[Tomato Dirt #94] How to Choose Best Tomato Varieties for Your Garden
December 29, 2015
Tomato Dirt Newsletter Volume 5, Number 21
Dear Tomato Dirt reader,
Welcome back to Tomato Dirt! Once or twice a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with tips about growing tomatoes and using them.
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FEATURE: How to Choose Best Tomato Varieties for Your Garden
Image: Alternative Energy Gardning
How do you know which tomato varieties are best to grow in your area?
Great question. There’s not a universal answer. But there’s a way you can find out.
Here’s the dirt: a type of tomato that flourishes for you in your garden maybe a bust for your cousin two states away. That’s because different climates (even those with slight variations in temperature, rainfall, and air quality) and different soils produce different growing patterns from the same tomato variety.
Take these steps to find out which tomatoes will thrive best where you live.
The first step is to find out which tomatoes are most successfully grown in your area. Ask local nursery owners, post a question on a local master gardener forum, or call your extension office to learn the names of favorite tomato varieties among local gardeners. While you’re at it, you can also ask them which varieties stay the healthiest and most disease-resistant in local gardens.
Understand disease resistant codes
When a cultivar has been developed that is tested and confirmed to be resistant to a particular disease, it is given a designated letter (after its variety name) donating that disease. Multiple letters after a tomato variety name indicate that that type of tomato is resistant to more disease (all those indicated by the letters listed.) So the codes are a helpful tools in your hunt for best tomato varieties for your garden.
Understand and Use a Tomato Disease Resistance Table
Once you know what
tomato diseases are especially prevalent in your area and how those diseases are notated, you’re ready to find out which tomato varieties are going to work for you. Look in an information bank which lists tomato diseases and corresponding tomato varieties that are resistant to those diseases, like Cornell University’s Vegetable MD Online.