There is nothing more delicious than a fresh tomato, right out of the garden. Growing tomatoes in Arizona is surprisingly easy and can offer tasty, fresh-off-the-vine snacks and homemade sauces throughout the year! The tomato plant comes in many varieties, including heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and Roma grape tomatoes. At SummerWinds Nursery, our experts can answer all of your questions about the different varieties, planting tomatoes, and how to grow tomatoes.
The tomato plant is a low maintenance plant that generally prefers a full sun location. The best time for planting tomatoes is March, as these plants prefer when the temperature is between 55° and 95° F. Water your tomato plant at its base (don’t water the leaves) once a week during the cooler months and 2 – 3 times a week during the warmer months.
Tomato Plant Facts:
Height: 4’ to 5’ tall
Spacing: Plant 18” apart
Sun-Shade: Full Sun (at least 6 hours)
At SummerWinds Nursery, we offer a number of tomato plant (Solanum lycopersicum) varieties to choose from, including organics and Heirlooms. Some local favorites are listed below.
- Black Krim Heirloom Tomato (Lycoperiscon lycopersicum 'Black Krim')
A beefsteak-type tomato with deep red color that grows 6 to 12 ounces.
- Brandywine Heirloom Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Brandywine')
A dark red tomato that grows up to 1 ½ pounds.
- Celebrity Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Celebrity')
A red tomato that grows up 7 to 10 ounces.
- Champion Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Champion')
A sweet flavored tomato that grows 6 to 8 ounces.
- Cherokee Purple Heirloom Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Cherokee Purple')
One of the best tasting tomatoes, almost purple in color and can grow up to 1 pound.
- Cherry Sun Gold Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
Grows in clusters of 10 to 15; sweet flavor.
- Chocolate Cherry Tomato (Solanum esculentum 'Chocolate Cherry')
These 1 inch tomatoes grow in clusters on the vine.
- Early Girl Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Early Girl')
Early fruit production, grow 4 to 6 ounces.
- Juliet Roma Grape Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Juliet')
Sweet tasting fruit that grows 1 to 2 ounces.
- Roma Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Roma')
Typically 3 inches long, not juicy, good for sauces and cooking.
- Sweet 100 Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Super Sweet 100')
Grow in 1 inch clusters, sweet flavor.
The heirloom tomato plant is something you often hear about, but what does it actually mean? Similar to a family heirloom, heirloom tomato seeds are those that have been passed down from generation to generation. There are four different categories of the heirloom tomato plant.
- Commercial Heirloom – This is an open pollinated heirloom tomato that is more than 50 years old.
- Family Heirloom – These seeds from a tomato plant have been passed down through generations of a family.
- Created Heirloom – These heirloom tomato plants are created by deliberately crossing either two heirloom plants or an heirloom and a hybrid to create desired characteristics or eliminate unwanted characteristics. This process can take upwards of 8 years.
- Mystery Heirloom – This occurs with a natural cross-pollination of heirloom tomato plants.
At SummerWinds Nursery, we maintain the highest quality tomato plants and our Trusted Garden Advisors (experts) are waiting to answer all of your questions on how to grow tomatoes. Visit your local SummerWinds Nursery today to learn more, or read our blog, " The Joys of Growing Your Own Tomatoes."