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Grow a Rainbow of Tomatoes

When growing tomatoes in your organic garden, you probably envision swathes of red. However, tomatoes were not always red. The earliest varieties were yellow and orange.

So whether you say to-may-to or to-mah-to, we’re here to help you choose the perfect non-red tomato variety for you.

Best Non-Red Tomatoes to Grow

You can grow tomatoes in nearly every color of the rainbow.

Yellow Pear Tomato

Yellow Pear Tomato

Yellow Tomatoes

  • Golden Nugget – These sweet tasting tomatoes love cool weather and can withstand the heat. Looking more like tangerines than tomatoes, Golden Nuggets ripen early and produce lots of fruit.
  • Yellow Pear – Tangy, beautiful and tiny, Yellow Pear tomatoes look charming in salads or as snacks. A favorite of chefs, these dynamic tomatoes love to sprawl, so contain them with a cage or stake.
  • Wapsipinicon Peach – Bright in color and flavor, these tiny, fuzzy yellow tomatoes make the perfect snack. Named for the Wapsipinicon River in Northeast Iowa around 1890, Wapsipinicon Peach tomatoes are resistant to rot and field blight. Plus, they are quite prolific!
Yellow sun gold tomato

Sungold Tomatoes

Orange Tomatoes

  • Sungold – This treat of a tomato is one of the garden’s sweetest. Their bright tangerine-orange color adds a ray of sun to the garden. Plants produce a ton of fruit throughout the entire season. And with their tendency to crack, you won’t find these beauties at any grocery store.
  • Striped German – This sizzling red and orange tomato looks like a work of art. Slice it open, and you’ll be delighted by its intricate texture and pattern. Also called “Old German,” this sunny tomato produces huge beefsteak tomatoes. It does need constant, proper care to thrive.

 

Green zebra tomato

Green Tomatoes

  • Green Zebra – The result of several heirloom tomatoes bred together, these tomatoes can handle rough growing conditions and resist cracking. They have a mellow, sweetish-tart taste with a relatively firm texture. But they are susceptible to blossom-end rot.
Great White Tomato

Great White Tomato

White Tomatoes

  • Great White – The best white tomato out there, the Great White produces 1-2 pound tomatoes in a unexpected color with few seeds. It tastes mild and sweet with lots of juice and a meaty, creamy texture. Plus, it’s drought and crack resistant, so it thrives in hot climates.

Go forth, and grow! When you’re organic gardening, be sure to feed tomatoes lots of Tomato-tone during the growing season.  

And if you’re looking for more info on tomatoes, such as growing heirloom tomatoeshybrid tomatoes or growing tomatoes for beginners, please visit our Organic Tomato Gardening Guide:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Questions to Ask Before Growing Tomatoes

Know Your Tomatoes: To find just the right tomato for you, answer these five questions before deciding what tomato varieties to grow.

tomato-tone, growing tomatoes, organic gardening

1. How important is disease resistance? Modern, or hybrid, tomatoes are bred to resist diseases. Heirloom tomatoes, on the other hand, are mostly untouched, and can be more susceptible to diseases.

On the plant tag or seed packet, check the letters after the variety name to see how what diseases and pests they can be resistant to. Look for the V and F since they’re the two most common tomato diseases.

Here are the most common tomato codes to look for in order to protect your plants:

  • V = Verticillium Wilt
  • F = Fusarium Wilt
  • N = Nematodes
  • T = Tobacco Mosaic Virus
  • A = Alternaria

2. Determinate or indeterminate? Do you want your tomatoes to ripen all at once or all season?

Determinate tomatoes (DET), or bush tomatoes, ripen all at once. Within a week or two, you’ll have one, huge crop of tomatoes. Then, they’re done!

Indeterminate tomatoes (IND), or vine tomatoes, produce tomatoes all season until the first frost.

tomato-tone, growing tomatoes, organic gardening

3. How long is the time to maturity? This number lets you know how long before your tomato seedlings produce their first crop. Some tomatoes mature in 50 days while others take 90 days. Consider how long your growing season is – and when you’d like to bite into that first, homegrown tomato.

4. What flavor and texture do you prefer? The most fun question to answer! Choose acidic or sweet, mealy or meaty and firm or soft skin. Many varieties even list the best uses – sauces, salsa, salads or snacks.

