Shapes for homegrown tomatoes may surprise you, if you’ve never grown them before. While some varieties may look like the unblemished round globes you see in the grocery store, many won’t look like that. On the other hand, looks can be deceiving, because even if the homegrown tomatoes don’t look as perfect, they taste soooo much better!
First, different tomato varieties have different shapes. Some are round, some flattened. Some are smooth, others are ribbed. Not to mention there are varieties selected for their unusual shapes — sausage, pear, pleated, heart-shaped, etc.
Next, the conditions under which the tomatoes are grown can effect the fruits. For example, tomatoes that grow too fast may end up cracking. To much variation of the water level (letting them get too dry then giving them too much water) can affect the fruits, too.
Different tomato diseases can affect the fruits — anywhere from slightly “off”, all the way to the tomato is a loss.
And then there are the rogue tomatoes that just want to grow their own way, for their own reasons. 🙂
Ribs and Shoulders
As I mentioned previously, some tomatoes (especially herilooms) just don’t grow round. They may have a lot of ribbing (pleats) around the shoulders (the end nearest to where the fruit connects to the plant).
Speaking of shoulders, they may not turn colors — sometimes the shoulders of an otherwise red or pink tomato stay green, even when ripe.
They May Not Be Perfect Looking…
No, your homegrown tomatoes may not look perfect, like what you see at the grocery store. But while what sells in the stores might be their looks, you can’t tell the taste until you bite into it (which isn’t appropriate in the store).
On the other hand, even if your garden-grown tomato is homely-looking, it likely tastes fabulous! And really, that’s the reason you are growing them — for the wonderful taste.