There are literally hundreds of varieties of tomato plants. The two main types of tomatoes are:
Determinate: A bush that grow between 2 and 3 feet tall. The buds at the end of the branches all form flowers instead of leaves. These flower all at the same time, grow and ripen the fruit, and then die.
Indeterminate: Vines that need to be caged or staked for support. These continue to grow until frost kills them. They grow flowers on lateral shoots off of the main stems, and produce more fruit over a longer period of time.
Cherry Tomatoes: These are small (usually less than an inch in diameter) and grow in large clumps. If you’ve opted for container gardening, these are the best type to grow. They have good resistance to disease and are more tolerant to drought and poor soil conditions. Some types of cherry tomatoes are:
- Sweet 100
- Sunrise Bumble Bee
- Black Cherry
Beefsteak Tomatoes: This type of tomato is large and heavy. The thick, meaty fruit is typically used on sandwiches. They require a longer growing season and higher temperatures. Types of beefsteak tomatoes:
- Big Beef
- Brandywine Pink
- Caspian Pink
- Cherokee Purple
- Mortgage Lifter
- Black Krim
Salad Tomatoes: The fruit of this particular type of tomato grows to be between 2 and 3 inches in diameter. They are perfect for chopping and slicing and are typically used in salads or on sandwiches. Salad tomatoes are juicier and have more tart to them. They are also great for making a quick tomato sauce. Some of the favorite types of salad tomatoes are:
- Black Zebra
- Green Zebra
- Sweet Clusters
- Early Girl
Roma Tomatoes: These are Italian plum tomatoes with low moisture content, sweet and firm flesh, and few seeds. They are perfect for making tomato sauce because they thicken naturally as they are cooking and need less time to cook off extra moisture. They are also used for drying purposes and as pizza toppings. The two main types of Roma tomatoes are Big Mama and San Marzano.