As a founding employee of Gardener's Supply, I wore many different hats over the years.Tomatoes are vulnerable to a number of diseases that can weaken the plant and reduce yields.Look at the seed packet or plant label to see if the variety has resistance to verticillium and fusarium wilt, two very common soil-borne diseases that affect tomatoes.If tomatoes in your region suffer from root-knot nematode (N), Tobacco Mosaic virus (T) or Alternaria (A), look for resistance to these diseases as well.To get a bumper tomato crop, you need to provide enough room for the plant and adequate support.These varieties require more support (from cages and stakes) and more a bit more attention from the gardener.Determinate varieties are also good for cold-climate gardeners who need to harvest their whole crop within a couple weeks.If you have plenty of space, prefer to pick your tomatoes over several months, and are prepared to provide sturdy support with stakes, cages or ladders, select an indeterminate variety.Heirloom tomatoes, such as Brandywine, Mortgage Lifter and Arkansas Traveler, are open-pollinated varieties that have been passed on from one generation to the next.Because most of the fruit ripens within two or three weeks, I spend those couple weekends canning, making sauce for the freezer, and running the dehydrator.Where I live, I need to harvest my tomatoes by early September, before the light fades and frost comes.Tomato Variety Flavor and Texture Fruit characteristics are what I care about most.Bush 506 This compact hybrid has thick, sturdy, upright stems that support a heavy yield of flavorful, medium- to large-sized tomatoes.Litt'l Bites This is the most compact variety of tomato I've ever grown," says Deborah Miuccio, who runs our test gardens.Brandywine This heirloom has the most delicious flavor and texture of any tomato I've grown," says Miuccio.Juliet ripens fast and furious, and I use it for soups, sauces, salsas and cold salads. .
Which Tomatoes Are Right for You? – Bonnie Plants
This recipe combines the most treasured bounty of a summer garden — peppers, okra, and tomatoes — in a delicious...Recaito, a pungent mixture of the culantro, cilantro, onion, garlic, and pepper, is a staple ingredient in many Puerto Rican...Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad containing parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, and other healthy ingredients.Few salads are as simple to prepare or as satisfying as wedges of garden ripe tomatoes and sweet basil leaves...Fried green tomatoes are excellent as a stand-alone appetizer served with a chipotle sauce, as a topping to your favorite...These Lettuce Cup Tacos are simple, healthy, and delicious—and don’t require a bit of actual cooking.Tomato pie is simple to make and perfect to serve for brunch alongside cheesy grits and a light salad.The great thing about Squash Boats is that they are an excellent introductory vegetable dish that will win any child’s...This cool, refreshing summer soup makes the best of a big, gorgeous bounty of tomatoes.The perfect blend of creamy and tangy, this buttermilk dressing turns already-tasty fresh heirloom tomatoes into a delicious treat you’ll...Ideal for picnics and barbecues, this vibrant dish features grilled sweet summer corn combined with chopped heirloom tomatoes and tossed...Sliced heirloom tomatoes combine with seasoned breadcrumbs, herbs, and grated cheese to make the ultimate summer comfort food.A twist on the French classic, this versatile ratatouille salad can be served hot or cold.This quick and easy Sunshine Salad is aptly named for the brightness of its homemade lemon dressing.Make Tomato and Snap Bean Quiche as a quick brunch dish, or add a cup of cooked sausage, bacon, or...Fresh, hearty, and satisfying, Summer Chicken and Rice is the perfect one-pan, quick-and-easy warm weather dinner.Also called a galette, this Pesto and Summer Vegetable Tart is fast and easy, but very impressive.Warm White Bean Bread Salad is a delicious, unexpected way to celebrate the freshness of garden-ripe tomatoes.A chilled soup made from fresh vegetables, gazpacho is a delicious example of a truly refreshing summer dish.When tomatoes, peppers, melons, and eggplant develop a sunken, rotten spot on the end of the fruit, the cause came...Perhaps more than any other vegetable, tomatoes depend on proper planting so they can provide you with loads of fruit...One of life’s simple pleasures is a juicy bite of ripe homegrown tomato, with sweet and tart flavors blending magically...Give your next batch of chiles rellenos — a classic Mexican dish starring roasted, stuffed poblanos often served in tomato...For most gardeners, covering tomato plants as fall’s first chilly nights arrive is second nature.Sizzling summer temperatures can bring your previously productive tomato plants to a screeching halt.Tasty and terrific, tomatoes offer garden magic at its best, transforming yellow blossoms into juicy fruits.Growing tomatoes in pots levels the home garden playing field, bringing a crop of homegrown ‘maters within reach for almost...Many favorite vegetable plants — such as tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peas, melons, and squash — need a little help standing tall.It’s common knowledge that tomato plants require just the right amount of sun and water to thrive.TomAYto, tomAHto…just as there are different pronunciations, there is also a wide variety of tomato types, with a range of colors, sizes,... .
