Among gardeners, from beginners to experts, growing tomatoes is a firm favorite. But with so many varieties to choose from, what are the easiest tomatoes to grow?
From cherry to plum, beefsteak to globe, tomatoes vary in size, shape, color, and ease of maintenance.
As a beginner gardener, we hear your overwhelm and calls for help! But don’t worry, upon reading this post, you will gain a clearer understanding of the different varieties of tomatoes, learn what the easiest tomatoes are to grow, and top tips to caring for your plant.
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Different Varieties of Tomatoes
Tomatoes are often divided into two categories that have distinct differences:
Determinate tomato varieties are often called bush tomatoes. They have limited growth and once the fruit has ripened, the plant will not continue growing.
Due to their limited growth, they usually reach around 4-5 feet in height (max) and do very well in containers.
Determinate tomatoes are a great choice to grow if you have limited space, an apartment, or no soil in your outdoor area.
The fruit tends to ripen at the same time or within a two-week time span, determinate varieties are good if you need a large number of tomatoes. They tend to be ‘meatier and thicker with fewer seeds than indeterminate tomatoes and are good used in juice, sauces, soups, or stews.
Determinate tomato varieties include:
- San Marzano
Unlike determinate tomatoes, indeterminate tomatoes are vining tomatoes that continue to grow throughout the whole season.
They are a great choice if you don’t want to harvest all of your tomatoes at once and would like fresh tomatoes throughout the growing season.
However, due to their continuous growing in season, they do require a lot of space. They can grow 6-10 feet in height. Hence they need sturdy supports to help keep the fruit off of the ground and protect the vines.
Alternatively, indeterminate tomatoes grow extremely well when hung upside down. It enables the fruit to be kept off the ground, the whole plant gains access to sunlight, and has space to grow.
As indeterminate varieties provide you with fresh fruit all season, these tomatoes are good to use in everyday cooking such as salads.
Indeterminate tomato varieties include:
- Sweet Million
- Early Girl
How to Choose a Tomato to Grow
Now that you know the core difference between two distinct varieties of tomatoes, here are a few points to consider before growing tomatoes at home:
The space you have available to grow your tomato plants will need to be factored in before choosing a tomato variety.
If you do not have a lot of space, it is likely you will need to grow your tomatoes in a container.
Determinate varieties grow well in containers, unlike indeterminate that requires a lot of room. Hence determinate tomatoes are probably your best choice for a more compact space.
If however, you have a large outside space, where your tomatoes can grow directly in the ground or within a greenhouse, then indeterminate tomatoes are a good choice.
Determinate and indeterminate tomatoes produce different quantities of tomatoes over different lengths of time.
For those requiring a large number of tomatoes within a short time frame e.g. if making up soups and sauces for the freezer, then determinant tomatoes are a good choice. This is because once the tomato plant starts to produce fruit, the whole plant will provide fruit over the next two weeks before it begins to deteriorate.
Whereas if you would like a steady supply of tomatoes throughout the growing season, indeterminate tomatoes are a good choice as they provide new fruit throughout.
All tomato varieties will need some form of maintenance including:
- Nutritional soil
- Good support
- Pruning to encourage new growth
However, the amount of time you spend during the growing season will vary depending upon if you choose determinate or indeterminate tomatoes.
If you are limited on time, it would be better to grow determinate varieties. They have a shorter season and require less day-to-day maintenance.
Whereas indeterminate varieties continue to grow new vines and need regular pruning to encourage even more growth and better fruits. Since they can grow all season long, they take up more of your time to maintain and look after.
What are the Easiest Tomatoes to Grow?
With a better understanding of the different types of tomatoes and which variety may suit your needs and maintenance availability, now you can consider the easiest tomatoes to grow.
Now there are over 100 different varieties of cherry tomatoes, so I am going to make it easy for you to decide by selecting one determinate and one indeterminate variety that are the easiest to grow at home.
Easiest Determinate Cherry Tomato to Grow
Patio Choice Yellow Tomato
This tomato is perfect for you if you have a compact space as they only grow to a maximum height of 2 feet. Patio choice yellow tomatoes grow on short vines in a bunch and can even grow in a hanging basket.
The leaves are rich and green and the tomatoes themselves are sweet, juicy, and warm yellow in color. Just one patio choice yellow tomato plant can grow 100 fruits in a season.
Easiest Indeterminate Cherry Tomato to Grow
Super Sweet 100
The super sweet 100 is an excellent choice of indeterminate cherry tomato. Just one plant can generate over 1000 tomatoes in a season.
This plant does require a lot of space and support. Super sweet 100 can grow 4-8 feet tall. Because of their size, they need to be planted directly in the soil and at least 3-4 feet away from other plants.
Super sweet 100 tomatoes are red, sweet, and juicy. They are the perfect salad tomato to enjoy throughout the summer months.
Top Tips for Growing Tomatoes
Even though each variety of tomatoes may need more or less space and overall maintenance, generally speaking, all tomatoes need the same care. Here are 5 top tips to help you grow your tomatoes:
- Sow seeds indoors
Ensure to start off your tomatoes indoors by placing seeds in growing pots. Ensure your growing pots have holes underneath for good water drainage and fill with nutrient-rich compost. Place one seed inside each section and gently water.
- Transfer seedlings
Once the seeds start to sprout, which they will do quite quickly, ensure to transfer them into larger pots. Provide regular water so they do not dry out, but not too much that the soil becomes too wet.
- Warmth and sunlight
Tomatoes thrive in a warm environment and love sunlight. Place your seedlings where they can access direct sunlight and aren’t in an area that is drafty e.g. near a door.
- Introduce Outdoors
As your seedlings strengthen and grow taller, introduce them to outdoor temperatures and the environment. Your tomato plants will eventually be transferred outside (unless you live in an apartment) and this requires gently exposing them to the outside environment.
- Transfer outside
Whether you are growing your plants in hanging baskets, containers, or directly in the ground, now is the time to transfer them. Be gentle handling your plants as their stems are extremely delicate. Try to transfer by handling tomato plants’ leaves instead.
Once outside, continue to water them regularly, especially on hot, sunny days. Cut back a couple of stems to encourage new growth and promote more tomatoes.
Which Will You Grow?
Now you know what are the easiest tomatoes to grow, which variety will you choose, Super sweet 100 or Patio choice yellow tomatoes?
Either way, these tomato varieties provide a large quantity of fruit and taste delicious to add to your soups and salads.
Be sure to take into consideration the space you have and the number of tomatoes you require during the season. This will help you to decide on the best variety of tomato, determinate or indeterminate.
Be sure to take a look at these guides to help you succeed with your homegrown fruits and vegetables: