Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Heinz 1439 Tomato

Tomatoes are likely the first choice of any vegetable grown in home gardens and for good reason. Homegrown tomatoes are the best tasting tomatoes you can ever eat! They are simply the best fresh picked from the vine, still warm with the sun's kiss and moments away from a sandwich or salad. Most home gardeners will grow more than one variety of tomatoes usually chosen for a particular use. This year I'm growing 5 varieties which is well under my normal 25+ varieties but if you recall my new beds went in late this spring. Next year I will be back up to my normal numbers.


Tomato vines are classified as determinant or indeterminant depending on their growth patterns. An inderterminant tomato vine will keep growing and growing whereas a determinant vine will only grow to a certain size and that's it. Indeterminat vines generally require staking or some type of support in home gardens whereas determinant vines do not. Indeterminant tomatoes are preferred when using the square foot gardening method simply because they can be trained to grow upwards on supports. They also have a higher yield than determinant tomatoes.

The Heinz 1439 tomato pictured is an indeterminant with fruit about the size of a tennis ball. It is a deep orangy red with a rich semi-sweet flavour when ripe. Despite the size this is a beautiful slicing tomato for sandwiches or salads. The inside is thick and meaty making this a fairly good sauce tomato as well. Of course near the end of tomato season when frost is threatening any tomato can be used for sauce!

tomato splitting due to excessive waterTomato Splitting

Any home gardener who had grown tomatoes will have at least once per season encountered split tomatoes. Pictured is a Heinz 1439 tomato that split. Tomatoes split due to too much moisture. This can be due to excessive rainfall or improper watering. Unless you protect your tomatoes with some type of canopy to prevent excessive rainfall from hitting your tomatoes chances are very good at least one heavy downfall of rain will cause splitting in tomatoes that are almost ready for picking. This will not affect green tomatoes but will affect those with a good blush. If this happens pick the tomato and wash well. Providing there are no signs of moulding around the split usually quite obvious by white fungal growth the go ahead and use the tomato. For aesthetics cut away the split portion.

If you find splitting happening and you are watering by hand or hose you are watering incorrectly. Tomatoes do not like wet feet aka roots. Water only when the tomatoes need watering and then at the base of the plant not on the foliage. Water thoroughly but do not over water and let them dry a bit before watering again! Do not water if there are any indications that rain may fall the day you are planning to water. Do not water in the evening as this will encourage fungus problems.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome


  1. Hooray!!! All summer I've assumed my peppers were vanishing into the cheeks of dashing bunnies! Your post's pics of the stalks look so familiar I'm now otherwise convinced. Thanks! Would you take a look at my tomatoes pictured in the post "Backyard Bafflement" ( and offer some insight? They split, but often in a specific and white pattern.

    GREAT BLOG. Adding it to my list!

  2. Christa Bledsoe8:13 PM

    MM. I LOVE tomato sandwiches with cheese and I bet these would make great sandwiches! Thanks for sharing. I'm visiting from Adgitize.


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