19 Exciting Tomato Varieties To Try Growing This Year

Susan Patterson
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19 Exciting Tomato Varieties For You To Grow At Home

There is just something so perfect about homegrown tomatoes fresh off the vine and still warm from the summer sun. They transport you to a simpler time and the vibrant flavors are incomparable to store-bought tomatoes. However, there are thousands of tomato varieties and it can often be incredibly overwhelming to figure out where to start and which ones are the best.

This guide can give you an idea of what to expect with each variety and help you begin your journey to enjoying fresh produce grown right in your own backyard.

Determinate vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes

Determinate tomatoes tend to produce all of their fruit at the same time and then decline. Maybe producing a few more tomatoes before the first frost, but not regularly. This is because the blossoms grow at the ends of the shoots and stop growth, determining the length. Generally, determinate tomatoes are more compact and less likely to need pruning.

Indeterminate tomatoes, on the other hand, grow and produce fruit the entire summer. With these plants, the blossoms grow along the vine rather than at the end, not growing to a determined point. They will grow until curtailed by pruning or cold weather. They will usually need a sturdy tomato cage for support.

Heirloom vs. Hybrid

Heirlooms tomatoes have been selectively reproduced throughout the years for a specific flavor or color. They are tomatoes that are open-pollinated, meaning they’re pollinated by insects or wind without human intervention. The varieties are usually more than 40-50 years old and have been passed down for generations. Heirlooms are often not as pest or disease resistant as hybrids but sometimes have better flavor and more interesting characteristics

Hybrids, on the other hand, are cross-pollinated by plant breeders to specifically create an offspring that contains the best trait of each plant such as a bigger size, better yield or better disease resistance. Often, hybrid seeds are sterile and won’t germinate, making it necessary that you buy new seeds each season. Hybrid plants usually yield fruit that is uniform in appearance and typically has the “classic tomato” look.

19 Exciting Tomato Varieties For You To Try Growing At Home

1. Arkansas Traveler

Type: Heirloom. Indeterminate

Planting: Plant 36 inches apart in full sun.

Growing tips: Provide a cage to support their heavy vine.

Flavor profile: These pink tomatoes have a mild, creamy taste but are still incredibly flavorful.

Pros: Does well in hot, dry conditions and is highly adaptable. Resistant to cracking and splitting.

Fruit size: 6-8 oz.

Buy The Seeds Seeds Of Change Certified Organic Arkansas Traveler Heirloom Tomato

2. Black Krim

Type: Heirloom. Indeterminate.

Planting: Space seedlings 24-36 inches apart.

Growing tips: Add a sturdy stake or tomato cage to support black krim tomatoes.

Flavor profile: This purplish black tomato has a unique, rich flavor that will bring deep layers to any dish.

Pros: Produces fruit all season. A unique and interesting twist on the classic red tomato.

Fruit size: 6 inches

Buy The Seeds: Black Krim Tomato Seeds (100)

3. Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato

Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato

Type: Heirloom. Indeterminate.

Planting: Plant in full sun, 36 inches apart.

Growing Tips: Vines can reach 8 feet or longer so be sure to give this plant plenty of room to the trail.

Flavor profile: This pretty, pear-shaped yellow tomato is great in a salad or as a snack.

Pros: Produces large quantities of fruit even through hot summer months.

Fruit size: 1-2 inches.

Buy The Seeds: David’s Garden Seeds Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato – 50 Seeds

4. Patio Princess

Type: Hybrid. Determinate.

Planting: 19-24 inches apart in full sun.

Growing tips: Though they are small, it is still a good idea to provide some support once this plant begins to mature.

Flavor profile: The bright, red perfect circles are ideal for slicing as they stay firm and crisp. The tomatoes are incredibly juicy and sweet. Great for salads and snacking.

Pros: These plants are incredibly compact and grow well in containers so they are perfect for a patio or balcony.

Fruit size: 3-4 oz.

Buy The Seeds: Patio Princess Hybrid Tomato Seeds – 200

5. Bonnie Original

Type: Hybrid. Indeterminate.

Planting: Plant in full sun 36 inches apart.

Growing tips: Bonnie original produces right up until the first frost. Protect the base of the plant with mulch or plastic and you may be able to extend the season even further.

Flavor profile: This delectable canning tomato has been a favorite for many years and is delicious on sandwiches and salads.

Pros: Has incredibly high yields throughout the growing season so it is perfect if you want a lot of tomatoes.

Fruit size: 6-8 oz.

