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54 Luscious Tomatoes for 2024: Not an easy choice

    Tomato Table

    “Hi, my name is Gayle, and it has been 0 days since my last seed purchase. Arugula, since you asked, but it’s Tomatoes that bedevil me with their luscious charms. I have 55 varieties of tomato seeds to plant in 2024. It’s going to look like the image below, but more so. If the article is tldr, there are 2 lists of tomatoes towards the middle and bottom of the page. 🙂

    I honestly didn’t expect this to happen. After growing 21 varieties in 2023, my plan was for fewer varieties for 2024, mostly the same, but with two or three changes. The flavors of everything I had grown were great, but it turned out that the majority of my selection were late season varieties and we didn’t have any tomatoes until August.

    The tomatoes from last year were mostly already favorite varieties that I had grown for a few years. Among these were Ardwyna, Black Sea Man, Chocolate Sprinkles, Costoluto Florentino, Dark Galaxy, Jolly Elf, Mary’s Austrian, Mashenka, Matina, and Reisentraube.

    Tomato Collection

    These were all pretty satisfying and likely would have been enough, but I had been given an Etsy gift certificate by a client for Christmas. Etsy provided the gateway seeds that opened me to a world of variety in tomatoland. When I logged in to see what might be tempting, the site presented me with beautiful images of unusual tomatoes. They were irresistible and I bought a few.

    planting stakes for 54 varieties of tomatoes

    I joined some tomato growers groups online, and started asking questions about the beautiful varieties I was seeing. My intentions were small, but I had not reckoned with seed traders and their generosity. Early on, I made friends with one member, Grace, of Grace’s Garden Goods, who has taught me a great deal about tomatoes. Many of the images on this page are graciously loaned to me by her.

    I may have more varieties of seeds than I can easily grow, but I was able to diversify my crop and its timing. This year I already have some micro-dwarf tomatoes starting to fill out.. As soon as the temperature warms up, I’ll pot them up and hope for tomatoes as early as May. Some of these will bear fruit 60 days after transplant. It’s all about the temperature.

    I’ve planted several of each variety to sell from my farmstand, The Garden of Eatin’s and through Cow-Op, a local farmer’s collective, after giving away my land back tithe. Normally I keep at least 2 plants of each variety, and several of my favorites. Last year that amounted to 70 plants from my selection of 22. I’ll take some time to look into each of these varieties and make a choice later. Not sure if I am up for 150+ tomato plants in addition to all the other things being grown. These include: 3 varieties of spinach, 8 varieties of peppers, 3 of eggplant, 10 or so squash, 5 varieties of potatoes, 5 of beans, peas, 20+ herbs, asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, black currants, huckleberries, and more.

    Any and all of these vegetables and herbs will be used for preparing food for Gayle’s Greek Gourmet, my new catering venture.

    There is only one tomato from 2023 that I chose not to take into 2024. Santorini is a gorgeous tomato. When fully ripe, it is a rich pulpy red with deep lobes that slice beautifully and easily for a salad. Unfortunately, it had disease issues for me, and did not develop a good flavor in my garden. It cooked well, but didn’t have much of a flavor when fresh, although in Greece it is considered a very flavorful tomato. Grace, who grows it in Trent Hills, also gets a very tart acid flavor from these tomatoes, which I did not. My guess is that climate and soil make a huge difference in tomato flavor, as they do for so many things. Sadly, I ran out of seeds for Matina and Mashenka and the vendor did not come to Duncan’s Seedy Sunday this year..

    The tomato that excited me the most last year was not one that I had ordered. It was also not the bonus tomato that the vendor thought she had sent. It was meant to be Rebel Starfighter VT-16, a Green When Ripe tomato. Instead, it turned out to be a beautiful purple tomato with a red star and point.

