come in two types - determinate and indeterminate. Determinates have vines that grow to a determined point…and then stop. This makes them more compact and bushy (and they are sometimes called “bush tomatoes.) Indeterminates are more viney. Their vines continue to grow and need support. Determinates tend to be early tomatoes, while indeterminates are usually a later fruit. Determinates are good for small gardens and are much better for growing tomatoes in containers. Tomatoes also come in hybrids and heirloom varieties. The most popular varieties are listed below.
Beefsteak tomatoes are the largest varieties of cultivated tomatoes, sometimes weighing one to two pounds each. Most beefsteaks are pink or red with numerous small seed compartments distributed throughout the fruit. Beefsteaks are popular among home growers because they are good for sandwich making and other recipes requiring a large tomato. They are also good eaten raw.
This is a popular hybrid beefsteak-type of tomato. The beefmaster tomatoes are firm, meaty red fruits that may weigh up to two pounds. Plants are extremely vigorous and productive.
Better Boy tomatoes have been popular among home growers for many years. This variety has fruits that are bright red and may weigh up to one pound. Fruits are firm, round and abundant. They produce fruits about 75 days from transplants.
The Big Beef won an All-American Selections Award in 1994. This variety is known to have a greater range of disease resistance than many other varieties. Fruits range from 10-12 ounces are produce abundantly. Big Beefs are smooth, red and produce about 73 days from planting.
Celebrity tomato plants are determinate, so they do not need staking. Fruits are firm, red and usually weigh about 7 to 8 ounces. Celebrity plants are highly productive and produce about 70 days from planting.
Jet Star tomatoes are relatively low in acidity. Fruits are abundant, meaty and flavorful and resist cracking.
Lemon Boy plants produce yellow tomatoes. It is a newer variety tomato plant that is productive, vigorous and attractive.
As the name implies, Pink Girl is a vigorous, pink variety tomato that will continue to produce throughout the summer. Pink Girl plants produce fruits that are about 8 ounces and have crack resistance and good flavor.
Heatwave, Ace and Pearson
Heatwave, Ace and Pearson are all good hybrid tomato plants for very hot climates, such as Phoenix or the central valley of California.
Oregon Spring, Northern Exposure, Manitoba
Early Girl, Early Pink, Wayahead
All of the above varieties are excellent tomato plants for the cool-summer climates of the far north.
Roma is an Italian style tomato with thick meat and a small seed cavity. They are great for making tomato paste or sauce.
Grape and Cherry Tomatoes
These include the Red Cherry tomato, Red Pear tomato, Sweet 100, Supersweet 100, Sweet Million, Tiny Tim, Patio and Small Fry Tomato. All of these small grape and cherry tomato plants are great for small containers or even window boxes.