The Q&A Archives: The Best Tomato

Question: What is the best overall mid to large size red tomato? A tomato that resists disease and cracking. I sell tomatoes as a hobby and I need one that is very dependable. I would be willing to give up a little flavor for dependability. I know that the success of a Tomato depends on a lot of things, but I want to know the best variety going in!

Answer: Ask a dozen gardeners what their favorite tomato is and you'll likely get a dozen different answers! However, I like Celebrity which performs well and is disease resistant and crack resistant. I'd suggest planting a few varieties, perhaps some that mature at slightly different times, and see what performs best for you. I've also found that people will pay a premium price for tomato flavor, since most of the tomatoes in the markets are bred for shipping and shelf life, not for flavor, so I wouldn't sacrifice that. An heirloom tomato with great taste that performs well is Cherokee Purple. It doesn't come in "perfect" shapes, but if people sample it, they ask for it next week! Generally, the mid-sized tomatoes will be less likely to crack than the large beefsteaks, since tomatoes are so dependent on moisture. The faster they mature, the less likely they'll be water stressed. Early Girl is another very reliable performer. Even though you didn't ask for a small tomato, I've also found that people like the Yellow Pear tomatoes. They are prolific, taste good, and add a nice visual to a salad display, for example. Hope this helps!

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