Valentine’s Day is about as far from summer as you can get on the calendar (at least for those of us north of the equator). Fortunately, every day that passes brings us closer to the return of long days, warm nights and lush gardens full of tomatoes.
Last spring I planted a grape tomato variety from Johnny’s Selected Seeds called Valentine. Developed in collaboration with Penn State University, the Johnny’s catalog described it as having “Massive early yields, deep red color and unusually rich flavor.” All true. What they left out, however, is that it also produced massive mid and late-season yields. In fact, once it started fruiting in April, it didn’t stop until mid-November.
By the time the season ended four tomato plants, each of which grew well over 7 feet tall, produced nearly 80 pounds of delicious, firm grape tomatoes. (I could have stocked an entire farmers market for six months.)
Anyhoo, last summer I did a short video about my experience with the Valentine tomato. Check it out below. And if you want to grow Valentine grape tomatoes in your own garden, all the info is just below the video.
Valentine tomato information
Type: Indeterminate grape tomato
Growth habit: Big. Plants will grow 7 – 8 ft tall, 4-5 feet wide. They need heavy duty support when in full production.
Yield: Enormous. 15 – 20lbs per plant from April to November (in Zone 9)
Characteristics: Firm 1/2-ounce tomato, excellent flavor, long keeper, great fresh as well as in sauces.
Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 out of 5 stars)
Where to buy: Johnny’s Selected Seeds (exclusive)