University of Illinois Extension

Year of the Tomato

2011 is the year of the tomato. Each year, representatives of the horticultural industry select one flower and one vegetable to be showcased for a particular year.

Greg Stack

"For 2011, the vegetable selected was the tomato, making this the year of the tomato.

"Coincidently, All America Selections (AAS), an organization that highlights worthy new introductions, has chosen two new tomatoes for 2011. What is even better, the two tomatoes to receive AAS status should also be very appealing to gardeners who want to grow tomatoes in containers or hanging baskets."

'Terenzo' is a high yielding, red cherry fruited "tumbler" type of tomato that is a prolific producer on a very low growing, trailing plant, he noted. The fruits are standard cherry tomato size with a high sugar content making them exceptionally sweet tasting.

'Terrenzo'

'Terrenzo'

"With a plant height of only 16-20 inches, this compact variety is suitable for growing in hanging baskets or containers on the patio, porch or balcony," said Stack. "'Terenzo' will do well with minimal maintenance and will start producing fruit about 56 days from transplanting."

The other new tomato introduction is 'Lizzano', a vigorous semi determinate variety with a low growing, trailing habit. This is also a good choice for containers.

"Because it is a bit more vigorous than 'Terenzo', 'Lizzano' will benefit from some staking despite its compact habit," he said. "Plants grow 16-20 inches tall with a spread of about 20 inches."

'Lizzano' produces an abundance of small, bright red baby cherry sized fruit. Also, because it is a late blight fungus resistant variety, look for it to continue to produce fruit late into the season. 'Lizzano' starts to bear fruit about 63 days from transplanting.

'Lezzero'

'Lezzero'

"Both of these varieties can be found in mail order seed catalogs as well as in retail garden center seed racks," said Stack. " 'Terenzo' and 'Lizzano'; two new tomatoes that would make excellent additions for those wanting to grow vegetables in containers."