Tomato, Homestead 24

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Print This

Geography/History:
A hot-weather variety, the Homestead 24 tomato was introduced to the marketplace
in 1953 and was grown commercially throughout Florida in the 1950s and 1960s.
According to the University of Florida
Extension, Florida’s tomato crops suffered from a major bout of fusarium wilt in
the late 1960s and Homestead 24 and other susceptible varieties were replaced by
Walter, which is resistant. Homestead 24 fruit weighs up to 8 ounces and has
smooth red skin. These tomatoes are ready to harvest in 80 days.

 

Nutritional Value:
The red tomato is listed on most nutritional lists as a superfood. It is packed with the antioxidant vitamins A and C, potassium and the B vitamins for heart health, and above all a powerful carotenoid called lycopene. This phytonutrient, which is responsible for the bright red color of tomatoes, has been studied for its role in fighting various cancers, and its ability to lower cholesterol. When tomatoes are cooked, even more lycopene is made available. Lycopene has been shown to be especially effective when eaten with fat-rich foods such as avocado, olive oil, or nuts. There are the ingredients for a powerhouse salad!

Sun:                              Full
Spacing:                      36″
Height:                        24″ – 36”
Optimum Soil Ph:    5 to 6
Days To Maturity:    80
Sowing Method:       Start Indoors
Type :                          Indeterminate

Planting/Growing Tips:
Most gardeners want to get the most out of these delicious heirloom tomatoes and therefore give them a head start on the growing season.  Start these vegetable seeds indoors in sterile potting mix being sure to keep the temperature above 70 degrees.  Some people prefer to use a grow pad but the top of the fridge has been known to be quite effective as well.

Once the first true leaves appear on your tomato seedlings, transplant into 4″ pots until you have completely hardened them off in the garden.  Hardening is a process of exposing the plants more and more to outside temperature until they are hardy enough to tollerat a complete outdoor move.  Generally speaking, by early summer heirloom tomatoes should be transplated into the garden.

Most heirloom varieties are quite productive and will greatly benefit from sturdy supports.  It may also be advisable to add blood and bone to the worked soil to help ensure healthy productive heirloom tomatoes.

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