Thursday, April 25, 2013

Surprise, surprise!

Huh? These aren’t round!
I planted four tomato varieties this year, carefully selected from the online offerings of Mobile Botanical Gardens. All the varieties in the online catalog were from commercial growers in the coastal Alabama area, ready for early planting. 

The botanical gardens crew had coordinated with the growers on the seedlings' early availability and the selection of varieties compatible with the climate of the northern Gulf of Mexico coast, specifically the Mobile, Ala. area on the shores of Mobile Bay.

We are about 48 miles west, but I figured those tomato plants would be more likely to thrive than the big box stores’ plants that are often the same for, say, Pennsylvania as for coastal Mississippi.

I chose three grape and cherry varieties and one with medium-sized fruit—I thought. But yesterday when I got a little weeding in, I was surprised to discover a number of clusters already on the “Juliet” bush, the variety with medium-sized fruit. But an even bigger surprise was the shape of those green tomatoes.

Arghhh! Not only are they not round, they are also about as big as they are going to get. You can see husband Walter’s fingers behind the ones at the top of this post for an idea of size. A quick hop over to Google, and sure enough, somehow I had looked at one picture and description but ordered a different kind. It is just another of my Internet shopping missteps.

I am not that disappointed, though. I really like to use the cherry and grape tomato varieties for salads and to reserve the larger tomato varieties for sandwiches. But I have cut down on sandwiches with their requisite breads. Bread contains lots of salt. Instead I am eating more salads with salt-free homemade dressing, enjoying them and staying closer to the 1,500 mg daily sodium intake mandated by my doctor.

And I also like to pop tiny cherry tomatoes and even smaller grape tomatoes just like candy. We should be able to sample ripe ones from our own modest patch by early May. I am hoping all four varieties match the glowing descriptions of their flavor.

I am definitely a happy, hopeful, wannabe gardener!


  1. I'm glad you are adapting to the surprise. Enjoy those home grown tomatoes!!!

  2. I should watch my salt intake also, as I have high blood pressure. Hubby, too. I like the looks of those tomatoes. So cute!

  3. Those look like plum tomatoes, my favorite, but they really are small. I like Plums because they have more meat.

  4. I'm sure those tomatoes will be delicious--no matter how you choose to eat them! Enjoy!

    PS I wish I could send you some of my lettuce to go with your tomatoes. My chickens enjoyed the first sample yesterday, and they seemed to approve :)

  5. i have made a few of those shopping missteps on line and in the store, reach out for a package or jar of one thing and come home with another. the little pear shaped tomatoes will be perfect for salad or popping. i love to pop them little cherry tomatoes.

  6. I am sure those tomatoes will be mouth-watering good. I used to love tomato sandwiches. We buy Pepperidge Farm lo-fat wheat bread. I like mine toasted with Colby cheese and tomato. Could eat them every day. Dianne

  7. Ummmm, I love the little tomatoes. They are perfect for popping in the mouth.
    They must have been a big surprise though.
    Looking forward to more updates from your wannabe gardening adventures.

  8. Hm, plum tomatoes. (that’s what the long ones are called here) They are just as good for salads as the round ones.

    We haven’t even sown the seeds yet.