5 Perfect Tomatoes. Of all the plants we grow in our garden each year – there is simply not one more valuable than the amazing tomato. For us, it is so much more than just an incredible fresh vegetable. Beyond summer’s fresh taste – the tomatoes we grow also serve as the base for so many of the canned and preserved goods that keep our family eating well the whole year round.
Yes, we love trying to grow a slew old-time and bizarre type to experience an array of flavors. But when it comes down to it, there are 5 tried and true varieties that are the backbone of our food production goals. And we would be lost without them!
With that in mind, we have dedicated today’s gardening article to those hard working varieties.
I can’t tell you how many people tell us they shy away from growing tomatoes because their kids don’t like the taste, and simply won’t eat them.
But if you ask those same people if their kids like salsa, chili, pasta sauce, or of course, the all-time kid favorite – ketchup, you almost always get a resounding YES!
Well, guess what? Those are all made with tomatoes. And making those salsas and sauces from home-grown tomatoes really does make them better. Better tasting and better for you! All with the added benefit of knowing how they were grown, and that they are free of preservatives.
With these 5 tomato varieties, you can make all of the above and more. They all grow well with basic care, produce heavy yields, and taste much better than any store-bought tomato ever could. So let’s take a look at them! For those looking for seed sources, we have included direct links at the end of each variety.
5 Perfect Tomatoes To Grow To Feed Your Family & Stock Your Pantry!
Rutgers – As far as multi-purpose goes, it is the rock star of our list of the 5 perfect tomatoes to grow! The heirloom version of this tomato is chock-full of meaty flavor. It is a perfect slicing tomato for hamburgers and sandwiches, and meaty enough to stand up to grilling. But not to be outdone, it is also wonderful for canning, or making chili, vegetable or tomato soup. Best of all – it is a HEAVY producer! Rutgers Seed Link
San Marzano – The pasta sauce tomato! This heirloom variety comes straight from Italy and produces a heavy load of thick, rich and meaty tomatoes. They will add incredible flavor to all of your dishes. The San Marzano has few seeds and rich pulp, making them perfect tomatoes for pasta sauce. It’s compact, bushy nature also lends itself well to container and patio growing. They work great for salsa and ketchup as well! San Marzano Seed Link
Valencia – This is a beautiful salad and soup tomato! This heavy producing, orange beauty has great flavor and is perfect in salads, or sliced for veggie trays. But best of all. it makes the absolute most amazing tomato soup you will ever taste! (Our Tomato Soup Recipe) It’s lower on the acid scale, so you want to freeze these soups, not can them. It also can be added to chili soup with your other tomatoes to give a great balance of flavor. Valencia Seed Link
And The Final Two…
Amish Paste – Our absolute Go-To tomato when it comes to canning salsa and sauce! This is an heirloom variety, and much like a “Roma” style tomato. Thick walled andm eaty, this is a perfect tomato for canners. In addition, they stay nice and firm when sliced , so a great choice for salads or canned diced or stewed tomatoes. Amish Paste Seed Link
Black Cherry If you love cherry tomatoes – you will really love these! They are the ultimate cherry tomato! Black Cherry tomatoes have a super-sweet, rich flavor that can’t even be compared to those bright red cherry tomatoes you find in plastic boxes at the grocery store. They keep on growing and producing til frost – so be prepared to have plenty on hand! Wonderful for salads, salsa, or eating straight from the garden. Prolific producer! Black Cherry Seed Link
There you have it – our top 5 go-to all-purpose perfect tomatoes to grow! So how about trying your hand this year at some home-made salsa? Who knows, once those kids start tasting that goodness, maybe they might even start liking tomatoes all by themselves! 🙂 For more info on growing tomatoes – see How To Grow Great Tomatoes
Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary! This post may contain affiliate links.