Most Popular Tomato Varieties

May 01, 2023

Tomatoes are the most popular vegetables grown in home gardens and are also one of the most nutritious. They provide significant amounts of both vitamins A and C and can be served fresh, grilled, roasted, or cooked into sauces and pastes.  
With over 10,000 varieties of tomatoes available, we decided to help you narrow the list down to six dependable choices for your spring garden.
Better Boy
Better Boy tomato plants produce high yields of smooth-skinned, large fruit that have the perfect balance of acid and sugar for that classic tomato flavor. They are one of the most popular tomatoes grown in the U.S. and are the standard by which other home garden tomatoes are compared. Grow them in a tall cage or tie them to a stake for support. The indeterminate vines are resistant to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, and nematodes. Better Boys are great “slicing” tomatoes.
Early Girl
Early Girl tomatoes are one of the most popular early hybrids for gardeners looking to satisfy that itch for the first fresh tomato of the season. They can be used to jump start your harvest and will bear lots of fruit early in the season. They continue to produce throughout the summer and can be replanted late in summer to produce a huge fall crop before the first frost. These tomatoes are commonly used on salads and sandwiches and also taste great by themselves.
Celebrity tomato plants bear clusters of medium-large tomatoes that are prized for their flavor. They are a great, all-around choice for your “basic” tomato needs, such as for sandwiches, slicing, snacks, and bruschetta. Celebrity tomatoes only grow to a certain height (3 to 4 feet) but will continue to produce until first frost. Many gardeners love their resistance to diseases such as verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt races 1 and 2, nematodes, and tobacco mosaic virus.
Cherokee Purple
Cherokee Purples are considered heirloom tomatoes, meaning they carry the best characteristics of tomatoes and have been grown for decades. The seeds, which originated in Tennessee, are thought to have been passed down from the Cherokee Native American tribe, hence their name. The hotter and more humid the weather, the better Cherokees grow, so they thrive in Tennessee summers. This variety consistently ranks very high in taste tests and is a rich, dark color that is aesthetically pleasing.
Big Boy
Big Boy tomatoes are a large, sandwich-type slicer with smooth, bright red fruit and a flavor that everybody likes. They are often referred to as “beef-steak” type tomatoes. They produce most heavily during the mid-season but will continue fruiting until the first frost. Their long vines often require staking, or they may be grown in a tall cage.
Roma tomatoes have thick flesh and little to no seeds, making them perfect for cooking, making sauce, or making paste. They are small — only about 3 inches long — and are therefore a perfect choice for urban gardening or those with little space. They can be grown in gardening containers, raised garden beds, or even indoors. Roma tomatoes produce one large, late summer harvest, making them great for canning, freezing, or even drying.  
         Your local Co-op is here to help you with all your vegetable gardening needs. Find the nearest location here.
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