Growing Tomatoes: A Favorite Vegetable in the Garden
Looking for a rewarding vegetable to grow? Tomatoes are a garden favorite. Nothing compares to a sun-ripened tomato plucked fresh from the vine. They're nutritious too, loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
How Do You Select A Tomato Variety for the Garden?
With hundreds of tomato cultivars to choose from, selecting a few varieties can seem overwhelming. We recommend you start by determining how you want to use your tomatoes. Below are some broad types of tomatoes:
All-Purpose: Medium-sized tomatoes are good eating fresh, in salads and on sandwiches. They're also good cooked into your favorite recipes.
Cherry or grape tomatoes: Often loaded with flavor and sweetness, these smaller tomatoes are tops for snacking and salads.
Beefsteak-types: Often weighing a pound or more, they beefsteak-type tomatoes have a firm, meaty texture—and one slice is enough for a sandwich.
Paste or sauce tomatoes: Less juicy than other types, paste or sauce tomatoes are often oblong shaped and are tops for canning and making sauce. Tomatoes also come in a range of colors—from vibrant red, to golden, orange, purple, black and green hues.
Should I Choose a Hybrid or Open-Pollinated Variety?
Hybrid tomatoes are often bred to have improved disease resistance, higher yields and more uniform fruits than open-pollinated tomatoes. Generally, open-pollinated tomatoes are more flavorful than hybrids. Usually, hybrid tomatoes are easier to grow. The difference between a hybrid tomato and an open pollinated tomato is that hybrid tomatoes are a controlled cross of two different tomato varieties; an open pollinated tomato has parents of the same variety. None of our tomatoes are genetically modified (GMO). Gurney's does not sell any GMO seed.
What's the Difference between Determinate and Indeterminate Tomatoes?
Determinates ripen over 3-4 weeks on bushy vines that may need no staking. Indeterminate vines continue to grow and produce fruit all season until frost. The large vines need support.
Can Tomatoes Be Grown in Containers?
Yes! Many people find a sunny spot on the porch or patio to grow a tomato plant or two. Before planting, make sure you find the right size of container. We recommend the 15 Gallon Grow Tub®. For the best success, we recommend staking tomato plants grown in containers.
Can You Directly Sow Tomato Seeds into the Garden?
In warmer climates, some gardeners directly sow tomato seeds into the garden. Many gardeners start tomato seeds indoors and transplant them into the garden after the danger of spring frost as passed. Gurney's has the seed starting supplies that make starting seeds indoors easy.
Are Tomatoes Difficult to Grow?
Tomatoes can be grown in many areas throughout the United States. However, some areas present more challenges than others. If an area is prone to tomato diseases, we recommend cultivars that exhibit resistance to those diseases. Below is a key to tomato disease/pest resistance:
ASC = Alternaria Stem Canker
EB = Early Blight
F = Fusarium Wilt Race 1
F2 = Fusarium Wilt Races 1 & 2
GLS = Gray Leaf Spot
LB = Late Blight
RKN = Root Knot Nematode
TMV = Tobacco Mosaic Virus
ToMV = Tomato Mosaic Virus
TSW = Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus
TYL = Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus
V = Verticillium Wilt