Grow tomatoes at home! Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A, potassium, fiber, and lycopene. Choose tomatoes that have deep, rich colors. This indicates that the tomato is rich in lycopene—which is what gives tomatoes their red pigment. Lycopene is also thought to have cancer-fighting abilities. According to the National Cancer Institute, tomatoes have proven to be helpful in reducing the risk of certain cancers, especially prostate cancer.
A native to the Americas, the tomato can be traced back to the early Aztecs. It was not until the 19th century, however, that the tomato became a kitchen favorite in both the United States and Europe. The creation of pizza, with its tomato sauce, contributed to its popularity.
This delicious fruit is low in calories: 1 cup of chopped ripe, red, raw tomatoes has only 32 calories! Although tomatoes are available year-round, they are best during the summer months. Availability varies State to State. Tomatoes come in many varieties and colors to include red, orange, yellow, green, and even purple. Each type has a unique taste, consistency, and purpose.
TYPES OF TOMATOES
Before you start to grow tomatoes, it is important to understand the two primary types of tomato plants – determinate and indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes will produce all at once, while the indeterminate varieties will produce over the course of an entire growing season. Although you can grow both determinate and indeterminate tomatoes in containers, new gardeners might find it easier to grow determinate varieties as they tend to be smaller and easier to manage.
Here are a few recommended determinate tomato plant varieties:
Glacier – Bush Early Girl – Legend
These early-season type plants will typically produce within 40 – 65 days. They are sensitive to very high temperatures. Caution should be taken to move into shaded areas on days of extreme sunlight.
Floramerica – Kootenai – New Big Dwarf and “Siletz
These mid-season type plants will typically produce within 70 – 80 days. They are able to tolerate higher temperatures and will last for a longer timeframe. These varieties are best if you are seeking a larger, meatier tomato.
Roma -Principe Borghese -Viva Italia and San Marzano
These paste-type plants will typically produce within 70 – 80 days. They have good heat tolerance and often produce high-yields. These varieties are best for sauces and canning.[