Amish Paste Tomato
The Amish Paste Tomato is an heirloom variety known for its rich flavour and meaty texture, making it a popular choice for sauces, salsas, and canning. This versatile tomato thrives in various climates and is cherished by novice and experienced gardeners. In this article, we will guide you through planting, growing, harvesting, and storing these tasty tomatoes to ensure a bountiful and delicious harvest.
|Days to Grow||80-85 days (from transplant)|
|Square Foot Garden Spacing||1 plant per square foot|
|When to Plant||6-8 weeks before last frost|
|Yield||8-12 lbs per plant|
|Frost Tolerance||Not frost tolerant|
|Hours of Light Needed||6-8 hours|
|Soil Conditions||pH 6.0-6.8, well-draining|
Section 1: Planting Amish Paste Tomatoes
1.1 Choosing the Right Seeds and Seedlings
To ensure the best start for your Amish Paste Tomatoes, it’s essential to select high-quality seeds or seedlings from a reputable source. Also, look for seeds that are certified organic and non-GMO, as this ensures the plants are free from harmful chemicals and genetically modified organisms.
1.2 Preparing the Soil
Amish Paste Tomatoes thrive in well-draining soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8. To prepare the soil, begin by amending it with organic matter, such as compost or well-aged manure, to improve drainage and fertility. A balanced organic fertilizer will also provide essential nutrients for optimal plant growth.
1.3 Seed Germination and Transplanting
Begin germinating Amish Paste Tomato seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost date. Sow 1/4 inch deep in seed trays or small pots filled with seed-starting mix, maintaining a temperature of 70-75°F (21-24°C). Seedlings will emerge within 7-14 days.
Once the seedlings have developed their first set of true leaves and outdoor temperatures consistently remain above 50°F (10°C), they can be transplanted into the garden. Space the plants 24-36 inches apart in rows 36-48 inches apart to allow for proper airflow and minimize the risk of disease.
For more detailed information on planting/transplanting tomatoes, visit our << tomato page Located here >>
Section 2: Growing Amish Paste Tomatoes
2.1 Watering and Feeding
To maintain healthy growth, Amish Paste Tomatoes require consistent watering. Aim to provide 1-2 inches of water per week, depending on rainfall and soil conditions. Water the plants deeply and consistently, ensuring the soil remains evenly moist but not soggy.
Following the manufacturer’s recommended application rates, feed your tomatoes with a balanced, slow-release organic fertilizer every 4-6 weeks. Regular feeding will support strong growth and high-quality fruit production.
2.2 Supporting the Plants
As indeterminate tomato plants, Amish Paste Tomatoes will continue to grow and produce fruit throughout the season. To support their vigorous growth, install sturdy tomato cages or stakes when transplanting. Regularly train the plants to grow within these supports, tying the main stem to the stake or weaving it through the cage as it grows.
2.3 Pruning and Disease Management
Pruning Amish Paste Tomato plants can help increase airflow, reduce disease risk, and improve fruit quality. Remove any diseased or damaged foliage as needed, and trim lower leaves to prevent soil-borne pathogens from splashing onto the plant.
Practice crop rotation and maintain proper spacing between plants to minimize the risk of disease further.
Section 3: Harvesting Amish Paste Tomatoes
Amish Paste Tomatoes typically reach maturity within 80-85 days from transplanting. Harvest the fruit when it achieves a deep red colour, feels slightly soft to the touch, and detaches easily from the vine. Regular harvesting will encourage continued production throughout the growing season.
Storing Amish Paste Tomatoes
4.1 Short-Term Storage
For short-term storage, keep your freshly harvested Amish Paste Tomatoes at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Do not refrigerate, as this can affect the flavour and texture of the tomatoes. Properly stored, they should last for 5-7 days.
4.2 Canning Amish Paste Tomatoes
Canning is a popular method for preserving the rich flavour of Amish Paste Tomatoes. To can your tomatoes, follow these steps:
- Wash and sanitize your canning jars, lids, and bands.
- Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then transfer them to an ice bath to loosen the skins. Peel and core the tomatoes.
- Fill the jars with tomatoes, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Add 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid or one tablespoon of lemon juice to each pint jar to ensure proper acidity.
- Wipe the jar rims clean and secure the lids and bands.
- Process the jars in a boiling water bath or pressure canner, following the manufacturer’s instructions and adjusting for altitude if necessary.
- Let the jars cool completely before checking the seals and storing them in a cool, dark place.
4.3 Freezing Amish Paste Tomatoes
Freezing is another convenient option for preserving your Amish Paste Tomatoes. To freeze your tomatoes, follow these steps:
- Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems.
- Core the tomatoes and cut them into halves or quarters. (Or leave them whole. When you need some, just rinse under hot water, and the skin will peel right off.)
- Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they do not touch each other.
- Freeze the tomatoes until solid, then transfer them to airtight freezer bags or containers.
- Label and date the bags or containers, and store them in the freezer for 6-8 months.
4.4 Dehydrating Amish Paste Tomatoes
Dehydrating Amish Paste Tomatoes is another effective method for long-term storage. To dehydrate your tomatoes, follow these steps:
- Wash the tomatoes and slice them into 1/4-inch thick rounds.
- Arrange the tomato slices on the trays of a dehydrator, ensuring they do not overlap.
- Set the dehydrator to 135°F (57°C) and dehydrate the tomatoes until they are leathery and pliable, which may take 6-12 hours, depending on the moisture content.
- Allow the tomatoes to cool completely before storing them in airtight containers, away from direct sunlight and moisture.
Seeds and planting
Links and Resources
(These are some of what I use)
mybackyard.ca Seeds Page
Get a Head Start on Spring: The Benefits of Starting Your Seeds Indoors
Saving Vegetable Seeds: A Comprehensive Guide to Gardening Success
myBackyard.ca Planting Guide
Pollock Tomatoes (North hardy Tomato variety)
Tomatoes (Useful information on starting tomatoes from seed)
Individual seed and plant information is available in the "Gardening Shortcut Links" above under "North Hardy Plants to grow". I have successfully grown all of these, and most I grow year to year.