I love tomatoes. And from what I have been able to read in most magazines and books, so do most people.
There are two basic types of tomatoes, Determinate, and indeterminate.
Determinate tomatoes, grow to a certain size, produce their fruit ( the tomatoes) for the season and die back. Indeterminate tomatoes, on the other hand, matures, produces fruit, and continues to produce all season, generally until the first frost hits. Indeterminate also generally need some sort of support system to help them grow while at the same time supporting the weight of the tomatoes on it’s vines.
Although there are hundreds if not thousands of different varieties of tomatoes, there are a few that stand out as the most popular among tomato growers.
- Early Girl or New Girl
- Sun Gold
The Early Girl is a indeterminate hybrid tomato about the size of a tennis ball, weighing from 4 to 8 Oz, It’s a bright red color with very good flavor. It’s become very popular with home gardeners because of it ripens so early in the season.
Early Girl’s will generally be ready from 50 to 60 days after transplanting, making it an ideal tomato for those living in cooler growing zones, but they don’t handle frost very well at all.
New Girl’s Taste better and is more disease resistant than Early Girl. In many blind surveys New Girl taste was voted the best. About the same size as Early Girl, it also is somewhat resistant to over ripening so they tend to keep longer on the counter when picked.
Sun Gold is a small cherry tomato that is extremely sweet and full of flavor. As you can tell from the name, it is golden in color and is a nice color addition to salads. The Sun Gold plants are very vigorous and start yielding early, in about 55–60 days. They continue to produce sweet golden tomatoes all season long.
They do tend to split so they are almost always either home grown or bought at a local farmers market.
Brandywine (aka Red Brandywine) - Brandywine tomatoes date back to 1885, and is considered to be the heirloom tomato standard. One taste and you’ll understand why. You’ll immediately be entranced by its superb flavor and true tomato red.is a plum style tomato and is the one commonly found in most supermarkets. The tomato is pear shaped, has very few seeds and can be found in both red and yellow. Since it is so solid and has so few seeds, it has become very popular for use in canning sauces. Roma is not a Hybrid, but is a open pollinated variety, It’s not generally considered an heirloom though.
Large, beefsteak-shaped fruits grow on unusually upright, potato-leaved plants. The fruits set one or two per cluster and ripen late—but are really worth waiting for. .It has large vines that produce deep red 8-12 ounce flavorful tomatoes. It’s an indeterminate variety, and will produce approximately 80 days after transplanting.
Roma – surprisingly is not actually an Italian Tomato, but was produced in 1955. It’s quite disease resistant, and produces very prolifically. Being a determinate variety, they do produce all at once and then die back for the season.
So if you’re wondering what to start your tomato growing with and don’t know where to start, try one of these varieties. You can’t go wrong.