15 of the Absolute Best Tomato Varieties You Should Plant in Your
This is a great time of year.The Best Tomato Varieties.The guy kept telling him how well his tomatoes were doing, and we were actually struggling with our tomatoes a little that year.Now, I’ll tell you upfront, I’ve always had great luck with cherry tomatoes.They grow to be large and round and are kind of meaty for a tomato.But it grows to be almost a pound in size so you get a lot out of each tomato.Yet, even though this tomato is large in size, it is still known for its sweet flavor.So if you are looking for a tomato that has a good flavor, a good size, and is interesting to look at, then you should consider growing the Chocolate Stripes Tomato.It is the large red variety that grows to be about a pound each.The fruit grows to be about a half pound each, and the tomatoes are actually a blackish purple color.This is another yellow tomato variety.So if you see a tomato that looks like a lemon (in color) from the outside, then you’ve probably come across the Azoychka tomato.This is another colorful variety of a tomato.They are an heirloom variety and grow to be around two pounds.But they also are a beautiful orange color and have a great flavor to them as well.So this variety of tomato would be good for those that like color, a larger tomato, and a milder flavor.But they are great slicing tomatoes and pack a lot of flavor with them as well.Yet, they are a beefsteak variety which means they’ll grow to be a pound or more in size.I’ve spent a few years growing Cherokee Purple tomatoes in my own garden.It is amazing to can a purple tomato or eat a salad with a purple tomato on it.We are actually growing some Better Boy tomatoes in our garden this year.It was actually won because this type of tomato has produced the most fruit ever known to any other tomato plant.However, if you are someone (like me) that loves making different dishes with fried green tomatoes, then this could be a great tomato variety to grow.Which, in my opinion, is a great size to work with in the kitchen.It is a popular variety with those of us that like to grow a garden in the backyard.But the reason is that the fruit grows to be around a half pound each which makes it a good sized tomato to work with in the kitchen.So if you’d like to get your tomato harvest off the ground a little earlier in the year, then you might want to plant a variety of tomatoes, but definitely include Early Girl tomatoes in there so you can have tomatoes much sooner than the rest.You want to love the flavor of the tomato and also the growing process of the tomato as well.What is your favorite tomato variety to grow? .
Growing Tomato Plants
The tag says full sun, but in Arizona with temperatures reaching over the 100 degree mark, is that going to be an issue with this plant?The maturity is the number of days from planting the seedling until the fruit is ready to pick.This varies a little with weather and region, but the “days to maturity” is a good way to see what will be ready early, mid, and late season.The vines of indeterminate tomatoes can get longer than 6 feet, but just let them climb to the top and droop over and down if that doesn’t bother you.In hot climates, herbs and some vegetables appreciate a little shade in the mid to late afternoon.Staking tomatoes helps to increase yield and prevent rotting and diseases.Pruning is not necessary, but some people do it to keep soil that might harbor diseases from splashing up on the leaves; 12 to 18 inches from the ground ought to do it.Is it true that pinching off the flowers on the tomato plant helps it to produce more fruit?It will not help production, but it could increase the size of the tomatoes left on the vine by a little bit.To help the current crop, purchase a calcium solution, such as Stop-rot, that you spray on the plants. .
Should You Grow Determinate or Indeterminate Tomato Plants
Determinate or indeterminate?Although, indeterminate tomatoes can be used for canning just like the determinates, you may need a few more indeterminate plants so that you have plenty to can at any one time.Stakes or tomato cages?While these plants need something to “climb”, they’re not true vines and should have their branches supported by being tied periodically to keep them upright.Tomato cages can work well for the indeterminate, too, but staking seems to offer the best support for the vining types. .
How and Why to Prune Tomato Plants
Why Pruning Might Help.If you are growing determinate tomatoes, you don't want to prune.To fit more plants into a small space, you'll want to prune your indeterminate tomato plants regularly and keep them staked or caged.However, indeterminate plants will still keep growing taller, and you'll keep getting fruit as long as the plant is growing.How to Prune Tomatoes.Look for the tomato "suckers," which grow in the "V" space between the main stem and the branches on your tomato plant. If left unpruned, these suckers will eventually grow into full-sized branches—adding lots of foliage and, eventually, a few fruits.Removing large amounts of foliage at one time can stress the plant. .
