Tips to choose your tomatoes for your vegetable gardens

Tips to choose your tomatoes for your vegetable gardens

Dec 13, 2018, 12:59:36 AM Life and Styles

Tomatoes are probably the most common and popular vegetable in gardens all around the world. For most of the professional gardeners, the growth and crop produce is dependent on the type and the variety of tomatoes they plant. Planting any tomato plant you can get your hands on won't do it! There are a number of factors to consider while choosing the right tomato plant for your vegetable patch.

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Varieties to choose from

If truth be told, there are over 700 varieties of tomatoes. These are cultivated based on their color which can be yellow, orange and even purple! They differ on the basis of size, water content and pulpiness as well.

If you are thinking about growing tomatoes, you need to understand the four basic categorizations for the plants. These are:

  • Disease resistance
  • Growth habit
  • Maturity time
  • Texture and flavor

Disease resistant varieties are highly important to maintain the health of the home garden. It's not just about your tomato plants. The disease or infection can spread to your flowering plants as well and cause a massive loss to all the plant species included. Selecting high-quality disease-resistant varieties of tomato plants are incredibly beneficial in the long run. You must look for types that are resistant to verticilium and fusarium wilt (the V or F variety), root rot nematode (N), tobacco mosaic (T) and late blight.

The growth habit is highly important as well. The plants are classified as determinate (2-3 feet) which do not require support and grow at a rapid rate. Alternatively, you can go for the indeterminate varieties as well. These are taller and require assistance from baskets or bamboo. The indeterminate varieties need more hard work from the gardeners.

In case of limited growing space, you should ideally opt for the determinate variety of tomato plants to save you the hassle of support and extra care.

"Heirloom" varieties are a type of determinate tomato variety where the seeds collected from these plants will grow into identical plants when re-potted. These include varieties such as Brandywine, Arkansas Traveler and Mortgage Lifter. Heirloom tomato plants are also referred to as the open-pollinated varieties.

Contrastingly the hybrid varieties are a gift of modern biotechnology which combines the better traits of two different strains to yield a single disease resistant and high growing variety. However, one essential aspect to keep in mind is that seeds collected from these hybrid varieties will never yield the same results with respect to growth and disease resistance as the parent plant.

The details can be summarized as follows,

  • It is always a great idea to go for determinate (bush) variety in case you are planning to homegrown tomatoes. Indeterminate varieties grow to around 10 inches of height so it might be a problem to manage them.
  • Get recommendations from gardeners about the plant container, irrigation system, soil quality and the type of the tomato strain ideal for your climate conditions.
  • Choosing a variety whose estimated height at maturity will be less or equal to the plant container or support is the way to go.
  • Pruning of the vines is essential to keep plants healthy, reducing bulk and boosting productivity.  

Ensuring all the necessary steps will allow for maximum yield from your homegrown crops. Plan well in advance to execute like professional!

Published by Karen Anthony


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