Beefsteak Tomatoes

Very large, meaty varieties. Usually fewer fruits per plant, but worth the effort for tomato aficionados. These require strong stakes and frequent pruning…but leave enough foliage to cover fruits as they ripen to prevent sun scorch.

Aunt Ruby’s German Green Tomato

Aunt Ruby's German Green

Source:  Seed Savers Exchange

Heirloom from Ruby Arnold of Greenville Tennessee. Beefsteak fruits, 5” by 4” deep, weigh one pound or more. Sweet juicy flesh, refreshing spicy flavor. Ripe when slightly softened.  Indeterminate, 80-95 days from transplant.

Black Krim Tomato

Source:  Seed Savers Exchange

Also called Black Crimea. From the Crimean Peninsula Beefsteak fruits are a combination of violet-brown and purple-red. They turn almost black with sufficient sunlight and heat. Excellent full flavor. Indeterminate, 70-90 days from transplant

Red Brandywine Tomato 


Source: Seed Savers Exchange

The original Brandywine introduced by Johnson and Stokes in 1889 from seeds they received from a customer in Ohio. Named after Brandywine Creek in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Large vines produce deep red 8-12 ounce fruits. Excellent flavor. Very productive. Indeterminate, 80 days from transplant.

Caspian Pink Tomato

caspian pink tomato

Source:  Urban Farmer

Originally grown in southern Russia between the Caspian and Black Seas. Thought by some to be “Queen of the Pinks,” these prolific, 1-2 pound, globe-shaped, pleated, pink-red beefsteak tomatoes that rival Brandywine in popularity and flavor.

Cherokee Purple Tomato

Cherokee Purple

Source: Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Unique dusty rose color. Flavor rivals Brandywine, extremely sweet, tastes a bit smoky. Productive plants produce large crops of 12 oz. fruits. 80 days from transplant.

German Pink Tomato

german pink

Source: Seed Savers Exchange

Potato leaf plants produce large 1-2 pound beefsteak fruits. Meaty flesh with few seeds, very little cracking or blossom scars. Full sweet flavor. Excellent for canning, freezing, and slicing. Indeterminate, 85 days from transplant.

Mortgage Lifter Tomato

Mortgage Lifter

Source: Urban Farmer

Kentucky family heirloom grown since the 1930s by three generations of James Halladay’s family. In a trial of 25 Mortgage Lifter types, Halladay’s produced the best crops of 1-2 pound pink beefsteak fruits. Exceptionally meaty and typically crack-free. Great old-fashioned tomato flavor. Indeterminate, 80-90 days from transplant.

Cherry Tomatoes

These range in size from the tiny currant to a 1.5 inch pear shaped variety. Generally heavy producers and very early. We eat them right out of the garden for a refreshing snack. Most will produce well in containers. The plants tend to get very large, but can be cut off at the top leader to retain the desired height. Most make great tomato juice and can be dried easily for winter enjoyment.

Beam’s Yellow Pear Tomato

new beams yellow pear

Source: Seed Savers Exchange

Popular cherry variety for low acidity. Kids love them. Endless stream of 1 1/2″ pear tomatoes with great taste. 70-80 days from transplant.

Black Cherry Tomato

black cherry

Source: Johnny’s Selected Seeds

An heirloom too rarely encountered, this delectable variety fully merits a place in the garden and on the dinner table. Yields plentiful clusters of perfectly round 1″ true cherry tomatoes that are deep red with a blackish hue. Complex flavor: rich, juicy and sweet. Indeterminate. Harvest about 65 days from transplant

Black Strawberry Tomato

Black Strawberry

Seed Source: Maggie’s Garden

Fantastic, sugar-sweet tomato flavor, that is fruity, with a hint of grape and plum flavors. 1-ounce fruit is marbled in blue, scarlet and gold. Indeterminate .60 days from transplant.

Blondkopfchen Cherry Tomato


Source: Seed Savers Exchange

Also called “Little Blonde Girl”. Small golden-yellow 1” fruits with excellent sweet taste. Fruits are borne in giant clusters, enormous yields. Bears until frost. Seed obtained from Gatersleben Seed Bank in eastern Germany. 75-80 days from transplant.

Chadwick Cherry Tomato

Chadwick Cherry

Source:  NE Seed

Mouth-watering cherry selected by the late horticultural genius, Alan Chadwick. Large for a cherry, with sparkling, full-bodied tomato flavor. Disease resistant and highly productive. 80-90 days from transplant.

Sweet Pea Currant Tomato

sweet pea

Source: Territorial Seed

The best currant tomato – hundreds of fruits per plant. Do not drop off the vine. Excellent clean tomato flavor. 75 – 80 days from transplant.

Peacevine Cherry Tomato


Source: Fedco Seeds

Developed in 1980 at Seeds of Change. It had the highest vitamin C content among 30 cherry varieties grown at Rodale Institute and analyzed by Rutgers University. Generous tresses of small, delicious red tomatoes with an occasional yellow. Complex flavor begins tart and finishes sweet. Uniquely high in gamma-amino butyric acid, a body sedative that calms jitters. 70-80 days from transplant.

