Here's a collection of pictures of tomatoes and more for you to enjoy! Along with these lovely, mouthwatering photos of tomatoes, we share interesting facts about tomatoes and some inspiring ideas as well... Ready to experience a tomato adventure with us? As Muriel Barbery aptly put it, "The raw tomato, devoured in the garden when freshly picked, is a horn of abundance of simple sensations, a radiating rush in one's mouth that brings with it every pleasure... A tomato, an adventure."
As someone else once said, "If you've never bitten into a fragrant, vine-ripened, sun-warmed tomato harvested fresh from your own garden, you haven't tasted a real tomato. And once you do, you'll never again be satisfied with the mealy supermarket imposters. Fortunately, tomato plants are easy to grow and remarkably productive."
We'll start where they start, as tomato seeds. We go into a lot more detail on our Growing Tomatoes page (coming soon), but here are the basics.
Since tomatoes are usually a long season plant, it's helpful to plant them indoors earlier in the spring, then transplant them into the garden when the weather warms up. Since tomatoes are warm season plants, they won't usually produce fruit until nighttime temperatures are above 55°F/12.7°C.
In these pictures of tomatoes, the seedlings illustrate the first stages of their growth. The first two leaves that you'll see on your little seedlings are called “cotyledon” leaves. The next leaves that develop are the first set of “true leaves.” Their true leaves will appear approximately 10-14 days after germination. They're already beginning to look, and even smell, like tomato plants!
As seen in these pictures of tomatoes, they can thrive either hanging upside down or right side up. What's more important to them than orientation, is being exposed to many warm hours of direct sunlight, rich, well draining soil, and regular watering.
People have expressed pros and cons to growing tomatoes hanging upside down, but give it a try for yourself! You won't be seeing rabbits eating your tomatoes, or other nasty pests like cutworms, and you'll eliminate ground fungus and perhaps other diseases as well. You can find plenty of ideas online for DIY hanging containers. They're also available to buy online or at your local nursery or pepiniere.
Before you know it, flowers will begin to bloom on your tomato plants. Here are some pictures of tomatoes in blossom.
Interestingly, a tomato plant doesn't produce individual male and female flowers, nor are there male and female tomato plants as there are with other species. Tomato plants are autogamous, which means that pollination of each flower is by its own pollen. This enables a single tomato plant to yield a harvest of fruit.
Even though the flowers are self-pollinating, being stirred by breezes and the movements of bees' wings and other insects on and around the blossoms help to move the pollen to where it is necessary for pollinization.
Soon the blossoms will fall and small green baby tomatoes will begin to develop. Now we patiently await for the tomatoes to ripen.
Contingent upon the the variety of tomatoes, they may take between 65 to 85 days from germination to bearing ripe fruit. As you can see in these pictures of tomatoes, after the blossoms fade and little green tomatoes emerge, they take close to another month to ripen and reach maturity. Depending on when you started them indoors, you can roughly estimate that your tomato plants will begin producing fruits 40 to 50 days after you've transplanted them into the garden.
Some people struggle with their green tomatoes not turning red. By summer's end, you may be saying, "Yikes! I still have so many green tomatoes on my vines!" But there are actually many delicious ways to serve green tomatoes! Check out our page, Delicious Tomato Recipes (page coming soon), which includes inspiring ways to enjoy both green and red tomatoes.
"Do green tomatoes turn red?", some have asked in despair at the end of summer as they see their green tomatoes not turning red. Well, there are several tricks to getting green tomatoes to ripen. Check out our page, Summer's Over... Still So Many Green Tomatoes! There you'll see more about ripening green tomatoes in a variety of ways.
There's nothing quite like fresh garden tomatoes that have ripened on the vine in the summer sunshine. Juicy, sweet, and brightly colored, they are appealing to our senses of taste, smell, and sight!
"A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins." Well said, Laurie Colwin, well said!
By the way, what happens between tomatoes after not seeing each other for a long period of time? ...Ketchup!
"There is nothing better than picking up sun-warmed tomatoes and smelling them, feeling them and scrutinizing their shiny skins for imperfections, dreaming of ways to serve them." - Jose Andres
Plum tomatoes, sometimes referred to as Italian style tomatoes, are firm, meaty, and less juicy tomatoes. They're longer and egg shaped, but still with a delicious flavor. There are several varieties of plum tomatoes. They're great used for dehydrating, making rich homemade tomato sauces or tomato paste. They can be diced and canned or frozen, or enjoyed raw.
Little bite-sized tomatoes are a favorite summer treat! Cherry tomatoes resemble the size and shape of cherries. They are juicy, sweet, and thin-skinned. Their juiciness makes them notorious for squirting when you bite into them! Cherry tomatoes are great eaten plain, or hollowed out and stuffed with a lovely cream cheese filling, served on a fancy veggie tray. You can find them in red, yellow, and orange colors.
We certainly haven't covered all the different types here in these pictures of tomatoes. There are many others! Which types of tomatoes are your favorite?
"The tomato offers its gift of fiery color and cool completeness." - Pablo Neruda
After perusing through these beautiful pictures of tomatoes, if you don't have a garden in which to grow them, we wouldn't blame you for asking, "Where are fresh garden tomatoes near me?" If that's what you're wondering, check out farmers markets or roadside vegetable stands. You may even have a kind neighbor who will be willing to part with some of their garden bounty.
Or, how about growing tomatoes yourself!? Yep, you can grow tomatoes in a pot on your balcony or under a grow lamp indoors! Give it a try! Enjoy the fruit of your tomato adventures!