What is the “Best” Tomato to Plant?
One of the most frequently asked questions on the Master Gardener Hotline is, “What is the BEST tomato to plant?” To a non-gardener, it may seem like a reasonable, straight-forward question. To a tomato-loving gardener; however, it is extremely difficult! There are so many nuances to tomato growing, that there are room for multiple answers to the question.
Usually, what people really mean to ask is “What is the easiest, most successful tomato variety?” The answer we usually give is that Jetstar is an old favorite that does well, and Celebrity is a good basic, all-around tomato. Juliet or Sweet 100s are good cherry/grape type tomatoes. (I really don’t “get” the whole purpose behind the differentiation of cherry tomatoes vs. grape tomatoes, but that is a completely different issue!)
There are many other tomatoes that do well here, which is why we have the Recommended Tomato Varieties for Kansas 2009 (pdf). The reality is that many tomatoes do well in many areas, but that in a given year (with whatever the weather is) and different gardens with different gardeners, the results can be drastically different. Part of gardening is finding what works best in your garden!
So what do you grow, tomato-wise?