Vegetable of the Year – Tomato
of the Year – Tomato Lizzano - Ideal for Hanging Planters
The National Gardening Bureau always selects a vegetable of the year,
and for 2011 they have chosen the most popular garden veggie - the
tomato. And rightfully so: Can you imagine summer without hanging
planters of fresh, homegrown tomatoes?
Tomato “Lizzano” is a compact
plant suitable for containers, hanging planters and hanging baskets.
It’s the All-America Selections Winner for 2011
Lizzano’ is a vigorous
semi-determinate tomato variety with a low growing, trailing habit
excellent for growing in patio containers, hanging planters and hanging
baskets. In the garden, some staking will benefit this plant despite a
nice compact and uniform growth habit. The durable, appealing plants
grow 16 to 20 inches tall with a compact spread of only 20 inches.
Expect abundant yields of high-quality, bright red, baby cherry sized
fruits. The small 1-inch fruits weigh about 0.4 ounces.
The plentiful fruit set allows for continual harvest beneficial for
the home gardener.
Judges noted better eating quality, yield and plant
habit than comparisons. ‘Lizzano’ is the first Late Blight tolerant
cherry fruited semi-determinate variety on the market. Disease resistant
plants will last later into the growing season. Harvest begins 105 days
from sowing seed or 63 days from transplant. Bred by Pro-Veg Seeds Ltd.
AAS® Winner Data Genus species: Solanum Lycopersicum
Unique qualities: First Late Blight tolerant cherry fruited
semi-determinate variety on the market
Fruit size: 0.4 ounces
Fruit color: Red
Plant type: Semi-determinate small cherry, compact bush, trailing habit
Plant height: 16 to 20 inches
Plant width: 20 inches
Garden location: Full sun
Garden spacing: 20 inches apart
Disease tolerances: Late Blight tolerant
Length of time to harvest: 63 days from transplant
Closest comparisons on market: ‘Tumbler’ and ‘Tumbling Tom Red’
TOMATOES FOR HANGING PLANTERS
What tomatoes grow and thrive in hanging planters?
There are so many choices that it's not an easy decision. You need to
think about size, color, growth habit, and most importantly, taste!
Tomatoes were once believed to be poisonous and were only grown for
their colorful, ornamental fruit. It wasn't until the 1880s that
tomatoes appeared in seed catalogs and even then, only six selections
were offered. A select few tomatoes from that era, including "Acme,"
"Paragon," and the revered "Brandywine" can still be grown today.
These and thousands of other tomatoes are known as heirloom tomatoes,
loosely defined as varieties that have been in circulation for more than
50 years. Saving and sharing seeds of the many unique tomato varieties
is a labor of love for many gardeners who, along with organizations such
as Seed Savers Exchange, help to maintain the genetic diversity of the
The modern age of the tomato was ushered in by Dr. Oved Shifriss, who
bred "Big Boy" one of the first F1 hybrids. Offered by W. Atlee Burpee
in 1949, this meaty 1-pound tomato was an instant success and is still
sold today. Thousands of hybrids succeeded it, offering gardeners
desirable traits such as earliness, crack-resistance and compact habits.
Breeders expect that blight-tolerant hybrids will be available in the
near future. These tolerances make it easier for gardeners and farmers
to grow tomatoes without using pesticides.
tomatoes for 2010-11
* Tomato "Lizzano" - An All-America Selections Winner for 2011, it is
a vigorous semi-determinate tomato variety with a low-growing, trailing
habit excellent for growing in patio containers or hanging baskets. The
durable, appealing plants grow 16 to 20 inches tall with a compact
spread of only 20 inches. Expect abundant yields of high-quality, bright
red, baby cherry-sized fruits. The plentiful fruit set allows for
continual harvest beneficial for the home gardener. Judges noted better
eating quality, yield and plant habit than comparisons. "Lizzano" is the
first Late Blight tolerant cherry fruited semi-determinate variety on
the market. Disease resistant plants will last later into the growing
* Tomato "Terenzo" - An All-America Selections Winner for 2011, it is a
high-yielding red-cherry fruited "Tumbler" type of tomato that is a
prolific producer on a tidy, low-growing, trailing plant. The round
fruit is a standard size cherry, and its brix sugar content of 6.0
percent ensures it is sweet tasting tomato. With a plant height of only
16 to 20 inches, this compact variety is suitable for growing in hanging
baskets or containers as a patio-type tomato. This very-easy-to-grow
determinate bush variety requires little maintenance and produces fruits
that are more resistant to cracking.