Red Fig Tomato

red fig

Source: Seed Savers Exchange

Philadelphia heirloom documented to 1805. Heavy yields of 1½” pear-shaped fruits that are great for fresh eating. Used as a substitute for figs years ago by gardeners who would pack away crates of dried tomatoes for winter use. Indeterminate, 85 days from transplant.

Riesentraube Grape Tomato


Source: Tomato Fest

German heirloom variety grown by Pennsylvania Dutch as early as 1856. Name translates as “giant bunches of grapes”. Produces fruits in clusters of 20-40. Round 1” fruit has a distinct nipple on the blossom end. Excellent flavor. Compact plants are ideal for containers. 80 days from transplant.

Paste Tomatoes

Many people are familiar with the Roma variety, but there are many more types of these perfect cooking tomatoes. Most are heavy producers and make excellent sauces.

Amish Paste Tomato

Amish Paste

Source: Seed Savers Exchange

Amish heirloom discovered in Wisconsin. Produces 8 oz red fruits that are oxheart to almost teardrop-shaped. Meaty fruits are juicy and have really outstanding flavor.  If your garden space is limited, this is a perfect all-purpose selection. 85 days from transplant.

Black Plum Tomato

Black Plum

Source: Seed Savers Exchange

Rare 2-4 oz. A unique Russian variety with notable flavor and deep-mahogany to brown skin. Prolific and very disease resistant. These make a beautiful sauce. 75-80 days from transplant.

Principe Borghese Tomato

Princepe Borgese

Source: Territorial Seed

IItalian heirloom bred for sun drying, this low moisture variety maintains more flavor when dried than do other varieties. 2″ fruits are round with small points on the end. Prized in Italian cooking when reconstituted in olive oil, they can also be crushed into small flakes to thicken a sauce or used dry to top a winter salad or pizza

Roma Tomato


Seed Source: Maggie’s Garden

Prized for use in tomato paste and sauces.  Roma produces a large harvest of thick-walled, meaty, bright red, egg-shaped fruit, about three inches long and with few seeds.  Determinate vines.

San Marzano Tomato


Source: Urban Farmer

Classic Italian paste variety, with rich tomato flavor. Thought by some to make the world’s finest sauce. Large plants yield heavily. 90 days from transplant.

Salad Tomatoes

This is my definition for those varieties that are ideal for cutting in wedges for salads. Larger than a cherry, but smaller than others. Usually fairly early to ripen, and the plants are more compact. Good choice for container gardens.  The smaller fruits have a better chance of thriving in our unpredictable Wisconsin summers.

Green Zebra Tomato

green zebra

Source: Seed Savers Exchange

Green 3 -5 inch fruits with various shades of yellow to yellowish green strips, sweet zingy flavor. 77 days from transplant. Resists late blight

Jaune Flamme Tomato

Juanne Flamme

Source: Seed Savers Exchange

Beautiful apricot-shaped heirloom from France. Great for drying, retains deep orange color. Excellent bitey flavor. Very productive, fruits borne in clusters and weigh 2-3 ounces. 70-80 days from transplant.

Stupice Tomato


Source: Seed Savers Exchange

Bred in Czechoslovakia, this is an extremely early, prolific variety with exceptional taste. Dense, potato-like foliage on dwarf, indeterminate vines. (60-70 days)

Slicing Tomatoes

Medium sized varieties that can be easily sliced whole. Often considered the most versatile type when only growing a couple of plants in a small garden

Moonglow Tomato


Source: Seed Savers Exchange

Medium sized bright orange fruits. Solid orange meat, few seeds and wonderful flavor. 80 days from transplant.

Peach Blow Sutton Tomato

Peach Blow Sutton

Source: Seed Savers Exchange

Introduced in 1897 as “Sutton’s Peachblow” by Sutton and Sons Seed Growers and Merchants of Reading, England. Named after a style of Victorian era glassware known for its peach skin appearance. Round six ounce fruits with slightly fuzzy ‘tomato pink’ skin. Refreshing sweet flavor and low acidity. Indeterminate, 80 days from transplant

Trophy Tomato


Source: Seed Savers Exchange

Introduced in 1870 by Colonel George E. Waring, Jr., of Rhode Island. Sold for five dollars per packet (equivalent to eighty dollars today). Gardeners paid the exorbitant price hoping to win the $100 grand prize at the local fair. Sweet 5-7 ounce tomatoes are ideal for slicing. Indeterminate, 80 days from transplant

Wisconsin 55 Tomato

Wisconsin 55

Source: Seed Savers Exchange

Developed at the University of Wisconsin in the 1950s. Does best on rich soils. Excellent all-purpose tomato, great for canning. Good flavor and yields of 5-8 oz. fruits. Remembered as one of the best home and market tomatoes in the Madison area.