This summer the deck has 22 tomato plants growing among cucumbers and several types of peppers. Four tomato plants are experimental heirloom tomatoes, planted from Dry Creek starts in May. They have developed mostly large tomatoes, some ripening last month, but most just now beginning to show color. Also on the deck are seven Cherry Tomatoes grown from organic seed. The cherry tomatoes are now rapidly turning red. Ten more containers hold the mighty Big Beef and Beefsteak plants.
But this year, there's only one container that's home to a Patio Tomato (pictured).
In a way, growing tomatoes in Northwestern Nevada is always an experimental venture. This is so because it's fairly impossible to predict how the weather will fare each season. We never know if the season will be long or short and whether the springtime months will be sunny and warm or cold and gray.
But while some tomato plants will be intimidated by our local weather patterns, the lowly Patio Tomato is usually certain to come through with results. They usually begin producing fruit in early June, offering daily ripeness by late June. The tomato size is just right for a variety of uses. Not overly huge like the Big Beef and Beefsteak, but not tiny like a cherry, the Patio Tomato offers a perfect size for quartering for salads and vegetable platters. Their flesh lends itself to chopping and pureeing for sauces, providing flavor on the good side of delicious. The plant is bush-like, staying compact often without the need for extensive caging. For this reason, alone, they are exceptionally suited to containers.