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Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Episode 9: Which Tomato Varieties are Tops?

July 10, 2017

We go beyond ‘Big Boy’ and ‘Early Girl’ to discuss some truly unique—and delicious—options

With summer in full swing, we’ve got ripening tomatoes on the brain. Sure, staples like ‘Big Beef’ and ‘Celebrity’ are well-known to most vegetable gardeners, but what about ‘Jersey Devil’ or ‘Rose’? Steve and Danielle invite assistant editor (and tomato-grower extraordinaire) Carol Collins to join the conversation this week about the best tomato varieties they’ve ever grown.

Expert: Teri and Joe Smith, owners of Smith’s Acres, a 35-acre farm in Niantic, Connecticut.

Carol has never met a brandywine variety she doesn’t love, including Marriage™ Big Brandy. This odd-looking yet tasty tomato is a cross between two classic heirloom varieties, ‘Brandywine’ and ‘Big Dwarf’. 

Blue tomatoes are the trendy new kids on the block, but Danielle had a bad experience with ‘Indigo Rose’. Although lovely to look at, the flavor (or lack of) left her disappointed. 

There’s no argument to be had: ‘Sungold’ is a tops on Steve’s—and many gardener’s– list of favorites. A warning, though, they are addictive like potato chips: You can never eat just one.

This week’s expert agrees that ‘Sungold’ is a must-have plant, but Teri Smith says the little-known ‘Jersey Devil’ (pointed, oblong variety at the front of the basket) is her absolute favorite. In this medley you’ll also see one of Danielle’s top-picks, ‘Jaune Flamme’ (golf ball-sized orange variety at the back of the basket).

View Comments


  1. a4mrtheist 08/16/2017

    I have used Amish Paste for several years now and have become my go to sauce tomato. Huge meaty fruit on the plants that just don't stop.

  2. casey377 08/17/2017

    Lemon Boy and hard to find Jet Star along with the beefsteaks are great tomatoes.

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