Tomato Varieties for Next Season

Thoughts on Tomato Varieties for Next Season

With space at a premium, which varieties will you be growing next season and which ones will you not be growing?

It’s good to take note of the ones that have done well and remember to forget those that have been a waste of space!

Large Varieties

For many gardeners, growing large varieties is often disappointing, with only a few tomatoes on each plant – so cutting back on these could give more room for varieties that do better.

Cherry Varieties

Many cherry tomatoes produce an amazing crop, unless the summer has been particularly poor, so taste may be a guide as to which cherry variety you might grow next season.

Sungold, Golden Cherry, Gardener’s Delight and Black Cherry all do consistently well in my garden.

Red Alert and Maskotka are outstanding among bush varieties. Then there are the Tumblers such as Tumbling Tom and many others too.

Heirloom & Heritage Tomatoes

I like to grow a few heirloom varieties and Beam’s Yellow Pear has always performed very well. It’s fleshy with good keeping qualities and its shape alone makes it a good addition to the list.

Tomato Varieties for Next Season

Inside or Outside

Sometimes varieties growing outdoors can do better than those growing inside a greenhouse or polytunnel!

While some varieties need to be pampered under cover, others enjoy more light, more air flow, better pollination from insects and aren’t so fussy about cooler temperatures at night.

Whenever I grow Red Alert under cover, it never gives me the yield or taste that I get when I grow it outside!

Getting to know a variety well, and its peculiarities, takes several seasons, but is well worth the effort. It’s a good reason to take notes and experiment a little – a few changes can make a lot of difference to the results.

Lessons & Tips for Next Season

Access 24/7

There is no doubt that the way water/nutrients are delivered has a big effect on plant growth and the quality and amount of tomatoes produced.

The Auto pot system and the Quadgrow planter both allow plants to absorb water and nutrients whenever they want (24/7), keeping a healthy and well aerated root zone.


The Root Zone

Oxygen is the key here … watering valves, reservoirs, perlite, fabric pots and air pots all contribute to increased oxygen for the roots, which helps increase the health of plants, yield and quality of the fruit.

Plants grown using the Autopot and Quadgrow systems, always do better than those grown in ordinary pots with 100% soil. That’s been my experience since I started using these systems.

Seed Consistency

One issue that I regularly hear about is that fruit taste and shape often vary from season to season. It’s commonly thought that some seeds that are sourced from China may not be the traditional strains of the old varieties we have become so fond of. It would be great to have the country of origin on seed packets and the name of the seed producer!

Saving our own seed from open pollinated plants that have produced good results is one way to avoid the problem.

 If you’ve had any unusual experiences with varieties this season or would like to share anything to do with tomato growing – please comment below.

For suggestions on which varieties to grow this coming season: tomato seed choice for 2018




6 Responses

  1. John Bowtell

    My Red Alert grown in a greenhouse were tasteless until fully ripened. The Sweet Aperitif though were the best tomatoes I have ever tasted, growing loads more next year, just wish they were bigger but you can’t have everything.

    • Nick

      Hi John, I had a amazing crop two seasons ago with Sweet Aperitif and the taste is excellent, but as you say, it’s a pity the fruit aren’t a bit bigger. Suncherry Premium is also very sweet but tends to split if not pampered – a bit like a red version of Sungold.

  2. Mark

    My favourite tomato for flavour remains Summer Cider. Its a heritage beefsteak and unfortunately only gives about 2kg of tomatoes per plant but its one I’ve grown for about 10 years and hasn’t been beaten on flavour for me. One I would recommend people to try.

    • Nick

      Hi Mark, thanks for suggestion to try Summer Cider – it’s a variety that I’ve never tried but will do next season.

  3. Valerie

    This year I have grown eight varieties and apart from Black cherry and one from saved seed from a supermarket tomato there has been a lack of flavour.Monty Don commented on this in Gardeners World broadcast so I am not alone! I had thought it might be due to the use of auto pots etc but Monty said lack of sun. Both Autopots and Qhadgrows have been a great success,reducing workload and producing a very good crop of tomatoes.Late in ripening but they have got there in the end. The supermarket Tomato was similar to Piccalo.It was first to ripen,plentiful,and a marvellous flavour.I shall save seed again but don’t know it’s name.It is grape size with a slight orange colour to the fruit as it ripens.My family have been using it as a snacking tomato from the fruit bowl!

    • Nick

      Hi Valerie, good to know you are using Autopots and the Quadgrow. It’s true that a lack of sun does reduce the sweetness of the fruit and in a poor summer every variety will be affected. Poor seed also produces slightly different shaped fruit – Gardener’s Delight for example may be perfectly round or have slightly raised shoulders. If the toms taste really strange, it could be accidentally crossed with another variety.
      Picolino is very similar to Piccolo and grown for the supermarket.