How To Choose Tomato Varieties For Planting?
Choose tomato variety for planting carefully since it is important if you wish to take up tomato cultivation seriously. Like any other vegetable tomatoes also come in different hues and varieties. Some of us may like regular red, yellow and green colored varieties whereas others may like purple, and orange colored varieties. Some others may prefer to plant tomatoes which are as small as lime, whereas others may plant big tomatoes; everything just depends on our preferences. Fortunately there are 700 varieties of tomatoes cultivated throughout the world.
Fruit characteristics are very important part of tomato cultivation. Most of us cultivate tomatoes due to it food values. We use tomatoes to churn out different food preparations like salads, sandwiches, curries, and sauces. So it’s important to choose the right kind of tomato variety that is suited to fulfill the purpose of cultivation.
As I said you can choose from 700 varieties of tomatoes based on your requirements. There are many factors that go in deciding the correct variety of tomato. You may decide to plant the varieties that ripen faster and yield too much. Or someone else may plant the varieties that are bigger and ripen slower. But whichever variety you are selecting, please remember that tomatoes are vulnerable to different kinds of diseases. If not taken care in the early stages itself the disease may weaken the plant and reduce the yield. It is very important that the variety of the tomato that you have chosen shows resistance to verticillium and fusarium wilt, which are very common soil-borne diseases that hamper tomato yield. This resistance factor can be judged from the description on the seed packet label. Also judge whether the particular variety of tomato suffers from any other kind of diseases like nematode (N), Tobacco Mosaic virus (T) or Alternaria (A), etc.
Growth habit is an important part of tomato cultivation. You need to provide correct support and room for the plant to grow. Generally most of the tomato plants exhibit two types of growth habits: determinate and indeterminate. Determinate varieties grow to a certain height (usually 2-3 feet in height) and bear fruits and concentrate on ripening them. Indeterminate varieties grow taller and taller and continue to bear and ripen the fruits till they are killed by frost or till they die out due to other unfavorable weather conditions.
If you are cultivating the tomato in limited space then it is better to choose determinate varieties because they ripen within two to three weeks time. Whereas if you are cultivating the corp in large space and are planning to cultivate them for long time then go for indeterminate varieties. You should give proper support with stakes, cages, or ladders.
It’s always beneficial to choose determinte varieties of tomatoes because the plants can do well without any support and they ripen within the span of two to three weeks. Whereas if you wish to cultivate tomatoes from July to fall season then the indeterminate varieties like cherry and beefsteak are good.
As mentioned earlier it is important to choose tomatoes with right maturity times. You need to select the tomato variety that syncs well with the weather, if you experience frosts early then you need to choose tomato varieties that ripen fast. And if the frost comes later then you can go for big varieties.
Image courtesy: countryliving.com