How do you chose what kind of tomatoes to grow – there are so many?
That is where Dunvegan Gardens can help. We know it can be overwhelming when you start looking at all the varieties. Here at Dunvegan we strive to have quality plants for our growing zone, plants that can handle our up and down climate and winds.
A couple of questions could help you decide what kind of tomato to grow.
- Are you growing tomatoes to eat fresh or for canning?
- Do you have a greenhouse or planting straight into the ground?
- Do you want juicy or beefy tomatoes?
Tomatoes or fresh eating have size variances from the mini cherry to the large Beefsteak, Bush Beefsteak, Bush Early Girl, Better Bush. One of the most popular varieties is the Super Fantastic and a hardy tomato equally as popular is the Manitoba. Get a few varieties to try and be sure to check out our yellow tomatoes as well.
For canning tomatoes and those pasta sauces, look for a meatier tomato with less juice like the Roma or the Little Napoli – a large type Roma.
Because our growing season is short in the Peace Country we recommend buying a good healthy plant, not starting from seed. Look for plants already in flower or with small green tomatoes already starting to grow. We have hundreds of amazing plants growing in our greenhouses ready for your garden or try one of our hanging tomato baskets.
You will have to brace, stake, trellis or cage your tomato plants as they tend to be top heavy and fall over, damaging the plant.
Look for a sunny spot to plant your tomatoes, they really love the heat and need 6-8 hours of heat per day to get flavorful. If planting in a greenhouse, they will flourish with the warmth. Watch out for those cold nights because tomatoes do not like to get cold – remember to cover them should the temperatures drop.
Plant the plants 2-3 feet apart or grow in containers that are at least 18” in diameter.
Because of our strong winds, we recommend that you plant at least 2/3 of the stem of the tomato plant in the ground to get a good strong plant. The deeper roots will also help the plant to find water should we have a dry summer.
Check your plant regularly for pests – green caterpillars or hornworms, can strip a plant quickly. Deal quickly with pests. Watch your plants for fungus, or dark spots on the leaves, remove those leaves.
Remember to feed your tomato with Miracle Gro Tomato Food, add the Miracle Gro Tomato Food to every second watering.
You can then sit back and reap in your harvest as the tomatoes turn from green to yellowish- pink to red. You can pick tomatoes and start using them at the yellowish-pink stage. Store your tomatoes at room temperature, not in the fridge as they will be more flavourful.
Extra tomatoes can be canned, frozen or dried.