Garden Lifestyle

Tomatoes: Request for Reader Recommendations

So many tomatoes; so little time. Please help me decide which varieties I should grow in my garden next year.

Gardening is just a bowl of cherry tomatoes.
Photo/Illustration: John Pendleton

Someone once told me the difference between knowledge and wisdom is knowing that tomatoes are a fruit, but having the wisdom not to put them in a fruit salad.

And right now I could use a little wisdom. I’d like some help making my tomato choices for next year.

Every season I plant at least a dozen new-to-me varieties in patio containers, in the vegetable bed and in a special tomato garden. But at this rate, it will take years for me to find the perfect combination of tomatoes to grow.

That’s why I need your help. What are your top tomato recommendations in these three categories?

  • Medium-to-large tomato
  • Small or cherry tomato
  • Most flavorful tomato

From this year’s garden I’d name Aunt Ruby’s German Green in the medium-to-large tomato category. It didn’t produce a huge crop, but this heirloom, beefsteak style tomato was beautiful on the vine and turned a lovely yellow-green as it ripened. I really liked its sweet-tart taste on sandwiches and in salads.

My favorite small tomato was Sungold. This orange cherry tomato was the first to ripen in my garden and did extremely well in a large container, producing throughout the season. These small tomatoes packed a big taste and many never made it to the kitchen because they were enjoyed right off the vine.

Black Krim is my go-to tomato for flavor and my garden wouldn’t be complete without planting at least one every year. These dark purple heirloom tomatoes have a smoky, slightly salty taste that deepens when used in cooking.

What tomato varieties do you think I should plant next year and why? Please add your recommendations here—thank you!

For more information on selecting varieties, planting and growing tomatoes,
tomato stakes and support systems, tomato Q&A, and tomato recipes, see
All About Tomatoes.

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