    A bit of research turned up the fact that it appears to be an accidental cross and a completely new tomato. I decided to name it for Eleanor Collins, a Black Jazz singer from Vancouver. Eleanor Collins was “the first woman, the first person of colour, and the first jazz singer to headline a show on national TV.” (quote: Wikipedia)

    This tomato has the most delicate and fragrant of flesh. Cutting into one releases a floral aroma reminiscent of rose petals. It has a tough, easily peeled skin that allows the tomato to last very well. A meaty but juicy tomato with relatively few seeds and a complex taste showing stone fruit notes (peach/nectarine/plum) and a nicely balanced sweet/acid ratio. Exceptional

    Eleanor Collins
    Dark Galaxy

    In 2022, I had already fallen in love with Dark Galaxy, a beautiful tomato with deep purple shoulders shading to a vibrant crimson and scarlet bottom.

    Visually appealing and delicious, Dark Galaxy has bright red fruit inside, very meaty, lightly juicy, and crisp, with few seeds. Medium acidity and sugar, quite fruity, with deep layered, complex flavors.

    The mouthfeel is excellent and the eating experience is enjoyable with this delicious, and meaty but juicy tomato.

    These should be picked when the red is just beginning to show, and they will last a relatively long time, once picked.

    Through Etsy, I discovered Mar Azul, an equally beautiful and delicious tomato with a virtually identical appearance (except that Dark Galaxy has speckled skin).

    A truly beautiful tomato, this is a nicely balanced ow-acid slicer with a pleasing taste. Fruity and smooth without being overly sweet. They are firm but with a soft texture. Has overtones of sage, basil, and nuts,

    Side by side, they are hard to tell apart. They are similar when they are sliced and tasted, but with nuanced differences. They have similar growing habits except that Mar Azul fruits earlier and was just finishing its season when Dark Galaxy was beginning to fruit. Both produce tomatoes that are also fairly durable and last for quite a while once picked.

    Mar Azul
    Crushed Heart

    Crushed Heart is an exceptional tomato with everything going for it. Fruity, floral, umami tones with great acid balance, and meaty flesh. Crushed Heart can do anything you want. Sliced, sauce, salsa, paste, this tomato is a superhero.

    These tomatoes are enticing to look at and to touch. They have a beautiful, stunning colour and shape, with soft silky skin and a juicy vibrance that pulses like a heartbeat.

    Most Crushed Heart images online are standard oxhearts, but mine have variable heart shapes, some quite exotic, with a beautiful carmine coloring. Not sure if I can consider this shape to be an F1, but I am using only these seeds for this year’s plants,

    India Stripe was also a nice find. It’s like a larger version of Chocolate Sprinkles,both in appearance and taste. Like Dark Galaxy/Mar Azul these too seem to produce at alternating times. I nearly got two crops out of each and began early this year in hopes of making this happen this year.

