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Try a new tomato variety

Updated on March 11, 2014
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I inherited my love of gardening from my mother and grandmother. I am a garden blogger, freelance writer, and Master Gardener emeritus.

Gold Medal

Beautiful, meaty, Gold Medal is a favorite beefsteak type tomato. Requires heavy staking.
Beautiful, meaty, Gold Medal is a favorite beefsteak type tomato. Requires heavy staking. | Source

Paste Tomatoes

Reisenstaub and paste tomatoes
Reisenstaub and paste tomatoes | Source

Cherry, Paste, Plum Tomato

Cherry Tomato - These are the earliest to ripen in the home garden. When tomato fans can't get that sun-drenched tomato taste fast enough, they will always plant a cherry tomato. Usually cherry tomatoes are no more than 1” in diameter. They include many of the earliest and most prolific varieties that grow nonstop until fall frost. If they are bigger than 1”, they are probably a variety of saladette tomato. Hybrid, meaning you can't save seed.

Paste and Plum Tomato - Paste and plum describe the same type of tomato. These very meaty fruits with little juice and few seeds. They are best for making thick rich tomato sauces and tomato paste.

Many gardeners prefer these long or oval shaped tomatoes for processing into sauces, salsa, and juice. Less juice and more meat dramatically cuts down cooking time for paste tomatoes. Generally recipes take less than half the cooking time.

Indigo Rose Saladette Tomato

Saladette are bigger than cherry tomatoes.
Saladette are bigger than cherry tomatoes. | Source

Pear, Saladette, Patio Tomatoes

Pear Tomato - or teardrop tomato is an ancient heirloom. Diners will swear they can tell the difference in the taste of a red pear and a yellow pear tomato. Grow them both. You be the judge or conduct your own neighborhood taste test. Pear tomatoes are generally sweet, ideal for snacking and salads. When the tall tomato plants are overloaded with fruit, cut them in half and dry them.

Saladette Tomato - Saladettes are medium size fruits and among the most popular Farmers Market tomatoes. They combine the prolific yields of cherry with the more complex flavors and colors of the beefsteaks. Most gardeners like them because they are not juicy or watery. Perfect for fresh salsa, relishes, guacamole.

Patio Tomato - Patio Tomato varieties are determinate and are the ones best suited for growing in containers. Typically they do not grow over two feet tall. They may not require staking, but just a precaution, stakes or mini cages may save you plant if it should get knocked of blown over while loaded with little tomatoes.

Copia Beefsteak Tomato

Bi-colored Copia Beefsteak is as beautiful inside as they are outside.
Bi-colored Copia Beefsteak is as beautiful inside as they are outside. | Source

Oxheart, Beefsteak Tomatoes

Oxheart Tomato - Fleshy, heavy, fragrant and sweet. An oxheart tomato can also have the meaty look and taste of beefsteak type tomato. Typically, oxhearts ares shaped like a heart or a strawberry. There are oxhearts that are rounder or more oblong shaped, but usually you will recognize them by their heart shape.

These tomatoes get large, often weighing a pound. Expect to see reds, pinks, bicolors, yellow, oranges, whites and blacks. Big indeterminate vines need sturdy support.

Beefsteak Tomato - Beefsteak are considered late season tomatoes because they usually take the longest to mature. Most are not as productive as the smaller varieties. These big juicy tomatoes are what most people picture when they think them as “home garden tomatoes”.

These are the meaty tomatoes that come in bic-olors, green, white, pink, lemon, red and orange. Hybrids are bred with disease resistance. While heirlooms come with hundreds of stories and generations of fans.

What is your favorite tomato?

Which is your favorite tomato?

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