Most of us would probably agree that tomatoes are one of the best vegetables to grow in a home garden, because they're so easy to grow and homegrown are so much better than any grown commercially (even Farmer's Market tomatoes aren't as good as homegrown, IMO).   Would anybody like to share which varieties they are growing, and what they like about each?

I always grow Fourth of July, because they're the best early tomato I've found.  They taste better than almost any other tomato except the other kinds I grow.  They aren't as early as advertised, but they grow without any problems.

Better Boy is an old friend, and the favorite of one of my daughters.  It has excellent flavor and the fruits usually come out perfect.

Brandy Boy is a relatively new tomato that I grow because it has the absolute best taste.   It's susceptible to blossom end rot, though, and I usually wind up with only a handful of perfect specimens.  It is also the favorite of some local animal (chipmunk, I think) which has helped itself to a large portion of my crop.

Most years I try a new variety just to see if I'm missing out on anything.  This year I grew Sugary Hybrid from Jung Seed Co.  It looks like a large grape tomato, with excellent flavor and good yields.  I was pleased with it and will grow it again unless I get a better idea.

I grow almost all of my vegetables in containers, because the areas suitable for gardening in my yard are not sunny.  I have tried a number of container-type tomatoes, and not been happy with them.  It is funny that the ones I've had the best luck with are not only not container tomatoes, they are indeterminate!  If anybody has a suggestion of a good type to try, I'm listening.

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If you think Fourth of July and Better Boy are good tomatoes, we probably don't have much in common with our gardening. I'm a pepper geek and tomato lover, though, and I love nattering away about both.

The only hybrid I grow is Amelia, and I grow that because I lost my entire tomato crop one season to Tomato Spotted Wilt virus, the Weapon of Mass Destruction favored by thrips. Now that the thrips are under better control, I'm back to growing heirlooms and open pollinated varieties.

I lost most of this past season to a puppocalypse in the seed starting room. Josephine very carefully emptied each little cup and put the empty cups on my bed. T

Anyway, tomato growing can be very regional, so let me preface this by saying I am in zone 8 in the mid-lands of South Carolina. It gets very hot and very humid here, and all sorts of tomato diseases thrive. So, what does well for me may not do well for you.

I always have a couple of Tropic plants, as it's as bullet proof a tomato as you'll find for this region. It's not as tasty as some, but I have harvested tomatoes right before the first freeze of the season in late November. I love Mortgage Lifters and Cherokee Purple, too. Both are very productive beef steak-types that produce well, and are delicious eating. Black-from-Tula is another of the black/purple-types that has excellent taste and production. KBX is an orange beef steak-type that I have come to really love in the last few years. It has wonderful, rich tomato flavor.

I have a yellow current tomato that reseeds itself in the garden every year that I love. It grows like crazy, you don't need more than one, and it has the best true tomato flavor. It's the only small/cherry-type that I usually grow. A tomato breeder at the Tomato Tasting put on by Roger's Heirlooms in Little Mountain, SC let me swipe a few seeds of one of his varieties called Sweet as Linda that I'll probably grow out this year, though.

I had planned to give several of the bi-color varieties a try this year, but, well, puppocalypse, so I'll be having another go with them this spring. Some of them are so beautiful, I hope their taste holds up as well.

If you are into containers, have you tried the earthtainers? I plan on trying a few for both tomatoes and peppers.
I grow tomatoes every year, different varieties and usually have good luck.  Last year I tried square foot gardening and one of the best producers there was German Johnson.  However,  quite by accident I discovered one I like for containers.   I do container composting.  I have a small half barrel that I do my garden composting in and it works like a charm.  Last year I had a tomato to germinate near the mid-summer in my compost container.  I let the tomato do its thing and I discovered that it was a 'cluster' tomato like you see in the supermarket.  Those are the kind I buy in the off season when I don't have fresh ripe tomatoes of my own.  I staked it in the container and harvested several ripe ones before frost. When we were expecting freezing weather, I even picked about 16 tomatoes off that were still green. I wrapped them in newspaper, put them in a box and had fresh ripe tomatoes in November!  I have saved some seed from the supermarket variety this year and will be starting them indoors.  Hopefully I will have as good a luck with these as I had last year.
I didn't like sungold either.  Still havent found a cherry I liked better than Supersweet 100.    ON the comments above, Fourth of July was my best producer this year, and Better Boy also did very well.  Mine had a lot of neglect.  Life this year was very disrupted.




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