There are so many summer vegetables to plant this time of year, but none induce salivating or yearning for that first BLT more than a juicy, delicious tomato. USDA says there are 35,000 varieties of tomatoes, with over 3,000 being heirloom. That number is debatable, so let’s just just say there are thousands of varieties, and we all have our favorites. They range in color from deep red to pink, purple, black, orange, yellow, and yes, green.
The smaller the tomato, the sweeter. Cherry tomatoes grow great in our area, and the SunGold is a favorite of many gardeners. “Slicers” include the ever popular Beefsteak, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, Big Beef, and Mortgage Lifter. The Beefsteak can weigh up to a pound per tomato, and adorns many dinner plates as a stand-alone. The “Plum or Roma” tomatoes are used for making sauces and cooking. They are very meaty, with a rich flavor.
It is impossible for me to tell you all the varieties, so word of mouth or just experimenting with a new type each year will have benefits.
Determinate Tomatoes, or Bush tomatoes, grow to about 4 feet, and stop growing when fruit sets. You will get one harvest on a determinate, tomatoes over a two-week period, and then the plant is finished.
Indeterminate tomatoes are called vining tomatoes, and normally grow up to 6 feet. These plants need to be caged, and will continue to produce throughout the growing season.