Issue: February 2, 1998


Recommended tomatoes for New Mexico

Question:

I am looking for a large, good-eating tomato to plant this year. In the past I have had good luck with tomatoes, but they are not as large as I would like. This is for a home garden. Please send me the name of a tomato I described.

Answer:

George Dickerson, NMSU Extension horticulture specialist working with small farms, backyard vegetable gardens, and small fruit crops provided the following information:

Dickerson suggests that you try Burpee's Super Steak Hybrid VFN tomato. This 80-day-rated tomato is not only large in size, it has excellent flavor and good disease resistance (VFN). You may also want to consider Beefmaster VFN, another 80-day-rated tomato. The 80-day-rating means that it should be producing ripe tomatoes approximately 80 days after transplanting into the garden. Here in New Mexico that often occurs during the time that our temperatures have become hot. Some tomatoes, especially those which produce larger fruits, cease production when the temperatures climb. You may want to plant some of the smaller fruited tomatoes to maintain production through the heat. The cherry tomato types seem to continue bearing tomatoes regardless of temperature conditions.

Dickerson has gathered information on tomatoes in New Mexico by growing them himself and by sending questionnaires to Master Gardeners and other gardeners around New Mexico. The tomatoes recommended above and others are listed in the publication, "Growing Zones, Recommended Crop Varieties, and Planting and Harvesting Information for Home Vegetable Gardens in New Mexico" (Circular 457-B). This publication is available from your local Cooperative Extension Service office. There is an Extension office in each county in New Mexico. (Web users can find their county office online.)

If you have a computer, you can also find this publication on the World Wide Web at http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/ which gives you access to many other NMSU Extension publications on-line in HTML and PDF formats. You can find many useful publications in the following subject areas: agronomy, clothing, food and nutrition, dairy, agricultural mechanics and engineering, family life, livestock and range, economics, wildlife, home management, and horticulture.

There are Extension offices in all states, in cooperation with the USDA and land-grant universities, to provide information to all citizens. These are sources of information relevant to you and your state.