Easiest Tomatoes to Grow: 7 Foolproof Varieties

Feel daunted at the prospect of growing your own tomatoes? Start with one of these beginner-friendly – and exceedingly delicious – varieties.

Harvesting home-grown tomatoes off the vine, into a basket
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Tomatoes are one of the more popular crops grown for good reason. They reign supreme in a variety of cuisines, can be eaten fresh or cooked, and are rich in antioxidants.

Learning how to grow tomatoes is not as easy as some vegetables, but they are well worth the effort. There is nothing quite like eating tomatoes fresh off the vine.

However, with over 10,000 tomato varieties on offer, picking the best tomato to grow in your home garden can be quite a conundrum, especially for beginners.

Get things off to the best possible start by choosing from our top picks of the easiest tomatoes to grow.

Types Of Tomatoes

Before choosing a specific variety, ensure you select a tomato type that is compatible with your garden and lifestyle. There are three main types:

  • Determinate tomatoes are compact, bush-types that produce fruit all at the same time. This glut of produce makes them ideal if you are interested in canning tomatoes.
  • Indeterminate tomatoes have a vining habit that can reach 10-12 feet (3-3.5 m). Fruit ripens at varying intervals, which means plants yield fruit over a longer period than determinate varieties, which come in all at once.
  • Dwarf tomato plants have a growth habit similar to determinate varieties but the plant and fruit are smaller in scale and appear as indeterminate. This type of tomato plant is increasingly popular for those growing vegetables in small spaces.

1. Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes on vine

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Ask any tomato gardener what the easiest tomato to grow is, and they will say cherry tomatoes. They are also often the most sweet and delicious.

Cherry tomatoes mature rapidly – within 50-60 days from planting – are low maintenance, require little space, and yield profusely.

There are many varieties to choose from. The hybrids tend to be more disease-resistant varieties than heirloom tomatoes such as ‘Gardener’s Delight’. You can even grow cherry tomatoes like ‘Tumbling Tom’ or 'Whippersnapper' in hanging baskets.

2. 'Early Girl'

Early Girl tomatoes growing on vine

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An oldie but goodie, ‘Early Girl’ has been around for quite a while with good reason. This indeterminate, slicing tomato matures in just 54 days from planting – avoiding the peak of the tomato pest season.

It is a traditional red slicer with good size and excellent disease resistance. You really can’t go wrong with ‘Early Girl’.

The only downside (if you can call it that), is that it can be a heavy cropper, making staking tomatoes essential.

3. Roma

Roma tomatoes ripening on vine

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Of the paste and plum tomatoes, Roma is probably the best known because it is a tried and true, disease-resistant variety.

While Romas are at their best when used for sauce making, they can also be enjoyed fresh, and are suitable for drying tomatoes.

This determinate tomato bears medium-sized fruit in 75 days. Plants will need staking once they have reached one foot tall.

4. ‘Black Krim’

Black Krim tomatoes growing on vine

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If you’re looking to get off the beaten path and try something unique, ‘Black Krim’ bears a large, deep red tomato on an indeterminate plant that is ready for harvest in 70 days.

This unique heirloom tomato has a sublime sweet, smoky flavor to the fruit that is delicious in salsas or sauces used on fish, pork, beef, or chicken – especially when you throw a little heat at it with some habanero or even the milder hatch chile.

'Black Krim' tomatoes will require staking and light fertilizing.

5. 'Celebrity’

Celebrity tomatoes on vine

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‘Celebrity’ tomatoes are wonderfully adaptive: resistant to most diseases, tolerant of various environments, resistant to cracking and splitting, and can survive even when you forget to water them.

That said, ‘Celebrity’ is not a good option for those with a short growing season, and it does get quite large: about 10 feet (3m). The medium-sized fruit matures within 70-75 days.

6. ‘Brandywine’

Brandywine tomatoes ripening on vine

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Brandywine’ tomatoes are large, slicing tomatoes. This beefsteak type of tomato comes in a variety of hues from pink, red, black, to yellow.

With a firm texture and sweet, crisp flavor, this is the tomato you go to for a loaded burger or BLT.

The leaves on a ‘Brandywine’ are distinctive looking, without the tell-tale notching of most tomato plants.

This heirloom is an indeterminate type of tomato that matures in about 90 days from setting plants.

7. ‘Green Zebra’

Green Zebra tomatoes growing on vine

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To mix things up a bit, try ‘Green Zebra’, a wonderful green-striped tomato that matures in 78 days.

Streaked in green and yellow stripes, sometimes with a reddish blush, ‘Green Zebra’ is an open-pollinated, indeterminate vining tomato.

There is some controversy over whether ‘Green Zebra’ deserves the moniker of “heirloom” but either way, this is one green tomato that doesn’t need to be fried to be delicious.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.

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