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Tomatoes

TOMATOES ARE NUMBER 1: The favorite vegetable for the home garden. Rich in vitamins A, B, & C, tomato varieties are available to produce fruit from early in the season to frost. Tomatoes are easy to grow. Even a few plants will produce plenty of fruit for eating fresh, for canning and for freezing.

WHEN YOU BUY: Choose dark green stocky plants, individually in 1 gallon or 3 inch pots for quick starts, or in packs of 4 plants for economy.

SOIL PREPARATION: Tomatoes require a rich, well-drained soil. If soil is clay or light sand, spread 4 inches of peatmoss and garden fertilizer (according to directions) over the entire area; spade in, or rototill to a depth of 25 cm (10 inches). If tomatoes are to be grown in containers or in a greenhouse, we recommend Fison’s Sunshine Mix rather than soil.

PLANTING: Keep plants well watered and out of the hot sun prior to planting. Select a location where plants will receive at least six hours of direct sun per day. Avoid planting in frost pockets and protect from frost. Planting after May 24 reduces the chances of frost damage. Remove the lower leaves and set the plant deep in the soil, nearly up to the lowest leaves. Firm the soil to anchor the plant. Water immediately. After planting, approximately 2º Celsius of frost protection may be provided with hotcaps, remay or old bed sheets. The bed sheets must be removed in the day.

CUTWORMS can chew through a new plant over night. Protect plants by placing collars or used milk cartons around the plant.

SPACE plants 90 cm. (3 feet) apart each way.

WATERING: Tomatoes need an even supply of water through the season, any moisture stress will cause blossom end rot, a physiological disorder that causes the end of tomatoes to rot. Lack of calcium can also contribute to this and can be corrected by applying Stop Rot. The amount of water required will vary depending on your situation. Watering every couple of weeks with 20-20-20 or fish fertilizer will reap benefits.

PRUNING: Pinch off all sucker growth that occurs between the main stem & leaf branches. Near the end of the season, pinch the top, this will direct energy to the developing fruit. Remove bottom branches after fruiting.

ROTATE the location of tomatoes annually to prevent nutrient depletion in your garden soil.

MULCHING: A mulch is anything that helps to keep moisture in, and prevents weeds from growing. Black plastic, sawdust, leaf mold and bark all make good mulches. Black plastic has the added advantage of warming the soil; it should be removed at the end of the growing season. Organic mulches may be worked in to improve the soil.

SUPPORT: Tomatoes may be tied to a stake, grown in a cage or tied from the greenhouse ceiling.

HARVESTING AND STORAGE: Store ripe tomatoes in the refrigerator. Pink fruit will ripen at room temperature. Green tomatoes should be covered with newspaper and ripened at 15-20º Celsius.

VarietyFruit SizeMaturityNotes
Creole greenhouseSweet, flavourful, meaty fruit. Ribbed appearance.
Early Girl142 g. (5 oz.)54 dayStaking. Red, meaty slicing tomato. Disease resistant.
Juliette28 g. (1 oz.)62 daysStaking. Resistant. to cracking & late blight. Sweet fruit.
Lemon Boy198 g. (7 oz.)72 daysStaking. Yellow fruit, sweet mild flavour, low acid.
Manitoba185 g. (6½ oz)60 daysBush. Far north beefsteak sets fruit even in cold weather.
Patio Hybrid113 g. (4 oz.)50 daysBush. 60 cm., stocky plant. Excellent size for containers.
Roma90 g. (3 oz.)75 daysBush. Medium-large, pear shaped fruit. Paste tomato.
Sweet Chelsea28 g. (1 oz.)64 daysStaking. Crack resistant cherry w/ dark red, sweet fruit.
Sweet Million2.5 cm. (1)60 daysTall staking cherry. Good disease tolerance.
Tumbler3 cm. (1¼”)48 daysBush. High yielding plants great for containers.
Ultra Girl227 g. (7-9 oz)62 daysStaking. Firm fruit w/ good tolerance to cracking.
Ultra Sweet280 g. (10 oz.)62 daysStaking. Beefsteak type w/ sweet, firm fruit.
Vendor168 g. (6 oz.)greenhouseFirm, crack resistant fruit. Disease tolerant. Ripens Aug.

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