And always remember, feed tomatoes lots of Tomato-tone during the growing season.

5. What’s the difference between heirloom and hybrid tomatoes?

Heirloom tomatoes come from seeds that have been handed down from farmer to farmer for generations for their special characteristics and varieties must be 50 years old at least. Because of this, heirloom tomatoes have minimal disease resistance. Popular varieties include Black Cherry, Brandywine and Cherokee Purple.

Hybrid tomatoes, sometimes called modern tomatoes, are bred from two different varieties to get the best traits from each parent. Traits can include disease resistance or thick skin. Seeds from hybrid tomato plants are essentially sterile since they’ll never be as strong as the parents. Popular varieties include Roma, Early Girl and Beefsteak.

Grow both hybrids and heirlooms to find out which ones you like eating best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Easiest Tomatoes to Grow

Depending on what you’re making and where you live, some tomatoes really are better! With more than 7,500 varieties, you have to know exactly what you’re looking for.

So whether you say to-may-to or to-mah-to, we’re here to help you choose the easiest tomato variety for you.

Cherry Tomatoes ­­are the easiest tomatoes for beginners to grow. They produce crop after crop and have very few problems! Here are a few of the best.

Super sweet 100 tomatoes.

Super sweet 100 tomatoes.

Super Sweet 100

The name says it all – these are sweet and easy. Just one plant can bear more than 1,000 tomatoes. Super Sweet 100s grow in long strands or clusters of more than 100 tomatoes. You’ll have thousands of tomatoes that are high in Vitamin-C by the end of the season.

  • Disease Resistance: V, F and N
  • Growth Type: Indeterminate
  • Time to Maturity: 60-70 days
  • Taste and Texture: Super sweet and juicy with a firm texture
  • Light: Full sun
  • Plant Size: 8-12’
  • Spacing: 18-36” apart
  • Staking: Yes – Cage or stake

Napa Grape

This classic tomato tastes and looks just like its bigger rivals, but has a higher sugar content than any other grape tomato. Known to be one of the tastiest tomatoes out there, the Napa Grape produces sweet tomatoes that taste yummy in salads or as snacks.

  • Disease Resistance: Very disease resistant
  • Growth Type: Indeterminate
  • Time to Maturity: 65 days
  • Taste and Texture: Sugary with a firm texture
  • Light: Full sun
  • Plant Size: 4-6’
  • Spacing: 24-36” apart
  • Staking: Yes – Cage or stake

Golden Nugget

These sweet tasting tomatoes love cool weather and can withstand the heat. Looking more like tangerines than tomatoes, Golden Nuggets ripen early and produce lots of fruit.

  • Disease Resistance: V and F
  • Growth Type: Determinate
  • Time to Maturity: 55-65 days
  • Taste and Texture: Balanced, mild with a hint of sweetness and a thin skin
  • Light: Full sun
  • Plant Size: 2-3’
  • Spacing: 18-24” apart
  • Staking: No
Yellow Pear Tomato

Yellow Pear Tomato

Yellow Pear

Tangy, beautiful and tiny, Yellow Pear tomatoes look charming in salads or as snacks. A favorite of chefs, these dynamic tomatoes love to sprawl, so contain them with a cage or stake.

  • Disease Resistance: Not susceptible to blossom end, but can develop early blight
  • Growth Type: Indeterminate
  • Time to Maturity: 75-80 days
  • Taste and Texture: Tangy yet mild with a slightly firm and mealy texture
  • Light: Full sun
  • Plant Size: 6-12’
  • Spacing: 24-36” apart
  • Staking: Yes – Cage or stake

 

Sungold tomato

Sun gold tomato

Sun Gold

These orange tomatoes taste like tropical fruit and thrive in hot, sultry climates. Grown in long clusters of 10-15 tomatoes, Sun Golds produce fruit well into fall. Plus, these cherry tomatoes can be grown in containers.

  • Disease Resistance: V, F and T
  • Growth Type: Indeterminate
  • Time to Maturity: 55-65 days
  • Taste and Texture: Sweet and fruity taste with a firm, crisp texture
  • Light: Full sun
  • Plant Size: 5-10’
  • Spacing: 24-36” apart
  • Staking: Yes – Cage or stake

 

Go forth, and grow! When you’re organic gardening, be sure to feed tomatoes lots of Tomato-tone during the growing season.