The Vegetable Garden

Which of the Hundreds of Tomato Varieties Should I Plant? - Page 2

  • Written by Kathy Anderson

Since you’ll want more than one main stem for tomato production, allow the suckers nearest the bottom of the plant to grow. These will have more blossoms and will be easier to trellis than suckers that sprout higher up on the plant. Pruning will also improve air circulation through the plant which can help prevent disease problems, especially in humid weather.

Once you decide whether to grow determinate or indeterminate tomato varieties, it’s time to peruse the garden centers or seed catalogs to find the seeds or plants that will produce your prized fruit. Although a few of the more enlightened garden centers are now selling a wider variety of tomato plants, many still offer only a few of the old standby hybrid varieties such as “Big Boy” and “Early Girl”.

You’ll have more varieties to choose from if you decide to start your tomato plants indoors from seed. Imagine growing tomatoes with names like “Cherokee Purple” or “Mortgage Lifter”. Add more color to your favorite tomato salsa recipe with yellow “Garden Peach” tomatoes, “German Pink” or “Green Zebra”. For stuffing tomatoes, try “Striped Cavern”, and for salads grow some “Christmas Grape” tomatoes.

If you plan on preserving tomatoes to enjoy over winter, you will want a meatier tomato such as “Martino’s Roma” or “Amish Paste” for sauces. “Wisconsin 55” and “Ace” are two varieties that are especially good for canning or freezing. There are even varieties that have a lower acid content for the folks who can’t eat a high-acid tomato, and varieties that have more Vitamin C than oranges.

Tomatoes are one of the most versatile garden vegetables. There are as many ways to prepare tomatoes as there are tomato varieties. Whether you like to eat them fresh out of the garden like an apple, or you make your own spaghetti sauce or tomato salsa, whether the variety you grow is red, orange, yellow, purple, white or striped, tomatoes are the most useful and tasty garden vegetable.

Kathy Anderson has been an avid gardener for many years and has grown tomatoes by the acre, along with many other vegetables, flowers and landscape plants. Kathy recommends as a great place to learn more about gardening. Article provided by .