Five Tomato Varieties Better Than Better Boy

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Growing tomatoes at home 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 way too many.

Sometimes, we have thousands of tomato plants just because we can’t help ourselves! Obviously, we love to grow tomatoes.  It’s a lot to manage, but we love tasting all the yummy fruit we get from them.

Five Tomato Varieties Better Than Better Boy Text overlaying images of coure di bue and cherokee purple tomatoes


Five Tomato Varieties Better Than Better Boy

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.

There are many things to consider when choosing a tomato variety for your garden, but here are some great suggestions for tomatoes that are full of flavor and easy to grow.

Before you get going, you might want to read these 10 things about tomatoes every gardener needs to know and learn how to start your tomatoes from seed.

Text overlaying image of vegetables in basket: looking for an easy way to make your garden plan? Learn how!

1. Riviera Cuore di Bue

 If you grow tomatoes, you will want to have a large red slicer for sandwiches. Cuore di Bue means bull’s heart, and this bull’s heart tomato is aptly named. It’s a large tomato with lots of flavor.
We like the Riviera strain, but it can be hard to find seeds for that particular variety. I’ve seen them most recently at Territorial Seed. But since these are heirloom tomatoes, make sure you’re saving seed for next year.

Tomatoes you should grow: Riviera Cuore di Bue

I love this beautiful bulbous tomato for 3 reasons.
  • 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.

Cuore di bue tomato plants produce tons of these fat bottomed tomatoes. But 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. GWR tomatoes can be hit or miss in the flavor department, but this is an excellent slicing tomato with outstanding flavor.

Aunt Ruby's German Green Tomato. A green when ripe tomato.

A green when ripe variety is one of the types of tomatoes to grow if you like to try new things. And we haven’t found a better GWR for our garden.

The flavor of Aunt Ruby’s German 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. There are a few ways you can preserve tomatoes easily if you can’t eat them all before they go bad.

One of our favorite ways to eat fresh tomatoes is in a Caprese salad. We like to choose several types and colors of tomatoes to make a rainbow Caprese salad.

Slice your homegrown tomatoes and layer with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and homegrown basil. Drizzle with EVOO, Balsamic vinegar then salt and pepper to taste.

It’s an ahhhhmazing summertime side dish (or breakfast or lunch).

Rainbow Tomato Caprese

Fried green tomatoes?

When we talk about frying green tomatoes, we mean unripe green tomatoes. You don’t want to use ripe green tomato for frying. Any ripe tomato will get all mushy if you try to bread and fry it.

Aunt Ruby’s is a delicious fried tomato, but you must use a firm, unripe tomato to make fried green tomatoes.

Five Tomatoes You Should Grow


3.   Cherokee Purple

This is a great place to start if you’ve never tried a black or purple tomato.

Cherokee Purple Tomato

Cherokee Purple is a classic heirloom tomato is a great easy to grow 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 crossbred tomato. The F1 refers to the fact that it is a first generation tomato from a cross of two ‘parent’ tomatoes.

Sun Gold Tomatoe and other Veggies
Click to buy Sun Gold tomato seeds at

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 tomato
Click to buy Maglia Rosa seeds at

Maglia Rosa is a wispy, long-leafed 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.

I’d love to hear your favorite tomatoes to grow.

Share your experience in the comments below.


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    1. Hi, Margaret! Territorial Seed Company does have some seeds in stock. Click the image in the post to be taken directly to their page for Riviera Cuore di Bue seeds. Thanks for reading!

  1. What would be your very best slicing hamburger, sandwich tomato. I want great flavor and one without a hard core that finger out into the tomato flesh. Also what would be the best sauce tomato for salsa? Thanks!

    1. Of all my favorites, Riviera Cuore di Bue is the one that works best for all of those things. Also give mule team a try for a great slicing tomato. I like cherokee purple for salsas and sandwiches. Ask your friends and neighbors for suggestions as well to get varieties that grow well in your area.

  2. I can’t wait to try your tomato suggestions. Too late this year. Should I wait to buy the seeds next year or will they be good until then if I buy them now.

  3. I love Aunt Ruby’s German Tomatoes. I have not been impressed with Cherokee Purple. I tried them for two years with good results. I love trying new tomato varieties. My favorites are Camp Joy and Pineapple. Have you ever ordered seeds from Baker Creek? Their seeds are all heirlooms and they have an amazing variety. I grow my tomatoes in tubs.

  4. Great Tips there!! I never knew about Cherotee Purple and Maglia Rosa Varieties.
    I will try them and compare their productivity as well as disease resistance potential.

  5. I love the Large Barred Boar from the Wild Boar series a unique pink/brown green striped tomato with huge flavor. I also like the Indigo Rose tomato and Black Krim as well.

    1. We love the Wild Boars as well. Indigo rose was a hit when we grew it for farmer’s market – very unique taste, though, and you’ll never go wrong with Black Krim. Great suggestions!

    1. I would recommend Brad’s atomic grape and pink berkeley tie dye. Buy seeds from Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms. He grows in northern california. Is there any way you can give your plants afternoon shade in the summer? We’re in Ga so got the heat + humidity which kills pollination. #ifeelyourpain

  6. Stinkbugs are a big problem now, in certain parts of the South. If you see them, spray them before they destroy your crop. The fruit not be sweet and it will taste somewhat rotten, even if it’s not completely ripe.

  7. I have been growing Sun Gold tomatoes for years, and because they are so prolific if you do not sucker them, I decided to try espalier this year and they are perfect for my garden. We all eat them like candy besides using them in tomato salad, and also add peppers and/or cucumber to the salad. We enjoy slicing them in half to oven dry them for sun dried tomatoes.

    1. can you tell me where to get the espalier seeds? I have heard a lot of good things about them but have not found seeds. Please contact me. If you save seeds I would love to buy some from you.
      Kim Lund

  8. As an heirloom seed collector I have over 8000 varieties of seeds. I am a seed steward for the collection of Martin Longseth who passed away a year ago. I have found that there are many out there that are super tomatoes to grow. No you can not find a lot of the best tomato varieties at the regular catalog order places. You really need to get out of that and find some of the small growers to get some of the best varieties.

  9. I like a “brash” or acid tomato and grow Celebrity. They are prolific and resistant to disease. Also like Marglobe.

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