A Bit of Help Selecting The Best Tomatoes for You

A Bit of Help Selecting The Best Tomatoes for You

I have been growing Tomatoes for years but realised I still have to think twice when deciding which Tomatoes Seeds to grow. When you start your Tomato growing adventure you will find there is a never-ending list of Tomatoes to select from with tantalising names, different flavours, colours and terminology to understand. This is a short guide to help you make your best selection for you. Its best to experiment to find the colours textures and flavours that suit your taste buds and needs. It won’t be long before you have your favourites but there are always more to try. Most years I grow a whole range of colours and types in the greenhouse as I make selections of cherry types to eat off the vine, other types to take to the house and some for sauces and delicious Tomato soup.

Growth Types

Intermediate Type (Cordon)

These are tomatoes that keep growing beyond the flowers. These need to have all their side shoots removed leaving the main growth point to get the best harvest. The plant will need to be staked and tidied up. Usually the plants main growth tip will be removed after about 5 trusses. Ideal for greenhouse culture and many varieties can be grown outside.

A range of Intermediate Types can be found here

Determinate Type (Bush)

These are tomatoes do not need to have side shoots removed. When the flowers form the growth terminates and new side shoots form. They form a bushy plant. These plants are ideal for growing on patios and often in hanging baskets.

A range of Determinate Types can be found here


Fruit Types

Beefsteak Tomatoes

There are the really big Tomatoes that usually have thick flesh and are very juicy. Ideal for sandwiches and Burgers.

A selection of Beefsteak Tomatoes can be found here

Cherry Tomatoes

These are small tomatoes that are great eaten straight from the plant. Many of these varieties are known for these exceptional sweetness particularly when they are allowed to fully ripen on the vine

A selection of Cherry Tomatoes can be found here

Roma Tomatoes

These are worth a mention as they are exceptional tomatoes for use in pastes and sauces. They are juicy, fleshy and often have fewer seeds that other varieties.

An example of a Roma Type can be found here

A few of other terms you may see

F1 Hybrids

You will often find that these seeds are much more expensive and have fewer seeds in the packet. There is a reason for this. It takes years to develop pure seed lines with all the best characteristics in. When two lines are crossed the result is an F1 Hybrid. These hybrids will have all the best characteristics of the parent lines with vigorous plants, disease resistance and high yield. They are used by commercial growers and the home gardener gets to benefit from growing the same plants. The downside is you can’t keep your own seed and expect to get the same results.

A selection of F1 Hybrids can be found here

Heritage / Heirloom

You will see this term used from time to time. These will be varieties that have been around for a long time and have stood the test of time. If you have a heirloom type you would be able to collect your own seeds.

Blight Resistance

Sometimes diseases can be a problem, one such problem is Late Blight which will reduce your harvest. If this is a problem then there are a range of plants with good resistance which are worth trying.

A selection of blight resistant Tomatoes can be found here

Back to blog