Tomatoes are probably the most planted vegetable in gardens across America. Who doesn't like a vine-ripened, juicy tomato? There is nothing store-bought that can compare to the tasty goodness of a homegrown tomato.
Growing tomatoes in North Texas is always a challenge. It's difficult to grow beefsteak tomatoes (the really large sized tomatoes) because we just don't have the number of cooler days to grow them to maturity. I always look for heirloom and open pollinated varieties that have a medium growing season, something about 70-80 days to maturity. This year, we're growing Marmande, Super Sioiux, Pantano Romanesco, and Large Red Cherry. We've grown all but Super Sioux previously.
Marmande is a nice, small-medium sized round tomato. It's very prolific and very tasty. Reminds me of an old-fashioned tomato. Perfect for one person, too. Pantano Romanesco is a larger tomato, but more flat. They're pictured above. They have a fantastic taste and are very juicy as well. Large Red Cherry is the perfect snack size tomato. Cherry tomatoes are much more prolific and will sometimes produce when the weather is very hot, long after the regular tomatoes have given up.
Prior to planting, be sure to loosen the root system a little bit. This helps them get going once in the ground.
We use Nature's Guide Tomato & Pepper food and earthworm castings from Texas Worm Ranch. We didn't have any homemade compost this year, so I used mushroom compost. We get the leaves from our oak tree in the front yard, which drops its leaves in the spring. Very convenient for us. Placing them in the hole with the plant gives the roots someplace loose to grow and also feeds the soil. It's a win-win.