Tomatoes are the number-one vegetable grown in our gardens. But as much as everyone loves growing tomatoes, they aren’t without problems. Insects, diseases, and weather conditions can turn a promising crop into a disappointment. To lessen the risk of poorly grown tomatoes, it’s important to select varieties that are adapted to your region.
All-America Selections (AAS) has been trialing and recommending vegetable varieties for more than eighty years. Each year it selects varieties that grow well across the country and are an improvement over established varieties. This year three tomato varieties stand out. Consider trying them in your garden.
Fantastico: This new hybrid grape tomato variety features early-maturing, high-yielding, crack-resistant fruit on late blight resistant plants. It’s a determinate variety, so ‘Fantastico’ grows well in small gardens or containers. However, it’s a strong enough grower that it produces up to 12 pounds of fruit. It’s best to use a tomato cage to keep the plant upright, but the plant is also versatile enough to grow in a large hanging basket.
Chef’s Choice Orange: Many breeders are crossing popular heirloom varieties with hybrids to bring the best of both worlds to the garden. This hybrid was bred from the popular heirloom ‘Amana Orange’. It takes the colorful skin, the almost neon-orange flesh color, and the delicious flavor of the heirloom and combines it with early maturity (seventy-five days) and more disease resistance. Chefs love this variety because the color holds well in cooking. This indeterminate produces 12 to 16 ounce fruits.
Mountain Merit: New for this year, the AAS organization is awarding regional variety winners as well. These winners were shown to shine in particular parts of the country. This variety is a regional AAS winner for the Midwest. It features 3-inch-diameter, tasty red fruits on dwarf, 2 foot tall determinate bushes with good disease resistance.