Favorite tomato varieties to grow

barryla61(VA - 7)June 26, 2011

Looking for other tomato lovers in VA and what varieties they like to grow the most.

Here's some on my favorites...

Golden Rave

4th of July

Tomato Berry

Early Goliath


Lemon Boy


Big Beef

Mortgage Lifter

Cherokee Purple

Razzle Berry - pink tomato

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Really like Golden Rave! We grew it first three years ago by accident--it was mislabeled as Cherokee Purple. We weren't able to find it this year. Where did you get yours?

My husband's family swears the best tomato is German Johnson but when we grew it here the flavor wasn't as good. Only tried it one year though--we should give it one more chance, I guess.

The most reliable for us are early girl and celebrity. But we usually add a few heirlooms too. The zebras were fun and really productive for us--didn't like lemon boy--never tried Goliath. Maybe next year because you recommend it.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 9:02PM
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barryla61(VA - 7)

Golden Rave seed came from Park Seed
We LOVE goliath, great producer and tasty

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 1:30PM
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coffeehaus(7a Central VA)

For slicers:
Big Beef
Striped German (heirloom red/yellow)
Kellogg's Breakfast (heirloom yellow)
Bloody Butcher (small, very early red)

For cherries:
Isis Candy (heirloom yellow/red oblong fruit)
Black Cherry

For paste/canning:
Viva Italia (very productive and disease resistant)
Super Marzano (very sweet)

We have a tough time growing some of the heirlooms such as Brandywine as their resistance to blight is weak and in our humid climate they succumb quickly. Although I like the flavor, it's a pity to waste weeks of tending a plant that dies before it produces fruit.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 6:29PM
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Thanks Barry, we usually get our tomatoes as plants, but the farmstand we buy from has changed owners so I guess seeds are in our future. Appreciate the tip about where to buy Golden Rave.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 7:16AM
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shamrockva(Virginia [z7A])

We enjoy the old heritage/heirloom variety called BRANDYWINE....the RED ones. Not the prettiest tomato for sure, not as resistant to problems as some hybrid varieties, but some kinda good tasting!! Worth a try if you have that variety available from a grower in your area.

We've grown BETTER BOY variety for years, and enjoy that one as well. Good producer and great tasting tomato.

The HANOVER TOMATO FESTIVAL is coming up this weekend (Saturday, July 9, 2011) at Pole Green Park in Hanover County, just north of Richmond. Search "Hanover Tomato Festival" in interested. Last year the event drew about 42,000 people. Admission is free. Y'all come !!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 2:57PM
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barryla61(VA - 7)

We tried a couple of BrandyBoy's this time. Fair taste but not producing much fruit.
Also planted Tye Dye, don't know if it's because of all the rain we've had, but it has almost NO FLAVOR and is very watery.
Will not plant either again.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 2:29PM
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tomva(7-central virginia)

#1 so far is cherokee purple
#2 black brandywine
can you tell I like the black toms
3 redbrandywine
4 paul robeson
those are my favorites that Ive tried in my garden from seed.I grow them from seed using the wintersowing method.next year I will add a few more new ones.I hope we have a good year as this one was very good

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 12:58PM
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harveyhorses(7 Midlothian Va)

Spring is just around the corner, and down the hall a ways, but I have started planning (o.k. I never stopped) Has anyone else tried the Black Krim? I had two last year (bought the seeds online and I think they were past their prime) The ones I got were wonderful, but the plants were not very prolific. Could it have been not very good seeds? Because I would love to try them again.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 2:37PM
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I am looking for sunburst tomaote seeds... for an older neighbor that can not get online.. can anyone help... he mentioned china??? Please help ..

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 9:05PM
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blueflax_23325(z8 VA)

Using Google, enter Reimer Seeds. They have packages of Sunburst seeds.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Personally, I prefer the great taste of the famous Hanover tomato. Not only does the plant produce large; beffy tomato's, but puts out a lot of tomato's. I ferment the seeds myself every year for the next years planting season. Have local buyers that request a number of plants each year from me, and I sell the seeds to others as well. The key to producing good seeds is the fermentation process. Would be happy to explain the process to you if you wish.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:29AM
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Hmmm.... JohnsFarm247,I was raised in Hanover County, VA, and never knew that there was a specific variety called "Hanover." If you have more information on the variety, I would be interested in hearing it.

As an interesting story, one year my Dad & I bought seedlings from the same grower. He planted his in the Hanover sand near Mechanicsville and I planted mine in the clay of Chesterfield. Both of us fertilized and otherwise treated the tomatoes the same. His were delicious and mine were just okay.

It's anecdotal evidence to be sure, but I really believe that the soil tomatoes are grown in makes a huge difference in the taste. I've been very tempted to order a dump truck load of Hanover sandy soil to be delivered to my place just to grow tomatoes! ;-)


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:26AM
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