7 Awesome Tomato Varieties Everyone Should Grow (At Least Once)

It’s the height of tomato-planting season and Swansons is stocked to capacity with tons of tomatoes of all shapes, colors, and sizes. With so many choices, it can be difficult to settle on just one or two (or seven or eight) varieties to grow.

Here are seven of our favorites that we think everyone should grow – at least once!

Black Krim

An heirloom tomato from Eastern Europe that generously produces unique, medium-sized fruit that are burgundy with green shoulders. The bright red interior is juicy and sweet, with a firm texture.

Indeterminate,* ~ 69 days (to maturity).

Pruden’s Purple

Love Brandywine? Try this tasty heirloom developed from the Brandywine variety. Pinkish-purple, slightly flattened fruit that can get quite large – up to 16 ounces! Great slicer.

Indeterminate, ~ 75 days.

Green Zebra

Vivid chartreuse heirloom tomatoes with deep, lime-green stripes develop on vigorous vines. The 3-ounce tomatoes have a sweet, rich flavor with a refreshingly sharp bite.

Semi-Indeterminate, ~ 75 days.

image from Loghouse Plants

image from Loghouse Plants

Jaune Flamme

Beautiful, 2-3-ounce heirloom tomatoes look like apricots with orange skin and rosy red flesh. Expect high yields from this firm and juicy tomato with just a touch of tartness. Their name means ‘Yellow Flame’ in French.

Indeterminate ~75 days.


We couldn’t get away with not mentioning everyone’s favorite golden cherry tomato! A deep yellow-orange color and sweet, fruity flavor make them perfect for snacking right off the vine. High yields of 1-inch fruit in clusters on long tresses.

Indeterminate, ~ 65 days.

Chocolate Cherry

A connoisseur’s cherry tomato. Earthy, maroon color and a rich, bold flavor that is slightly less sweet than most cherry varieties.

Indeterminate, ~ 70 days.

Striped Roman

Stunning and unique. These long, pointed heirloom tomatoes have brilliant red skin and wavy, orange stripes. Meaty flesh and excellent flavor for slicing or sauce. 

Indeterminate, ~ 70-75 days.

* Tomato Terms

Determinate: These varieties grow to a compact height and then produce fruits which ripen at nearly the same time, and are great choices for canning or freezing. Plants are typically smaller and bushier, and often do not require staking.

Indeterminate: These varieties keep growing vines and producing fruit all season long until frost kills them. They are generally larger and need to be staked or put in cages but can be grown in containers or in the ground.

Semi-Indeterminate: These varieties are somewhat in the middle. They tend to put out one main crop, like Determinate varieties, yet often continue to produce smaller secondary crops throughout the season.

Note: Don’t forget to protect your tomato plants from cold nights! Until the nights are consistently around 50 degrees, you can keep you plants warm by using Season Starters (tepee-shaped structures of tubes that are filled with water; they warm during the day and insulate individual plants) or Harvest Guard (a lightweight fabric that can be wrapped around cages; they keep the temps a bit warmer while allowing light and air to pass through).