Tomatoes for Your Garden

Discover the best varieties of cherry, salad, slicing and paste/canning tomatoes. 

By Barbara Pleasant 

The varieties listed below ranked highest in our recent nationwide tomato survey (read the full results by region). To ensure that you have some early ripening, disease-resistant tomatoes, and some with exceptional flavor, include hybrid (F1) and open-pollinated (OP) tomato varieties in your garden. Check out Growing Tomatoes to learn more.



Recommended Varieties 

Cherry tomatoes and salad tomatoes

Small fruit size gives these varieties an edge over diseases and weather-related problems. Most varieties mature early and have a long harvest period. Flavor differs by variety, but sweet, fruity taste is common in cherry tomatoes. Preserve by cutting in halves or quarters and drying.

‘Black Cherry’ (OP, 65 days)
‘Juliet’ (F1, 60 days)
‘Stupice’ (OP, 55 to 60 days)
‘Sungold’ (F1, 57 days)
‘Super Sweet 100’ (F1, 65 days)
‘Yellow Pear’ (OP, 70 days)

Slicing tomatoes

Try early-maturing hybrids and open-pollinated varieties famous for flavor. Large-fruited slicing varieties have a higher risk of diseases and nutritional disorders (such as blossom-end rot) compared with smaller-fruited types. Slicing tomatoes may be canned, dried or frozen.

‘Beefsteak’ (F1 and OP, 80 to 90 days)
‘Better Boy’ (F1, 75 days)
‘Brandywine’ (OP, 80 to 90 days)
‘Cherokee Purple’ (OP, 80 to 90 days)
‘Early Girl’ (F1, 75 days)

Paste (canning) tomatoes

Many of these versatile tomatoes are vigorous determinates, which means they produce ripe fruits in two or three concentrated flushes. The low moisture content of these varieties makes them ideal for canning, drying or freezing.

Amish Paste’ (OP, 74 to 80 days)
‘Opalka’ (OP, 85 days)
‘Roma’ (F1 and OP, 75 days)
‘San Marzano’ (F1 and OP, 78 days)
‘Viva Italia’ (F1, 75 days)

Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant gardens in southwest Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and a few lucky chickens. Contact Barbara by visiting her website or finding her on .

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