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GENERAL TOMATO INFORMATION

SCROLL DOWN FOR INFO ON SPECIFIC VARIETIES

HOW TO PLANT

In rows 4–6' apart, space determinates 12–24" and indeterminates 24–36". Remove the bottom few sets of leaves and plant deeply to encourage adventitious rooting. Water seedlings with a high-phosphate fertilizer solution at planting to help boost early yields. Fertilizing with too high nitrogen results in lots of foliage and few fruit.

HOW TO GROW

Medium-rich soil with pH 6.0–6.8 preferred. Fertilize accurately since excess nitrogen causes rampant growth, rot, and delayed ripening. Avoid exposing unprotected plants to consecutive nightly temperatures below 45°F. Indeterminate varieties should be staked, trellised, or caged, and pruned for best results; fruit ripens over an extended period. Determinate (bush) varieties do not need pruning and may be grown with or without support; fruit ripens within a concentrated time period.

TRELLISING

Basket-weave by pounding 5–6' stakes every 2–3 plants, using heavier t-posts intermittently and at ends of beds. For tall indeterminates, consider short extensions or pruning once they outgrow a manageable size for easy harvest.

 

PRUNING

Indeterminates likely benefit by removing all suckers under the first strong branch directly below the first flower cluster. The lower bottom suckers often miss trellis supports, set fruit closer to soil, take energy from upper parts, and encourage spread of disease from soil. If needed later in season, consider thinning out leaves to increase airflow or topping plants to help finish ripening last fruits.

HOW TO HARVEST
Fruits ripen gradually from the blossom end to shoulders and from the base of clusters to the tips. Harvest softer fruit unstacked into shallow, padded trays. Use fully ripe fruit only for local retail or home-use. To deliver sound fruit, pick less ripe the further the distance and the longer the time between field and customer. Any fruit breaking color will still ripen post-harvest. Calyx can be removed or kept to prove freshness. If staking larger fruit with calyx on, consider trimming below shoulders when harvesting.

Information above has been compiled from www.johnnysseeds.com & www.rareseeds.com

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ABE LINCOLN          slicer/canning

Indeterminate - The Abe Lincoln tomato was cultivated in the 1920s in Abraham Lincoln's home state of Illinois. The farmer named it because he wanted gardeners to know they were getting an honest producer with great flavor, one that was reliable to produce all season long. This is a classic variety with good acidity and regular tomato leaves, making it the perfect slicer tomato. Plants will produce normal amounts of fruit and tend to mature later than other varieties but will overcompensate in the quality of taste. These are amazing in tomato sauce, soup, pasta, or homemade ketchup.

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SUPER SWEET 100 CHERRY              cherry

The classic sweet red cherry tomato.

Reliable cherry with prolific yields of great-tasting, 15–20 gm. fruits produced in large clusters. Widely adapted. High resistance to Fusarium wilt and Verticillium wilt. Indeterminate.

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ROMA         plum size for paste/canning

Meaty tomato has very few seeds. Paste tomatoes are ideal for making sauces, pastes and even ketchup! Open-pollinated variety. Determinate.

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BEEFSTEAK           beefsteak/slicer

Indeterminate - The Beefsteak tomato is a large variety that is grown for slicing. The fruits are very meaty and have small seed cavities. A great tomato for sauces, plain eating, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and even grilling!

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MORTGAGE LIFTER       beefsteak/slicer

This huge heirloom beefsteak (up to 4 lb.; average 2 1/2 lb.) consistently wins taste-tests. Developed in the 1930s by a gardener who planted the four biggest varieties he knew and crossed one with pollen from the other three. He did this for six seasons and created a variety that produced immense, tasty fruit. He sold the plants for $1 a piece and paid off his $6000 mortgage in 6 years. Indeterminate.

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CLIMBING TRIP-L-CROP     slicer

By far the most productive tomato, often producing 2 bushels from just one plant! When grown on a trellis the vines soar 12-18' and often to 25'. Will out-yield other varieties. An insanely productive tomato variety that produces clusters of 3-5 tomatoes each weighing 12-16oz. Traditionally grown as a greenhouse tomato, it also has success outdoors. Trellising is required with this variety. Tomatoes are deep red, juicy, small seeded, and blemish free with a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. The perfect slicing variety as it can measure up to 6" across. Indeterminate.

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CHEROKEE PURPLE            slicer

Unusual variety with full flavor.

Famously rich flavor and texture make this a colorful favorite among heirloom enthusiasts. Medium-large, flattened globe, 8-12 oz. fruits. Color is dusky pink with dark shoulders. Multilocular interior ranges from purple to brown to green. Relatively short vines. Indeterminate.

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SUNGOLD CHERRY          cherry

Intense fruity flavor.

Exceptionally sweet, bright tangerine-orange cherry tomatoes leave everyone begging for more. Vigorous plants start yielding early and bear right through the season. Tendency to split precludes shipping, making these an exclusively fresh-market treat. The taste can't be beat. High resistance to Fusarium wilt and tobacco mosaic virus. Indeterminate.

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DR. WYCHE'S YELLOW BEEFSTEAK        slicer

Indeterminate. This tomato has been a long-standing heirloom favorite for not only the name but also the flavor. This tomato is low acid, rich in flavor, and is a stunning meaty beefsteak variety. Developed by a circus owner and doctor, this tomato was an immediate hit because of the deep tangerine-colored fruits that were unimaginably large. A delicious all-purpose variety.

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GIANT CRIMSON        slicer

EXTREMELY RARE! Plants produce decent amounts of tomatoes with a pink/red hue when fully ripe, weighing around 8-10 ounces, sometimes close to a pound. The fruit is a bit of beefsteak with meatiness but also the juiciness of a slicer. Seeds are medium size but few.

