Tomatoes are a favorite garden vegetable to plant due to their easy-to-grow nature and literal rainbow of colors sizes available. Tomatoes are available in two different growing patterns: determinate and indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes produce flowers and fruit in a set time frame and are typically bushier. Indeterminates grow more vine-like and require staking, and produce their fruit over a longer period of time.
Grown for their unusual and varying shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors, these are traditionally old-fashioned styles of tomatoes. These are open-pollinated tomatoes. They are non-hybrid, meaning their seeds bear true to fruit. Seeds are often prized, and are often kept and traded with other gardeners. ‘Brandywine’ is a popular heirloom tomato variety.
These tomatoes have thicker walls and relatively little seeds and juice within which make them favorites for sauce making and for tomato concasse. They are also called plum tomatoes. ‘Roma’ and ‘San Marzano’ are popular paste-type tomatoes.
These tomato plants are cross-pollinated, or have controlled parental lines, making the fruit more uniform in shape, color, and flavor. Some varieties are grown to be resistant to certain plant diseases. ‘Big beef tomato’ is a great tasting hybrid.
Cherry and Grape Types
These tomato plants produce fruit that are small – from large grapes to very tiny currant sizes. ‘Red cherry’ and ‘sweet million’ are examples of these types of tomatoes.
Large Fruit Types
These tomatoes are very large and can weigh up to a pound or more when fully ripe. ‘Goliath’ produces fruit between 10 ounces to a pound.
Standard and Novelty Tomatoes
Standard plants range in color and shape, and can be found for just about any climate. For example, cool season or hot climate adaptable. Their sizes are average in determinate and indeterminate styles. ‘Celebrity’ is a standard tomato. Novelty tomatoes are grown almost exclusively a specific aspect such as their color, flavor, or even their storage ability when picked. ‘Mountain gold’ is an example of a novelty tomato.