The Edible Garden

Selecting Tomato Plants for Your Garden

Whether you're new to the joys of growing tomatoes or a long-term tomato aficionado, choosing from among the thousands of varieties is tough. Here's how to make sense of all the options.

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Beefsteak tomato
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Vining or climbing types produce relatively slender vines reaching 3 feet or more. You could let them sprawl, but harvesting is much easier (and the fruit stays cleaner) if you give them support, such as a sturdy stake, cage or trellis. Most tomatoes are vining types. Examples: 'Beefsteak', 'Brandywine', 'Climbing Triple Crop'. By contrast, bush tomatoes have shorter stems (to about 3 feet), so you can use a light stake or trellis to prop them up or leave them unsupported. Examples: 'Bush Champion', 'Super Bush', 'White Bush'.


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