The best tomato varieties to grow

Tomatoes are the jewels of my garden, the prize we wait all summer for. Now is the time to order your tomato seeds for seed starting in about 2 weeks here (zone 6a, Boston area). I'm sharing the varieties of tomatoes I have grown that have been most successful (and least successful) in my garden (zone 6a, Boston area).

With Square Foot Gardening we use the vining, Indeterminate type so they can grow vertically, in a single cordon up the trellis. And since I have experienced almost every type of tomato disease in my garden over the years: early blight, late blight, fusarium wilt, Anthracnose  and verticillium wilt, I tend to grow hyrbrids with disease resistance built in. This year I'm going to be brave and try some heirlooms again though.

Hits: [Photos from Tomato Grower's Supply]

Sun Sugar - bright orange tiny tomatoes, they were the hit of the neighborhood/workplace/family. So sweet you don't want to stop eating them, and very prolific plants. They were very resilient and disease free all summer.

Lemon Boy - Lemon yellow medium sized tomatoes, slightly sweet with a touch of acid. Perfect sliced up on toasted sour dough bread, with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. These are one of my family's favorites, and the yellow color brightens up a a Caprese salad and surprises  many who have only known the red tomatoes from the store!

Mountain Magic - this resilient plant produces perfect red salad tomatoes in abundance. The tomatoes have a good flavor, and though they tend to branch more and need more vigilant pruning than some other plants they are very reliable producers and very resistant to disease.

Burpee's Supersteak & Beefmaster - Both varieties did very well and grew 2-pound red tomatoes with a slighly more acid taste.


Gold Nugget - I swear the website said this was indeterminate, but I must have misread it. In fact it is a determinate variety, which I learned after it failed to grow more than 2 feet tall and kept branching and branching as if it had no central stem and wanted to be a bush... and it was susceptible to some disease in my garden so it was basically a hot mess.

San Marzano and German Giant - both heirloom varieties, they had no resistance to the diseases in my garden and very little of the fruit survived.

New for me varieties I'm trying this year:

Chef's Choice Orange Hybrid - the Tomato Grower's Supply Website describes these as 9 to 12 oz. orange tomatoes that keep their bright color even when cooked, and they are resistant to anthracnose and tobacco mosaic virus. I'm envisioning a adding these to a yellow, red and orange sliced tomato salad or orange tomato tart this summer...

Amish Paste tomato - High Mowing Seeds sells organic Amish Paste seeds which are a good variety for canning ans sauces as they don't have a lot of seeds. They are an heirloom variety so wish me luck!

Brandywine - Another heirloom, from the late 1800s Brandywine is famous for its pink color and oustanding flavor. Large, juicy delicious tomatoes that I hope survive in my garden this summer.