Disease Resistant Tomato Varieties

Although tomatoes are generally easy to grow, they can become the victims of numerous plant diseases. From tobacco mosaic virus to powdery mildew, tomato plants can suffer and sometimes die if they catch a disease. Modern botanical science has introduced disease-resistant hybrid varieties of many plants, including tomatoes. Cornell University’s “Vegetable MD Online” lists many tomato types and their resistance to 34 diseases. Tomatoes listed here are resistant to more diseases than many other types.

Beefmaster

The Beefmaster tomato is resistant to seven tomato diseases, including Fusarium wilt and Verticillium wilt, both common diseases of tomatoes. The Beefmaster is one of the large Beefsteak types of tomatoes. It produces a large harvest of meaty 2-lb. fruits that are good for salads and sandwiches, according to Reimer Seeds’ website. It grows on indeterminate vines so the plants can become quite large. With large varieties like the Beefmaster, you can ensure larger fruit if you pinch off all but one or two tomatoes from each branch.

Celebrity F1

This hybrid tomato is resistant to eight tomato diseases. Celebrity produces 8-oz. tomatoes on compact, determinate vines. The Park Seeds website claims that this tomato’s disease resistance is so great that “you can put away the sprays and soaps for good.” Harvest begins about 70 days after planting young plants in spring.

Cupid F1

This hybrid tomato is resistant to eight diseases. Cupid F1 is a grape-type tomato-- the plant has 1-inch long tomatoes that grows on indeterminate vines. The Park Seeds website claims this is the best grape tomato and that you will “fall in love” with the flavor. Not only is it resistant to Fusarium Race 1, Alternaria Stem Canker, Stemphylium and other diseases, but it also resists cracking and produces a “huge” harvest.

Goliath

The Goliath tomato is resistant to six diseases. The Reimer Seeds website claims this variety is “one of the best early giant tomato varieties on the market.” Producing large harvests of fruit that weigh from 1 to 3 lbs., this heirloom red tomato has better disease resistance than the similar variety called the Whopper Improved. The indeterminate vines make this plant large, so be sure to provide stakes or a tomato cage to keep the heavy fruits off the ground.

Keywords: tomato varieties, plant diseases, resistance virus fungal

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.