Your perfect tomato

Homegrown tomatoes are one of the great joys of summer. You've peppered us with questions―here's how to get your most luscious crop ever

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    Our favorite tomatoes

    Trying to decide what to grow this season? Let us help! Here are our favorite cherries, slicers, clusters, and paste tomatoes

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REGIONAL FAVORITES

We talked to tomato growers around the West to narrow down the best varieties. 'Sun Gold' cherry and 'Early Girl' slicer are two that were top picks for flavor and ease of growing in every region. And while the following lists are by no means exhaustive, they represent the tastiest varieties that are proven performers in the five regions of the West that Sunset covers.

NORTHWEST

Cherries:
'Gardener's Delight'
'Green Grape'
'Juliet'
'Sweet Million'

Slicers:
'Big Beef'
'Cabernet'
'Momotaro'
'Persimmon'

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Cherries:
'Black Cherry'
'Green Grape'
'Snow White'
'SunSugar'
'Sweet 100'

Slicers:
'Ace'
'Better Boy'
'Green Zebra'
'Jaune Flamm?'
'Kellogg's Breakfast'

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Cherries:
'Black Plum'
'Dr. Carolyn'
'Green Grape'
'Isis Candy'
'SunSugar'

Slicers:
'Carbon'
'Carmello'
'Green Zebra'
'Julia Child'
'Lemon Boy'

SOUTHWEST

Cherries:
'Red Cherry'
'Small Fry'
'Sugary'

Slicers:
'Celebrity'
'Heatwave'
'Roma' (paste)

MOUNTAIN

Cherries:
'Grape'
'Jolly'
'Sweet 100'
'Sweet William'

Slicers:
'Ace'
'Better Boy'
'Big Beef'
'Fantastic'
'Mountain Pride'

HOT TIPS FROM AN HEIRLOOM EXPERT

Below are several heirlooms recommended by Gary Ibsen, tomato book author and founder of the Carmel TomatoFest in Carmel Valley, California.

Best determinate tomatoes for containers

'Belii Naliv': red
'Bush Beefsteak': red
'Fargo': yellow pear
'Principe Borghese': red
'Roughwood Golden Plum' (semi-determinate): orange

Best indeterminate tomato for containers

'Amish Red'

Best-tasting cherry tomatoes

'Black Cherry': purple
'Blondkopfchen': yellow
'Camp Joy': red
'Dr. Carolyn': cream yellow
'Grandpa's Minnesota': red
'Hawaiian Currant': red
'Isis Candy': yellow with red

Great varieties for desert gardens

'Costoluto Genovese': red
'Indian Moon': yellow-orange
'Marvel Stripe': bicolored yellow and red
'Mexico': red
'Pantano Romanesco': red
'Super Sioux': red
'Texas Star': yellow

Next: More warm-season crops
 

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