Scotian tomatoes, a prized variety known for their rich flavour and versatility, have gained significant popularity among gardeners and culinary enthusiasts. In this comprehensive guide, we will outline the essential steps for planting, growing, harvesting, and storing these delicious tomatoes, ensuring you enjoy a bountiful and successful harvest.
|Days to Grow||75-90 days|
|Square Foot Garden Spacing||1 plant per square foot|
|When to Plant||2 weeks after last frost|
|Yield||10-15 lbs per plant|
|Hours of Light Needed||6-8 hours of direct sunlight|
|Soil Conditions||pH 6.0-6.8, well-drained|
|Days to Maturity||75-90 days|
Preparing the Soil for Planting Scotian Tomatoes
Before planting Scotian tomatoes, it is crucial to prepare the soil to create an optimal environment for growth. The following steps outline the necessary soil preparations:
- Choose the ideal location: Select a sunny spot with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day, as tomatoes thrive in warmth and light.
- Test the soil pH: Scotian tomatoes prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0-6.8. Conduct a soil test to ensure the pH is within this range, and amend the soil as needed.
- Improve soil structure: Incorporate organic matter such as compost, well-rotted manure, or peat moss to improve soil fertility and drainage.
Planting Scotian Tomatoes
Once the soil is prepared, follow these guidelines for planting your Scotian tomatoes:
- Start seeds indoors: Plant seeds 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost date. Use a seed-starting mix and keep the soil consistently moist.
- Transplant seedlings: When seedlings have at least two sets of true leaves, and outdoor nighttime temperatures remain above 50°F (10°C), they are ready for transplanting.
- Harden off seedlings: Gradually expose seedlings to outdoor conditions for 7-10 days to help them acclimate to their new environment.
- Plant seedlings: Dig a hole deep enough to cover two-thirds of the stem, and space seedlings 24-36 inches apart to allow for proper air circulation.
For more detailed information on planting/transplanting tomatoes, visit our << tomato page Located here >>
Caring for Your Growing Scotian Tomatoes
To encourage healthy growth and maximize yields, follow these best practices for caring for your Scotian tomatoes:
- Water consistently: Maintain a consistent watering schedule, providing 1-1.5 inches of water per week. Water at the base of the plant reduces the risk of disease.
- Fertilize regularly: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer at planting time and again when the first fruits appear. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth and reduced fruit production.
- Stake or cage plants: Support your tomato plants with stakes, cages, or trellises to keep them off the ground and reduce the risk of disease and pest infestations.
- Prune for improved air circulation: Regularly remove any diseased or damaged leaves, and trim lower leaves to increase airflow around the base of the plant.
Harvesting Scotian Tomatoes
Proper timing and technique are essential for harvesting ripe, flavorful Scotian tomatoes. Follow these guidelines for a successful harvest:
- Monitor for ripeness: Harvest Scotian tomatoes when fully coloured and slightly firm to the touch. Overripe tomatoes can become mealy and lose flavour.
- Use a clean, sharp tool: To avoid damaging the plant or fruit, use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut the tomato from the vine.
- Harvest regularly: Frequent harvesting encourages the plant to continue producing fruit, so check your plants every 2-3 days during the peak season.
Storing Scotian Tomatoes
Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the quality and flavour of your harvested Scotian tomatoes. Use these best practices to ensure optimal storage conditions:
- Store at room temperature: Keep freshly harvested Scotian tomatoes at room temperature, ideally between 65°F-70°F (18°C-21°C). Avoid refrigerating, as cold temperatures can negatively impact flavour and texture.
- Use breathable containers: Place your tomatoes in a single layer within a breathable container, such as a paper bag or cardboard box, to prevent excess moisture buildup and promote air circulation.
- Keep stem-side down: To minimize bruising and prolong shelf life, store tomatoes with the stem-side down, as this helps prevent the fruit from losing moisture through the stem scar.
- Monitor for signs of decay: Regularly inspect your stored tomatoes for signs of mold or decay, and promptly remove any affected fruit to prevent the spread of spoilage.
Preserving Scotian Tomatoes for Long-Term Storage
For those looking to enjoy the taste of Scotian tomatoes year-round, several preservation methods are available:
- Canning: Preserve your tomatoes through a water bath or pressure canning, following strict guidelines to ensure safety and quality. This method allows for long-term storage without refrigeration.
- Freezing: Wash, core, and optionally peel your tomatoes before placing them whole, diced, or crushed in airtight freezer bags or containers. Use within 6-8 months for optimal flavour. (Or leave them whole. When you need some, just rinse under hot water, and the skin will peel right off.)
- Drying: Dehydrate sliced Scotian tomatoes using a food dehydrator or an oven set at a low temperature. Store the dried tomatoes in airtight containers and enjoy them as a snack or rehydrate them for use in recipes.
- Making tomato products: Create tomato sauces, salsas, or pastes, and either can or freeze them for future use. This allows you to enjoy the delicious flavour of Scotian tomatoes in various dishes throughout the year.
Planting, growing, harvesting, and storing Scotian tomatoes can be rewarding and enjoyable, yielding a bountiful harvest of delicious, versatile fruits. By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can maximize the potential of your tomato plants and savour the rich flavour of Scotian tomatoes throughout the year.
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.