If there’s one vegetable that stands out as the iconic symbol of home gardening, it’s the tomato.
While there are hundreds of tomato varieties out there, these nine are my tried-and-true favourites that work in my suburban backyard garden.
To me, there’s nothing more satisfying to grow than tomatoes. They’re the first crop that I ever grew myself, and every year I discover a new variety that I haven’t tried before.
Once you learn how to grow tomatoes, you'll want to grow them every year. They're a fun and colourful crop gardeners dream about all winter.
If you want to explore the vast world of tomatoes, you’re going to need to grow them from seed. Don't worry - starting tomatoes from seed is easier than you might think.
While most garden centres carry the same few standard varieties as seedlings, there are hundreds of tomato varieties that you can grow from seed!
Each type has its own shape, colour and distinct flavour that can range from sweet and tangy, to salty and rich.
(And if you’re like me, you’ll want to try them all!)
If you’re just getting started with gardening, the limitless number of options might feel a bit overwhelming. So, I thought I’d share nine varieties that I personally enjoy growing.
A note from me: I'm including a link under each tomato variety in case you would like to purchase the same seeds that I plant. You'll notice that most of my seeds are from a brand called West Coast Seeds. As a brand ambassador for this Canadian company, I generally buy most (but not all) of my seeds from them.
Please know that I only recommend products that I use and enjoy myself, and all of the photos are tomatoes that I've grown myself (except for the Red Robin, which was grown by my brother's girlfriend).
I have to start with Mountain Magic tomatoes, because they're probably the easiest and tastiest tomatoes that you can grow.
While the seeds are not cheap (at about a dollar per seed), they are absolutely worth the money in my opinon.
Mountain Magic tomatoes have a sweet deep-tomato flavour that works well served raw in salads. Note that the skin is a bit thicker on these tomatoes than other cherry varieties, but it is not unpleasant.
These Campari-type cherry tomatoes have a perfectly round shape, a beautiful bright red colour, and have been developed so they almost never crack. They are also resistant to certain diseases, like early blight and late blight.
Indeterminate. Matures in 66 days. Best grown in-ground, in raised beds or very large containers with supports.
Buy Mountain Magic seeds from West Coast Seeds (affiliate link).
Another favourite of mine is the Black Krim tomato.
This classic heirloom variety is juicier than most, and boasts a unique complex sweet and smoky flavour, with a hint of salt.
Black Krim tomatoes are delicious raw, either in a stacked tomato salad or just own their own with a touch of olive oil.
Like most heirloom varieties, these tomatoes have an interesting shape. They're brownish red in colour with a hint of green on top, and have natural disease resistance.
Indeterminate. Matures in 80 days. Best grown in-ground, in raised beds or very large containers with sturdy supports. Will need to be well-supported as the fruits are very large. Prone to cracking with inconsistent watering.
Buy Black Krim tomato seeds from West Coast Seeds (affiliate link).
If you're growing on a patio or a balcony, then Red Robin tomatoes are for you!
These compact dwarf plants grow to be only about 20-30 cm (8-12") tall, making them well-suited to small containers.
This plant delivers lots of perfectly red round cherry tomatoes, with classic sweet cherry tomato flavour. and the plant is very easy to grow and maintain.
Compact Determinate. Matures in 50-55 days. Best grown in small containers (minimum 20 cm/8 inches). Does not require pruning (although you can clean up the under canopy for air flow). Should not require staking.
Buy Red Robin tomatoes from West Coast Seeds (affiliate link).
If you like the look of tomato vines flowing over the sides of a hanging basket or a pretty container, these tomatoes are for you.
Cherry Falls sets long cascading vines of cherry tomatoes, with bright red, sweet juicy cherry tomatoes. Although they are a determinate variety, they will produce fruit all summer. Since they don't need to be staked, pinched or prune, they're an excellent option for beginners.
Determinate. Matures in 55 days. Best grown in hanging baskets or small-to-medium containers. Does not require pruning or staking (although you can clean up the under canopy for air flow).
Thornburn's Terra Cotta
These might not be the prettiest tomatoes, but they sure are delicious! I'm not even really sure how to describe the flavour to you... it's simultaneously sweet but tangy, with an earthy slightly salty flavour.
Thornburn's Terra Cotta has really interesting colour, too. The skin is a warm brown tone, but the flesh inside is pink and the seeds are green!
These can be enjoyed cooked (I like to roast them) or eaten raw.
Semi-determinate. Matures in 75 days . Cold weather affects yields. Best grown in-ground, in raised beds or large containers with sturdy supports.
Buy Thornburn's Terra Cotta tomato seeds from Rareseeds.com (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds).
These beautiful jewel-like cherry tomatoes are one of the prettiest that I've grown!
When ripe, they turn a deep scarlet colour with hints of orange, gold and a touch of bluish-purple. They also have a really cute shape!
These gorgeous tomatoes have a sweet and fruity flavour, which is distinctly different from your typical "tomato" flavour. They almost taste more like a plum than a tomato.
I enjoy these best raw as a snack, but they are tasty cooked as well.
Indeterminate. Matures in 60 days. Best grown in-ground, in raised beds or very large containers with supports.
Buy Black Strawberry tomato seeds from Rareseeds.com (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds).
If you follow gardening content creators on Instagram, you've probably seen a few photos of Brad's Atomic grape tomatoes.
(Although I can tell you, some of those have been heavily photoshopped...)
They are beautiful tomatoes though, even if their colours aren't as cosmic as people try to make them seem. They start out green, then shades of purple begin to emerge. You'll know they're ripe when you start to see orange and red tones on them.
Brad's Atomic tomatoes have a candy-sweet flavour, with hints of citrus, that makes them perfectly snack-able.
Indeterminate. Matures in 70-85 days. Best grown in-ground, in raised beds or very large containers with supports.
Buy Brad's Atomic tomato seeds from Kitchen Table Seed House.
These beautiful golden-orange tomatoes are a favourite among the gardening community.
Sungold's can be a little bit tricky, because you need to wait for them to be full ripe on the vine before harvesting them. If they're underripe, the flavour is a bit sour and it will not improve indoors.
When picked at full ripeness they are super-sweet with a unique tropical flavour that I can't quite describe. Wait for the fruits to turn a tangerine-orange colour before removing them from the vines.
Indeterminate. Matures in 65 days (longer if you're having cool weather). Best grown in-ground, in raised beds or very large containers with supports.
These heirloom tomatoes are very popular in the gardening world, and for good reason.
These plants produce large beefsteak tomatoes, and a lot of them! Some plants can produce up to 20 fruits each.
Pink Brandywine tomatoes are tart and juicy, with just enough sweetness. These are your perfect tomatoes for sandwiches, or enjoying as-is with a little salt, pepper and olive oil.
As you would expect from an heirloom variety, these tomatoes have beautiful unique shapes that you almost won't want to cut into.
Indeterminate. Matures in 90 days. Best grown in-ground, in raised beds or very large containers with very sturdy supports. The fruits are huge and heavy (about 1 lb each!).
Buy Pink Brandywine tomato seeds from West Coast Seeds (affiliate link).
Tip: All of these varieties will benefit from nutrient rich soil and additional fertilizer. I use Pro-Mix organic potting soil, Gaia Green worm castings and Gaia Green all-purpose fertilizer for all of my tomato plants.
Disclosure: I am a brand ambassador for West Coast Seeds, and will earn a small commission if you make a purchase using my affiliate links. Your purchases help to support the content on this website.