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!

What I Did This Winter (I wouldn’t suggest it as an option for vacation!)

So this is my story: (No pictures as that would mean I need to brush my hair)

I just got out of the hospital 10 days ago. On 1/20 I had my knee replacement replaced due to an infection. I came home Friday afternoon and by midnight was taken back to the hospital by ambulance from a bad reaction to morphine. Couldn’t breathe. Ended up in ICU in an induced coma, intubated, had a mild heart attack, they put 5 stents in my chest. Spent almost 4 days in ICU. Kidneys were injured etc. 

I am getting stronger everyday but still tired. That’s probably the heart. Amazing the planning it takes to make a trip to the bathroom. I have to have antibiotics every morning for the next 5 weeks through a pic line in my arm that Steve has learned to hook up for me. That’s for the infection in my leg. 

If it wasn’t for the bad drug interaction I would have had a major heart attack at some point and probably died. I guess there can be good in all bad things. I never knew I have a heart problem. Go figure.

So last year, we did really well in plant sales. This year, no way I am going to be able to do the same volume. I have to accept my limitations and that’s a rough one for me. I have more friends than I knew I had. You should see the Facebook posts. I am humbled 

So this is what I have been doing for the last three weeks. I am glad to be home and am taking time in between naps to work on the tomato business. Timing could be better!

Don’t worry, I am making progress and I have many people who want to help volunteer to plant.

Tomato Identifying as a Pumpkin! From The Tomato Lady’s Garden to Yours

This is one of the last Greek Rose that we picked from our garden for this year. They are lovely and very large and delicious. This one was so big, it seemed to be identifying as a pumpkin! This one is just for fun! Happy Fall!

A Couple of My New Favorite Tomatoes

What a summer it has been. Cold then hot, hot then cold, little moisture, lots os smoke from the fires. It’s a wonder my stuff even grew. I did have record productivity though. Not sure why but I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

I grew some new tomatoes this year along with the usual suspects.

My 2020 list:
Cherry Tomatoes

Fruit Punch

Dwarf Tomatoes
Chocolate Lightening
Sweet Sue
Golden Gypsy
Purple Heart
Mr. Snow
Rosela Crimson
Rosella Purple

San Marzano Redorta


Gold Medal
Greek Rose
Dagma’s Perfection

Black Beauty
Thorburn’s Terra Cotta
Lucid Gem

Lemon Boy

All of them did pretty well, I will try to share more later. My faves this year were Gold Medal, Greek Rose, Dester, Dagma’s Perfection and Lemon Boy. From those five varieties, I picked many that weighed well over a pound.

Greek Rose

The Greek Rose reminded me of an oxheart, more meaty and less juicy with a fluted top.


Dester was a very late to ripen tomato but when they did, yummm! Very sweet and big.

Dagma’s Perfection

Dagma’s Perfection was also a hit. Large and very sweet and very proflific.

Gold Medal

The Gold Medal, which I have grown before was exceptional, sweet and golden with red marbling. I will certainly grow all of these in my garden agaiin.

Lemon Boy

Lemon Boy – we had a customer several years ago who grew nothing but Lemon Boys. I couldn’t figure out why and now that I’ve grown them, I understand why. Prolific and sweet. Tasty on a sandwich.

Hot Temps and Your Garden

If you live in the Inland Northwest and you’ve seen a recent forecast then you know we are in for some really hot temperatures. That means we have to be extra vigilant in our watering practices.

For container gardens, I water once a day, usually in the early morning. For small pots, sometimes I need to water twice a day. That is why I encourage everyone to use the biggest pots you can find, smaller pots mean less soil volume and more drying out. Add some hot wind, it is even worse.

In the garden, we have a drip system setup (soaker hoses) and right now, we are leaving it on 24/7 when possible. No danger of overwatering since it “drips”. That being said, I see my plants like squash, with large thin leaves, wilting. sad looking but it happens every year now. They are well watered but the sun is very intense. I used to think I was doing something wrong. hey perk back up when the sun heads towards the horizon. I don’t remember this happening when I was kid but you get older and your mind goes!

Another thing you should be prepared for is the flowers drying up and falling off. They aren”t being pollinated. Optimum temps for fruit set is 65-80° F. As you get hotter, less fruit can be expected. Some tomatoes are more prone to this, that is one of the reasons it is harder to grow tomatoes in the summer in places like Florida and Arizona.

Another tidbit: temps under 55 degrees when the fruit is forming can cause misshapen fruit or catfacing, especially on heirloom varieties.

There are some heat-tolerant varieties such as HeatmasterSolar FireSummer Set, and Phoenix which can form fruit even as temperatures climb. Click on the link for a good article by Bonnie Plants on growing tomatoes in heat.

I hope everyone is having a great and prolific summer despite our crazy weather! we have been picking squash, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. Our larger tomatoes are starting to color up and we’ve picked 3 mid-size Yukon Quests already. My husband also made his first BLT!

