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The Best Heirloom Tomato Varieties To Grow For Flavor, Canning & More!

Hit the play button below to listen to this weeks episode : The Best Heirloom Tomato Varieties To Grow In Your Garden. Below you will also find our show notes along with references and links from the article. Be sure to check out all of our past episodes on the website at SIMPLE LIFE GARDEN EPISODES


The Best Heirloom Tomato Varieties To Grow In Your Garden

heirloom tomatoes


What Are Heirloom Tomatoes :

  • Open Pollinated
  • Taste and Flavor
  • Passed down seeds for generations
  • Determinate vs. Indeterminate

Finding The Right Variety

  • Canning / Fresh Eating / Salsa & Sauce
  • How you will be growing – Garden, Raised Beds, Buckets & Containers
The Tomato April Fools Joke Story

Best Heirlooms To Grow

San Marzano Tomato

  • Ultimate paste tomato
  • Big yields
  • Meaty flesh, little seed core
  • Indeterminate – keeps on producing


  • Large, meaty tomatoes
  • Great canning tomato
  • great for slicing, presentation on plates
  • Indeterminate – keeps on producing

Mortgage Lifter

Charlie from West Virginia – sold seeds to pay his mortgage

  • Massive Tomatoes – 3 to 4 lb tomatoes
  • Great canning tomato
  • Great for slicing, presentation on plates
  • Indeterminate – keeps on producing

Aunt Ruby’s German Green Tomato

Talk about a bit out of the normal when it comes to tomatoes, this variety ripens green!

Aunt Ruby’s is an heirloom tomato variety that hails from Germany. The seeds were carried to the United States by a family living in Tennessee. And yes, you guessed it, Aunt Ruby was part of that family!

The plant produces large half-pound to one pound fruits that are excellent for slicing. Considered a beefsteak variety, what sets it apart is that it matures as as green tomato, and not the usual red.

So how do you know when it’s ripe? Beyond getting to the proper size, Aunt Ruby’s can be harvested when the fruit softens and the tomato turns a slightly yellowish shade of green. It is certainly an eye-opener when growing in the garden

  • Large, meaty tomatoes
  • great for slicing, presentation on plates
  • indeterminate – keeps on producing

Chocolate Stripes Heirloom

Plants produce thick, dense 3 to 5″ inch fruits that ooze with deliciousness.

Not just great for topping sandwiches, but also for using in salads, or simply for slicing and eating. The rich, meaty flavor is one-of-a kind. In fact, so much so that it has won several national “best tasting tomato” contests.

But what really makes this tomato unique is the beauty of its flesh. With olive / brown stripes and a deep, dark red skin, it is simply beautiful to behold

Tiger Blush

One of our favorites – in between a cherry and a full sized tomato

  • Delicious sweet, almost peach like flavor
  • big yields / hundreds on the plant!
  • perfect for salads or even juicing
  • indeterminate – keeps on producing

Costoluto Genovese

With roots from Italy, the Costoluto Genovese is a tomato with a past in the United States since the early 1800’s.

In fact, it was one of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite tomatoes to grow.

The tomato is unique for sure. It has deep red ridges that form a near pumpkin-type shape.

Kellogg’s Breakfast Tomato

  • Low acid – not good for canning
  • Delicious yellow / orange flesh
  • Perfect for fresh eating & slicing
  • incredible for homemade tomato soup!

Black Krim

Originating from Russia, the outer skin becomes near black as the tomato ripens. The flesh is firm, meaty, and full of rich flavor. This is one plant that will require support for sure. It can grow upwards of 5 to 6′ as it continues to produce tomatoes.

We used to grow Cherokee Purple as an alternative, but we seem to have much less issues with the Black Krim

Black Cherry Tomato

Black Cherry Tomatoes have a super-sweet rich flavor. Quite simply, they can’t be compared to the bland red cherry tomatoes you find at the grocery store.

As for production they grow and produce til frost. So whatever you do, be prepared to have plenty on hand.

  • Delicious sweet, almost peach like flavor
  • Even better, massive yields
  • Not only perfect for fresh eating, but salads and juicing
  • indeterminate – keeps on producing

Wrap Up – Conclusion

Charlotte Dusyk

Wednesday 28th of April 2021

This is the first podcast if yours I've listened to and it was great! I garden in Regina, Saskatchewan in Canada and I'm hoping I'll be able to find some of these varieties to try this year.

I'm going to search out some of your other podcasts to listen to.