While there are hundreds of tomato varieties, they can be classified into two types based on their growth habits and how they set fruit. Determinate tomato vines grow to a predetermined height depending on the variety. Their fruit ripens within a two-week period. Indeterminate tomato vines keep growing all season. The plants carry flowers, immature tomatoes and ripe tomatoes all at the same time.
Cherry tomatoes grow to about the size of a cherry but can be as small as 1/2-inch in diameter up to an inch. The vines produce prolifically. The tomatoes are sweeter than slicing tomatoes. Chadwick Cherry ripens mid-season maturing in 80 to 90 days. Honeybunch is very sweet and ripens earlier in about 60 days. The fruits are small, only 1/2-inch but one cluster can have to up to 20 ripe fruits. Sun dry cherry tomatoes to use in pastas and salads.
Early Girl is one of the most reliable, maturing in 60 days. It has smaller fruits up to 2 inches in diameter. It's a hybrid that is disease resistance. Fourth of July ripens even earlier at 49 days with very juicy fruits.
Porterhouse is one of the larger tomatoes weighing in at 2 to 4 lbs. If you want the biggest tomatoes, thin them while they're green to only a few per vine. The plant will put all its energy into those few tomatoes. Big Rainbow is yellow blushed with red weighing up to 1 1/2 lbs. If that size tomato is too big for you try Big Boy, weighing in at 10 to 16 oz. Big Boy has a rich tomato taste and aroma. It's the perfect size for sandwiches and stuffing.
Tomatoes come in more than red. Lighter-colored tomatoes have less acid so their flavor doesn't have as much of that tomato tang. Some people prefer the milder flavor. Pink indeterminate varieties include Big Pink with fruits up to 10 oz., maturing in mid-season, and Brandywine. Red Lightning matures in 82 days. It lives up to its name with coloring that is red with jagged streaks of yellow and orange. Tye Dye is both red and yellow with streaks of orange. The color variation continues in the flesh of the tomato. Sun Gold is a cherry tomato that is golden with a less acidic taste than red cherry tomatoes.