Buy The Plant: Bonnie Plants Original Tomato – 4 Live Plants

6. Brandywine

Brandywine Tomato

Type: Heirloom. Brandywine tomatoes come in both indeterminate and determinate types but the most popular is indeterminate.

Planting: Plant 24 inches apart.

Growing tips: Brandywine is a broad name for a number of varieties that range in color, shape, and size. Be sure you are getting the specific kind you want when you purchase your seeds.

Flavor profile: The massive fruits are meaty, with a firm, rich pink skin. Many claim that this is the best tasting tomato variety.

Pros: Time tested and true, you know you are getting a beloved tomato plant when you grow brandywine tomatoes.

Fruit size: Up to 1 ½ lbs.

Buy The Seeds: Organic Pink Brandywine Tomato Seeds – 200

7. Better Boy

Type: Hybrid. Indeterminate.

Planting: Plant in full sun, 36 inches apart.

Growing tips: Plants can grow incredibly tall so be sure to give it a sturdy cage for support.

Flavor profile: This is one of the most popular tomato varieties. With the perfect balance of acid and sugar, it embodies the classic tomato taste and is great for slicing.

Pros: Resistant to verticillium wilt and nematodes.

Fruit size: Up to 1 lb.

Buy The Seeds: David’s Garden Seeds Better Boy Tomato Seeds

8. Beefsteak

Beefsteak

Type: Hybrid. Most types are indeterminate.

Planting: 5 feet apart.

Growing tips: Like the brandywine tomato, there are numerous offshoots of the beefsteak cultivar with different growing ranges, fruit sizes, and harvest times.

Flavor profile: This large tomato has a meaty flesh and lots of seeds and is excellent on hamburgers or sandwiches.

Pros: The massive size of these tomatoes means that a single piece of fruit goes a long way!

Fruit size: Usually 1 lb.

Buy The Plant: 2 x Live Beefsteak Tomato Plants

9. Early Girl

Type: Hybrid. Indeterminate.

Planting: Plant in full sun, 36 inches apart.

Growing tips: Plant early in order to harvest early. It doesn’t do any good to have an early maturing tomato plant if you don’t get it in the ground in time.

Flavor profile: Great for slicing and snacking, canning and cooking. These classic tomatoes can do it all.

Pros: If you absolutely love fresh garden tomatoes and are always impatient for the first ripe fruit of the season, early girl is for you. Plus, it keeps producing throughout the season!

Fruit size: 6-8 oz.

Buy The Seeds: David’s Garden Seeds Early Girl – 25 Seeds

10. Super Sweet 100

Type: Hybrid. Indeterminate.

Planting: Full sun. 36 inches apart.

Growing tips: These vining tomatoes just keep on growing. Give them a tall support and be prepared for them to grow up and down the cage or stake numerous times.

Flavor profile: These incredibly delicious tomatoes really do live up to their name. Their super sweet flavor and high vitamin C content make them great for snacking and tomato juice.

Pros: Incredibly high yield and seriously yummy taste.

Fruit size: 1 inch.

Buy The Seeds: David’s Garden Seeds Tomato Cherry Supersweet 100 – 25 Seeds

11. Cherokee Purple

Type: Heirloom. Indeterminate.

Planting: Full sun. 36 inches apart.

Growing tips: Let the fruit ripen full on the vine before harvesting for ideal flavor.

Flavor profile: This tomato ranks consistently high on any flavor charts. Its rich, deep red color and full flavor ensure an exciting treat for your taste buds.

Pros: There is a reason that heirlooms are often prized for their incredible flavor. Other slicing tomatoes can hardly even compete with the sweet, popular taste of the cherokee purple.

Fruit size: 10-12 oz.

Buy The Seeds: Burpee Cherokee Purple Heirloom Tomato Seeds

12. Big Beef

Big Beef Tomato

Type: Hybrid. Indeterminate.

Planting: Plant in full sun, 36 inches apart.

Growing tips: Vines grow long and the fruit is heavy so be sure to give big beef tomatoes adequate support.

Flavor profile: Classic, old-time tomato flavor. Perfect for those wishing to return to the days of the traditional tomato while enjoying all the benefits of modern plant breeding.

Pros: This plant is prized for its noted resistance to many common tomato enemies including, verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, races 1 and 2, nematodes, alternaria stem canker, gray leaf spot, and tobacco mosaic virus.

Fruit size: 12-16 oz.

Buy The Seeds: Big Beef Tomato Seeds – 25

13. Big Boy

Type: Hybrid. Indeterminate.

Planting: Full sun. 36 Inches apart.

Growing tips: Plant bears heavily in mid-season so be sure to keep harvesting all ripe tomatoes to encourage new growth.

