What variety of tomato plant should you plant?

What variety to plant???

Plant those varieties that will give you lots of tomatoes…..you will see many examples on this website. I suggest planting live plants….4 inch pots. You will see directions for selecting and planting live plants elsewhere on this website. After planting the those plants that produce lots of tomatoes….try some new  and different varieties……. 

Heirloom tomatoes: Are older varieties…been around 50 years or longer… 

When you plant seeds from heirlooms, they produce the same tomato as the parent.  Some people only want to plant heirlooms….no hybrids….I’m here to tell you every heirloom is a hybrid.  At some point in time Heirlooms were created by the result of crossing with 2 or more other tomato plants.

Hybrid varieties are created by crossing 2 or more varieties.   

Hybrid means the result of crossing varieties.  

When you plant the seeds from hybrid tomatoes they generally will not produce the same tomatoes as the parent.  There are always exceptions to the rule. 

Hybrids are stronger & more disease resistant compared to heirlooms. 

Hybrids generally produce more tomatoes.  

There are many great tasting hybrids…like Better Boy and Big Beef.

Store Bought Hybrids

Hybrids get a bad “Rap” because of your store bought varieties…..store bought are hybrids developed to have thick skins and longer shelf life.  After a couple weeks that store bought variety still looks pretty good……taste—a different story…. Most have very poor taste.  And store bought can be called vine ripened when picked at 90% green.  Then, Gas with ethylene gas and the green tomatoes turn red. …… you are buying a green tomato turned red…… 

Hybrid does not mean GMO.

GMO’s: Genetically Modified Organism..  

To my knowledge, at present, there are no GMO tomatoes in the United States. 

2 types of tomatoes–Tomatoes that grow like a vine and tomatoes that grow like a bush.

Indeterminate tomato plants grow like a vine. 

The vining are called  Indeterminate type tomatoes….they just keep growing vines longer and longer producing tomatoes until cold weather or disease wipes them out. Most tomato plants are of this type.    

Determinate tomato plants grow like a bush. 

The bush type are called  Determinate type tomatoes.  They are normally smaller in size, grow like a bush, and grow to a particular size, produce all their tomatoes at once then die.  

The label will identify your plants type. Determinate or Indeterminate

I generally buy the vining indeterminate type…the ones that just keep growing.  

So, then What tomato variety to plant 

There are probably about 10,000 different kinds of tomatoes—

# 1—get those that are easiest to grow and produce lots of tomatoes…

These are usually your most disease resistant also…..

Tomatoes seem to catch every disease that’s going around….

Labels on each tomato plant will tell you if it’s of a disease resistant type plant.

Probably my favorite tomato….Is the ‘Better Boy’  

One of the very best tomatoes for Southern California gardens. 

Better Boy plants produce large, thin skinned great tasting beefsteak fruit produced in large quantities….

The Better Boy is an almost foolproof tomato…. It’s 1 of the plants in my backyard that produced over 100 # on 1 plant

Better Boy.JPG

Better Boy….Hybrid.  Probably one of the most popular tomatoes grown in the U.S.  and probably the easiest & best growing tomato for Southern California. Grows like a vine, Beef Steak size, sweet. Thin skin…can easily produce over 100# of tomatoes on one plant…past records show one plant has produced over 300# of tomatoes.…10-16 oz in size.. so when I tell you that you can easily get over 100#…..you can….it’s a must to plant each year….and the taste doesn’t get any better. Probably my favorite hybrid tomato.

Big Beef—another one of my favorites   Also, one in my backyard produced over 100# of BeefSteak size tomatoes…. Celebrity—Champion—-Early Girl—-Lemon Boy—are other easy to grow tomatoes and will give you loads of tomatoes.  Visit my Blog, scroll down to “Popular Varieties” and see many great pictures and descriptions of easy to grow tomatoes.

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Big Beef….Hybrid.  One of my favorites.  Thin skin, lots of flavor and plenty of tomatoes…one plant can produce easily over 100# of tomatoes. 10-16 oz. size. This was an All America Selections in 1994. The breeder of the “Big Beef” was also the same breeder of the “Celebrity” tomato plant.  The Big Beef is one of my favorites. A must to plant every year. Picture on the left with leaves on……on the right leaves have been stripped….you see lots of tomatoes..

Cherry Tomatoes—are very Easy to grow..

They don’t need a lot of sunshine and are always sweeter than the bigger tomatoes-

Husky Cherry Red is an easy to grow great tasting cherry tomato..

Sungold Cherry tomatoes are a favorite and very easy to grow.  

“Black Cherry” another favorite–can reach 10 feet and have 300-400 cherry tomatoes…. 

Home Depot & sometimes at Lowes you can find them.. 

And those volunteer plants that come up in your backyard on their own… are usually junk plants…..they usually don’t turn out like the parent….so don’t expect much…spend a couple of bucks on a new plant that will give you lots of tomatoes….

Same with a plant still growing from last year….it’s exhausted…it’s seen it’s day…..it’s done…..pull it out, spend a couple of bucks and plant a new one…Commercial tomato farmers plant new plants every year.   

After planting plants that you know will produce a lot of tomatoes, always try planting some heirlooms…. Everyone says heirlooms are hard to grow—follow the suggestions on sunshine, correct Potting mix/soil, proper watering, fertilizers, etc. and you will have little trouble growing Heirlooms.  Pick an Heirloom that will give you lots of heirloom tomatoes……some heirlooms give you very few tomatoes.

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I love Brandywine’s—5 Different varieties of Brandywine Heirlooms in SelfWatering containers

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Brandywine heirloom in a SelfWatering Container

Brandywine Heirloom 45-50#s Tomatoes

Brandywine Heirloom in my front yard having

45-50# of tomatoes with the largest over 2#.

If you want to plant tomatoes during hot weather months

Look for “Heat Resistant”  “Heat Tolerant” varieties…they will be labeled as such.  

They are hybrids developed to produce tomatoes at higher temperatures….like at 90 degrees 

Examples: Phoenix, Solar Fire, Heat Master, Florida 91, Summer Set, etc.  

These are “Determinate” types which means they will grow smaller and like a bush.  

                                                              Heat tolerant variety—Phoenix

You are welcome to share this information with others—clubs—perhaps share this with your general membership to include those that could not attend the lecture, family, friends, etc. 

Sharing tips helps us be better growers.

Dave Freed / 🍅 the Tomato Guy