Tomatoes, 

Tomatoes, Tomatoes!



 Tomatoes have always been important to us and are one of the most popular vegetables we grow. We grow many varieties  in our own garden each summer, for fresh eating and canning  and trialing new varieties!  We offer many different varieties from low acid to the tried and true garden favourites as well as many heritage varieties. We grow the following varieties and more, but some are in limited quantities. Best to come early to get your favourite variety. If there is something that you would like but don't see here, give us a call. We may just have a few !

Canning and Slicing Tomatoes

  • Celebrity - Determinate. This is a mainstay variety in our gardens for both eating fresh and canning. Deep red colour and very tasty.  Approximately 8 - 10 oz. fruit. 70 days to maturity.  It would enjoy a tomato cage or staking.
  • Super Fantastic -Indeterminate.  Smooth skinned and tasty. This variety just keeps on giving all summer! 70 days to maturity. Large fruit. Needs a tomato cage or a stake.
  • Better Boy - Indeterminate. Large, deep red, tasty fruit grown on disease resistant plants. 72 -75 days for maturity. Needs staking or a cage.
  • Bush Beefsteak - Determinate. Very large, bright red fruit. 80 days to maturity.
  • Manitoba - Determinate. A prairie favourite for many years. 6 oz. fruit on bush plants that are early. 60 -65 days to maturity. Staking not required.
  • Bush Early Girl -Determinate. A very early variety, one of the first to ripen in the garden. 55- 60 days to maturity
  • Prairie Pride -Determinate. An early low acid variety.  55 days to maturity.
  • Roma - Determinate.  A disease resistant, red plum variety. It is used for pasta sauces and salsa but it is also tasty eating fresh. It is meaty and has few seeds. 75 days to maturity. It would enjoy a tomato cage or stake
  • Lemon Boy -Determinate. A low acid tomato that tastes great. 55 days to maturity.

Cherry Tomatoes

  • Tiny Tim - A dwarf variety with 1" cherry tomatoes. 65 days to maturity. Doesn't need to be staked.
  • Sweet 100 - Indeterminate. Sweet, tasty, 1" red cherry tomatoes borne in long clusters. Needs  to be staked or a tomato cage. 60 days to maturity.
  • Tumbling  Tom red - Determinate. Grows best in hanging baskets, containers and upside-down tomato planters. Produces 2" cherry tomatoes and is very productive. Lot's of leaf cover, it fills out a basket well. 70 days to maturity.

Heritage Tomatoes

  • Brandywine (pink) - Indeterminate. This tomato produces large, flat shaped tomatoes. A tasty heritage variety , it is well worth trying. Staking is recommended.
  • Basketvee - Determinate. 9 oz. smooth, firm fruit. Mature in 70 days.
  • Beefsteak - Determinate, large bright red fruit. 80 days to maturity.
  • Cherokee Purple -  Indeterminate. This tomato brings unique colours to your table. Very tasty, it ranges in colour from red to brown to purple. A longer season tomato at 75- 85 days. Staking is recommended.
  • Golden Jubilee - Indeterminate. Golden yellow, 8 oz. fruit that mature in 80 days.
  • Manitoba - Determinate. A prairie favourite for many years. 6 oz. fruit on bushy plants. 60-65 days to maturity. Staking not required.
  • Mortgage Lifter -Indeterminate. Large 16 oz. beefsteak type fruit. Meaty and tasty. 80 days to maturity.
  • Oxheart - Indeterminate. Very large, mild tasting heart shaped tomatoes. These tomatoes can weigh over 2 lbs! Low in acid , meaty and not too many seeds. Used mainly for fresh eating because the low acid qualities make it not suitable for canning. 85 days to maturity.
  • Prairie Pride - Determinate. Low acid fruits on compact plants. 55 days to maturity.
  • Starfire - Determinate. A nice tasting 8-10 oz. fruit. 60 days to maturity.
  • Tomatillo - Often called husk tomatoes, these small yellow fruited variety grow in paper husks and are used in Mexican cooking.
  • purple tomatillo
  • Italian Beefsteak
  • Aunt Mollies Ground Cherries - A great snack food and for cooking, these yellow tomatoes have  a sweet nutty flavour wrapped up in a paper husk.