Flavor profile: Great for sandwiches, a single slice from a big boy tomato can take up an entire piece of bread.

Pros: This massive grower is also resistant to cracking which is a common problem with many large tomatoes.

Fruit size: 1-2 lbs.

Buy The Seeds: 55+ Big Boy Hybrid Tomato Seeds

14. Celebrity

Type: Hybrid. Determinate.

Planting: Full sun. Space plants 24-36 inches apart.

Growing tips: The vines are fairly sturdy and support the fruit well. However, it is always a good idea to provide a tomato cage.

Flavor profile: Classic tomato taste without sacrificing on flavor, this is a wonderful tomato for traditional needs such as sandwiches and slicing. It also makes excellent salsa.

Pros: Great for beginners in the tomato world, the celebrity variety is also a popular choice for those who have had trouble with diseases since it is incredibly hardy and resistant to many common issues.

Fruit size: 8 oz.

Buy The Seeds: 55+ Organic Celebrity Tomato Seeds

15. Mr. Stripey

Mr Stripey Tomato

Type: Heirloom. Indeterminate.

Planting: Full sun. 36 inches apart.

Growing tips: The vines are incredibly vigorous so it is essential to provide tall cages for maximum growth.

Flavor profile: These yellow and red tomatoes often have intriguing strives or splotches of color that make this a great plant when you are tired of plain old red tomatoes. They are super sweet and juicy and can add an interesting element to many dishes.

Pros: Neat to look at and delicious as well. Mr. Stripey is a great tomato for encouraging your kids to get out into the garden. Plus, they’ll love the name.

Fruit size: 12-24 oz.

Buy The Seeds: David’s Garden Seeds Mr. Stripey – 50 Non-GMO Seeds

16. Sungold

Type: Hybrid. Indeterminate.

Planting: Full sun. At least 24 inches apart.

Growing tips: Snack on this little guy a week before maturity for optimal flavor.

Flavor profile: Sweet and tart all at the same time, this popular, orange-yellow cherry tomato grows in clusters and is an absolutely delicious afternoon snack.  

Pros: High resistance to fusarium wilt and tobacco mosaic virus.

Fruit size: 1 inch.

Buy The Seeds: David’s Garden Seeds Tomato Cherry Sun Gold – 25 Non-GMO Seeds

17. Juliet

Type: Hybrid. Indeterminate.

Planting: Full sun. 36 inches apart.

Growing tips: Give these vines room to tumble over the cage.

Flavor profile: As soft and juicy as cherry tomatoes, but with a little more crunch, these grape tomatoes are incredibly sweet and have a comparatively long shelf life.

Pros: Unlike most cherry tomatoes, this variety stays on the vine for longer without cracking which means that you can enjoy it fresh longer without having to harvest right away. Plus, they are fairly heat tolerant and will produce well through the summer months.

Fruit size: 1-2 oz.

Buy The Seeds: David’s Garden Seeds 25 Juliet Seeds

18. Green Zebra

Green Zebra Tomato

Type: Heirloom. Indeterminate.

Planting: Plant in full sun. 12-24 inches apart.

Growing tips: They grow well in containers and are more manageable than many other sprawling tomato varieties.

Flavor profile: Light green when ripe, these tomatoes are sweet and tangy at the same time. They are a favorite of chefs as they provide a unique flavor explosion in whatever dish they are added to.

Pros: Unique heirloom that is a fascinating twist on the flavor of the traditional tomato.

Fruit size: 8 oz.

Buy The Seeds: David’s Garden Seeds Green Zebra – 50 Non-GMO Seeds

19. Chocolate Stripes

Type: Heirloom. Indeterminate.

Planting: Full sun. 36 inches apart.

Growing tips: Keep an eye out for overwatering as this could lead to cracking.

Flavor profile: This two-toned tomato has a sweet, rich, earthy flavor that makes it an interesting addition to sandwiches and salads.

Pros: Though it takes longer to mature, the chocolate stripes variety produces striking fruit long into the summer.

Fruit size: Up to 1 lb.

Buy The Seeds: David’s Garden Seeds Chocolate Stripes – 50 Non-GMO Seeds

As you start delving into the world of tomato varieties it can be fun to experiment with different hybrids and heirlooms that maybe aren’t as popular to mix things up a little. It is your garden so don’t be afraid to try new things.

Hopefully, this list has been helpful and you now have a better understanding of the different varieties you may come across in the wide world of tomatoes and what to expect from each. Happy planting!

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19 Exciting Tomato Varieties For You To Grow At Home

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