If summer had a flavor, it would be that of a tomato. Raising these plump, juicy fruits is so satisfying. While tomatoes come in many sizes, shapes, colors and flavors, they all have one thing in common: They are either determinate or indeterminate. The difference between the two comes down to timing and size: More compact determinate tomatoes ripen all at once so they are ideal for going crazy making sauces, canning and freezing. Indeterminate types continue to grow all summer, so you can pick your fill one week, then pick again the next. It’s a good idea to plant both types so you can eat some and preserve some. Do you want to slice them for sandwiches, toss a few into salads or make pasta sauces? There’s a tomato best suited for each culinary situation. Learn about the four main types below.
Whichever type you grow, consistent soil moisture is key. Water plants deeply and infrequently at the base of the plant, not on the leaves, to prevent disease. Plants need 1 to 1½ in. of water a week. To maintain even soil moisture, mulch around the base of plants.
Need help getting started? Read How to start a vegetable garden.