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The Best Fall Tomato Plants

By D.C. Winston ; Updated September 21, 2017

The best tomato plants for fall harvest are those that are considered to be main harvest or late harvest cultivars. Main and late harvest tomatoes are those that take between roughly 70 and 81 days to ripen for harvest from the time of planting. You can choose your tomatoes for fall harvest based on a particular attribute such as size, say a cherry or beef steak tomato, or days to harvest if there are a few days when you plan to preserve your harvest for later use. Alternatively, you can plant a few different varieties to give diversity and stagger the harvest dates slightly through the fall.

Cherry Tomatoes

Ideal for salads and snacking cherry tomatoes tend to produce abundant harvests of 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch fruits. These plants are so productive that bunches of tomatoes can be cut away from the vine much like grapes without any significant set back to the plant. Some cherry tomato cultivars to try include: Super Sweet 100 that require 70 days until harvest, Sweet Million that require 65 days until harvest, Yellow Pear that require 70 days until harvest, Large Red Cherry that require 70 days before harvest, and Mountain Belle that take 65 days to be ready for harvest.

Large Slicing Tomatoes

These are the tomatoes that come to mind when you think of a big slab of tomato on your favorite hamburger. They require the longest period to develop, and though not always perfect and blemish free, they are commonly heavy for their weight and juicy. A couple large or extra-large cultivars to try are Supersteak which take 80 days until harvest and Beefmaster which take 81 days until harvest.

Mid-Sized Tomatoes

The bulk of garden tomatoes are considered to be mid-sized and mature during the main crop season from late summer through fall. They tend to be heavy producing plants and can be stretched over trellising, stakes or tutuers to increase sunlight penetration therefore fruit harvest. Some popular main season tomato cultivars to consider planting include: Celebrity or Fantastic, which both take 70 days until harvest; Better Boy, which takes 72 days until harvest; Mountain Pride that takes 74 days; Floramerica that takes 75 days; Burpee's Big Girl, which takes 78 days; and Supersonic, which need 79 days to be harvest ready.