Experiment: Disease Resistant Tomatoes

Gardeners want good results. So we enrich the soil to give plants the nutrients they need, we weed so there aren’t any competitors, and water regularly, monitor for insects and observe how the plants are doing.

There is something else you can do and that’s buying plants that are resistant to disease. This year I grew Defiant Hybrid Tomatoes and Jasper Hybrid F Tomatoes from seed because they are both resistant to some of the troublesome diseases we had in the community garden last season.

So there is no confusion. My tomato transplants are not bullet-proof. Resistant varieties are better able to ward off infection. They are – regrettably – not immune. It would be great to have a sure thing but that’s not how gardening goes.

The following descriptions are from the Totally Tomatoes catalog, which is where I purchased the seeds last winter. http://www.totallytomato.com

Defiant Hybrid – This variety cracks the genetic code to produce the first tomato bred for Late Blight resistance. This high yielding plant produces 6 to 8 ounce globe-shaped fruits that combine disease resistance with great old-fashioned tomato flavor.

Jasper Hybird F –
An outstanding disease resistance package results in extended harvests of this delightful little tomato, something you’ll appreciate after sampling the fruit. The small, round, 3/4 inch red fruits weigh less than ounce each. They have sweet, rich flavor and a pleasant creamy texture you’ll enjoy. The fruits are borne on small trusses, holding their quality for a long time on the plant and after picking, resisting cracking and rot. The indeterminate plants are extra vigorous and tall and will need the support of a trellis or cage. Youll find they require little or no fertilization and the plants overcome weather-related stresses with ease. Disease resistances include early blight, Septoria Leaf Spot, fusarium races 1 and the dreaded late blight. Enjoy these little candy fruits early, too, just 60 days from transplanting, 90 days from sowing seed.

These varieties are not be readily available at local garden centers which is why I grew them from seed. If we do get Early blight, these tomatoes should fare better than others.

Let’s see what happens. We can keep an eye on them and see how they fare compared to tomatoes in the rest of the garden.

See you in the garden, Natalie

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