Something to consider is, which variety of tomato to Grow. The tomato may well be the most beloved plant among American gardeners. So, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of varieties to choose from and simply ordering from a catalog will not necessarily ensure you’ve chosen the best tomato for purposes.
Grow tomatoes which your family uses tomatoes
Growing a tomato, which is intended for the way your family uses tomatoes, most of the time would be a good choice. Does your family uses tomatoes as:
- A sauce for cooking?
- A thick slice on top of their favorite sandwich?
- Topping for salad?
- A dry food snack (e.g. sun-dried tomato)?
- As canned tomatoes for meals over the winter?
choose a determinate or indeterminate tomato
Lastly, should you choose a determinate or indeterminate tomato? This choice is often overlooked by home gardeners. However, it is an important choice, as it will drive your behaviors in terms of food preparation and your window of opportunity to use your fresh tomatoes.
Determinants, basically, produce one crop which matures within a couple of weeks and they are done for the year; so, if you’re planning to preserve them (e.g. can then, store tomato paste, and/or tomato sauces), and you want volume in a short period of time to do your canning and be done with it, then a determinate variety may be best for you. This applies, even if you do a bit of succession planting, where you may plant more than one set of plants to mature at different times (say, two or three weeks apart) if you have a long enough growing season to use this approach.
Indeterminates will still provide some density of harvest based on your planting strategy, but will, with care, throughout more of the garden season. These tomato varieties, work well, if, you’re looking for a tomato from which to make sandwiches from throughout the summer, want a few tomatoes from time to time to add to the top of a salad, or perhaps, to dry some tomatoes in small batches to use as snack or in cooking later.
For some additional advice you may, a couple of good sources, which can help you with choice are your local agriculture extension office and/or master gardening group.