Talladega

  • Sun: Full sun
  • Harvest Size: 8 to 10 ounces
  • Days to Harvest: 70 to 90
  • Plant Size: 3 to 4 feet
  • Plant Type: Determinate

Talladega doesn't grow at the racetrack, but it probably could. This tomato likes it hot. Bred in the southeast where heat can delay fruiting, Talladega is a winner. Expect heavy yields of large, tasty red tomatoes, even in the heat of summer. This is also one of the few varieties resistant to spotted wilt virus, a disease that limits the ability to grow non-resistant tomatoes in parts of the Southeast. Plants in our garden bear fruit in a concentrated time, yielding about 20 pounds per plant over a period of about six weeks.

Plant from spring (after the last frost) through early summer. If you buy early, you can keep plants on a sunny windowsill until the weather warms. To plant early, protect plants with row cover. Plant a second crop in summer for a fall harvest.

Disease resistance: VFFTSWST. Plant spacing: 36 inches apart in conventional rows, 24 inches in intensive gardens. Plants per person: 2 to 5 at each planting.

Secrets to Success »

Plant deeply so that two-thirds of the plant is buried, stem and all. The buried stem will sprout roots, adding to the strength of the plant. Fertilize when planting and during the growing season with Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food.

Water regularly. Tomatoes need steady watering to develop to full size and to prevent cracking and blossom end rot. To keep the soil moist, mix compost into planting holes, and mulch around the plants after the soil warms. Watering with a soaker hose is best to keep the foliage dry. Wet leaves encourage disease.

Support plants on stakes or a sturdy wire cage to keep fruit off the ground. This helps prevent disease.

Harvest and Use »

Pick red, vine-ripe tomatoes to slice or quarter on a plate, in a salad, or on a sandwich. Use green ones for fried green tomatoes or tart sauces. The red tomato is considered a “superfood” because it’s full of vitamins and antioxidants, including cancer-fighting lycopene.

Try These Garden Companions »

  • Sweet basil for tomato-and-basil salad or sandwich.
  • Parsley, rosemary, chives, thyme, and oregano for Continental cuisine.
  • Arkansas Traveler or Solar Fire for other heat tolerant varieties.
  • Bush Early Girl (determinate) or Early Girl (indeterminate) for early tomatoes.
  • Big Beef, Goliath, Park's Whopper, or Red Beefsteak (indeterminate types) for big, sandwich-sized tomatoes.
  • Homestead, Celebrity, Mountain Pride, Rutgers, Solar Fire, and Roma (determinate types) for a big harvest in a short time.
  • Chocolate Cherry, Grape, Juliet, Porter Improved, Sun Sugar, Super Sweet 100, Yellow Pear, or any cherry tomato that bears all season.
  • Roma for cooking and thick sauces.

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