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New Jersey Tomatoes
Home Gardening in North Jersey

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Sweet Chelsea
Is it the climate or the soil? Somehow tomatoes thrive in New Jersey
Tomatoes have an interesting history, originating in South America and spreading throughout the world as a result of the Spanish colonization of the Americas.  In Europe, tomatoes were used for ornamental purposes as well as a fruit.  In the United States, a 1710 report mentions tomatoes  growing in South Carolina. Thomas Jefferson sent tomato seeds back to America during a visit to France. The tomatoes in colonial times bear little resemblance to the modern variety.  Tomatoes of that time were ribbed, hard cored and mostly hollow. Our modern tomato varieties are a result of over one hundred years of selective breeding.

In the mid eigthteenth century, Alexander W. Livingston pioneered the development of commercially grown tomatoes; to produce  smooth skinned, better tasting tomatoes. After years of slective breeding, Livingston produced the "Paragon" variety in 1870.

Tomato soup can
Campbells introduced ready-to-eat canned tomato soup in 1895, the condensed variety is one of the top ten shelf-stable food items in the world
 In New Jersey, Rutgers University has done much work in tomato breeding influenced by farm families who grew test plants. Several classic tomato varieties were developed by Rutgers and the Campbell Soup research facility in Riverton, N.J.. Rutgers tomato seeds are available as  "heirloom" seeds.

Toe-May-Toe, Toe-Mah-Toe

                          tomato sale
Heirloom tomato plants on sale in Layfayette, N.J.

Needless to say, there are many varieties of tomato which can thrive in northern New Jersey.  We normally start seeds indoors near the middle of March, alternatively, tomato plants can be found almost anywhere during the months of April and May at a local supermarket or heirloom farm for planting in your garden.We had good results with both starting  our tomato garden with seeds and  using commercial tomato plants.
Starting Tomatoes from Seed>>


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