    2024 tomatoes: Eye candy first, the list is below

    Thanks fo Grace’s Garden Goods for the photos in the montage above

    2024 tomato list and characteristics

    Tomato VarietyDeterminate/IndeterminateDays to Bear FruitTrellising yes or noTypeWeightHeight
    Amazing GraceIndeterminate80-90YesGlobe8-12 ozUnknown
    Amish PasteIndeterminate85-90YesPlum8-12 ozAround 6 to 8 feet
    Ananas NoireIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    ArdwynaIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Barrys Crazy CherryIndeterminate70-8070-80Cherry1-2 ozUnknown
    Black AltaiIndeterminate70-80YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Black BeautyIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozAround 6 to 8 feet
    Black KrimIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozAround 6 to 8 feet
    Black Sea ManIndeterminate70-80YesBeefsteak6-10 ozUnknown
    Blaue ZimmermanIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Blue HellIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak6-10 ozUnknown
    Bonny BestDeterminate70-75NoGlobe6-10 ozUnknown
    BrandywineIndeterminate80-100YesBeefsteak10-16 ozAround 6 to 8 feet
    Cherokee PurpleIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozAround 6 to 8 feet
    Chocolate SprinklesIndeterminate70-80YesCherry1-2 ozUnknown
    Chocolate StripedIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Costoluto FlorentinoIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Crushed HeartIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Dancing With SmurfsIndeterminate70-80YesCherry1-2 ozUnknown
    Dark GalaxyIndeterminate70-80YesCherry1-2 ozUnknown
    Emerald CitySemi Indeterminate65 daysYesMini-Beefsteak40-50cm
    First MateIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Get StuffedIndeterminate70-80YesCherry1-2 ozUnknown
    Girl Girl’s Weird ThingIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Green RipperIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Helsing Junction BluesIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    India StripeIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Indigo RoseDeterminate75-85NoPlum1-2 ozAround 6 to 12 feet
    Jolly ElfIndeterminate65YesCherry1oz or lessAround 6 to 12 feet
    Karma Purple MultifloraIndeterminate70-80YesCherry1-2 ozUnknown
    Lucid GemIndeterminate70-80YesCherry1-2 ozUnknown
    Mar AzulIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Mary’s AustrianIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    MashenkaDeterminate60-70NoPlum1-2 ozUnknown
    MatinaDeterminate60-70NoGlobe6-10 ozUnknown
    MatucanaIndeterminate80-90YesGlobe6-10 ozUnknown
    Mrs Schlaubaugh famous strawberry tomatoIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    OpalkaIndeterminate80-90YesPlum10-16 ozUnknown
    Pink Siberian TigerIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Polarispolaris80-90YesBeefsteak11-23 ozUnknown
    Principe BorgheseDeterminate70-80NoPlum1-2 ozAround 6 to 8 feet
    Purple AppleIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Red Viper DwarfDeterminate55-65NoCherry1-2 ozAround 6 to 12 feet
    ReisentraubeIndeterminate70-80YesCherry1-2 ozUnknown
    Rosso SicilianIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    San Marzano Lampadina IIDeterminate70-75NoPlum6-10 ozUnknown
    Sasha’s AltaiIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Sergeant PeppersIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Siegels Dark StripesIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    SokoladesIndeterminate70-80YesCherry1-2 ozUnknown
    SoleilDeterminate60-70NoGlobe6-10 ozUnknown
    Super Italian PasteIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    TaigaIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Tartufo Micro DwarfDeterminate55-65NoCherry1-2 ozUnknown
    Varigated DragonIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    Vivian and Leona’sIndeterminate80-90YesBeefsteak10-16 ozUnknown
    More below

    Tomatoes Review: 21 varieties for 2023


    This year (2023) I began with 19 types of seeds, both those I purchased and gifts from seed collecting friends. Along the way I also bought two plants of favourite varieties from last year, the saved seeds of which had been lost.

    If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you know that 2022 was a bizarre growing season. Very little rain in the spring, but constant downpour in June.  it was cold right through to the second week of July. Seedlings struggled to grow in the spring and plants were still spindly right up to July.

    When it finally became warm, they grew with a vengeance. It was still mid-September though before there was a ripe full-sized tomato, and only a few cherries as well.

    They were red, black, gold, or striped, depending on the variety. Nevertheless, we picked nearly 4 bushels, with 200lbs of 3oz weighed picked tomatoes. Possibly we missed about 2-3lbs, but not likely more than that..It’s sort of a lot, but we had over 40 full sized plants going, plus 20 miniatures.

    Mixed tray of tomatoes, Black Krim, Dark Galaxy, Indigo Rose, Matina, Aedwyna, Costoluto Florentino, Mary's Austrian, and more
    A collection of sauce tomatoes

    Although late, it was a large crop, so we picked as they were beginning to colour up rather than wait until they were fully ripe. They were red, black, gold, or striped, depending on the variety. I grew several dark and black tomatoes: Black Krim, Chocolate Striped, Dark Galaxy, Indigo Rose, Paul Robeson, and Purple Ukrainian, A few were standout favourites.

    Dark Galaxy is surprisingly tasty. When you cut into it, the salmon orange centre contrasts beautifully with the deep eggplant purple exterior.  It isn’t very prolific, so it’s not really a market garden candidate for me, except as a special item in a large basket perhaps.

