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Tomatoes and North Texas

In selecting varieties of tomatoes for North Texas, the most important criterion to consider is the one in the trade called, “Early Season”. The less time required for maturation the better, because the extreme heat of our summers for tomatoes is like falling off a cliff.

Tomato varieties can also be described as being either determinate or indeterminate. Determinate varieties have the characteristic of reaching a point during their maturation at which most of the bearing of fruit occurs within a short time.  Indeterminate is just the opposite, where bearing occurs on a more gradual and sustained basis.

Indeterminate varieties that perform best here are mostly the smaller sized varieties. These can bear fairly prolifically even in mid-summer.  My own personal preference is for this class of tomatoes.  They are just the right size for popping into the mouth.  A usual day in my life finds me eating them every morning and about half the time that evening.

Tomato" Yellow Pear" an indeterminate variety

Tomato” Yellow Pear” an indeterminate variety

Larger sized tomatoes that perform best are the mid-sized varieties. The most popular 8- 12 oz. tomato for many years has been the determinant variety, Celebrity.  Its sister, Carnival is good also.  A typical year will find this variety bearing typically most heavily from early June to early July.

The largest fruited varieties require too long to mature, where anything past 65 days is marginal. The large fruited varieties also are susceptible to splitting and sun scald.  These do not appreciably affect the taste but certainly do affect the esthetic qualities of the fruit.

Celebrity Tomato Ripening on the Vine

Celebrity Tomato Ripening on the Vine

Perusing the catalog, “Tomato Growers Supply Company”, there are listed 16 varieties of Early Season varieties, many from which to choose.

Over the years, varieties come and go. Some are described as being highly heat resistant, but I would be wary of accepting that description as being accurate.  I would recommend acquiring a tomato catalog along with using my advice in choosing your selection(s).  Celebrity remains the preeminent mid-sized tomato.

Tom Wilten

Pictures by Starla

 

 

 

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