comes to eating tomatoes, who doesn't love the flavor and
convenience of a Beefsteak tomato.... they taste great and one slice
of tomato covers an entire sandwich!
But not everyone has enough time or patience to grow a long season
tomato. A long season tomato is one that requires 80-days to produce
a ripe tomato. In contrast, a short season tomato needs 30-days
less. That translates into the difference between having ripe
tomatoes in late July versus late August.
This also becomes an important issue if your vegetable garden is
situated in a valley. Valleys have later frosts in the spring and
earlier frosts in the fall, thereby shortening the tomato-growing
As a valley-gardener in the northeastern United States, this has
forced me to depend on short season tomatoes for the bulk of my
crop. The 'Early Girl' tomato fills that role very well, since it is
a 54-day short season tomato, with many other desirable
Sure, I still plant a few long season tomatoes, like the all-time
favorite of tomato-lovers, the Beefsteak, at 80-days. It's also nice
to have a bit of variety in between and grow some meaty Roma
tomatoes. My old-time favorite for flavor is still the Rutgers
tomato. No wonder I end up with a dozen tomato plants in my valley
garden and supply the neighborhood once August arrives!
Bob's Tomato Tips:
Look for tomato plants with the most letters behind their name,
ones like V, F, N, T. These letters indicate resistance to
various problems (Verticillium, Fusarium, Nematodes, Tobacco
Tobacco users (especially cigars and snuff)
should wash their hands before handling tomato plants to prevent
the spread of TMV (tobacco mosaic virus). Believe it or not,
dipping one's hands in milk will disable the virus.
Deer netting works well as a light weight
material for preventing deer-browsing on tomatoes.
Water tomato plants at their roots to keep
foliage dry, and leave a 'saucer' of bermed-up soil around the
base of the plant to help hold water in. Keep soil evenly moist
through the growing season to help prevent blossom end rot.
Freeze damage to plants
Landscaping on a budget