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Kitchen Gardening

I need your help with my seed choices!

I thought my first year of gardening was hard. Now that I'm trying to decide on tomatoes for this year I'm completely overwhelmed, I need your help...

Photo/Illustration: Kerry Ann Moore

I fell in love this past summer, but it wasn’t with someone tall, dark, and handsome. Instead, my lover was leggy, leafy, and green. This mystery companion was my ‘Juliet’ tomato plant that quickly grew from a small seedling to a mature plant. Every time I went out on my porch, my plant was just a bit bigger and my tomatoes were just a bit riper. I was addicted to watching my ‘Juliet’ tomatoes and my other vegetables grow. My first year gardening proved to be a rewarding experience and I ended up harvesting tomatoes, potatoes, green bell peppers and basil. I am still incredulous, months later, that I managed to keep those plants alive. My sense of accomplishment has turned to excitement about planning my garden for the upcoming year and, luckily, these winter months are affording me time to do just that.

Tomatoes have long been my favorite fruit and the two varieties I grew in my Connecticut (6A zone) garden were inevitably my prized plants. In addition to my true love, ‘Juliet’ tomatoes, I grew a variety only marked as ‘container’ tomatoes. This year I hope to grow at least four different varieties of this flavorful fruit. I don’t plan on doing anything fancy with my tomatoes, I’m not mashing them into paste or drying them in the sun. I just want small ones to pop in my mouth right off the vine and larger ones to slice up and drizzle balsamic vinegar on before I enjoy with a fork and knife.

 The other day I received the Tomato Growers Supply Company catalog I requested using our Garden Catalog Collector and the choices within the pages are overwhelming. From ‘Early Wonder’ tomatoes to ‘Kimberly’ tomatoes, the list goes on and on. Knowing what type of tomato to choose feels like a game of chance or for someone more knowledgeable than I.

Another contributor, Jodi Torpey, recently posted a blog where she asked for recommendations on what types of tomatoes to grow this upcoming season, Tomatoes: Request for Reader Recommendations. The comments she received, however, didn’t differentiate between those that need to spread out in a garden and those that can be grown in large containers. I am strictly looking for the latter, since my garden, once again, needs to be a container garden. I would love for you to share your favorite container tomato choices with me.

I know I want a garden full of edibles, so in addition to some delicious tomatoes I have to decide what other fruits and veggies I want to grow. If you have any other ideas of what will grow well in containers I would appreciate hearing them. I’m so eager to start my garden this summer and want to make sure I am armed with the best seed choices.  I can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

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