I get asked all the time, which tomatoes are the best ones to grow? Of course, having said that, the most immediate thing that comes to mind is “best for whom.” Obviously each of us will have different ideas on what we want so I will start off with a quick list of the things to consider when choosing which tomato variety to grow. Here are the Top 10 Tomato Varieties to grow in your garden!
Determinate or Indeterminate
One of the principle considerations that you will need to keep in mind when deciding on tomato varieties is whether the variety is Determinate or Indeterminate. Which one is better for you?
In short determinate plants require less space, less maintenance and can be good for someone with time or space restrictions. Determinate varieties are great for container gardening. They grow, set all of their fruit at the same time then die. Don’t plant a lot of them together unless you plan on making sauces, because they will all fruit together.
Indeterminate varieties grow and fruit through the whole season so they are perfect for a continuous supply of tomatoes for the table. They do require a lot more space and care.
Heirloom or Hybrid
If you want to grow something Traditional then you may look into one or more of the Heirloom varieties (essentially the original strains). There are some tremendous plants here and they taste better than the hybrid strains but they can be more susceptible to diseases and a little finicky. This list of the Top 10 Tomato varieties to grow in your garden is made up of heirloom and hybrid varieties.
Hybrid varieties have essentially been cross-bred to enhance certain traits (such as disease resistance) and can be a good starting variety for the novice gardener. I actually recommend growing hybrid varieties as well as heirloom ones.
Other things to keep in mind are whether you are planning on having a garden or growing them in a container, exactly what the purpose is for your growing them and after all that which of the potential varieties you are considering will grow well in your local conditions.
Top 10 Tomato varieties to grow in your garden
Of Amish origin, this is an Indeterminate Heirloom which produces large fruit (one to two pounds). A pretty pink inside with a nice red flesh. They are incredibly tasty. No disease resistance though, keep that in mind.
Italian Indeterminate Heirloom. Plum shaped, bright red, slim fruits. For saucing they are the best. Sweeter and less acidic than the ever popular Roma variety they are good in warm climates and have a long season.
Pink Berkeley Tie Dye
Indeterminate Heirloom. Compact plants produce beautiful fruit with a very sweet, rich, dark tomato flavor. This is definitely one of my favorite tomato varieties to grow.
Russian Indeterminate Heirloom. Smaller (2 to 3 ounce) deep coloured fruits which are very juicy and incredibly rich flavoured. This variety originated in Siberia and is (not surprisingly) good in cooler climates. Black Prince Can be difficult to find.
Indeterminate Hybrid. Fairly easy to grow and disease resistant. These tomatoes are fairly low in acid and so are good for those prone to heartburn. Lemon yellow in color they have a fantastic flavor and are a good talking point among your gardening friends.
Indeterminate. This plant whilst not strictly an Heirloom is also not truly a Hybrid. Developed by Tom Wagner in the early 1980’s, it is an open-pollinated variety. Dark green and yellow striped it produces smaller (three ounce) tangy / sweet fruits. Wonderful colour to add to your salads and good in Mediterranean dishes. It has a distinctive flavour.
Indeterminate. A super productive and early maturing Italian sauce and slice tomato. The deeply ruffled fruit make the flavorful, bright red sauce that embodies Italian cuisine. Indeterminate plants are super vigorous, an all-around hardy heirloom. The unusual fruits sell themselves at market, they look so beautiful sliced on a sandwich.
Russian Indeterminate Heirloom. The second Russian entry this plant produces medium large (12 to 14 ounce) fruit that are a dark reddish brown. Delicious flavor it is mildly salty and is the perfect choice for people on low salt diets. This one can be successfully grown in containers, making them a fairly unique Indeterminate. Does split and crack easily so watch your watering pattern.
Indeterminate Heirloom. Cherokee Purple is hands down my favorite tomato variety to grow on our urban farm. It has an incredibly delicious and rich flavor that goes great on a sandwich or anything else.
As you can see from my choices I like these varieties mostly for their taste but also for their appearance and other unique characteristics that they possess. Whilst “the best” is certainly based on who you ask, I am certain that you will be able to find something that you will like here. Try them out and see what you think.
What tomato varieties would make your Top 10 Tomato varieties to grow in your garden list?
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