The Q&A Archives: Tomatoes

Question: In the past 2 seasons my tomato plants of different types grow big and leafy but bear little fruit. Also this year the leaves and some small stems turned brown and died at the bottom half of the plants. What can I do for next year?

Answer: Tomatoes need well draining, organically amended soils and at least 6 hours of sunshine a day. Variety selection is one of the keys to growing tomatoes successfully. Select varieties that resist many of the common diseases. Look for VFN after a variety name; this indicates that it has resistance to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, and nematodes.

'President', 'Celebrity', 'Big Boy', 'Champion' (a good warm-weather producer), or the small-fruited 'Sweet 100' are top producers in my experience. The new varieties 'Donna', 'First Lady', and 'Viva Italia' (a paste type) also show promise. Other old-time favorites exist and may also perform well.

I'd give it another try next year. I'm sure you'll be successful.

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