The season is upon us, so what to plant this year? Tomatoes are the number one garden crop not only at Wells Brothers, but also nationally. Here at the store, peppers, squash and cucumbers are tied at a distant second for spring crops. The most frequently asked tomato question is, should I plant heirloom or hybrid?
Heirloom: The term Heirloom is used to describe any type of plant or seed that has been saved and grown for a period of years. Heirloom seed must be of the openly pollinated type. Heirlooms, are simply varieties that are capable of producing seeds that will produce seedlings just like the parent plant.
Hybrid: Crossbreeding compatible types of plants to a plant with the best features of both makes hybrids. Many modern plants are the results of these crosses. Seed from hybrids will not produce plants with identical qualities. Plants can cross-pollinate in nature and hybrids repeatedly selected and grown may eventually stabilize into Heirlooms.
GMOs, (Genetically Modified Organisms) can be any plant, animal or microorganism, which has been genetically altered at the molecular level. Wells Brothers sells no GMO plants or seeds.
The two most important tomato terms:
Determinate: relatively compact (bush) plants that do most of their growing before setting a limited number of fruit that tend to ripen all at once.
Indeterminate: a vining plant that can grow very large (needs support), blossom, and produce tomatoes throughout the growing season.
The Celebrity tomato is the exception to the rule; it is called semi-determinate even though the tags say it is a determinate. It grows like a determinate (bush) and in some cases will produce more than one crop.
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