If you have a garden, you most likely are growing or have thought about growing tomatoes. With many popular uses such as sauce, salsa, salads, ketchup and so much more – they are a versatile addition to your garden. But what is the best type of tomato to grow? I surveyed several gardening and Homesteading Facebook groups to find out what the best type of tomato was to grow.
Over 100 people weighed in, and the best tomato to grow was a clear winner of Roma Tomatoes. Following in second place was Cherry with Sweet 100s being a popular recommendation. However, there were many different types of tomatoes recommend I’d never heard of!
Thank you to everyone that responded to my Facebook posts. All of you had such great insight to offer!
Why Roma is the Best Tomato to Grow?
Roma’s are my personal favorite tomato to grow, but with hundreds or maybe thousands of varieties of tomatoes out there, I thought it would be great to get some others opinions. I was not surprised at all that Roma’s won the votes. Roma tomatoes are meaty, with few seeds which makes them great for tomato sauce (here’s how we make ours), salsa, tomato paste, stews and more.
Our growing experience has been very positive with Romas. They have had had far less issues with disease or pests than the Beefsteak tomatoes we grew last summer along side them. This sentiment also echoed in some of the comments that were left on those that recommend Roma tomatoes.
Why Cherry Tomatoes are Great to Grow?
Cherry Tomatoes were the second choice among the homesteaders and gardeners. Specifically the Sweet 100s variety. Cherry tomatoes are a popular choice among those that like to eat tomatoes right out of the garden. But they are also great in stews or sautéed. Do you remember that viral TikTok feta pasta? Those are cherry tomatoes featured in that recipe. As much as we love tomato sauce, salsa, ketchup, etc. we don’t love eating raw tomatoes. So Cherry tomatoes really aren’t our cup of tea. However, I am considering a Sweet 100 plant just to try them out based off the feedback I received!
Why Purple Cherokee’s are Great to Grow?
Purple Cherokee tomatoes are an heirloom tomato. They have a pinkish red skin with spots of green and purple. Cherokee tomatoes are part of the beefsteak family, and after seeing so many recommendations for them – I think we are going to try these instead of beefsteaks. Of course, along side our trust Roma tomatoes. They are great for slicing and eating on sandwiches. We will add this to our tomato sauce, and gift to friends and family for eating and to fry up as green tomatoes before they ripen.
Other Tomatoes That are Great to Grow
However, with 146 votes I received over 53 different recommendations of tomatoes to grow. What does that tell us? That there are tons to try and everyone has found a different favorite that works for them! I encourage you to browse the entire list that I put below and try something new. I know we will also stick with Romas in the garden, but I think I’ll look back to this list each year and try out something new. Maybe I’ll even find the perfect tomato that makes me want to eat one fresh from the garden! I do try each year!
Garden Blog Hop:
Looking to build a raised garden bed? Check out this post by Morgan at Morgan’s Farmhouse!
Determinate vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes
While everyone was recommending their tomatoes, the discussion of determinate vs. indeterminate came up, and as a relatively knew gardener, I wasn’t sure what this meant. In short, determinate tomatoes will stop production sooner, as soon as flowers form on their ends. Indeterminate tomatoes will continue to grow until the weather conditions change. This means they will produce tomatoes after their flowers have grown.
Determinates are a good option when wanting to harvest all at one time to produce sauce. Indeterminates may be better if you like adding them to meals, sandwiches, etc, and would like to get tomatoes right up until it frosts. So as you’re planning your garden – take that into account as well!
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You can find all my posts on tomatoes here.