Match Tomato Variety with Growing Conditions

When making a tomato variety selection, it is important to match the varietal characteristics with the growing conditions, since such matching will result in the best outcome in terms of fruit yield and quality. For example, an early variety selection may be tempting in order to obtain harvestable fruit early in the season, but frequently early season varieties, although tolerant to cool, low light intensity conditions, will do poorly in warm to hot conditions and when light intensity is high. Therefore, one might be disappointed when few fruit are set as the seasonal conditions change. Heirloom (heritage) varieties have attracted considerable attention, but remember some have poor disease and insect resistance, with many also lacking tolerance to moisture and temperature stress conditions. Heirloom varieties may also require more attention and care, protecting from environmental extremes and giving attention to cultural procedures, such as suckering and cluster pruning as well as the removing of senescing leaves to prevent disease organisms from gaining a foothold. So, select only those varieties that match the environmental conditions they will be grown under.

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Dr. J. Benton Jones has written extensively on the topics of soil fertility and plant nutrition over his professional career. After obtaining a B.S. degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Illinois, he served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for two years. After discharge from active duty, he entered graduate school, obtaining M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Pennsylvania State University in agronomy. For 10 years, Dr. Jones held the position as research professor at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster. During this time, his research activities focused on the relationship between soil fertility and plant nutrition. In 1967, he established the Ohio Plant Analysis Laboratory. Joining the University of Georgia faculty in 1968, Dr. Jones designed and had built the Soil and Plant Analysis Service Laboratory building for the Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, serving as its Director for 4 years. During the period from 1972 and his retirement in 1989, Dr. Jones held various research and administrative positions at the University of Georgia. Following retirement, he and a colleague established Micro-Macro Laboratory in Athens, Georgia, a laboratory providing analytical services for the assay of soils and plant tissues as well as water, fertilizers, and other similar agricultural substances. Dr. Jones was the first President of the Soil and Plant Analysis Council and then served as its Secretary-Treasurer for a number of years. He established two international scientific journals, "Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis" and the "Journal of Plant Nutrition", serving as their Executive Editors during the early years of publication. Dr. Jones is considered an authority on applied plant physiology and the use of analytical methods for assessing the nutrient element status of rooting media and plants as a means for ensuring plant nutrient element sufficiency in both soil and soilless crop production settings.

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