Yukon Quest

How Does YOUR Garden Grow?

July 3rd, 2020

Where has the time gone? It’s seems that only yesterday I made a video showing folks how to plant tomatoes!

As I wandered through my garden checking the progress of our plants, I started wondering how yours were doing. I’ve heard from a few of you that they are best plants you’ve ever had and others describe what can only be the results of herbicide damage. With all the wind we’ve had, it’s not surprising.

Here is what is going on with my garden.

Corn This year we decided to try corn again and it has come up in spades. They are about a foot high already. We planted them short rows for better pollination.

Tomatoes Our plants are looking amazing and about three times as large as when I planted them. Most have tomatoes on them already. Two that have really amazed me are the dwarf “Yukon Quest” and the “Lucid Gem” The Yulon Quest was only about a foot high when it started producing tomatoes. so far they are are about 2″ across. The Lucid Gem has several tomaotes, some almost 2.5″ across with beautiful purple shoulders. The plant isn’t anything to write home about but it is healthy.All three of our cherry tomatoes, “Sungold”, “Celano”. and “Fruit Punch” have clusters of fruit. The Sungold is starting to color up.

Lucid Gem
Yukon Quest

Our peppers are amazing. half of them we planted in the greenhouse and the other half are in large pots. Almost all of them have peppers on them. The one I am impressed with it called “Glow” It has fruit that is about 4″ long already!

Pepper “Glow”

Our melons are growing as is the winter squash which are reaching out to touch it’s neighbors. We even have little babies on the summer squash plants. Can’t wait to eat them!

This year we have enough room to try beans again. Being naturally lazy, I like pole beans, easier to pick and gives a season long harbest. I planted purple and green, the purple being eaiser to see!

Pole Beans

The cucumbers are amazing! They are climbing up the support we provided and I saw tiny little cucumber on one of them.


Herbicide Damage on Tomato Plants

Herbicides such as 2,4-D have a strong smell and can be easily detected when used. It has growth regulator-type activity and affected plants will show curling and twisting before they die. Non-lethal doses to tomatoes will cause curling and darkening or lightening of the leaves and potentially reduce yields depending on exposure level. If the exposure was bad, the plant will eventually die.

Below are more pictures of damage caused by hervicides.

9-1-1 for Affected Plants

Unfortunately, we may be able to control what we spray in our yards but not so much what is sprayed in the neighbor’s yard or fields. Or by their lawn service. Since a foliar method is used for application, this increases the chances of drift. Lately in our area, it has been quite windy, more so than usual. I’ve had a handful of people contact me about this.

Symptoms include twisted, curling leaves, and yellowing etc. It happens quite suddenly and there is little we can do about it except deeply water the suspected victim throughly and deeply (to dilute the chemicals.) and try and wash it off the foliage as much and as soon as possible.

Plants accidentally exposed should have affected leaves pruned off to prevent the spread ofthe herbicide deep into the plant.

Our neighbor uses a lawn service and we have told them the employees that we have a garden and about 10,000 plants that don’t take well to drift from their sprays and they have been very good about remembering that.

Why is My Squash Turning Yellow?

spaghetti squash 73118 - 1So many people come to me with questions about their gardens. I think one of the cutest things they tell me, is that they keep getting blossom end rot on their summer squash. You know, where, you get all excited because it is your first squash of the season. Every day you check on it with anticipation. Then, the horror of horrors, it starts turning yellow! Aaaahh! You babied it, watered it, fertilized it. Now, this.

More than likely, it wasn’t pollinated. Wind and bees are the primary ways pollination gets done. Mommy flower and Daddy flower get together, and well, you know how it works.

Squash, melons, pumpkins, and cucumbers are members of the same family and they often have problems with pollination due to the male flowers falling off before the female flowers open. 

Here is a great article I read this morning that tells you, in simple terms, how to get around that. Easy peasy and soon you will be giving squash away, right and left!

Here is the link and I’ve included the article to. Thank you to Harvest to Table for the great read.


hand pollination

Hand pollination is the manual transfer of pollen from the stamen of one plant to the pistil of another–that is from a male flower to a female flower.

Members of the Cucurbit family–squash, melons, pumpkins, and cucumbers–often have pollination problems because the male flowers commonly open days before the female flowers and so often drop before pollinators such as bees can transfer pollen from male to female flowers.

When female flowers are not pollinated, the fruit will never appear. The nascent fruits–bulging embryos–at the stem end of female flowers will shrivel and die if not pollinated.

If fruit is not forming on your Cucurbit family plants, you can help. Rub a small brush or cotton swab on the stamen of a male flower (it will be dusty with pollen) then rub the brush on the stigma of the female flower.

Hand pollination

Alternatively, you can remove the petals from a male flower and brush the stamen against the stigma of a female flower.

Which flower is male and which is female? Female flowers have a small bulge (a small immature flower) where the stem meets the flower. Male flowers are shorter than female flowers and often appear in clusters.