Tomatoes are one of the most popular edibles to grow, but they tend to fall prey to a host of insect and disease problems. As a result, Florida gardeners are always on the hunt for trusty tomato varieties that they can count on to thrive in our climate and survive any attackers.
Keep in mind which type of tomato you would like as you choose your variety. Indeterminate tomatoes have a large, sprawling growth habit and will produce fruit over a period of several months. Determinate varieties have a more compact, bush-like form, but produce only one crop of tomatoes. Semi-determinate tomatoes have the compact habit of determinate varieties paired with the continual fruiting of indeterminate types.
Read on to learn about some of the hardiest cultivars available.
Super Sweet 100
You’ve probably heard of the ‘Sweet 100’ indeterminate tomato, which was popular for its prolific fruiting and excellent flavor. Well, now ‘Super Sweet 100’ is the one to look for to get the same benefits with improved disease resistance. ‘Super Sweet 100’ produces large racks of sweet cherry-sized tomatoes. Your plant will need plenty of support to keep those fruits off the ground. Most importantly, this cultivar is highly resistant to both verticillium wilt and fusarium wilt.
‘Yellow Pear’ is an heirloom variety with golden fruits that are an inch or two long and distinctly pear-shaped. Although the tomatoes are mild in flavor, they make up for it with abundance. Vines can be upwards of eight feet long, so give them plenty of support. Also, keep the soil moist to prevent fruit from cracking. You can depend on ‘Yellow Pear’ to produce plenty of salad-ready tomatoes throughout the summer.
If you want something a bit different from the usual cherry tomatoes, then plant ‘Sun Gold’. The bright, orange fruits burst with tangy, sweet flavor. They’re also resistant to fusarium wilt and tobacco mosaic virus. Fruits develop early in large clusters and are ideal for snacking or adding to salads. Since cherry tomatoes are indeterminate, you can enjoy these golden beauties all summer long.
Gone are the days of worrying about disease with ‘Celebrity’ tomatoes. This semi-determinate cultivar is resistant to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, tobacco mosaic virus, and even nematodes. ‘Celebrity’ has a max height of about three to four feet and a long production season. Be sure to give it a strong cage since the half-pound fruits can weigh the plant down. This is the perfect basic tomato to use for sandwiches, soup, and bruschetta.
Once you’ve chosen your trusty tomato (or tomatoes!), check out our article on tomato care to learn how to keep your new plants happy.