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Tomato Varieties In The News
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Tomato Varieties In the News

When we were younger, Tomatoes seemed to taste better. Tomato varieties in the news are making headlines again. As I live in New Jersey we always called them (and still do) Jersey Tomatoes. They were not just any old tomatoes. Mostly the Ramapo Tomato developed by Rutgers University in New Jersey, which has a very large agricultural experimental division.

The Ramapo was originally introduced in 1968 and became a very common tomato for the food industry as well as the home gardener. Then in the late 1970's to early 1980's the tomato was found to be too soft and not firm enough for shipping however it continued to be loved by home gardeners. Then it started to lose its taste and the plants began to develop some fungus. Gradually its use dwindled to the point that it was not available for many years.

A few years ago some of the original parent seeds were discovered and sent from a geneticist here to an Israeli company that breeds plants in a desert environment free from all fungus etc. They were able over a period of years to create a new hybrid of the Ramapo.

So our Ramapo is back again. called Ramapo F1 Hybrid it began to be available in 2008. In 2010 after reading some articles about it, I was very lucky to find some at a nursery in my area. I thought they were very tasty again and a beautiful tomato.

The Grower told me that the seeds had been given to only a few nurseries the 1st few years. Last year I tried to find some and could not because my growing season began late due to rains and they were already gone.

This year they may be difficult to find again because there was a seed crop failure. However I will be looking for them. The seed packets are already sold out( February)from the official State source..

{Many of these facts came from a NY Times article by Judith Moskin written in 7-23-2008}

Another of the tomato varieties in the news that was redeveloped is the Moreton F1 Hybrid. It is another tasty tomato that fell out of interest after being called a "Jersey Tomato" some years ago.

Both of these are available to growers this year. If you live in NJ check your nurseries for seedlings.

The Ramapo is a Semi Determinate plant( Compact) Early season, Resistant to Fusarium Wilt,Matures in about 80 days and can have large fruit.

The Moreton is an indeterminate that keeps on growing and flowering all season and needs staking, Medium to large fruit,matures in about 70 days, Resistant to Verticcillium. The Seeds are treated.

Hoping this gives you a start to your new growing season.


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