Do you want to plant the perfect tomato this summer? Look no further than the Homestead tomato.
Both heat resistant and abundant, the Homestead tomato makes the perfect addition to any garden. Keep reading to find out how this tomato tastes, what recipes to use it in, and how to make it a bountiful harvest this summer season.
All About the Homestead Tomato
Short, stout, ribbed, and ruffled, the Homestead variety is a juicy tomato. They’re meaty and great for bath recipes and canning. Because of its size, this is a great slicer tomato to use for all of your summer sandwiches.
The Homestead tomato gives gardeners a great harvest. It’s similar to the well-known beefsteak tomato but has a slightly shorter growing season. Because of this, you can make recipes that require a large number of tomatoes.
If you’re looking for the perfect summer side dish, consider making these slow-roasted tomatoes from Martha Stewart.
If you want to make a hearty homemade tomato sauce, try this recipe from All Recipes. This sauce would be a great addition to a summer ratatouille–especially if you’re hosting a dinner party.
Finally, if you want to try canning, consider this recipe from Epicurious. This zingy pickled tomato recipe will enhance the tomatoes you use for salads and sandwiches.
In addition to bulk tomato recipes, the Homesteads make a great no-frills bite to eat. Simply slice it and add salt and pepper for a quick and healthy snack.
For kids home for the summer, make mini kebabs! Use cubed cheese, toothpicks, and a cubed tomato. Your kids will love helping you in the kitchen, and they will also love this tasty and healthy snack.
Why should you eat more tomatoes? Tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant known to reduce the risk of both cancer and heart disease.
To fully understand how beneficial tomatoes are to your diet, read more about the health benefits of tomatoes and tomato nutrition.
Growing at Home
Homesteads can easily be grown at home. Seeds can be purchased online, and they only take five to ten days to germinate. Starts for these tomatoes can be found at most home and garden stores. If started from seeds, you can expect a harvest around eighty days after planting.
For best results, plan to plant your tomato seeds and start after your last frost. If using seeds, plant into the soil two inches apart and a quarter of an inch into the soil. If using plant starts, plant your tomatoes 24-36 inches apart.
These plants get big, so don’t crowd your space. Your Homestead tomato plant can reach over 48 inches in height. The fruit grows to be about eight ounces. Since this is an annual, you will need to plant it each growing season to keep it a regular part of your garden.
Most Homestead tomatoes are determinate plants. This means that they don’t need to be pruned! If it says semi-determinate on your seed package, be sure to prune away the suckers so that the fruit can grow to its full potential. If you can find a determinate variety, this means that most of your fruit will ripen at once.
If you’re planning on big-batch recipes and canning, be sure to get the determinate variety.
When caring for your tomato plants, be aware of the common tomato diseases. Check out our post about common tomato diseases.
One thing to watch out for is blossom end rot on your tomato plants. You will know that your plants have blossom end rot if the blossom-end of your tomato plants starts to rot.
If you see it, remove that tomato plant right away. Unfortunately, it can’t be saved. If you are not adding new store-bought soil to your pot or garden bed, you might need to add calcium to your soil.
Tomatoes are also prone to pests. Read here to discover how to tackle the 15 most common tomato pests. Aphids, fruit worms, and leaf-footed bugs are among the most common tomato-destroying bugs. Consider investing in ladybugs for your garden so that your tomato plants can thrive.
History of the Homestead Tomato
Where did the Homestead tomato come from? In the 1950s, the University of Florida developed Homesteads to resist heat and cracking. This makes it perfect for gardeners who want to harvest their tomatoes well into the summer. It also makes it the perfect tomato for extreme summer conditions.
If your area is prone to extreme heat and drought, the Homestead tomato is the perfect variant for you.
How do I know when I can pick my Homestead tomatoes?
Tomatoes are ready to be picked when they are no longer green.
I have a lot of summer pests. Can I harvest them while they’re still green?
Yes! Ideally, wait until they have a slight tinge of color to them. Then, bring them inside to ripen. They should be ripe in less than a week.
Can I eat green tomatoes?
Yes! They are perfectly healthy. In fact, green tomatoes are high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and all fruits and vegetables offer more fiber into your daily diet. Look here for some recipes with green tomatoes.
Why should I choose this tomato variety over other slicer tomatoes?
Homesteads are great all-purpose tomato plants. If you’ve had failed tomato crops in the past, or if you’re a beginning gardener, this is the plant for you!
Where To Buy:
Homesteads can be found at any local home and garden store. We think you’ll love the Homestead Tomato seeds sold online by one of our favorite seed retailers, Hoss Tools. This family-owned company is known for its high-quality seeds, tools, and gardening supplies.
Add the Homestead Tomato to Your Garden Today!
In conclusion, the Homestead tomato is the perfect slicer tomato for your summer garden. Whether you’re a beginner gardener or have years of experience, this heat-tolerant variety will yield beautiful, meaty fruit.
The Homestead’s bountiful harvest will allow you to try your hand at a plethora of new recipes. Don’t delay–plant Homesteads during your next growing season!
To learn more about tomatoes, visit our Tomato Plants page, where you’ll find information on different varieties, plus helpful guides for growing and caring for your tomato plants.