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Posts Tagged ‘vegetable gardening’

State fruit - Tomato

Say it any way you want, there are so many varieties of tomatoes to choose from, it can be paralyzing to try to choose what to plant.Here are 4 things to consider when buying tomato seeds or seedlings.

Disease Resistance

There are varieties that are resistant to certain diseases. Many hybrids are developed specifically for that trait. If you have struggled with disease problems, or know of one common in your region, by all means choose a resistant variety. If you aren’t sure, or are just starting out, you might want to plant a couple of different cultivars, and see if the disease resistant one outperforms the others.

Try: Celebrity

Days to Harvest

If you want to have the first ripe tomato on the block, or you live in a region with short summers, choose varieties that mature the fastest. Some tomatoes are ready to begin harvesting 60 days after transplanting, while others need 85 days or more to mature.

Try Early Girl for early harvesting

Growing Habit

Choose plants with growing habits that match your needs. If you are growing in containers, there are tomatoes that grow on compact, bushes suitable for small spaces. Try Patio Hybrid Tomato

Determinate varieties have a bush-like growing habit. They require less tying and staking, but they produce all of their fruit in a short span of time and then they are done. Try Rutgers and Roma

Indeterminate varieties have a vine-like growing habit. They are more sprawling, and they will continue to grow and produce tomatoes until killed by frost.

Do you want slicing tomatoes? Canning tomatoes? Salad tomatoes? Read the package to see what size fruit it will produce, and whether it’s what you have in mind.

Hybrid or Open-Pollinated

Plant breeders create hybrid plants by cross-breeding two different varieties. Hybrid plants may be more productive and and are often bred to resist disease or cultural problems.

Seeds from open pollinated and heirloom varieties can be saved and planted next year. Hybrids can not. They will not produce the same quality of plant, and so new seed must be purchased each season. Many gardeners have favorite cultivars that have been passed along from other gardeners and past generations.

Of course, if you have some favorite varieties, go ahead and plant them, even if they aren’t the most logical choices.  Plant what you love, and you’ll be a happy gardener!

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