There is a massive range of tomato plants available, something like 700 varieties, and they come in all shapes, sizes and colours. So choosing the best tomato varieties to grow from all the options available is an important decision?
When choosing, one of the over-riding considerations you need to take into account is what they are going to taste like. After all when you are growing tomatoes at home that is one of the primary reasons for doing so. Otherwise you may as well go and get the plastic ones from the supermarket. It’s quite difficult to recommend a variety for taste because everyone’s taste is different but what a lot of people opt for are the Heirloom varieties, mainly because they are, as the name suggests, an older and more traditional type of tomato which are full of flavour albeit they may not have some of the more modern characteristics built in such as disease resistance.
Top Tip: With respect to disease resistance and to help ensure that you actually get some lovely fruit from your tomato plant, it is a good idea to pick a tomato type that has a reasonable level of resistance to disease. Especially if you have had trouble in this direction in the past. Check out the seed packets and make sure that they have a natural resistance to fusarium wilt and verticillium, these are two of the most common tomato diseases that they can pick up from the soil.
How much space you have will help you decide whether you should go for a determinate or indeterminate variety. The determinate variety, as the name suggests, grows to a limited size. Usually a couple of feet to maybe three feet in height before they stop.
The indeterminate type are the vine tomatoes and they will just keep going unless you prune them. I actually think that the vine type are better in smaller spaces because you can control them to a size you want and train them to where you want them to go. The bush tomato plants on the other hand are what they are.
Also the vine plants continue to grow fruit over a longer period as the fruit of each truss ripens. The determinate (bush) variety tend to ripen all at once, over a relatively short period. So you can end up with a bit of a glut of tomatoes and may struggle to know what to do with them all. That said there are plenty of options available for preserving tomatoes if you do find you have a few too many ripening at the same time.
Best tomato varieties to grow
Unless you have a greenhouse the time the fruit takes to mature becomes important, if you are going to start to see frost at the beginning of October you need to be all done by then. So it is better to go for early maturing varieties if your season tends to be short.
Something like Sun Gold will mature in 65 days or so and are indeterminate so lots of fruit over a longer period.
Beef tomatoes are large and are great for a burger but they do take longer to ripen, so you either have to have a long summer or a greenhouse so that you can protect them from overnight frosts.
Bear in mind when making your final selection however that the choice also needs to work for where you are in the world. If you are unsure of the varieties best suited to your location then it is worth a quick trip to the local garden center to pick the brains of the staff and see what varieties they are growing.
At the end of the day tomato selection is a matter of preference and common sense. So as long as you actually end up with tomatoes that you like the taste of then the job is done. Just make sure you take into account these factors and you will be sure to be enjoying lots of lovely ripe tomatoes in no time at all.
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