Juicy fruit: New tomato varieties to try alongside favorites

2010-04-11T14:30:00Z Juicy fruit: New tomato varieties to try alongside favoritesBy MELODY PARKER, melody.parker@wcfcourier.com Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

Close your eyes.

Imagine biting into a homegrown tomato, still warm from the sun

Can you almost feel the juice dripping off your chin? The sweet-tart flavor tingling your taste buds?

That's what summer tastes like, but it will be a long time before it's warm enough to plant this season's tomato crop, let alone slice a juicy fruit for topping crisp bacon slices. But there's still plenty of time to choose your tomato varieties.

Generally, tomatoes are judged by flavor, color, shape, size, firmness and production. Some tomatoes are acidic, others are sweet; some have thick skins and others are as delicate as handmade paper. Heirloom varieties like "Cherokee Purple," "German Pink" and "Brandywine" have their fans. Some gardeners wouldn't think to grow tomatoes without including a big beefsteak variety.

It's always fun to throw something interesting and new into the mix. Here are a few tantalizing new varieties. These tomatoes will be available as seeds or bedding plants. Descriptions are provided by the National Garden Bureau

"Marmara"

"Marmara" is a Marmande-type hybrid with smooth ridged green shoulders, sweet flavor, and good texture. They are firm enough for salads and pasta dishes and slice nicely for sandwiches. The oblate shaped 3- to 4-inch red tomatoes weigh 5 to 6 ounces. Disease tolerance to ToMV, V race 1, and F race 1. You will want to stake this 36-inch indeterminate plant. Matures in 75 to 80 days. Developed by Seminis.

"Sweet ‘n' Neat Cherry Red"

A dwarf, determinate, multi-branching tomato suitable for use on a windowsill or in a patio container. "Sweet ‘n' Neat" produces masses of sweet fruit through the season. The tasty round cherry red fruits weigh less than an ounce. The one-inch size is just right for popping in your mouth. Staking is required for the vines reaching 12 to 14 inches. Harvest about 60 days. Developed by Vegetalis.

"Sweet Treats"

Unique, new, large-fruited pink cherry tomato with a delicious flavor experience. Fruits have a beautiful deep pink tone, great texture and good cracking tolerance. Strong, vigorous indeterminate 6-foot plant requires staking. Resistance to ToMV strains 0&1, Fusarium 1&2, leaf mold and tolerant to gray leaf spot and crown rot and root rot. Harvest superb flavored cherry tomatoes 105-120 days from sowing seed. Developed by Sakata Seed America.

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