It only seems right that March should usher in springtime weather, but this year it brought a strong cold front through Central Texas. Of course, the cold front came just in time to endanger the young tomato transplants that we passed out at a recent Tomato Lunch and Learn at the AgriLife Extension Office.
Despite the cold, I am very excited to see how the tomatoes perform. This year we are trying out two new varieties at the Demonstration Garden, Celebration and Super Sweet 100. Two very dedicated Master Gardeners volunteered to grow more than 100 plants of these two varieties from seed. The seeds were planted in January with a 98% germination rate, and they grew really fast with the help of a greenhouse, some grow lights, and the tender care of the Master Gardeners.
Celebration is a hybrid determinate tomato. It is an improved Celebrity variety that is crack, drought, and disease resistant. This is a compact plant that should mature early with 8-ounce tomatoes. If you have grown Celebrity tomatoes, you might want to give Celebration a try this year. Or you can come check out the demonstration garden and make your decision based on how it does for the Master Gardeners.
The other variety that we are trying this year is Super Sweet 100. This is an indeterminate hybrid variety that matures in 65 days. The plant produces small 1-inch tomatoes that are super sweet and very nutritious. The claim to fame is that they contain more vitamin C than any other tomato.
You can find recommendations for the best varieties for Williamson County on the Aggie Horticulture website at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/. The vegetable variety selector allows you to choose from a wide variety of vegetables. This is a great place to start if you are new to Williamson County or new to gardening. We are always trying out new varieties at the Demonstration Garden at 3151 SE Inner Loop in Georgetown. The Master Gardeners work in the garden on Tuesday and Friday mornings if you have questions about gardening or want to see what we are doing.
Hopefully the cold weather is finished, and we can start planting our tomatoes in the garden. Remember that tomatoes are susceptible to frost so you need to wait until the danger of frost is passed or cover your tomato plants to protect them.