How to Prune Tomatoes
If unsupported, the increasing weight of filling fruit and multiple side branches forces the plant to lie on the ground.Left to its own devices, a vigorous indeterminate tomato plant can easily cover a 4-foot by 4-foot area with as many as 10 stems, each 3 to 5 feet long.A properly pruned and supported single-stem tomato plant presents all of its leaves to the sun.Most of the sugar produced is directed to the developing fruit, since the only competition is a single growing tip.If more stems are allowed to develop, some of the precious sugar production is diverted from fruit to multiple growing tips.(This is much less applicable to determinate plants, due to their shortened growing season and better-defined fruiting period.When a tomato plant lies on the ground, or when its growth is extremely dense, many of its leaves are forced into permanent shade, greatly reducing the amount of sugar they produce.A pruned and staked plant will produce larger fruit two to three weeks earlier than a prostrate one.The leaves of a pruned and supported plant dry off faster, so bacterial and fungal pathogens have less opportunity to spread.The bottom line: Upright plants have fewer problems with leaf spots and fruit rots because their leaves stay drier and free from pathogen-laden soil.As a tomato grows, side shoots, or suckers, form in the crotches, or axils, between the leaves and the main stem.When trained to one vine and left free-standing, tomato plants develop strong main stems.To encourage a strong stem, I trim all suckers and I don’t tie plants to their supports until the first flowers appear.If you do any pruning at all above the first flower cluster on determinate tomatoes, you’ll only be throwing away potential fruit.Indeterminate tomato plants continue to grow, limited only by the length of the season.Determinate tomato plants have a predetermined number of stems, leaves, and flowers hardwired into their genetic structure.Commercial growers favor this type of tomato because all the fruit can be mechanically harvested at once.The simplest is to pinch it off entirely; not surprisingly, this is called “simple pruning.” This should be done when the sucker is still small and succulent.Avoid cutting the sucker with a knife or scissors, because the resulting stump can become easily infected.When you’re dealing with large suckers, it’s better to pinch off just the tip than to cut off the whole thing close to the main stem.It helps to know that side stems started this late in the season will always be spindly and produce inferior fruit.The top foot of a tomato stem, or leader, is very succulent and easily snapped; it needs to be directed upwards, gently.I wrap a short piece of twine around the middle of the leader, cross it over on itself, and loosely tie it to the support.The resulting figure-eight tie reduces the chance the tender stem will rub against the support and get bruised.To keep the tie from slipping, I knot it underneath the point where the sling meets the stake.However, this final pruning can make all the difference between hard, green fruits, hurriedly picked before frost, which later rot in a paper bag, and ripe, home-grown tomatoes in your Thanksgiving salad.Which method of support you use and how far apart you set tomato plants depends on the number of stems you allow to grow.My ideal tomato cage is made from 5-foot-tall galvanized fencing with openings at least 4 inches square, so I can reach in and pick the fruit. .
The Best Tomatoes for Containers and Tips for Growing Big Yields
If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.Some tomatoes, like ‘Micro Tom’ grow just a foot tall and can be planted in small, six-inch diameter containers.Super compact varieties like ‘Red Robin’ or cascading tomatoes for hanging baskets like ‘Tumbler’ don’t require cages or stakes.For indeterminate, or vining tomatoes, which can grow six feet tall or more, you’ll need to provide strong support for the vigorous plants.Blossom end rot isn’t caused by a disease but rather calcium deficiency typically from inconsistent watering.To ensure my plants have a steady supply of nutrients, I incorporate a slow-release organic tomato fertilizer into the soil when I fill the container.The plants are low-growing only reaching a height of about 18-inches, but they also trail, making this a great choice for hanging baskets and planters.I also like to tuck the plants along the edges of my raised beds where they cascade over the sides, and provide us with months of sweet fruits.Terenzo is an All-America Selections winner, lauded for its easy cultivation and large crop of delicious tomatoes.The plants are low-growing only reaching a height of about 18-inches, but they also trail, making this a great choice for hanging baskets and planters.I also like to tuck the plants along the edges of my raised beds where they cascade over the sides, and provide us with months of sweet fruits.Terenzo is an All-America Selections winner, lauded for its easy cultivation and large crop of delicious tomatoes.Plant three seedlings in a 12-inch hanging basket and you’ll be enjoying a bumper crop of one to two-inch diameter fruits all summer long.Plant three seedlings in a 12-inch hanging basket and you’ll be enjoying a bumper crop of one to two-inch diameter fruits all summer long.It can also be grown in containers but because the plants are large, up to seven feet tall, the pots should be at least sixteen to eighteen inches across.It can also be grown in containers but because the plants are large, up to seven feet tall, the pots should be at least sixteen to eighteen inches across.Called ‘the perfect patio tomato’ by Johnny’s Selected Seeds, this productive cultivar bears 4 to 6 ounce fruits that are round to oval and bright gold in color.The fruits are produced over a short period of time which is ideal for anyone wishing to make tomato sauce.– A 2020 introduction, Sunrise Sauce is a paste tomato that grows just 30 to 36 inches tall, making it an excellent choice for pots.Called ‘the perfect patio tomato’ by Johnny’s Selected Seeds, this productive cultivar bears 4 to 6 ounce fruits that are round to oval and bright gold in color.The fruits are produced over a short period of time which is ideal for anyone wishing to make tomato sauce.The plants grow three to four feet tall and produce 4 ounce, plum-shaped fruits that are deep red in color.The goal of the project was to introduce tomatoes that offered heirloom flavor on compact plants and this is a standout variety that is perfect for pots.The mature plants grow just three-feet tall yet produce a good harvest of 6 ounce, burgundy fruits with a sublime, rich flavor.The goal of the project was to introduce tomatoes that offered heirloom flavor on compact plants and this is a standout variety that is perfect for pots.The mature plants grow just three-feet tall yet produce a good harvest of 6 ounce, burgundy fruits with a sublime, rich flavor.The determinate, container-friendly plants grow about four-feet tall and begin to produce their bounty of 6 to 8 ounce fruits just 65 days after transplanting.The determinate, container-friendly plants grow about four-feet tall and begin to produce their bounty of 6 to 8 ounce fruits just 65 days after transplanting. .