‘Lettuce’ Look At Unusual Types Of, Well, . . . Lettuce!

I am in love with lettuce. It’s good for you and comes in a multitude of colors and, shapes and sizes. who knew there were so many kinds. Most people , i they think of it all, figre there are 5 types of lettuce. Whqt they see in the stores is red leaf, green leaf, iceberg, romaine and sometimes butter lettuce.

A couple of years ago I started perusing some of my favorite catalogs and was amazed at the variety. I grew starts and sold them along with my tomato plants. It was well received. I held a “Salad Bowl Workshop” for some of my customers and showed them how to plant i various kinds f pots such as stock pots and colanders. I twas so much fun and the ladies learned how to use lettuce AND flowers to make beautiful containers, both functional and edible!

This year I’ve started approximately 35 kinds of lettuce. I am going to showcase a few of what I have to offer. Can you image making a salad with these combinations? Masterful! My faves are Mayan Jaguar and Tom Thumb. I will showcase more in my next blog post.

Angel’s Ear – Deer Tongue (formerly known as Devil’s Ear)
Buckley – Oak Leaf
Magenta – Summer Crisp
Tom Thumb – Mini Butterhead
Speckled Amish – Butterhead
Pomegranate Crunch – Romaine
New Red Fire – Loose Leaf
Pablo – Batavian / Crisphead
Slo-Bolt – Loose Leaf (Takes heat better than other lettuces)
Elf Ears – Oak Leaf
Lollo Di Vino – Lollo / Loose Leaf / Red Leaf
Mayan Jaguar – Mini Romaine

A Smattering of the Cherry Tomatoes I’m Offering This Year

This beauty is called “Blush.” Sweet and fruity, yellow blushed with reds and oranges in a tidy little packet. Elongated, bite-sized morsels. Indeterminate, mid-season.

New to my collection, “Bumblebee Sunrise.” You will love the sweet, fruity taste of these oblong fruit which weigh barely an ounce. Some show a “beak” at the blossom end. Swirls of reds and oranges make this a lot of fun. Indeterminate, mid-season

Also new to my collection, “Bumblebee Pink.” Pink fruits are striped with yellow and are crack resistant. Great sweet taste and very pretty in a salad. Vigorous vines produce continuously over a long growing season. Indeterminate, mid-season

We love “Candyland Red!” It grows well in a pot and produces lots of yummy little fruit. These are currant tomatoes and smaller than regular cherry-type. Expect more than 100 fruit from every plant. The tomato plant has a nice tidy habit. Indeterminate, mid-season.

Honeybee, This yellow cherry tomato produces huge clusters, of 1” fruit, sweet and juicy! Well branched and extremely prolific. Semi-determinate mid-season

Chocolate Sprinkles is a lovely roundish with a pointy end. Well, sort of. Have you noticed a pattern going on? With the exception of the Candyland Red, they all have stripes, dashes or a blush of some sort. What can I say? I like unusual tomatoes, the only caveat being that they need to have good flavor.

“Whistle While You Work” as You Pick These Dwarf Tomatoes

Last year when I tried to convince people to try a dwarf tomato, I think they thought they were small tomatoes. Not. Yes, some can be smaller, but a lot of the ones I carry are slicing size. The plant is more diminutive than the 8 foot tall varieties I grow.

Dwarf Beauty King
A productive variety that produces over a long season. Extraordinarily beautiful, medium sized tomatoes in yellow and red shades and have a rich, sweet flavor with a hint of citrus. One of the many crosses from the Dwarf Tomato Project.

This makes them perfect for large containers, especially if real estate is at a premium. They will grow larger in the ground but sometimes that’s not an option. All of these tomatoes are from “the Dwarf Tomato Project” Check out this link for more information.

Dwarf Caitydid
New variety, developed by members of the “Dwarf Tomato Project”. Vigorous, rugose, regular leaf, tree-type compact plants. Produces lots of medium to large, smooth, oblate-shaped, yellow tomatoes with red swirls. The flavor is well balanced and delicious.

Dwarf Purple Heart
Dwarf Purple Heart is a regular leaf dwarf variety that produces heart shaped medium to medium large fruit that ripen to a dusky rose purple hue. Wonderful flavor is well balanced and intense, and prolific.

Dwarf Golden Gypsy
Dwarf Golden Gypsy is a mid-season potato leaf dwarf with heavy yields of medium to large smooth oblate yellow fruit in the 8 – 10 oz range. Pale yellow flesh with an intense and sweet, refreshing flavor. Plants reach about 3-4 ft by the end of the season.

In this picture, notice how sturdy the stems are and how ruffled the leaf is. This plant only stands about 3 1/2′ to 4′ tall.

You will also notice that none of these are red (although are a lot of dwarfs that ARE red). For those who say“if a tomato isn’t red, it ain’t a tomato” you are truly missing out.

Dwarf Fred’s Tye Dye
Dwarf (tree-type) plants with rugose regular leaf foliage produce medium sized round purple tomatoes with jagged gold and green stripes and the deep crimson flesh of black tomatoes. 5-6 oz. Rich, intense, and balanced flavor. I grew these last year and thought the taste was very good. Good for a large container. 3 – 4 feet tall mid-season

This is Gonna Make Your Day!

I finally got 6600, give or take a few, tomatoes transplanted. I had a lot of help from friends and family. I can’t be on my feet more than a couple of hours at a time and even at that, every step is painful. But it needed to be done.

I published the website and updated it with the new varieties I have and the ones I either couldn’t find seeds for or they just didn’t get planted.

I am going to showcase as many of the new ones for you.that I have time for (remember that have to take naps!)

Clint Eastwood’s Rowdy Red – a customer request
Seeds of this un-named variety were given to Gary Ibsen of Tomatofest. This tomato. named by Gary for Clint’s participation in the Carmel TomatoFest, is an open-pollinated, tall plant that produces lots of 2”, deep-red, tomatoes with bold, complex flavors. Its fruity sweetness is perfectly balanced with plenty of acidity. Firm and juicy. Indeterminate, main season

Julia Child
Gary Ibsen, owner of Tomatofest, also named this variety in tribute to his friend, famed cook and educator, Julia Child. The tall, potato-leaf plant produces lots of 4”, deep-pink, lightly-fluted, fruits that has firm, juicy flesh and robust flavor. Indeterminate, main season

Regular leaf plant produces heavy yields of 10-14 oz., pink, round, oblate, juicy, beefsteak tomatoes with big, rich, complex, old-fashioned tomatoey flavors. A good choice for a sandwich or salad tomato. RARE. Indeterminate, main season

Heirloom originally from Armenia. A tall plant that produces large, 1-lb., lightly ribbed, yellow and orange beefsteak tomato with some red marbling. Unusually strong flavors for a bi-colored Indeterminate, main season.

Middle Tennessee Low Acid
This plant produces abundant yields of 1-2 lb. pink, beefsteak tomatoes with excellent mildly sweet flavors. For folks who can’t eat tomatoes with any pronounced acid. Indeterminate, main season

Like them? I told you it would make your day!