You can grow tomatoes.
Tomato growing is not difficult, but choosing the right varieties can be. Every year, we struggle to limit the types of tomatoes we grow, and every year we end up growing more than 100 varieties. This means we have thousands of tomato plants.
Obviously, we love to grow tomatoes! It’s a lot to manage, but we love tasting all the yummy fruit we get from them. After growing thousands of tomatoes, we have picked some favorites for the beginner gardener who wants something different but doesn’t have the time or space to try out thousands of varieties.
1. Riviera cuore di Bue
- It is a beast of a tomato and produces like crazy.
- It is a great multipurpose tomato for sauces and slicing.
- Its mild but classic tomato flavor will satisfy all your tomato cravings.
If you really need to have a red round tomato go with Mule Team. You’ll get tons of great red round tomatoes!
2. Aunt Ruby’s German Green:
If you aren’t growing a green when ripe tomato (abbreviated to GWR if you’re a tomato nerd) in your garden then you are missing out. This is an excellent slicing tomato with outstanding flavor.
We haven’t found a better GWR for our garden. The flavor of this green tomato is stronger than you might imagine. It is juicy, sweet, and tart. We love it sliced with a little salt and some fresh mozzarella and basil.
Too many tomatoes!
When you grow tomatoes, sometimes they all ripen at the same time. A Caprese salad is an excellent and delicious use for them. Choose several of different colors and make a rainbow Caprese salad.
Slice your homegrown tomatoes and layer with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and homegrown basil. Drizzle with EVOO, Balsalmic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. It’s an ahhhhmazing summertime side dish.
Fried green tomatoes?
A ripe GWR is not great for frying. A ripe tomato will get all mushy if you try to bread and fry it. Aunt Ruby’s is a delicious fried green tomato, but you must use a firm, unripe tomato.
3. Cherokee Purple
This is a great place to start if a black or purple tomato sounds scary to you.
This classic heirloom tomato is a great variety for the beginner. It grows happily here in the south and produces very well.
The large tomatoes are full flavored and delicious. It is a great variety to start with if you are just venturing out from the classic red store variety because the flavor will really knock you out.
4. Sun Gold
This is a sweet fruity cherry that your whole family will love.
Sun Gold is a hybrid F1 tomato. A hybrid tomato is not genetically engineered. It just a cross bred tomato. The F1 refers to the fact that it is a first generation tomato from a cross of two ‘parent’ tomatoes.
This cherry is definitely worth growing every year in every garden. The Sun Gold is a prolific orange cherry tomato that is so sweet kids will eat it like candy. You will love walking through your garden and munching these sweet babies right off the vine!
5. Maglia Rosa
Wherever we grow tomatoes, we always need a sweet salad and snacking tomato like Maglia Rosa.
Maglia Rosa is a wispy, flimsy plant that makes these yummy pretty pointy tomatoes. It has a compact habit that grows well in containers and is a heavy producer. You should pick and enjoy these tomatoes on the greener side of ripe. We love that the flavor really stands out even when cooked.
If you are like us, after your first season trying some new tomatoes, you are going to have a very difficult time narrowing down your grow list to only five varieties.
Before you get going, read these 10 things about tomatoes every gardener needs to know.
Find out how to start your tomatoes from seed in our seed starting post.
I’d love to hear your favorite tomatoes to grow. Please leave me a comment below.