Tomato Varieties and Disease Resistance

Tomato Variety Resistance Growth Type

ACE

VF

DET

YELLOW PEAR

 

IND

EARLY GIRL

VF

IND

BETTER BOY

VFN

IND

CHAMPION

NFT

IND

LEMON BOY

VFNT

IND

CELEBRITY

VFFNT

DET

FLORAMERICA

VFFAL

DET

HEATWAVE

FFAL

DET

ROMA

VFD

DET

BEEFSTAEK

VFN

IND

BRANDYWINE

 

IND

BEEFMASTER

VFN

IND

SWEET 100

VFNT

IND

SUPERSWEET 100

VF

IND

CHERRY

VFAL

DET

GRAPE

 

SDET

PATIO

VF

DET

LEGEND

LB

DET

SUNGOLD

F,FF,T,V

IND

 

The letter codes after the variety name mean resistance to the following:

V - Verticillium Wilt
F - Fusarium Wilt
FF - Fusarium Wilt Races 1 and 2
N - Nematodes
T - Tobacco Mosaic Virus
L - Septoria Leaf Spot
A - Alternaria
St - Stemphylium

LB Late Blight

 

 

Determinate vs. Indeterminate

Tomatoes are commonly classified as determinate or indeterminate. Determinate, or bush, types bear a full crop all at once and top off at a specific height; they are often good choices for container growing. Indeterminate varieties develop into vines that never top off and continue producing until killed by frost. As an intermediate ground, there are plants sometimes known as "vigorous determinate" or "semi-determinate"; these top off like determinates but produce a second crop after the initial crop.

Determinate tomatoes need no pruning other than removing all suckers below the first flower cluster, because pruning won't affect their fruit size or plant vigor. If you do any pruning at all above the first flower cluster on determinate tomatoes, you'll only be throwing away potential fruit.

Determinate tomato plants have a predetermined number of stems, leaves, and flowers hardwired into their genetic structure. The development of these plants follows a well-defined pattern. First, there is an initial vegetative stage during which all the stems, most of the leaves, and a few fruit are formed. This is followed by a flush of flowering and final leaf expansion. Finally, during the fruit-fill stage, there is no further vegetative growth. As the tomato fruits ripen, the leaves senesce and die. Commercial growers favor this type of tomato because all the fruit can be mechanically harvested at once. The major advantage of planting determinate plants in a home garden is early harvest

Indeterminate tomatoes can have from one to many stems, although four is the most I'd recommend. The fewer the stems, the fewer but larger the fruits, and the less room the plant needs in the garden. For a multi-stemmed plant, let a second stem grow from the first node above the first fruit. Allow a third stem to develop from the second node above the first set fruit, and so forth. Keep the branching as close to the first fruit as possible. This will make the side stems vigorous but will not overpower the main stem.

 

 

Remember that while these varieties are resistant to certain diseases, there is no single variety which is resistant to all diseases which affect the crop. So, you'll still have to maintain a fungicide application program for early blight, Septoria leaf spot, and some of the other fungus diseases for which resistant varieties aren't widely available.

 

Want to try varieties which aren't disease resistant? Heirloom favorites such as "Brandywine," or "Old German" have been around a long time and are becoming more popular. You'll enjoy their great taste, but remember: these varieties have little disease and nematode resistance, so take care to plant them in areas where Fusarium wilt or root-knot nematodes haven't been a problem in past seasons.