Let’s talk tomatoes. For those of us that crave a home-grown tomato we are always searching for the best tasting, best slicing, or best canning tomato. There are so many varieties of tomatoes to choose from that it makes decision making for what to plant difficult. For those of you that can’t wait to get planting here are a few basic, helpful tips and reminders:
Determinant vs. Indeterminate: Determinant tomatoes produce the bulk of their fruit at one time and are therefore good for canning. Indeterminate tomatoes produce fruit throughout the season are not limited to one heavy production like a determinant.
Tomatoes for sauces: You may want to consider using a more “meaty” variety as opposed to one that has more juice and seeds. A popular meaty variety is ‘Roma’.
GMO free: This is a hot topic right now. According to all the research I have found there are no GMO tomatoes and/or seed today being sold in the USA to consumers.
Hybrid vs. Heirloom: A hybrid tomato is one that has been cross-pollinated to enhance its performance with traits from another variety. They are not to be confused with GMOs. Heirlooms are “true” varieties derived from fruit that has not been cross pollinated with other varieties for enhancement purposes. They are also considered “old” or “original” varieties. Many have very distinct characteristics in flavor and growth habit.
Slicers: For this you’re looking for plants that produce big fruit like ‘Beefsteak,’ ‘Brandywine,’ ‘Ace,’ and ‘Better Boy.’ These varieties are usually not only big but they also produce uniform fruit making slicing easy.
So now what so many customers ask us… “What is your favorite?” Hands-down it’s the ‘Sungold.’ It may be small (considered a large cherry tomato) but it packs a punch when it comes to flavor. Coming in at a close second and third in my opinion is ‘Brandywine’ and ‘Super Fantastic.’ If you’re like me though I tend to plant more tomato plants than I need, but the selection and pay-off is worth it! Now who’s ready to plant some tomatoes?