Selecting Tomato Varieties
A key target in the Tasti-Lee® breeding program
was to deliver better flavor and interior
fruit quality to commercial tomatoes. Dr.
John (Jay) Scott, of the University of Florida's
Gulf Coast Research & Evaluation Center,
spent more than 10 years doing just that.
Tasti-Lee® is a hybrid variety of large round
determinate tomato. It is self-topping (seldom
needs staking) and best when caged. This
tomato has a 7-10 day harvest window and
performs well with consistent superior flavor
under a diverse range of growing conditions,
which make it a great variety for the commercial
With so many varieties available, it may be difficult to choose which tomato to grow for your crop. Twilley continually looks for new varieties with
better performance traits. The following information will help you select the best varieties for your production. We especially suggest any of the
tomatoes in Twilley’s tried and true “Professional Seeds Series”.
Consider the number of frost-free days in your growing area. Early crops are
often useful to make early market windows, even though some trade-off in
fruit size may be necessary.
Determinate vs Indeterminate
Determinate plants grow shorter, with more concentrated fruit set, and need
less pruning or support. Indeterminate plants usually have a more extended
harvest season, and can yield larger, more perfect fruit if supported and
Fruit Type and Use
Various sizes, shapes and colors are available to meet market demand in different
regions and applications.
Jointless vs Jointed
Jointless fruits, when picked, leave the stem (pedicel) on the plant resulting
in a smooth fruit surface. Smoother fruit can show less damage in shipping
with less need for special packing materials. Jointed fruits have an enhanced
appearance in fresh market settings because stem remains attached to fruit.
Descriptions indicate suggested best uses for many varieties. Shipping types
usually are very firm, produce a concentrated fruit set and can ripen to a red
color in storage after green harvest.
Many varieties perform well in certain regions; we include this information
Disease Tolerance or Resistance
Many new varieties have been improved for a broader range of disease traits,
as new research results become available for commercial use. As part of your
disease management, you may choose varieties that are strong against the diseases
that make the most problems in your area. It is recommended that you
contact an extension service agent in your area to identify the cause of growing
problems. They can help identify the problem so you can better deal with
it. We have found that land grant universities offer excellent information on
their websites. See page 113 or ask your Twilley salesperson for universities
in your region.
Indicates varieties resistant to Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus, which is
now a growing problem in many states. TSWV can wipe out entire
tomato crops. Symptoms are hard to detect in early stages and no treatment
is known to be effective at saving an infected crop. TSWV is hard to control
because the tiny thrips that feed on infected plants spread quickly through
a field and carry the virus to healthy plants. Disease resistance is the only
known method to control this problem.
Indicates varieties resistant to Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl. Transmitted
by white fly, TYLC has recently come on as a problem disease.
To Order Call: 800-622-7333 (USA) or 864-227-5140 (Int'l) 75
Harvested vine-ripe in the field, fruit can
maintain its texture and flavor for up to 2
weeks. Fresh quality withstands harvest, packing
and distribution pressures to arrive at retail
as a beautiful, flavorful tomato with more
than 40% higher lycopene levels than regular
Tasti-Lee® is a delightful treat high in antioxidants.
It is just right for slicing and chopping;
great for sandwiches, salads, salsas and sauce.
Following a national brand-name promotion
and pull-through marketing, consumers are
asking for this tomato by name. Twilley Seed
is again proud to offer Tasti-Lee® to our customers.
Note - Sales to supermarket chains require participation in a brand-name marketing program. Please inquire about this program if your plans include supermarket distribution.
Orders for more than 5000 sd require breeders marketing agreement. Please call for information. See page 78