Year after year, most people choose to plant the same tomato varieties in their gardens. These are the tomatoes that you know and trust — so why would you bother changing your routine up if you already know what you like? As it turns out, you may be missing out on a lot of wild varieties that have only recently been brought back into popularity. Here are some good ones to consider when picking out seeds for next year's garden.
This cherry tomato variety is the color of port wine and bears a hint of chocolate. For such small fruit, these tomatoes have an awfully big taste. They're best served fresh and are ideal for making salads and canning.
Yellow pear plants produce sunny little teardrop-shaped tomatoes, so their name seems more than appropriate. These fun fruits have a mild taste and are great for popping into your mouth right when you harvest them. Alternatively, they can be eaten as tomato preserves.
Sun Gold is another variety that produces smaller fruits, all of which are lovely orange cherry-type tomatoes. They have a rather sweet taste and can thrive well past the end of the growing season. Sun Golds are perfect for eating right off the vine or for adding some color to your salads.
Candy’s Old Yellow
Another yellow variety! These tomatoes are large, flat, and sweet-tasting. Their crazy irregular shape makes them a lot of fun to grow. Try throwing some of these into a chutney or a sweeter salsa.
Green Zebras are gloriously striped green fruits that usually bear a yellow or bluish-red tint. With an average weight of just six ounces, these fruits are relatively small. Some may worry that they won’t be able to tell when their Green Zebras have ripened, but the trick is to wait until the stripes turn a deeper shade of yellow. These tomatoes have a tart taste and can be enjoyed fresh by anyone who isn't a fan of sweeter varieties. They also work well in canning recipes because of their slight acidity.
This giant beefsteak tomato is bicolored yellow and red. It has a mild but tropically sweet flavor to it. These tomatoes can grow to massive sizes on the vine and work wonderfully for slicing thanks to their meaty flesh. Plus, you can use these giants in your canning recipes.
These large, gorgeous-looking tomatoes are known for their green and red stripes. Inside, they are marbled. Striped Germans are sweet and can easily be sliced up to eat fresh. Unfortunately, this variety tastes so good that it often doesn’t last long enough to make it into your meals.
Like the Striped German, Mr. Stripey is a two-toned tomato. The only difference is that this red and yellow-striped fruit that has a thick beefsteak feel to it. Mr. Stripeys have a high sugar content, which gives them a very sweet flavor. Still, they taste great on salads and sandwiches and in sweet salsas.
Cherokee Purple is another aptly-named variety, as they turn a beautiful shade of mahogany purple when ripe. Cherokee Purples are large and very beefy. If you're looking for the perfect slicing tomato, this one's for you. They can be eaten fresh, added to your salsa recipes, and canned.
Black Krim is a Russian variety that takes on a deep maroon color when ripe. These tomatoes are medium-sized and — you guessed it — beefsteak-like. Black Krims have a rich flavor that you won’t soon forget. Some describe them as having a salty taste, making them the right choice for anyone that loves salt but wants to stay away from sodium.
Brandywine Pink plants produce large, delightful pinkish-red tomatoes. You can expect these to slice well and taste divine. They have a rather sweet flavor and will make the perfect addition to your burgers and picnic sandwiches.
This red-fluted tomato is an Italian heirloom that’s been around for quite a while. Their deep ribbing gives them a unique shape. Costoluto Genovese have an intense flavor and can be eaten fresh or thrown into your favorite recipes!
You should be able to find some of these varieties at your local nursery. For others, you may have to order seeds or seedlings from a mail-order garden company. It's always fun to try out new varieties and discover some awesome new flavors. You might even find that your kids love yellow pears for their sunny color or that you can't get enough of Cherokee Purple. This year, make it a point to grow one or two new tomato varieties in your garden. A lot of heirlooms are finally making a comeback, and it’s time to give them a try.