“For Central MS, what is your best suggestion for a good “eatin’ ‘mater?” Question from Judy of Louisville, Mississippi
Answer: You can never love just one tomato! I have three standbys for great overall eating tomatoes. These are the ones I grow each year no matter what, and they’ll grow well in your Southern heat.
The best tomato for flavor is ‘Gold Medal’, a golden heirloom beefsteak tomato imbued with red blotches. It has beautiful fruit with an amazing sweet tomato flavor. Its only downfall is that it is not a big producer, but the flavor is tops.
My favorite all-purpose tomato is Franchi Sementi’s ‘Red Pear’. I’ve been singing the accolades of this traditional Italian heirloom for years. It bears lots of large, red, pear-shaped tomatoes with excellent flavor and firm, dense flesh. They are super for eating fresh or making sauce. This one is an all-around winner.
Good soil is essential for high tomato yields and good flavor. The richer and deeper the soil, the better the root development. Deep roots give tomatoes an edge during hot, dry spells, especially down South. Black Gold Garden Compost Blend and Earthworm Castings are ideal amendments for tomatoes, and both are OMRI Listed for organic gardening. Also, be sure to feed your plants with a fertilizer formulated for tomatoes.
Happy tomato growing!
Black Gold Horticulturist
About Jessie Keith
Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.
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