Balconi Tomatoes

I can't tell you how much I’ve enjoyed having a greenhouse.  It's the perfect place for me to spend some time on cold, winter days.

Now, one thing I did this year that I am really excited about is, back in the fall, I actually planted some tomatoes in my greenhouse.

More often than not, tomatoes purchased at a store in winter taste like cardboard.  But let me tell you, the tomatoes growing in my greenhouse are so delicious.  These little gems taste like they came out of the summer garden.

The variety I planted is called Balconi (bal-coe-knee) Red.  There is also a yellow variety.  The plants have a trailing habit so they are great for containers and even hanging baskets.  Red Balconi TomatoesThey don’t get very big, about 12-inches tall, and the fruits are a large cherry size.

Now, what's interesting is that I grew them from seed.  I just sowed the seeds in an old one-gallon pot, again, just to experiment.  In 70 days they started producing fruit and continued to do so for about 2 months. 

Now, you can't just plant any tomato in the fall and expect it to do much over winter.  You couldn't just put a Brandywine in here and get good fruit production.
Balconi tomatoes have been bred to require less light, which is great in winter.  And they don't need a grow-light.

Spraying Garden Safe fruit and vegetable spray on spider mites on balconi tomatoesThe only problem that I’ve had with them is a touch of scale. They're little white insects that attach themselves to the stems and leaves.  I use an organic spray and just soak the plants down really well. The reason I use an organic spray is because I’m eating the tomatoes, so I want something that's safe.

I have to tell you, those tomatoes have been so good, and they're going to finish up just about the time it's time to set out plants in the garden, so I’ll have tomatoes year-round.

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by mizjo317 on May 29, 2013 10:00
How exciting, harvesting delicious red tomatoes in winter! I would love to plant them this fall in my apartment garden. Should be successful, I think, since this variety tolerates low light. I don\'t get any direct sun in my apartment, though there is a lot of light. I love your tv program, and I love reading your website. Thanks so much.

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