Hybrid Tomatoes and the Garden
Hybrid tomatoes are deliberate crosses between two different tomato varieties. Hybrid tomato plants are often thought of as being more productive or disease resistant – but not as great tasting as heirloom tomatoes. Is that true? And how are these hybrid tomato plants doing in my garden?
Hybrid Tomato Varieties
Although I mostly grow heirloom or open-pollinated tomato varieties, I do grow some hybrids. I especially like some of the cherry tomatoes. Then of course I have to try something new every year — you never know when something will earn a continued spot in the garden.
This year, I am growing the following hybrid tomato plants:
- Celebrity Bush (determinate slicer)
- Fabulous (determinate slicer)
- Goliath Bush (determinate slicer)
- Juliet (cherry)
- Park’s Whopper (indeterminate slicer)
- Supersweet 100 (cherry)
- Tomatoberry (strawberry-shaped cherry)
So how have they been faring?
The Cherry Tomatoes Win for Productivity
That’s really no news, since cherry tomatoes are known for their prolific yields. But one variety in particular is amazing — Tomatoberry.
I bought Tomatoberry because the description sounded intriguing — a cherry tomato the size and shape of a strawberry. While I’m not sure that the fruits are really strawberry-shaped (although I do see a slight resemblance on some of the fruits), the plant is amazing!
I didn’t take a photo of the awesome flower sprays this plant has, and so far, pretty much each flower has set a fruit. So “prolific” is a little bit of an understatement. I’ll have to take a photo as the tomatoes start to turn red — that will be a sight! (I wish I had taken a better picture to show what the spays of tomatoes are like.)
Juliet bears some lovely fruit — it’s a grape cherry tomato. While setting on nearly every blossom, it’s not quite in Tomatoberry’s league. Then again, I am growing Juliet in 5-gallon containers! I imagine that Juliet would do far better in a larger container, or in the ground.
Supersweet 100 was the first of the cherry tomatoes to set fruit. Once again, pretty much every flower sets fruit. I have it growing in the ground, but it’s not in the best location — it only gets about 6 hours of sun a day.
It’s been nibbled by a bunny, blown down in a windstorm and I’ve not always been the best in watering that particular area. Still, this plant continues to grow and set fruit with abandon. I’d call it quite hardy in less-than-desireable conditions. I’ll have to grow one of these plants in the main garden that gets full sun one of these days. That should be a sight!
Well, this post is getting kind of long, so I’ll stop for now, and pick up later with the report on the slicer-sized hybrid tomato plants.