Peppers




 Oh, the joy of picking your own peppers from your own plants! With so many varieties to choose from it's difficult to choose just a few. Peppers can be challenging to grow here in our northern climate though. They like our soils but don't care for the cool nights. When a pepper experiences cool night time temperatures, they drop their blossoms without setting fruit. The kind of night time temperatures peppers don't care for are the same ones that make humans want to reach for a sweater! But take heart because there are ways to fool peppers into thinking that they are living somewhere tropical. 
     One trick is to plant them on the south side of a building. The building wall absorbs heat in the daytime, moderating the night time temperatures and stopping cold north winds. Raising the soil level helps as well because the higher, better drained soil warms up more quickly for the peppers roots. Tilthy, fluffy soil with a good organic content drains faster as well as having a better level of nutrition for the peppers.  
     In our area many people have success by planting peppers in a tractor tire. Easy to do, just fill the large tire with soil, to make a raised bed. The black tire absorbs heat in the daytime and gives it back at night. The raised soil level warms up more quickly for the roots. Some put a wind barrier on the north side of the tire to stop cold winds. 
     If planting peppers in a traditional garden remember to plant them on the south side of  tall plants like corn to moderate cool night breezes or grow peppers under environment moderating tunnels. Peppers are easily grown in 5 gallon pails or nursery pots and grow well on a warm patio, or in a greenhouse. A  lean-to greenhouse on the south side of an outbuilding can produce loads of peppers in a season. Peppers keep on producing as long as the temperatures suit them, so the amount of peppers out of a greenhouse far outstrips those grown outside in our climate. A temporary plastic lean-to  greenhouse or a purchased kit greenhouse doesn't need to be very large and is easily constructed  for the summer. You don't want the greenhouse airtight, it's just for moderating the environment in the summer time, not keeping plants winter safe! Best to leave at least one side of the greenhouse open so plants don't over-heat when the sun shines.
      Even with all these tips and tricks we still grow varieties that are short season as this gives the best success in our cool climate to have mature red peppers. 

Chameleon Peppers!

     Pepper fruit change colour as they mature. Fruit may begin life as dark green and end up bright red. Some start out lime green or yellow-green and mature into something completely different. Quite the chameleons! So when you see multiple colours listed for a pepper, it is the peppers colour sequence as they mature. So when looking for a red pepper variety, usually expect the fruit to be  some shade of green first.

     The amount of days it takes a peppers to grow and mature are only a rough estimate. The time it takes to grow a pepper is dependent on the warmth of the summer. A cool stretch of weather slows peppers down and a heat wave matures peppers more quickly.

Sweet Peppers:

  • California Wonder - Green/Red  A sweet bell pepper that matures in 70- 75 days. Available in 6 packs and 1 gallon pots.
  • Golden California  Wonder - Green/Yellow A sweet yellow bell pepper that matures in 65-70 days.Available in 6 packs and 1 gallon pots.
  • Sweet Banana - Yellow/Orange Red  Matures in 70- 75 days. Available in 6 packs and one gallon pots
  • Pimento - Green/Dark Red  A thick walled flat pepper that is very tasty. Excellent for stuffing to make individual servings . Matures in 70 - 75 days. Available in 4 " pots and 1 gallon pots.

Hot Peppers:

     How hot is hot? A system has been developed to rate the overall heat of a pepper called the Scoville Rating. Varying from 0 to 200,000 units  for most peppers, it gives an idea of what your tastebuds can expect in heat from a pepper. 

  • Jalapeno - Scoville Rating: 6,000 units Dark Green colour. Available in packs of 6 and 1 gallon pots. Matures in 75 -80 days. 
  • Hot Hungarian Wax - Scoville Rating: 4,000 units Lime Green/Yellow colour. Available in six packs and 1 gallon pots.  Matures in 60-65 days.
  • Habanero - Scoville Rating: 200,000 units Green/Red Matures in 100 days. For those who like to live dangerously! Available in 6 packs and one gallon pots.
  • Hot Portugal - Scoville Rating 5,000 units Green/Bright Red  Available in 6 packs and 1 gallon pots.Matures in 65 days.