Tomatoes: Tempting new varieties for your home-grown BLT sandwiches and salads

Every year, horticulture experts around the world cultivate new plant varieties to enhance the diversity and productivity of gardens everywhere, according to gardening experts.

Increased disease resistance, more compact growth habits and unusual-colored fruits are all reasons to consider adding one of these new varieties to your garden. Here are some to consider trying

Burpee introduces “world’s largest sauce tomato”

Burpee is known for bringing new vegetable varieties to American gardens for 136 years—including the first white sweet corn, the legendary ‘Big Boy’ tomato, and ‘Sweet Seedless,’ the first ever seedless tomato. For 2013, Burpee has introduced SuperSauce Hybrid Tomato, “the world’s largest sauce tomato," according to a company news release.

SuperSauce is the new superhero of tomatoes. The first ripe fruits tip the scale at up to 2 pounds, measuring a whopping 5.5 inches tall and 5 inches wide. SuperSauce produces gallons of luscious, seedless sauce from a single plant harvest—one tomato fills an entire sauce jar. The easy-to-grow, indeterminate, disease-free plants yield a summer-long supply of exquisitely flavored marinara, tomato gravy or meat sauce. But wait! It gets even better. With its large segments of meaty and delicious flesh, SuperSauce is the only paste tomato that doubles as a sandwich slicer. Try it on a hamburger or tomato sandwich and you won’t believe the taste bonus over a horizontal slice of beefsteak.

Tomatoes are the nations favorite backyard garden fruit because they are easy to grow, are prolific producers and have unrivaled summer flavor. SuperSauce Hybrid Sauce Tomato is already one of Burpee’s best-selling tomato introductions ever. A packet of SuperSauce Tomato seeds sells for $6.50 or 3 garden-ready plants sell for $14.95, exclusively from Burpee, (800) 888-1447 or

Grow “Mountain Papaya” on a porch or patio

A container plant from Ecuador, Babaco Papaya (Vasconcellea x heilbornii) has long slender fruit with an amazing bouquet of flavor and an intensely juicy pulp. Also known as the Mountain Papaya, it can take winter temperatures just above freezing—unlike the standard papaya that suffers when temperatures are kept below 60 degrees F. The fruit is seedless and can reach 8-10” in length. Mature container-grown plants produce 7-10 fruits annually, and the container-grown tree will reach 4-8 feet tall. The plant grows quickly during the sunny warmth of summer and will begin fruiting at about 2 feet in height. One small tree in a 4-inch pot sells for $29.95 from Logee’s, (888) 330-8038 or

Rosella Purple Tomato is a perfect pot partner

Rosella Purple is a new dwarf tomato variety that produces fruits similar to Cherokee Purple but on short plants, making this variety ideal for container gardening. Bred by the Dwarf Tomato Project, an international group of tomato enthusiasts devoted to breeding short tomato varieties with great flavor, Rosella Purple fruits weigh 6-10 ounces and feature a delightful deep purple color. The productive plants grow to about 36 inches tall and benefit from some staking to keep them upright and to protect the fruits from sunscald. These determinate plants produce fruit 65 days after transplanting.

Rosella Purple originated from a cross between Budai (a small red-fruited dwarf) and Stump of the World, made in 2006 by Patrina Nuske Small in Australia. A subsequent selection discovered by Craig LeHoullier led to Rosella Purple—after other members of the Dwarf Tomato Project ( made their own contributions. A packet of seeds sells for $3.25 from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, or (540) 894-9480.

Posted by Kathy Van Mullekom;

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