* Tomato "Marmara" - "Marmara" is a Marmande-type hybrid with smooth
ridged green shoulders, sweet flavor and good texture. They are firm
enough for salads and pasta dishes and slice nicely for sandwiches.
* Tomato "Sweet 'n' Neat Cherry Red" - A dwarf determinate
multibranching tomato suitable for use on a window-sill or in a patio
container, "Sweet 'n' Neat" produces masses of sweet fruit through the
season. Staking is required for the vines reaching 12 to 14 inches.
* Tomato "Sweet Treats" - Unique large fruited pink cherry tomato with a
delicious flavor, it is a strong, vigorous indeterminate that requires
staking. Fruits have a beautiful deep pink tone, great texture and good
* Classifications: Tomatoes are classified by fruit shape and color.
From smallest to largest, popular fruit shapes are identified as cherry,
plum, standard and beefsteak. Cherry tomatoes, which range from 1/4- to
one ounce, are produced in clusters. Plum tomatoes are shaped as the
name implies and generally weigh between 2 and 6 ounces, although they
can be twice that.
Also known as paste tomatoes, they have meaty interiors and thick
fruit walls. Standard-sized tomatoes weigh anywhere from 4 to 16 ounces
and are round, while beefsteaks, which can be 2 pounds or more depending
upon variety, are usually oblate. Grape, currant, and saladette are
relatively recent tomato types. Currant tomatoes are about half the size
of cherries; grape tomatoes, oval-shaped fruits to pop in your mouth,
appeared in the late 1990s. Saladettes are larger than cherry but often
smaller than plum tomatoes.
Fruit colors range from creamy white through lime green, to pink,
yellow, golden, orange and red. Pink, yellow and orange are milder
tasting than most red varieties.
* Growth habits: Tomato varieties are also distinguished by their growth
habits, which may be determinate or indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes
are relatively compact and reach a predetermined height or number of
fruit clusters. Determinate tomatoes tend to ripen all at once, so the
main harvest is concentrated into a few weeks, ideal for gardeners who
wish to preserve tomatoes.
Indeterminate tomato plants grow, blossom, and produce tomatoes
throughout the growing season. They can reach up to 12 feet tall, and
produce many main stems, all of which are capable of flowering and
fruiting. To support unwieldy growth and to keep tomatoes off of the
ground, support plants with cages or stakes. Suckers (shoots that grow
between the main stem and the branches) are easily pinched between thumb
There is a third type called semi-determinate, which is bushy like a
determinate, but will set and ripen fruit over a longer period of time.
* Harvest: For the best tomato flavor, allow the fruit to fully ripen on
the plant. Wait until it is deep red, yellow, or whatever final color
the tomato is to be, because once it is removed from the vine, the
supply of sugars is cut off. To harvest, gently twist the fruit so that
the stem separates from the vine. Tomatoes are best kept at room
temperature and will store on a kitchen counter for several days.
* Growing problems: Most gardeners successfully grow tomatoes without
significant problems. Examine plants regularly and notice any difference
in leaf color, size or shape. If you notice holes, it probably means
that there are insects eating the foliage. If an unidentified problem
develops, take a sample of the leaf or fruit and contact the local
cooperative extension office for assistance. It is recommended to rotate
tomatoes and other crops in your garden on a three- to five-year cycle;
that is, do not grow the same crop in the same place more often than
every third year.