

Beefsteak Tomato

Beefsteak are one of the largest tomatoes out there and are great to eat raw or in a salad. A couple of slices of fresh bread and a beefsteak also makes for a magical sandwich. I’ve been growing these for the last 30 years as they are good reliable producers and can exceed 1 kilogram. On the farm my Dad always grew beefsteaks and I can still remember those amazing sandwiches we used to have for lunch. If you’re into big tomatoes these are well worth the time and effort.

Tommy Toe

Just like the supermarket ones but with one major difference of course … these have flavour. Moneymakers always get a place in my garden because I know if in the unlikely event of the others failing these will keep us in good stead. With massive crops every season they are a good choice if you only intend to grow one variety. They are easier to manage than beefsteak as they grow to a uniform medium size and shape.

Tommy Toe

Tommy Toe were added to my list of “tomatoes to grow” 2 years ago and have now earned a permanent spot there. These are one of my favourites as the they grow like crazy and taste sensational. This cherry tomato rarely makes it to our kitchen bench as I love to eat them straight from the vine, that’s when they taste best. Tommy Toe also work well when sliced in half and thrown into a salad.

Black from Tula

After reading many glowing reports about this Russian black heirloom I felt compelled to give it a try. Tula is located approximately 193 kilometres from Moscow and is the area from which this tasty specimen originates, hence it’s name.

It’s has an amazingly rich slightly salty fruity flavour which makes it some what unique. Of all the tomatoes I grew this past season Black from Tula was number one when it came to flavour and taste.

Pink Brandywine

Last year I had a great crop of these but for some reason this season they were rather ordinary. Can be rather gnarly and ugly as well as being prone to cracking. Ascetics aside Pink Brandywine are a good sized flavoursome meaty tomato as they have small seed cavities. It’s flesh is pinkish in colour and especially nice when fried up on the barbeque, I just love mixed fried tomatoes.

Yellow Brandywine

Until last week I only knew this as a yellow tomato because it came from a packet of Yates’s heirloom seeds that I impulse purchased at the garden centre. Upon making inquiries with the fine people at Yates, special thanks to Chris, I was informed that it was Yellow Brandywine. The three I planted this year had some huge tomatoes on them. Unlike it’s pink cousin these are smooth and round. Certainly looking forward to growing more of this variety.

Kelloggs Breakfast

This orange variety came from that same Yates’s packet and is known as Kellogg’s Breakfast. I only got a few tomatoes off the two vines and these were ordinary to say the least. Intend to give these a miss next season.

Deliciuos Tomato

The tomato above is called Deliciuos and I decided to try it because I’d heard that they grow exceptionally large. Had hoped to set some records but alas it was not to be.  When planting I made extra effort working in generous amounts of compost and horse manure with the expectation of growing some prize winners. They grew but certainly didn’t impress therefore I can’t really give much of an opinion of them. There’s always next year.

Black Krim

The last on my list is the well known heirloom Black Krim. Until a few months ago this was at the top of my most liked list but has now been out performed by Black from Tula. It’s still a magical tomato and will find a place in our garden next spring.

If you love growing and eating tomatoes as much as I do it would be wonderful to hear about those that take pride of place in your veggie patch.

6 Responses

  1. Sandra
    Sandra |

    I am really impressed by these beautiful tomatoes! They look stunning. Tomatoes are so healthy and these must be really nice to eat.

    The one thing I love most by growing your own tomatoes is the taste they have got. And growing them yourself means you know for sure there are no pesticides used. Thank you for the inspirational article.

  2. tracy
    tracy |

    This year I was pleasantly surprised to find rediscovered heirlooms like cherokee purple tomatoes in my local chain garden store. I am excited to see how they do in my garden.

  3. Linda
    Linda |

    I grow oxheart, devoted to them. But I do everything you say you do on this blog… two worm farms as well, and use comfrey tea religiously, blood and bone, chicken poo. And I doubt any of my tomatoes will ripen because all the plants are covered in blight. I sprayed them with copper twixe as well as ecofungicide.

  4. Linda
    Linda |

    Do you recommend sterilizing the soil with Jeyes fluid at the end of the season. I am sorely tempted.Somehow I have to rid the ground of the fungus.

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