Choosing Tomato Varieties
When we start to talk about tomato varieties everyone has their favorites. It is just about impossible to choose one best variety, however some are proven favorites and others are suited to different purposes such as salad tomato or sauce.
We also have the open pollinated and heritage tomatoes and modern hybrids they all have their strong points. Next we have what are called ‘early season’ tomatoes, generally those with a shorter growing season.
Roma is a very popular variety used both for eating as well as for making sauces. Recognized by its distinctive oval shape it also has good flesh and not to many seeds. San Marzano is another excellent sauce tomato as is KY 1
Early season tomato Varieties
- Burnley Surecrop is an early tomato, heavy fruiting and a good taste.
- Rouge De Marmande is an early season tomato with excellent fruit.
- Stupice is a good early season tomato, maybe not the most flavorsome, but excellent for cooler climates
- Apollo is another early season tomato, but look for the Apollo Improved variety with better disease resistance.
Mid to late season
- Grosse lisse is an excellent smooth skinned tomato, a favorite with many Italian families, and the most widely grown tomato in the home garden, tall plants and heavy yielding, great flavour. Best suited to a warm climate.
- College Challenger is a little earlier than Grosse lisse
- Beefsteak is a good mid season performer on a smaller bushy plant
- Mortgage lifter is a heavy bearing variety with large fruit
- Tommy Toe is a largish cherry tomato, lots of sweet round fruit over a long season. Generally will need staking and many growers will take the top leader out when it reaches the desired height.
- Sweet bite is another cherry tomato with lots of small sweet fruit. Excellent in a large pot in a tomato cage where it will get some support to hold the weight of the fruit.
- Other cherry tomato types include Sweet 100 and Tiny Tim
Black, green and yellow varieties
- Green Zebra with its tasty green ‘striped’ fruit and Black Russian with its deep purple fruit are two of the ‘colourful’ varieties. Jubilee has golden yellow fruit