Our 5 Favourite Tomato Varieties

| Gardening, Kitchen Garden | comments | Author :

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Hello Spring! It’s nearly tomato growing season. Have you planted your precious seeds in a sunny spot already?

Just incase you’re still in the process of getting to it, or wondering what to plant this year, we thought we’d share our five favourite varieties… 

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Yellow Pear Tomatoes

These little beauties are awesome for backyards. They’re a climbing tomato that crops and crops and crops throughout summer.

Yellow Pear’s are extra sweet, and should tempt any child with tastebuds. Which can only be a good thing, right?

In our experience, yellow pear’s have also proved the most pest and fruit fly resistant of all the tomatoes we’ve grown, which makes them great for the suburbs where there’s plenty of things to eat your tomatoes about.

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Roma Tomatoes

Good old romas, I love these. Romas are a determinate tomato, which means they grow in a bush on the ground, and all ripen over a short period.

A great tomato if you want a glut, which , if you’re bottling, makes them much easier to deal with than a few here and a few there.

I rekon roma’s should be called ‘clear the diary’ tomatoes because when they’re ripe, thats what you have to do to deal with them all. If you only want a few tomatoes each week, probably don’t plant romas.

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Red Pear Tomatoes

These are just drop-dead gorgeous. My favourite eating tomato ever. They’re fleshy but firm and sweet but salty.

Red pear’s are climbers and will crop over a longish period. Make sure you have a strong trellis or stake as these babies are heavy.

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Black Russian Tomatoes

Because why wouldn’t you grow black tomatoes if you have the option?

Beautiful eating but not such a heavy cropper given their heritage status and having been bred to retain their black russian-ness rather than their prolific-ness, i suspect.

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Cherry  Tomatoes

You can’t go past a good cherry tomato. Seriously, these little guys are awesome.

They crop over a long period, they grow up, up up to the sky, they’re pest resistant, sweet as anything and if you get completely sick of eating them you can bottle them whole.

Our top 5 tomatoes

Now i think of it, I have so many more than five favourites. But these are on the top of my list. I think.

Where to get your tomatoes:

  • Try your local Seed Savers branch which will have a heap of local knowledge in addition to seed stock.
  • If you’re thinking serious scale, The Italian Gardener carry the Franchi range of seeds which are extremely excellent – great germination rate, quality and cropping.
  • And in exciting recent news, Royston Petrie Seeds in Mudgee have been busy breeding up new organic tomato seedstock, so if you want Aussie grown organic tomato seeds, we’d recommend their tommy-toes (again, commercial quantities only, but you could make it a community buy).

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What’s your favourite tomato to grow? Shout out and represent for your most beloved variety! We’d love to hear…

First, 8th and 14th photos taken by the gorgeous Luisa Brimble at our Passata Day last summer.

See the comments

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Comments

22 responses to “Our 5 Favourite Tomato Varieties

  1. How do you plant your tomatoes? I found a website which suggests planting quite large seedlings out in the garden with a fishhead, aspirin and eggshells in the hole! It sounds quite gruesome but their tomato plants were enormous and the fruit looked luscious. I am thinking about giving it a go this year.

    1. Sounds great – or you could use Charlie carp (a fish emulsion) instead of the fishead. To sum up, tomatoes are heavy feeders of nutrient so you need a plan to deliver long-term goodness to them. A fish head is one way – not sure about the asprin…

    2. If I can catch them before I plant out I use carp out of our river just over the road from our house. The river has been dry for 6 months right up to June so not sure if any survived or moved back from the bigger holes down stream. If the water is still cold by end of September (time I usually plant) they don’t usually bite.
      Bury about 250-300mm deep and so no flies or attractant to dogs. It is amazing to dig up the big bones a year or two later when they show up again.
      Don’t know about asprin. I crush my eggshells which go through the worm farms then spread about the whole garden as castings so hope that helps everything.

    3. If I can catch them before I plant out I use carp out of our river just over the road from our house. The river has been dry for 6 months right up to June so not sure if any survived or moved back from the bigger holes down stream. If the water is still cold by end of September (time I usually plant) they don’t usually bite.
      Bury about 250-300mm deep and so no flies or attractant to dogs. It is amazing to dig up the big bones a year or two later when they show up again.
      Don’t know about asprin. I crush my eggshells which go through the worm farms then spread about the whole garden as castings so hope that helps everything.

  2. This year, our favorites were Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, Mr. Stripey and a Pink Brandywine. We had a great crop but were recently hit with a fungus, so its a race to see what will get to the tomato patch first, disease or frost. Tomatoes that we grew this year that will probably be replace this year are Jet Star (pretty but not as tasty as some of the others) and Blue Indigo, unusual, but not tasty, and took an incredibly long time to ripen.

  3. Amish Paste, Brandywine, Cherry Bites, Roma and still plant Grosse Lisse from seeds originally from my grandad 35 years ago .We get my wife’s staff room to save banana skins during the year , freeze them , and trench them along the tomato rows for a burst of potassium . A Burnley horticulturalist posted that tip on a website we read .

  4. Cherries and yellow pear cherries, yes. Then rounding out a top five might be those two again and some more cherries. Sydney and fruit fly, you see. Organic controls aren’t cheap and sometimes you just gotta know when you’re beaten. Reckon I’d rather hook up with a grower’s market sensitive glut for passata day.

  5. You have mentioned a some of my favourite Kirsten, black Russian, yellow egg and Roma.
    During the 1960’s we had a wild cherry growing in a lot of our paddocks where there was protection from the grazing cows. They rambled over the ground and up through any bush they might be growing near. They were only thumbnail sized and very sweet. Took a lot of work to fill a bowl though. I have never seen them anywhere else since.
    Favourite number 4 is Rouge de Marmande. Again in the 1960’s while going to school it was my favourite lunch. Two slices of bread buttered with added salt and pepper in one hand and a big juicy tomato in the other. A chomp from each alternatively was very satisfying.
    Probably my No. 5 is Gross Lisse.
    Another very small and “protected” type from the bugs is broad ripple yellow currant tomato. The truss can be like a small bunch of grapes.

  6. past few years crops have failed bad due to fruit fly in sydney area any ideas how to combat this i use fruit fly lures but only attracts male & doesnt seem to have any affect & dont want to use poison sprays

  7. This post boosted my confidence! I just placed an order for black Russians, gross lisse, yellow pear and romas! I planted seeds yesterday from some saved cherry tomatoes I was gifted…. can’t wait for them all to sprout! Will have to wait a while to plant out though…. damn cold climate!

  8. What type of “cherry tomatoes” were you growing? There are literally hundreds of heirloom cherry tomato varieties in Australia. We find “snow white” to be the tastiest and a great producer.

    Black Russian is probably the worst tasting ‘black’ tomato around. It tastes barely better than a store bought tomato, it splits badly, and it crops poorly. There are many, many better varieties.

    I expect better from you milkwood.

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