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Tomato Mania - Varieties
Great news! There are dozens upon dozens of varieties of tomatoes. Chances are, you will grow more than one. Each variety has different size flavor, texture, and use.
Here are the basic types you can choose from:
These are bite-sized tomatoes that kids and adults absolutely love. Because they produce a small fruit, they are the earliest to harvest. We suggest you try a newer type in this group, called "grape tomato". The grape tomato grows flavorful fruit, about the size and shape of a grape. All cherry tomatoes are great for salads and snacks.
Tip: Plant cherry tomatoes at the edge of your garden. You will find kids of all ages milling around this healthy fruit, munching away, before you even get a chance to pick them.
Plum or Roma Tomato
These are also called paste tomatoes. These tomatoes are small, cylindrical in shape, and usually have a pointed bottom. While they taste good, they are meaty, with little juice inside. Plum tomatoes are primarily used to make paste, sauces, canning, tomato juice, even ketchup.
These are a favorite of many gardeners. They are the biggest type of tomato, and require the longest time to reach maturity. Your wait is rewarded with what most people believe is the juiciest, and most flavorful of all tomatoes.
Main Crop Tomato
Cherry tomatoes are small, and ripen early. Beefsteak tomatoes are huge, and take the longest time to mature. The vast majority of varieties in the middle are referred to as "main crop" tomatoes. There is a wide range to choose from. Each one has a somewhat different taste and maturity date. Gardeners experiment with these, looking for the perfect ones for their taste buds.
Long Keeper Tomato
Tomatoes don't keep long indoors. At least most varieties, that is. Long Keeper types are perfect for tomato lovers that want the "home grown" taste long after the snow flies. It produces a small, yellowish to orange colored fruit. They can be stored in a cool, dark place for several months.
Any variety that has been around for many years. It must not be a hybrid or GMO variety. More on Heirlooms
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