There are so many different types of tomatoes it can get a little overwhelming. With so many tomato varieties, how do you know which ones to choose?
Picking a tomato can be a little confusing. What are the best tasting tomatoes, what are heirloom tomatoes, do I want green, red, or orange tomatoes? How do I know which tomato I should grow? The list of questions can go on and on.
To make life a little easier, we have selected our top 15 tomatoes based on slicing for sandwiches, tomatoes for sauces or tomatoes for salsa, and tomatoes for snacking. No matter which you choose, it is easy to learn how to grow tomatoes.
Quick tomato fact: Did you know, tomatoes are actually fruits?
Type of tomatoes for every occasion
Best Tomatoes for Slicing
Slicing tomatoes are perfect for sandwiches and salads. Here are some of our favorties.
Beefsteak, aside from maybe cherry or Roma, is probably the most well known variety of tomato. Technically, beefsteak is a classification of tomatoes, but if you're looking in the store, you will likely just see the beefsteak label.
If you're looking for the most bang for your buck in gardening, try the Steakhouse hybrid out. They can get up to 48 ounces in size!
Brandywine tomatoes are a specific type of beefsteak tomato. They are perfect for sandwiches. If you grow them in your garden, they are relatively easy to care for and can be quite productive.
They will generally get to be in the 1 to 2 pound range.
The porterhouse variety of beefsteak tomatoes are HUGE. Their mature size starts at 2 pounds and just goes up from there.
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If you just want tomatoes for your sandwiches without having too much extra to store, Big Beef are perfect for you. They grow to around 10 to 12 ounces so you can slice one up and not have to toss the rest and waste it.
Cherokee purple get their name from their deep color. They are similar in taste and texture to a Brandywine and will grow up to 13 ounces.
Best Tomatoes for Sauce or Salsa
I don't know about you but I love a nice spicy salsa with my chips. And nobody can argue how good a nice, rich, flavorful sauce can enhance a pasta dish.
Fortunately, there are several tomatoes that work for making either sauce or salsa. They are what is referred to as a paste variety of tomatoes. That just means, they are best used for mashing in things like salsa or sauces.
Amish paste tomatoes get their name because they are reported to have originated in Amish colonies in the late 1800s. Amish paste are one of the larger types of paste tomatoes, growing up to ¾ pound.
Fresh salsa tomatoes are a hybrid tomato. They are either deep red or golden in color. They are pretty small, around 4 to 5 ounces in size.
Roma tomatoes are another one of those types that you will always see in the grocery store just labeled as Roma. Roma tomatoes are plum shaped and wildly popular in most canning projects. If you arent sure what tomato you want to use in your sauce or salsa, you ca not go wrong with Romas.
If you love pickles, you have to try growing cucumbers. Watching them climb a trellis is really exciting. They will mature in about 56 days but will regenerate as you pick them throughout the season.
Again, they make great pickles but are also perfect for your salads and sandwiches. They are also resilient to mildew and appreciate full exposure to the sun.
Big Mama & Little Mama
Technically these are two different tomatoes but we thought they should both be mentioned. They are both plum shaped and similar to Roma's. The major difference between these two, as their names indicate, is their size.
Little Mama tomatoes grow to be in the 3 to 4 ounce range. Big Mama tomatoes can get up to 10 ounces!
Tomatoes for Snacking
If you're looking for some nice, healthy snack types of tomatoes, you can't go wrong with a good small tomato. Here are some of our favorite grape and cherry tomato varieties for snacking.
Tomaccios were developed in a very specific breeding program. They are small in size and fruit early in the season. They are perfect if you are looking for sun dried snacking tomatoes.
Sun Sugar tomatoes are unique in both color and flavor. They are extremely sweet and almost fruity in flavor. They are also bright orange in color, instead of the more traditional tomato red.
Ill be honest, we picked these next two varieties because they have the greatest names of the list. Tomato Fantastico are unique in they way they grow. They grow in what almost looks like a tomato bush and in clusters, like grapes.
Favorita tomatoes are a specific favorite for greenhouse growers. In the right type of climate, they can grow a continuous harvest. They grow in an almost vine type of plant. They are small in size and perfect for bite sized snacking.
Named after Dr Matt Liebman who cultivated these in Maine based on seeds from Mexican wild tomatoes. They are small in size, sugary in flavor, and grow in midseason clusters.
What are some of your favorite tomatoes? Let us know in the comments below.
If you need help getting your garden crops planned right check out The Ultimate Gardening Calculators so that you have just the amount you need, set aside the right amount of space and know exactly when to plant them.
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