The Q&A Archives: Bigger Tomatoes

Questioner's Location: Peoria, Ar
Date: April 14, 2009

Question: What can I do to get bigger tomatoes on my vines, instead of lots of smaller ones?

Answer: Although we have what seems like a long growing season here in the Valley of the Sun, the truth is that tomatoes won't produce well in the summer heat. So, timing is everything in terms of growing them. We suggest planting tomatoes in February for harvest in May or planting in late September for harvest in December. Larger types of tomatoes require more time for ripening, so it's best to plant the small and medium-sized varieties in our desert gardens. Look for tomatoes labeled for 60- to 70-day maturity. Successful varieties include: Yellow Pear, Cherry, Sweet 100, Earlypak, Earlygirl, Small Fry, Patio, Champion, Earliana, and Sunripe. When looking for resistant varieties, the letters "VNFT" indicate a plant's resistance to Verticillium Wilt (V), Nematodes (N), Fusarium Wilt (F), and Tobacco Mosaic Virus (F). I'm afraid the large beefsteak type tomatoes just aren't very successful here in the desert. Wish I had better news for you!

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