    I liked all but one of the tomatoes from 2022. Golden Nugget however, was a bomb,.Despite that it was incredibly prolific for a cherry tomato, Golden Nugget is totally forgettable. There were at least 10lbs on each of two plants, but they were flavourless and so low to the ground that picking them was like trying to milk a corgi. I won’t grow them again.

    Dark Galaxy, Indigo Rose

    Waiting for the final bushel to ripen so they can be canned and made into ketchup, tomato sauce, dried tomatoes, and salsa. There are already several litres of roasted tomato sauce in the freezer, and a jar of dried cherry tomatoes.

    Frost finally arrived and the plants are fully done. Will be taking them down today to get ready for the winter…and next season!

    (Note) Tomatoes continued to ripen through December, and the last were finally cooked in mid-January.

    Ripening green tomatoes of many varieties

    In addition to the 18 listed below, I also bought starts of Sasha’s Altai, and Oaxacan Jewel, two favourites from last year. Oaxacan Jewel is a juicy large beefsteak, and Sasha’s Altai is a uniformly shaped tomato that mostly (at least for me) has 4 lobes, and tastes sweet like persimmon when very ripe.

    A list of all of the tomatoes with photographs follows the articles and recipes below:

    New Arrivals!

    Some new tomatoes for 2023: Sgt Peppers Tomato Seeds, Mar Azul Sanish Heirloom Tomato, Crushed Heart. India Stripe

    Edit January 19, 2023: I’m currently waiting for some NEW seeds because I was given an Etsy gift subcription and I’m ever so slightly tomato obsessed.

    On order are Sgt Peppers Tomato Seeds, Mar Azul Sanish Heirloom Tomato, Crushed Heart. and India Stripe . I made these late purchases after a friend gave me an Etsy gift certificate for Christmas. These tomatoes were spendy, but well worth it.

    NameTypePlant habitDescriptionSourceDays
    ArdwynaRed pasteIndeterminateGreat multi-lobed heavyFull Circle Seeds75
    Black KrimRed to brown, smokey flavourIndeterminateMakes a great tomato sandwichWest Coast Seeds70
    Black Sea ManOlive to brown/pinkDeterminate / SmallBig dark   tomatoes, nice flavourGigi75
    BrandywineLarge pink fruit and plantIndeterminateGreat for sandwiches, large meatySaanich Organics80
    Chocolate SprinklesCherry / ProlificIndeterminatePretty to look at, olive to dark red, sweet/acidGigi70
    Chocolate StripedBeefsteakIndeterminatePretty with a good flavourFull Circle Seeds80
    Costoluto FlorentinoLarge flat ribbed fruitIndeterminateBeautiful, perfect soup tomatoBaker Creek75-80
    Dark GalaxySpeckledIndeterminateDeep purple top, bright crimson bottom, red flesh. Delicate skin and sweet flavourGigi90
    Gold Nugget SmallNot my favourite. Tasteless and hard to pick. Won’t be growing these againGigi60
    Indigo RoseBlack CherryIndeterminateDeep purple top, shading to red. Delicate, easily bruised skin and sweet fleshGigi90
    Jolly ElfCherryIndeterminateOblong fruit, bright vermillion, sweet like fruitSaved65
    JulietCherry PlumIndeterminateSweet small cherriesSaved60-70
    Mary’s AustrianPasteIndeterminateOne of my favourites, a meaty large plum tomatoSaved70
    MashenkaBeefsteakIndeterminateHave not had one slicedSweet Rock75
    MatinaMidsized redIndeterminateHave not had one slicedFull Circle Seeds58
    Paul Robeson BlackBeefsteakIndeterminateLarge dark fruit with a good flavourFull Circle Seeds90
    Purple UkrainianPasteIndeterminatePretty and lGigi80
    Riesentraube1″ grapes earlyIndeterminateSimilar to the Jolly elf, there were not a lot of these this year.Sweet Rock80
    Rosy Finch8″ – 10″ plantsMicroA very small plantGigi55

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