What's your favorite Tomato?

So I bought a house last year, and one of the things I promised my self was yummy tomatoes from a garden. Now my proposed garden area is kinda small, so I have to use space wisely. And it seems now is the time of year to start planting some indoor seeds to have 'maters later.

But wow, the options of heirloom tomatoes are rather intimidating. They all claim to be great tasting and easy to grow.
Does anybody have a favorite sandwich tomato, available to order as seeds, that would make a blt into a BLT!! Some of these descriptions are talking about 2-3 pound tomatoes :eek:. I don’t need that much tomato at once, I just want a normal sized, properly juicy, yummy tomato that doesn’t taste like it was drop forged in Pittsburgh.

I’ve never found the big beefsteaks or the “Early Girls” or “Better Boys” to be the very tops in eating.

I’ve always planted a hybrid called “Celebrity”. It’s an unremarkable-looking, medium to largish sized tomato. It’s very flavorful and perfect for BLTs and chopped tomato bruschetta topping. In addition, there’s very little seed/jelly goop in them in proportion to the meaty part, so it also was great for saucing.

Since it’s a hybrid, it’s relatively disease-resistant and it’s widely available. I always buy mine at the gardening department at Home Depot.

I do. I’ll eat a one ton tomato.

Funny… I always plant four plants, and one is always an Early Girl and another is a Better Boy. The other two tend to change year to year. Celebrity has been on the rotation and it is good. I like my two “regulars” since they are predictable and dependable. I still love the taste of them and think they make great BLT’s. Of course the worst home grown tomato is still ten times better than the best one you will ever buy in a store (farmer’s markets excepted).

Well dammit, that’s what I was going to say!

I plant a wide variety of tomatoes every year, but I always plant Celebrity. Guaranteed to have tomatoes every year.

If I don’t plant Celebrity, I go with Wisconsin 55.

Cherokee Purple
German Johnson

The three varieties that seem to get the most universal acclaim are

  1. Cherokee Purple (A big BLT friendly beefsteak)
  2. Brandywine (Same)
  3. Sungold (A super sweet cherry tomato)

If you can’t find them at a nursery, they can be easily started from seed indoors. I find them to be much preferable to the “Home Depot” varieties like Celebrity or Better Boy.


Bettie Page.

It’s important to get a variety that does well in your climate. We have cool summers where I live, and a lot of the popular varieties like Brandywine don’t do well here. I have had success with Black Krim, and short-season varieties like Early Girl do well for me.

Also, indeterminate varieties are often better for the home gardener. They produce fruit over a longer period of time, while determinate varieties tend to produce a single crop that all ripen at the same time.

Celebrity is tremendous- vigorous, decent tasting, disease resistant, etc… but not a heirloom.

Tomato Growers Supply is my go-to seed vendor for tomatoes and peppers- they have FAR more varieties than anyone else I can find online, and it’s a family run business. You can find a variety there, or maybe they’ll steer you in the right direction.

One that hasn’t been mentioned yet I believe is Carbon, but I also really like Cherokee Purple. I love fresh tomatoes, especially the ‘black’(actually purple) ones.

Cherokee Purple is my absolute favorite. It is an ugly damned tomato, but so delicious.

In heirlooms, I’ve also grown Stupice, Matina, Druzba, Big Rainbow, Black from Tula, Black Krim, Black Cherry, Old German, Hawaiian Pineapple, and Sandol Moldovan.

Non-heirlooms: Supersweet 100, Better Boy, and probably others that I’m forgetting.

A search on “best tasting tomato” contest threw 18,000 hits. Add your locality to the search terms, and see what your neighbors are geeking out on.

Your state’s Agricultural Extension service will also have useful location-specific advice, especially for new gardeners.

Brandywine and Sungold are both very tasty and easy to grow.

I have a small garden (like really small) and always end up with tomato plants way too close together crowding each other out, but, apparently I haven’t learned, because
I always buy too many in the spring every year. Hard not to, though, they come in those little four packs for a buck and look so small and insignificant when you plant them, and then grow into great big plants…

I try to get a mix - a cherry or grape tomato variety to pick and eat as they ripen, a small, early ripening one (because I always wait too long and plant late) and then something interesting. I’ve had mixed results with my ‘interesting’ varieties, but it’s fun to experiment.

One year, the yellow grape tomatoes were so sweet they were like candy. I searched eagerly for them the next year, was delighted I found them, but when the tomatoes came, they weren’t as sweet as they were the previous year. I can only put it down to different growing conditions from one year to the next - rain, sun, heat, who knows what changed. So now, I buy a mix of types and just hope I get something good. Any fresh picked from your garden tomato is vastly superior to what you can buy at the store, so just go for it!

I also suggest you pick up a packet of basil seeds and plant them in a container by your back door. They’re really easy to grow, the plants smell great when you brush against them, and basil tastes great with fresh tomatoes.

Ramapo. This year I’m also going to try the Campbell’s 146.

Bernadette Peters.

I grew Celebrity and Black Krim last year. Both were excellent, although the yield was low due to a fungal infection I treated too late.

“Black” tomatoes are usually my favorites, flavorwise.

BTW, the best-tasting store-bought tomatoes I get every year are dry-farmed Early Girls. Dry farming is a technique where you don’t water the plant once it has set fruit. The fruit don’t get as big, but the flavor is very concentrated. It’s similar to how vineyards grow wine grapes - they taste better if the vines don’t get much water. I’m not an expert on this growing technique - I’ve never done it myself. I do know that I’ve only seen it done with Early Girls - there may be something about this variety that allows it to stand up to the treatment. You might want to try dry farming if you want a really intensely flavored tomato.