It is no surprise that the favorite garden vegetable for Payne County is the tomato. It’s also no surprise to those of you who grow tomatoes that producing a successful crop does not come without it challenges. OSU has several factsheets dedicated to helping produce a successful tomato harvest. We suggest beginning with HLA 6012 Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden. (PDF/Mobile)
Good horticultural practices as outlined on the fact sheet are certainly keys to success, but another is selecting the right cultivar (variety) for our climate. Over the years, OSU researchers have worked to identify some consistent performers and recently our Payne County Master Gardeners have polled some of our area’s premier tomato growers to expand the offerings.
Before we get to the list, keep in mind that there are two basic types of tomato plants. Determinate plants produce all their fruit in a narrow window of time while Indeterminate plants will produce over a longer period. Unless indicated with an (D), the cultivars listed below are Indeterminates.
Cherry tomatoes include Black Cherry, Bumblebee, Chocolate Cherry, Jelly Bean Red, Jelly Bean Yellow, Juliet (D), Sun Sugar Cherry, Yellow Cherry, and Yellow Pear.
Heirlooms include Arkansas Traveler, Black Crim, Cherokee Purple, Jersey Devil, Peron Sprayless (semi-determinate), Mortgage Lifter, and Nyogous.
The balance of the list includes a variety of tastes, textures, and colors. Many are hybrids or have been bred to exhibit specific characteristics. Please note that as of 2018, no GMO tomatoes are on the market available to the public: Beefmaster, Beefsteak, Better Boy, Celebrity F1, Champion, Dinner Plate, Early Girl, Goliath’s Original, Heinz (D), Jet Star, Lemon Boy, Mexico Midget, and Old-Fashioned Goliaths. Also Park’s Beefy Boy, Park’s Whoppers, Prince Borghese (D), Roma (D), Roman Candle, Snow White, Steakhouse, Super Fantastic, Super Sauce, Super Sweet 100 and Tumblin Tom.
The Super Sweet 100 was the winner of last season’s Taste Testing hosted by the Payne County Masters and judged by the attendees of the Tuesday Gardening Series program.
Good luck and here’s hoping for a spectacular tomato season. Just remember to hold off on planting them till danger of frost has passed, or somewhere around April 15th.
For more information on this or any other horticultural topic, you can contact Keith Reed, the Horticulturist in the Payne County Extension office. Keith can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone at 405-747-8320, or in person at the Payne County Extension office, located at 315 W. 6th in Stillwater.
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