Tomato Varieties for California
There are hundreds of common varieties of the tomato plant (Lycopersicon lycopersicum). Each variety is bred for a specific characteristic, height or production value. In California, specific determinate (bush plants) and indeterminate (vine plants requiring poles) varieties have proven popular, according to the University of California. All do well in the state's relatively temperate summer growing season.
The Merced tomato requires full sun. It produces medium-sized fruit hanging from vines that reach up to 4 feet in height. This tomato variety is a mid-season fruit with harvesting beginning 70 to 80 days after sowing. Culinary uses include canning and fresh cutting.
The Tango tomato requires a minimum of seven hours of direct sunlight. This variety ranges in height from 3 to 4 feet and produces medium-sized fruit that are ready for picking within 2 1/2 months of planting the seeds. Because its a hybrid, all seeds are sterile.
The sun-loving Celebrity tomato variety is an American hybrid known for its resistance against common tomato diseases and problems, such as various types of wilt. The vine grows relatively short at 2 to 3 feet in height. Harvest typically begins within 70 days of sowing.
Shady Lady (Bush)
Contrary to its name, the Shady Lady tomato variety needs full sun. At best, the plant reaches a height of just 2 feet, but produces a profusion of large beefsteak tomatoes. Culinary uses typically focus on fresh use, as its texture is not optimal for canning or drying.
The Sunbrite tomato reaches a whopping height of up to 4 feet when given full sun. Fruit typically weight 1/2 pounds and are ideal for both canning and fresh use. This mid-season variety is ready for harvesting in just under three months.
The hybrid Sonnet variety is resistant to common diseases like the tobacco mosaic virus. Reaching a height of up to 3 feet, the plant grows medium sized tomatoes that can be picked in 2 1/2 months. This bush tomato is usually used fresh and rarely preserved.
- University of California: Fresh-Market Tomato Production in California
- "American Tomato: The Complete Guide to Growing and Using Tomatoes"; Robert Hendrickson; 2006