You know everyone's always talking about me sitting on my butt and lying down and everything. "What do you really do for that job with Texas A&M?" What I do is try to find you, some of the local commercial growers, the best tomato variety for you to use.
And the way we do that is simply plant them out in some grower's location, and let him take care of them for a little while. Then we go out and mark a certain length of row and number of plants, and then we go out and pick baskets full of the ripe fruit.
You are looking right here at about 12-15 varieties that we planted out this year, and I don't think it takes a nuclear engineer to figure out which one did the best. You can very easily see that this is the only really heat setting tomato in Texas right now. It's called Surefire. Off the same number of plants that we picked these others we pick three half a bushel. These are the earliest, fastest setting, and fastest ripening tomato in Texas. This is followed by the new one we released about a year ago called Sunmaster. I had to come out here and plant all these tomatoes, and pick all these tomatoes, and then I had to taste them to see if they taste good. It's a terrible, terrible job, but as you can see, I got a little help from the Master Gardeners. But I did most of the work; don't ever be fooled.
This is Jerry Parsons, Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Weekend Gardener.
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