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Mastering the Art of Multiple Tomato Harvests

by | Aug 24, 2023 | Gardening | 0 comments

Heat Tolerant Tomato Varieties

My best heat tolerant tomato varieties began to develop rope fruit in mid-August. Some of the fruit have weighed up to eight ounces. I set the plants in the garden during June, which was late for the spring crop and early for a fall crop.

Many gardeners are not familiar with Big Beef and Sunmaster tomato varieties. Big Beef was the 1994 All-American Selection Winner. It’s an indeterminate variety that matures in 73 days and has VFFNTA disease resistance. It yields an impressive 10 to 12-ounce smooth fruit with real old-time flavor, and is considered one of the finest hybrids for home gardeners.

The Sunmaster variety sets best when the days are 87 to 96 degrees and nights are between 73 to 82 degrees F. It’s a determinate variety that matures in 72 days and has VFFNA disease resistance. It was developed several years ago for home gardeners in southern latitudes. The 7 to 8-ounce fruit is firm, smooth, delicious, and full of flavor with a good balance of sugar to acid.

The Celebrity variety was the 1984 All-American Selection Winner. It’s a determinate, highly productive variety that matures in 70 days and has VFFNTA disease resistance. The 7 to 8-ounce fruit is firm with exceptional flavor.

Fall Tomatoes

For the fall crop, varieties for medium size fruit are: Sunmaster, Heatwave, Carnival, Celebrity, and Better Bush. Those producing cherry size fruit are:

  • Husky Red
  • Sweet 100
  • Patio

I’ve moved my plants to larger pots, plan to set several in the garden, and the remaining ones in containers.

Tomato plants for summer and fall crops should have their lower leaves pruned and be set deep in the soil or potting mix. Some gardeners dig the hole extra deep and place crushed corn cobs and banana peelings in the bottom of it. Other gardeners may place some balanced fertilizer under each plant.

Plant-starter fertilizer should be applied around warm-season crops that must mature before cold weather. There are several commercial water-soluble fertilizers available. I use the treatment of 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 teaspoons of milk with one cup of water per plant each week.

Additional fertilizer should not be applied until the plants have fruit that are one-half mature size. If plants are over fertilized, they will grow too large and bear less fruit. You should mulch around the plants to keep soil moist and prevent fruit from cracking from the stem.

Other Vegetables

If you plant cucumber and squash seeds, select early-maturing varieties. In fact, the early maturing varieties of all vegetable crops are usually more productive. Bush bean seeds should be planted before mid-September. Based on production, disease resistance and flavor, Derby variety was an All American Selection Winner.

Cool Season Crops

Cool season vegetable crops to seed later in the fall are: beet, carrot, celery, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, radish, and spinach.

Cool season vegetable plants to set are: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and onions.