The Best Type of Tomatoes to Plant

Choosing the best types of tomatoes to plant is a bit of a give-or-take proposition. The largest and juiciest tomatoes, such as Delicious, take longer to mature than smaller varieties and are prone to scarring. Tomatoes that ripen early, on the other hand, may not be nearly as large, or as sweet, as those that ripen later in the season. But several types of tomatoes emerge as overall best choices due to their flavor, consistency and ease of growing.

Burpee's Big Girl

Burpee's Big Girl is a "main-crop" red tomato, which means it's quite easy to find and simple to grow. It bears medium to large fruit and has lots of foliage. Burpee's Big Girl takes a little longer to mature than most other main-crop reds (78 days as opposed to 70), but its fruit is both tasty and attractive--and more resistant to cracking than other main-crop reds.

Sweet 100s

Sweet 100s are cherry tomatoes, small, round fruits typically used in salads. They are known for their exceptional sweetness and flavor and are best left on the vine until they reach a bright red color.

Quick Pick

Quick Pick is among the early reds, which require fewer than 60 days to mature. They are best planted in the spring so that the fruit is ready for harvest before the peak of summer--sunburning of the fruit can be a problem in particularly hot weather. Of all the early reds, Quick Pick has one of the heaviest yields, and its fruit, which on average weighs 4 ounces, is round and smooth.


Celebrity is a main-crop red, like Burpee's Big Girl. It is ready for harvest in about 70 days and is known for its bountiful yield. The fruit is sweet and even-textured, with lots of juice and flavor.


This extra-large, red tomato takes 80 days or more to mature, but the fruit can weigh up to 2 pounds. Beefsteak is a newer hybrid that tends to hold its shape better than some of the older extra-large tomatoes, such as Delicious. It also is less likely to scar.

Viva Italia

Viva Italia is a Roma, or plum, tomato, a type ideal for making sauces due to its thick skin and meaty pulp. Viva Italia is a particularly vibrant strain with a high sugar content. According to the Tony Tantillo website, it is "one of the best [Roma strains] ever developed ... as delicious eaten fresh as many other non-Roma types."

Keywords: best tomatoes to plant, choosing tomatoes, growing tomatoes

About this Author

Thomas K. Arnold is the publisher and editorial director of Home Media Magazine and a regular contributor on entertainment to "USA Today", "The Hollywood Reporter," "San Diego Magazine" and other publications. An alumnus of San Diego State University, Arnold has appeared on such TV shows as "CNN", "E! Entertainment" and "G4's Attack of the Show" to discuss home entertainment and technology issues.