Heat-Tolerant Tomato Varieties

Choosing an appropriate variety for your growing conditions is a key to successful tomato gardening. It’s possible to have excellent crop in a hot climate when you select heat-tolerant tomato varieties. Hybrids Bella Rosa Hybrid, determinate, 75 days, red, large Bred for the southeast USA Big Beef Hybrid, indeterminate, 73 days, red, medium/large (10 ounces) Florida 91 Hybrid, determinate, 72 days, red, medium/large (10 ounces) Fourth Of July Hybrid, indeterminate, 49 days, red/pink, small (4 ounces) Grape Hybrid, indeterminate, 60 days, red, grape Heat Wave II Hybrid, determinate, 68 days,…

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Paste Tomatoes

This is the golden age of tomatoes. Never have gardeners had more choices, from heirlooms to hybrids, huge beefsteaks to the tiniest, sweetest cherry tomatoes. True tomato junkies, though, are embracing the type celebrated for making the thickest, heartiest sauce: the paste tomato. But paste tomatoes have more to offer. While they can’t be beat for making the best tomato sauce, paste, and salsa, their intense flavor, firm texture, and few seeds mean they are just as appealing whole, eaten right off the vine, or featured in recipes that usually…

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The Return of a Lost Jersey Tomato

When heirloom tomatoes became popular in the 1990s, Jack Rabin became acutely uncomfortable. “Everyone was going gaga over them. My farmers were trying to grow them, and we’d walk out in the field and just see horticultural garbage,” said Mr. Rabin, a longtime agricultural extension agent with Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. who works with about 800 growers around the state. “Every time it rained, they would crack open or turn into water bags. They burned in the sun or developed fungus you could taste,” he said. “It was…

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The Ramapo Tomato: Back by Popular Demand!

The Ramapo Tomato was developed at Rutgers NJAES in 1968 by Dr. Bernard Pollack. It became a gardener’s favorite due to its wonderful flavor combined with excellent fruit quality, reliability and production. It was one of the many delicious varieties grown by Jersey Tomato growers before commercial production switched to firm shipping varieties. Many years ago Ramapo tomato disappeared from seed catalogs. Seed companies were favoring varieties that produced higher yields and firmer fruit for commercial growers. Despite its disappearance, Rutgers continued to receive many requests for this tasty tomato…

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Cherokee Purple: The Story Behind One Of Our Favorite Tomatoes

If you go to the farmers market this time of year, tomatoes are strutting their stuff in all sorts of glorious and quirky hues: green striped, white, pink, indigo, even purplish-brown. They boast intriguing names, like Mortgage Lifter, Arkansas Traveler and Pink Berkeley Tie Dye. Some are true heirlooms, passed down over decades or centuries. Others are brand new to the world, the progeny of the latest cross-breeding experiments. We got to wondering just who, besides farmers, is to thank for this expanding panoply. And we learned that while there…

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Ivan Tomato

There are many words one could use to describe the Ivan tomato: heirloom, meaty, juicy, prolific, hardy… but perhaps the most important and unexpected are “healer” and “inspiration”. This tomato, which originated in Missouri, has come back twice from the brink of extinction to serve an important purpose: healing veterans with PTSD. It has also inspired two small community businesses, one of which is working to revive growth of the tomato in 2016. This tomato was grown for generations in Missouri but its cultivation slowed until only one family, the…

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