The mid-Atlantic is the home territory of two top heirlooms — ‘Amish Paste’ and ‘Brandywine’ tomatoes — that are well-represented in these gardens. Adding a cherry tomato and an ‘Early Girl’ makes it easier to wait for later-maturing varieties. A balance of hybrids and heirlooms gives you earliness, disease resistance and great flavor. Further diversify by setting out some plants early and others later. That way, you will have vigorous young plants in late summer, when pest and disease pressure can become severe.
2. ‘Early Girl’
3. ‘Better Boy’
Also: ‘Big Boy,’ ‘Beefsteak’
1. ‘Super Sweet 100’
3. ‘Sweet Million’
Also: ‘Black Cherry,’ ‘Riesenstraube’
2. ‘Amish Paste’
3. ‘San Marzano’
Also: ‘Opalka,’ ‘Polish Linguisa’
3. ‘Big Boy’
Also: ‘Mortgage Lifter,’ ‘Better Boy’
1. ‘Yellow Pear’
Also: ‘Cupid,’ ‘Principe Borghese’
1. ‘Cherokee Purple’
2. ‘Black Krim’
3. ‘Lemon Boy’
“Setting out plants several weeks apart gives me a longer tomato growing season.”
“I use seaweed spray several times early in the season. This develops bigger leaves, promotes overall growth and provides some disease protection.”
Oak Ridge, New Jersey
“Preventing problems is a nonstop job. We rotate, grow cover crops, keep the garden free of weeds and debris, and companion plant with aromatic herbs and flowers to attract beneficial insects.”
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Read The Best Tomatoes to Grow Where You Live to find top 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 Google+.
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