This page is all about tomatoes, our most purchased vegetable. Everyone loves tomatoes but not many people have much information about them. They know they like to eat them. Who doesn't?
Tomatoes are good for fresh eating, cooking, in salads and sandwiches, in sauces, salsas, and ketchup and even roasted and grilled. My favorite is the Sungold cherry tomato. I could eat them all day long as a healthy snack. David loves the Brandywine beefsteak which is delicious on a burger.
The most asked question from the customers who come into the Farm Store is what tomatoes are determinate and what does the term determinate mean.
The first time I was asked about determinate tomatoes, I did not have a clue. Being Mrs. David's Garden Seeds®, I felt compelled to learn. So I did.
Determinate tomatoes are compact bush tomato varieties that grow three to four feet tall. All of the tomato fruits on a determinate bush ripen at about the same time over about one to two weeks. Determinate tomato bushes should not be pruned as they produce a limited amount of tomatoes and no more. Determinate tomato plants are best for container planting as they take up less room. So if you don't have much space, you want to plant determinate tomato plants.
Indeterminate tomatoes will keep on producing tomatoes until the first frost kills the plant. Indeterminate plants can grow from six to twelve feet tall and about four feet wide. They need to be staked for support. It is okay to prune indeterminate tomato plants. When sucker shoots start growing at the bottom of the indeterminate plant, it is fine to cut them off. That will help the plant grow the actual fruit instead of putting its energy on the new growths at the bottom of the plant.
We have had a lot of questions recently about which of our tomato varieties are determinate. This information was supposed to be on every envelope but many still do not have that information. We are in the process of changing all of our tomato envelopes as well as our listings on David's Garden Seeds® and on our Amazon tomato listings to reflect whether or not every variety is determinate or indeterminate.
Indeterminate plants should be placed at least three feet apart and determinate plants should be placed at least two feet apart.
Interestingly, not all tomato plants have the same leaves. Most tomato plants have regular tomato leaves but some have potato leaves. Potato leaves have smoother edges. Regular tomato leaves have serrated edges.
Most of the tomato seeds carried by David's Garden Seeds® are heirloom tomato seeds. You will always get your best flavor with heirloom tomatoes as opposed to hybrid tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes are open pollinated and every time you plant heirloom seeds, you will grow the exact same plant.
Hybrid seeds have the best qualities of two different tomato plants. They are usually disease resistant. Some have good flavor. Many don't. David's Garden Seeds® carries some really tasty hybrid seeds like the Supersweet 100, Sungold, Celebrity, and Tycoon. These are exceptional tomatoes and you should try them. You will love them.
You cannot plant seeds saved from hybrid plants and get the same plant that you grew. It just won't work.
The tomato seeds we carry come in many gorgeous colors and sizes. You will find bright red, pink, purple, almost black, orange, yellow, green, and white. We have cherry, plum, paste, roma, beefsteak, pear, and slicing tomatoes. You will enjoy growing our varied colors and sizes. Plum, roma, and paste tomatoes are good for making sauce. Cherry and pear tomatoes make good snacks and are wonderful in salads. Slicing tomatoes are good to cut up in salads. Beefsteaks are great on burgers and in sandwiches.
The biggest pest on our tomatoes are the horn worms and caterpillars. You will need to handpick them off of your tomato plants or you won't have tomato plants. They will eat all of the leaves off of your plants if you don't pick them off and kill them or give them to your chickens.
It is important to check your tomato plants every day. Check under the leaves for any sign of bugs infecting the plant. If you find tiny bugs, spray with Spinosad, a natural substance made from soil bacterium.
Check for fungal infection as well. If you find fungus, use an organic fungicide like Three In One.
Growing things in Texas can be a whole new experience if you have lived in other parts of the United States. Forget everything you ever knew about gardening and start again. For instance, if you want tomatoes, you must start them indoors or in a heated greenhouse in January.
We get a lot of questions on what tomatoes grow best in Texas. Honestly, they will all grow okay here but some are more heat tolerant than others, such as the hybrid Celebrity beefsteak, the Sungold cherry tomato, Juliet plum tomato, Rose beefsteak tomato, Cherokee Green and Purple Beefsteaks, Supersweet 100 cherry tomatoes, Homestead beefsteak, hybrid Tycoon beefsteak, Brandywine beefsteaks in all colors, and the Arkansas Traveler slicing tomato. These are some of our favorite tomatoes to grow here on the farm.
As you may know, in the fall of 2022, we made the decision to drop most of our hybrid seeds, about 500 varieties. People are not ordering many hybrids because most are more interested in saving heirloom seeds from what they grow. We kept five tomato hybrid varieties because of their delicious flavor, their heat tolerance, and their disease resistance. Below are links to the hybrid varieties of tomatoes that we kept. We enjoy growing and eating them and we think you will, too.
Want to grow your own tomatoes? Here is a link to all of the tomato seeds that you can find at David's Garden Seeds®.
Since 2009, over 1,500,000 home gardeners, all across the USA, have relied on David's Garden Seeds® to grow beautiful gardens. Trust is at the heart of it. Our customers know David's Garden Seeds® stocks only the highest quality seeds available. Our mission is to become your lifetime supplier of quality seeds. It isn't just to serve you once; we want to earn your trust as your primary supplier.
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