Like corn, the difference in taste between homegrown tomatoes and those purchased at the grocery store is significant. Tomatoes come in two types--determinate and indeterminate. Determinate varieties are hybrid, disease-resistant plants that produce a predetermined number of tomatoes and then slowly halt production. Indeterminate tomatoes are robust, sprawling vines that need a strong support system. These enthusiastic growers keep producing until the first frost kills them. Hundreds of varieties exist, including cherry, roma, beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes.
Brandywine is an old-time favorite. An heirloom tomato, brandywine produces large, sweet cooking tomatoes, perfect for making sauces and salsas, as well as for fresh eating. Brandywine is not disease-resistant, so avoid this variety if you live in a wet, humid climate, prone to tomato diseases.
Early Girl V
Early Girl V is verticillium resistant and produces earlier than most tomatoes. Grow this tomato if you live in an area with early frosts--or if you're impatient. Early Girl V produces medium sized tomatoes suitable for fresh eating or cooking.
Tigrella produce small red fruit with orange or yellow stripes. This tomato is an early producer and the fruit is exceptionally sweet. Use tigrella in salads. Slice it and serve with fresh mozzarella, basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Lemon boy is a medium-sized yellow tomato with a sweet, fruity taste. This hybrid tomato is disease resistant and produces fruit mid-season. Use lemon boy fresh in salads or salsas.
Sweet million is a disease resistant cherry tomato that produces prolifically from mid-summer to fall. Sweet million tomatoes make a tasty, portable snack.