The first blustery cold front is blowing through the Florida Keys, and now is the time for vegetable gardening. The most popular garden vegetable plant grown is the tomato (actually a fruit). Before planting your tomatoes do your homework. Learn what varieties grow best in the Florida Keys. Ask your neighbors what varieties they are growing and are they producing.
Tomatoes in the Florida Garden publication http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH028
provides a list of field trial grown tomato varieties that grow well in Florida. Visit the University of Florida Extension publication for information on these tomato varieties.
Tomato variety choices are determinate or indeterminate growth habit.–>Determinate (D) tomato plants grow to a certain height and then stop. They also flower and set all their fruit within a relatively short period. This is an advantage if the tomatoes are being grown primarily for canning purposes. Determinate small tomato varieties: Floragold, Florida basket, Florida Lanai, Florida Petite, Patio, Cherry Grande, Castelle, Roma, San Marzano, Micro-Tom. Determinate large tomato varieties: Walter, Suncoast, Floramerica, Flora-dade, Duke, Sunny, Solar Set, Celebrity.
–>Indeterminate tomato plants grow, flower, and set fruit over the entire growing season. Indeterminate small tomato varieties: Red Cherry, Sweet Chelsea, Sweet 100, Sweet Million. Indeterminate large tomato varieties: Floradel, Manalucie, better Boy, Bonnie Best, Manapal, Bragger. –>
If you want to grow your own tomatoes, get your seeds now. For more information see:
Tomato Growers Supply company: www.tomatogrowers.com
These links were updated in June, 2013.
Photo Credit: Kim Gabel, UF/IFAS