AMES, Iowa – A new publication providing information on suitable tomato varieties for commercial field and high tunnel production in Iowa is now available at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Online Store. The four-page Recommended Tomato Varieties for Commercial Production in Iowa allows tomato growers to compare varieties for the Midwest growing zones.
Ajay Nair, Iowa State University assistant professor in horticulture and vegetable production specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach said, “As one of the most popular vegetables in commercial production, tomatoes are low in calories and high in vitamin C and antioxidants.”
“This publication will help producers identify, a wide variety of tomatoes that can be successfully grown in Iowa,” Nair said. “Even home growers of tomatoes will find a number of determinate and indeterminate cultivars available for our Midwest temperatures and soil types.”
Determinate tomatoes, originally developed for the wholesale market, have a short harvest period and allow for a once-over mechanical harvest. Plants are compact and bush type, producing firm fruit for easy packing with disease-free traits. Indeterminate plants grow large and are often staked and trained on support systems to keep them upright. Fruit production is continuous over the summer and suited for local fresh market sales.
The publication offers pictures and suggestions of tomato varieties for field and high tunnel production based on color, size, shape and growth habit (determinate or indeterminate). Detailed information about each plant’s maturity days and harvest yields are based on research and trials conducted at Iowa State and in adjacent states.