Grow your own dried tomatoes the easy way

Tomatoes have arguably been considered the most popular edible plants grown by the home garden. It isn't a suprise since they are easy to grow so long as you have a spot with plenty of sunshing. They are fast growers once started, so even places with short-summer seasons can allow for growing a nice crop. They are slow to start so either plant seeds indoors in early spring or buy already started plants.

There are so many varieties that you can find some that grow over six feet tall and others that will cascade out of hanging baskets. There are cultivars that grow huge globes or clusters of tiny grape-sized fruits. They come in almost every color of the rainbow and vary from sweet to acidic in flavor.

No wonder people like to grow tomatoes. What's more, there is no comparison between the flavor and texture of a freshly picked fruit and one that has been harvested early and shipped long distances in crates.

As a result, plant breeders are always coming up with new types of tomatoes to tickle the fancy of the residential vegetable gardener. Along with new colors and strong-growing, disease-resistant types, there are now tomatoes that have new and convenient eating possibilities.


Dried Tomaccio TomatoesCredit: Photo by Jane Gates

Check out the new variety of tomato that will let you grow your own sun-dried tomatoes on the vine without any extra effort. It's called the 'Tomaccio'.

Sometimes referred to as the “raisin tomato” this new tomato variety is showing up in garden centers after being introduced during the green industry propagation Spring Trials a couple of years ago. It looks like a regular cherry tomato and can be eaten fresh like one, too. But if you leave it on the vine, it won't get mushy and go bad. Instead, it will dry up nicely into a small, tasty, sun-ripened, dry fruit that you can use in salads, as an ingredient in cooking or on its own for munching. It has that familiar, intense flavor only found in sun-dried tomatoes and you can grow them yourself, without all the work of having to carefully dry them or using a dehydrator. You can grow it in the garden or in a container much the way you'd grow any other of your favorite tomatoes.

Although it is becoming more available in garden centers as it goes into production, you still may have to hunt a bit if you want to grow this plant in your own garden. If your local retailer does not carry it, you are likely to be able to order it from a grower on the Internet. Make sure you order early in the season so the plant has plenty of time to grow to mature size and offer up lots of fruit.

The video below will give you a closer look at the 'Tomaccio' tomato.

The Tomaccio tomato plant