Attention all zone six gardeners, it is nearly time to start your tomato seeds indoors for a timely transplant in mid-May. What are you going to grow this year? Are cherry tomatoes or giant beef steaks most suited to your taste? How about Roma tomatoes for sauce? Are determinate (mostly self-supporting) or indeterminate (vining and best with stakes or trellises) your favorites? Is GMO, open–pollenated or hybrid status an issue for you?
Wow! There is a lot to think about with tomatoes! Let’s see if any of the seed companies can be of help, and let’s start with a promising sounding name.
A company which as you might suspect specializes in tomatoes; Totally Tomato offers many options for the home gardener. To give you some idea, they offer 79 varieties of “goliath” varieties alone. Categories include cherry and goliath tomatoes, tomatoes in large, medium large and medium small varieties, plum and grape tomatoes and tomatoes with special resistance to disease.
Some of their “New” varieties include “Topsy Tom”, a good looking semi-determinate cherry tomato singled out for early high yields, “Big Beef” offered only as plants and modestly described as “the best tomato yet developed” and “Sweet Seedless-” which is apparently just that, sweet, and totally seedless. There are many, many more varieties to explore.
Totally Tomato also offers tomato growing supplies ranging from specialized fertilizers to greenhouses!
If you want to avoid GMO and hybrid tomatoes, this is the supplier for you. Baker Creek sells only open pollenated heirloom varieties of vegetables. They also sell many tomatoes that most of us have never seen before.
For those that love a more standard tomato, Homestead is available; it has been around a long time and is very tolerant of heat. Baker Creek has at least 100 other varieties overall, you are certain to find something you like.
Also with a wide selection of tomatoes Territorial offers conventional and organic seeds for most of their offers as well as live plants.
Dating back to the Great War the Burbank slicing tomato is a tried and true heavy yielder ready in 75 days.
Brandywine is the popular red-pink beefsteak style tomato that produces huge yields of very large tomatoes on indeterminate vines that definitely require support. Brandywine has a well-deserved reputation for outstanding taste.
High Carotene is the name of this tomato, it is reported as having 2 to 3 times the carotene and thus of vitamin A compared to more conventional tomatoes. The fruits are about 3” in diameter.
Burpee can always be counted on for a tomato surprise and this year they are offering the Super Sauce Roma style tomato, weighing in at a nearly unbelievable 2 pounds! You can have a lot of sauce in a real hurry if this great looking tomato lives up to its press.
It is a tomato rich environment on the internet folks. Have fun searching for the perfect tomato for your veggie garden!
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