Best on the Gulf Coast: Arkansas Traveler and Creole Tomatoes

Varieties that hold up to heat and humidity — Arkansas Traveler and Creole tomatoes, for instance — are preferred on the Gulf Coast.

gulf coast map - arkansas traveler, creole tomatoes

The Gulf Coast gardening region. Arkansas Traveler and Creole tomatoes are good choices to withstand the heat and humidity.

ILLUSTRATION: NATE SKOW

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Spring and fall, varieties that hold up to heat and humidity earn their spots in Gulf Coast gardens. Large-fruited cherry varieties or vigorous ‘Juliet’ help guarantee a successful season, but be careful with heirlooms. ‘Arkansas Traveler’ and ‘Creole’ tomatoes set fruit well in humid heat compared with many other open-pollinated varieties.


Slicer Tomatoes

1. ‘Better Boy’
2. ‘Big Boy’
3. ‘Brandywine’

Also: ‘Celebrity,’ ‘Early Girl,’ ‘Arkansas Traveler’

Cherry Tomatoes

1. ‘Super Sweet 100’
2. ‘Black Cherry’
3. ‘Yellow Pear’

Also: ‘Sweet Chelsea,’ ‘Sungold’

Paste/Canning

1. ‘Roma’
2. ‘Amish Paste’
3. ‘San Marzano’

Also: ‘Opalka,’ ‘Polish Linguisa’

Really Big Ones

1. ‘Beefsteak’
2. ‘Big Boy’
3. ‘Better Boy’

Also: ‘Beefmaster,’ ‘Red Oxheart,’ ‘Floradade’

Saladette/Pear

1. ‘Yellow Pear’
2. ‘Juliet’
3. ‘Porter’

Non-reds

1. ‘Cherokee Purple’
2. ‘Yellow Pear’
3. ‘Pineapple’


Neighborly Advice

“Be vigilant, be sure to tend your garden every day, and catch problems early.” 

Bob Schultz
San Antonio, Texas

“To prevent diseases, make sure your plants have good support. Trim the plants so the lowest leaves don’t touch the ground, and water at the base so the leaves stay dry.” 

C. D. Kross
DeFuniak Springs, Florida

“I’m lucky to live where there are two tomato seasons. Regional varieties such as ‘Creole’ and ‘Gulf Coast Market’ have what it takes to be successful here.”

Johannah Foss
Houston, Texas


Read The Best Tomatoes to Grow Where You Live to find the best varieties for other U.S. gardening regions.


Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant gardens in southwest Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and a few lucky chickens. Contact Barbara by visiting her website or finding her on .

 

frank langston
1/30/2012 4:13:28 AM

Last season I had about 40 Tomato plants, 500 feet of potatoes, 25 cream peas, squash,zucc, spaghetti squash,purple hull peas. The biggest garden I have ever tended and one the worst droughts as they say in 100 yrs. I will be trying a Keyhole garden this year.


gneiss
3/28/2011 5:10:16 PM

Gardeners in the South should be aware of a relatively new disease called Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus. This disease over-winters in a variety of carrier plants, including some popular ornamentals, and is spread by thrips. Since the carrier plants are often not associated with gardening, crop rotation doesn't put a dent in this one. There are some TSWV resistant tomatoes available, but all so far are determinate. They also tend to lack taste somewhat. More modern varieties appear to be more flavorful than those first TSWV resistant hybrids - so it's said. Unfortunately, for areas plagued with TSWV, these may be the only way to grow backyard tomatoes.


michael jordan_2
3/7/2010 10:07:17 AM

Best Tomatoe Fertilizer... I use 1 tablespoon of Epson salt at the base of each of my plants evry 2 weeks and water it in. I have found it to grow monster plants with plenty of fruit, Some plants as tall as 8 ft, had to double stack my cages....