The Q&A Archives: earth box

Question: I have 2 earth boxes and I was going to plant tomatoes however I had to work out of town for 2 months and was unable to do so. I know its getting late for planting tomatoes, but what kind would you suggest? And is there a disease resistant variety that will work well? Thanks Dave

Answer: It's too late to start tomatoes from seed and get a reliable harvest, but you can purchase one-gallon sized plants to plant in your Earthboxes and enjoy a harvest this summer. Some of the tastiest and most disease resistant varieties include 'Brandywine', an Indeterminate type, legendary for its very exceptional rich, succulent flavor. 'Brandywine' delivers large (up to 1 pound), pink-red fruits with creamy flesh. Vines grow quite tall and have potato-leafed foliage. An Amish heirloom since 1885.

'OTV Brandywine' is another Indeterminate plant. 'OTV Brandywine' is a strain of 'Brandywine' that comes from a natural cross between 'Yellow Brandywine' and an unknown red tomato. "OTV" stands for "Off the Vine,". Plants have red tomatoes and potato-leafed foliage. Yield is often greater than that of regular 'Brandywine', particularly in warm weather, where 'OTV Brandywine' sets fruit more easily. Fruits weigh about 1 pound, with delicious flavor and a nice blend of sugars and acids.

'Rutgers VFA' is a Determinate type. It has great resistance to verticillium and fusarium. This classic red tomato was developed in the 1920s, a couple of decades before the advent of the hybrid tomatoes. Bright red 6-to-8-ounce tomatoes deliver delicious old-time taste. A favorite for canning because of its abundance, juiciness, and deep red color through and through.

'Shady Lady VFTA Hybrid', Determinate, is named for the lush foliage that prevents sunburned fruits. This tomato is popular in California but will grow in other climates and regions. This cultivar is tolerant of verticillium, fusarium, tobacco mosaic virus, and Alternaria stem canker. Round, globe-shaped red tomatoes range from medium to extra large and have an excellent flavor.

Hope one of these tomatoes is just right for your garden!

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