From migardener.com - If you haven’t heard of this tomato, don’t feel bad. Most haven’t for over 45 years. It was extinct until we sprouted seeds that came from 85-year-old packets. Two germinated, and 1 survived; we produced cuttings, saved seeds, and continued the process. It isn’t about the money as much as the story behind this variety, the journey it took to get here, and the mission to preserve genetic diversity in seeds!

Check out his Youtube videos about this variety's story.

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SAN MARZANO         paste/canning

Semi-Determinate - The San Marzano tomato is the undisputed king of paste tomatoes. Each plant produces insane amounts of medium 3-5 ounce tomatoes. Expect high production up to the first frost. The flavor is acidic; making it great for canning, tomato paste, pizza sauce, pasta sauce, and even fresh eating in salads! Gourmet and home chefs seek out the San Marzano for its amazing flavor and perfect texture.

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PAUL ROBESON         slicer

This famous tomato has almost a cult following among seed collectors and tomato connoisseurs, who simply cannot get enough of this variety’s amazing flavor that is so distinctive, sweet, and smoky. 7 to 10-oz fruit is a red-brick color. Named in honor of the famous black opera singer, star of King Solomon’s Mines, 1937. Paul Robeson, an American, was also a Russian Equal Rights Advocate for Blacks. This Russian variety was lovingly named in his honor. 

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LARGE RED CHERRY       cherry

Indeterminate -This tomato offers everything you would want from a large tomato but in half the time. Large plants, heavy yields, and great flavor. Cherry tomatoes are around 1 oz in size and turn a deep red at full maturity. Drought tolerant and resistant to fusarium wilt. A fast grower with perfect trusses of tomatoes. Looks picture perfect in the garden.

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PRINCIPE BORGHESE           salad

This rare-to-the-US seed is sourced from Italy where it is common. Small indeterminate plants bear prolifically and must be staked or caged. Tomatoes set on clusters of 7-10 fruit each weighing about 2 oz. They hold extremely well on the vine. Ready in 72 days. Eat fresh in salad or dry for sun-dried tomatoes. They also make outstanding oven-roasted tomatoes; slice in half, drizzle with some olive oil, bake at 250°F until mostly done, sprinkle with fresh basil, oregano, etc. Eat as a contorno or freeze. 

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RED PEAR BEEFSTEAK        beefsteak/slicer

Also sourced from Italy. Franchi's Red Pear tomato is an old North Italian variety specially selected by Franchi Sementi. It is a red, pear-shaped beefsteak. An outstanding producer of huge (as in 8-18 ounce) very tasty fruit. Great fresh eating. Early for such a large plant (70-75 days). This is not the small pear shaped tomato called red pear by U.S. seed companies. Pear shaped with vertical ribs - a must try. Really meaty containing few seeds. Indeterminate.

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MOUNTAIN MAN     beefsteak/slicer

Hybrid and disease resistant. Grow extra-large, beefsteak-type tomatoes in a compact space! This meaty tomato with deliciously balanced sweetness and acidity is remarkable with its robust red color inside and out. A perfect match for the summer season of the mountainous southeast, this tomato is borne on early maturing and high yielding vines. Authentic flavor, consistent size and continuous fruit set stands to maximize the potential of this vine-ripened marketable addition to your garden. Determinate, so container friendly. 

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JULIET       grape

Great flavor, fresh or cooked. Tomato growers absolutely RAVE about this tomato, and it is often sold out. Juliet is one of the most disease resistant hydrids in our trials. Typically 12–18 fruits per cluster. Delicious, rich tomato flavor for salads, great salsa, and fresh pasta sauce.  Juliet bears delicious, sweet fruit on indeterminate vines. Some gardeners refer to it as a mini Roma because of the shape. The wonderfully sweet fruit are crack resistant and remain in good condition on the vine longer than most cherry tomatoes. The fruit are as soft and juicy as cherry tomatoes, they hold up well in salads, even leftovers, and they have a longer shelf life so you can keep them on hand without picking every day. The vigorous vines set lots of fruit on long trusses and keep setting fruit throughout the summer. Quite heat tolerant. Vines are long and vigorous, so give the plant room to tumble over its cage. One of the longest-lasting tomatoes in the garden.

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AUNT RUBY'S GERMAN GREEN    beefsteak/slicer

Heirloom. One of the largest green beefsteaks. Can grow to over 1 pound and is delicious. It has brilliant, neon-green flesh with a strong, sweet, and fruity flavor, much tastier than most red tomatoes. A really nice beefsteak-type tomato with fruit are five inches in diameter by four inches deep, weigh one pound or more and remain green colored at maturity. Sweet juicy flesh, refreshing spicy flavor. This family heirloom was introduced to the general public by Ruby E. Arnold (1915-1997) of Greeneville, Tennessee. According to the family, they are not sure how, when or why the "German" got added to the name of this variety. They are not from Germany and they have no known German ancestry. They speculate that Ruby's may have selected her tomato from a now unknown variety from seed originally sourced from a German-speaking Amish seedsman in their area named Ivan Snapp. Indeterminate.

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KELLOGG'S BREAKFAST        beefsteak/slicer

A beautiful orange beefsteak preserved by our friend Darrell Kellogg, a railroad supervisor from Redford, Michigan. Its fruit is very flavorful and superbly sweet! This heirloom originated in West Virginia. This big, delicious tomato is always a favorite. This giant sets fruit weighing anywhere from 16 to 32 ounces. Slightly flattened, the globes are massive, hanging over the edges of sandwich bread. A good mix of solids and gels makes for a delicious bite, and you'll need many, many bites to finish just one Kellogg's Breakfast.Indeterminate.

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