Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Matt's Wild Cherry (Tomato)

Reading tomato descriptions in the seed catalogues in winter, when fresh tomatoes have been gone from the house for two or three months, is almost torture. They all sound so wonderful, and I want to try them all, but in my yard, most tomato varieties that aren't at least VFN resistant either die right away or have pretty low yields of tomatoes. To save myself from the distress of a pathetic tomato harvest, I choose my main crop tomatoes from varieties that are listed as being the most disease resistant, then I add one or two others to try, just in case the plants turn out to be resistant, after all (hope springs eternal!).

Matt's Wild Cherry is the kind of cherry tomato that I chose to grow this year, mostly because the catalogue description made it sound very resistant to all kinds of diseases and also because I had never heard of it before (the lure of the unknown!). Since this was an experiment, I started, and eventually planted, only one plant from the seed packet.

This is one tomato that is a success in my yard. It has been reasonably productive, providing a couple of cups of grape-sized tomatoes every day since the weather turned hot, and it is tasty. It isn't a super-sweet tomato, just nicely tomato-y. One of my brothers said it was like "a cool drink of water."

It isn't a good choice for a very small garden, though, or for a container. My one plant has arms that sprawl at least twelve feet, reaching through the all the cages of my Mortgage Lifters and Arkansas Travelers in one direction and all the way through my melon patch in the other.

After this year's success, I'm going to plant a Matt's Wild Cherry again, next year. Plenty of seeds are left in the packet, safely stored in a jar in the fridge.

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