Tennessee Heirloom Tomato
Frequent winner of tomato tasting contests – if taste is your #1 priority, try this pink tomato that turns a darker rose shade at its ripest. Big wonky shapes and thin skins make it unsuitable for commercial growers, but just fine for the home garden. To outsmart birds and squirrels, who like it as much as we do, harvest when it’s pale pink. Tennessee Heirloom can finish ripening indoors to deep rose perfection with no loss of flavor.
Culture: Start seeds indoors six weeks before last frost. They’ll need to be caged or staked. Good soil, full sun.
Saving seed: You’ll need to separate this variety from other heirloom tomatoes by 150 feet. One hundred feet will do if there are significant barriers like buildings or dense tall plants in between. Save seeds from a minimum of 10 plants.
You can eat your tomatoes and save seeds too. Just wait until they are very ripe (over-ripe is fine for seed-saving too). Scoop seeds and the gelatinous goop around them into a container and set the mess aside until the top is covered with mold (2-7 days, depending on temperatures). Then rinse well and dry the seeds on a screen or wax paper. The seeds have a protective coating that keeps them from germinating while still inside the juicy fruit; enzymes in the mold dissolve that coating.