Cherry tomato is a super star

04/01/2013 07:39:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

cherry tomatoCourtesy Texas AgriLifeMuch like winners of American Idol and other reality entertainment shows, the plant industry has its own set of contests to pick stellar performers.

The BHN-969 cherry tomato was named a Texas Superstar for 2013 because of its sweetness, ease of production and high yields, according to a news release.

Texas Superstar plants undergo rigorous testing by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension horticulturists before they're crowned.

To be designated a Superstar, a variety must perform well for both consumers and growers throughout Texas and be easy to propagate.

BHN-968 is naturally resistance against virticillium wilt and fusarium wilt, as well as tobacco mosaic virus and tomato spotted wilt virus.

It's also the first cherry tomato found to be nematode resistance since Small Fly, a tomato developed by AgriLife Research horticulturists, according to the release.

In taste tests that San Antonio Master Gardeners and David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension horticulture agent in Bexar County and member of the Texas Superstar board, conducted, BHN-968 was rated four times sweeter than other comparable cherry tomatoes.

For commercial production, BHN-968 would work best if staked and grown for the specialty market.

It is a semi-determinate variety, meaning it is not likely to spread out.

Yet it is highly productive.

Seeds are available through Johnny's Selected Seeds.

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