15 of Our Favorite Tomato Seeds (The Best Hybrid and Heirloom Varieties)
Curate an all-star garden lineup with these delicious and productive tomato seeds.
It’s that time of year again–time to pore over seed catalogs and decide on what varieties of tomatoes you’re going to grow in your garden this season. Whether you’re shopping for sweet cherry tomatoes, dependable red slicers with superb disease resistance, or a unique heirloom variety we have all the suggestions you’ll need.
Types of tomato seeds
How many different kinds of tomatoes there are really depends on who you ask. There are roughly 10,000 different varieties of tomatoes in existence, and at Seeds ‘N Such we’re proud to carry over 125 of the best varieties.
Tomatoes can be broadly defined into a few categories: cherry, paste, globe, and of course, beefsteaks. Within each category, you’ll have both heirloom and hybrid varieties. Heirloom tomatoes are open-pollinated, antique varieties that have been passed down for generations. Hybrid cultivars are plants bred for specific traits, including disease resistance and productivity.
In reading about tomato seeds, you’ll also come across the words determinate and indeterminate. These terms describe how tomato vines grow. Determinate vines stop growing around three or four feet tall, while indeterminate vines will continue to grow and produce fruit until the plants are killed by frost. Check out this post for more information on how to understand the different types of tomatoes.
What are disease-resistant codes, and what do they mean?
You’ll notice that some tomato names are followed by a long string of letters that gardeners like to call a “tomato tag” or “disease resistance code.” Here’s what all those acronyms actually mean:
V - Verticillium Wilt A fungal disease resulting in rapid wilting and yellowing of leaves, followed by plant death.
F, FF, FFF - Fusarium Wilt A soilborne fungal disease characterized by browning, crisping of leaves, wilting of stems, and eventual plant death.
N - Nematodes These microscopic free-living roundworms attack plant roots, weakening the plant.
T - Tobacco Mosaic Virus A viral infection characterized by yellow streaking and spotting on leaves.
A - Alternaria Leaf Spot A fungal infection that shows up as large, dark round spots on plant leaves.
St - Gray Leaf Spot A fungal infection that manifests as small, off-white spotting on plant leaves.
Tswv - Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus A troublesome virus spread by thrips and characterized by brown, curling leaves and marbled fruit.
Tylc - Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus A virus spread by the whitefly and characterized by small, upturned leaves and stunted plant growth.
This isn’t to say that if your tomato seeds don’t have these designations, they’re doomed to fail. Some heirloom varieties have strong genetics and intermediate disease resistance, but hybrid varieties with these tags have even more resistance to these specific diseases. And many improved hybrid varieties don’t sacrifice flavor for immunity!
Best beefsteak tomatoes
These large, juicy, tomatoes are everyone’s favorite tomatoes for a reason. The vigorous vines set fruit that is typically at least six inches in diameter and weigh a pound or more, though some varieties can be even more massive. Beefsteak tomatoes have meaty flesh, so they’re perfect for slicing to serve on sandwiches and burgers.
A new and improved version of our popular classic red beefsteak. Big Beef Plus includes greater disease resistance and more productive indeterminate vines that mature in 75 days.
Our biggest and baddest tomato, but don’t be intimidated. Goliath Original has superb disease resistance, so even beginning gardeners can grow and enjoy this magnificent beefsteak tomato. Glossy red fruits reach between 10 and 15 ounces in 70 days.
A rosy beefsteak tomato and 2022 AAS Winner, Pink Delicious is soon to be your favorite slicer tomato. Pink Delicious looks and tastes like an heirloom tomato, but has the improved disease resistance of a hybrid. The 11-ounce fruits mature in 74 days.
Best globe tomatoes
Although a little smaller than beefsteaks, globe tomatoes still make excellent slicers. In fact, globe tomatoes are generally very versatile in the kitchen and on the table—they’re the perfect all-around tomato for all your cooking needs. Globe tomatoes tend to be productive plants that set fruit with a longer shelf life.
The juiciest globe tomato on the market, this award-winning variety is sure to become a garden mainstay. Better Boy Plus offers increased disease resistance and unmatched versatility for a number of cooking needs. Matures in 80 days.
Globe-shaped, canary yellow fruits mature in 75 days and weigh about seven ounces. No need to sacrifice sweetness for shelf life, Lemon Boy Plus has it all. Resilient to a number of diseases and with thick skin resistant to cracking.
This red globe tomato is for anyone concerned about space. Celebrity Plus grows on semi-determinate vines that only reach three of feet in height, so managing the plant is a breeze. The All-America Selections winner was bred for even better resistance without sacrificing flavor. Seven to eight-ounce fruits mature in 80 days.
One of our earliest globe tomatoes, Early Girl Plus matures at 60 days—almost three weeks before other types! The sweet, four to six-ounce fruits are ideal for slicing, cooking, or eating raw when your taste buds are craving summer. Early Girl Plus promises even more disease resistance than before.
Best cherry tomatoes
The tiny, round snacking tomatoes that we can never get enough of! The thin-skinned, sugary fruits “pop” in your mouth, and seldom make it out of the garden. Cherry tomatoes don’t have as long a shelf life as other tomatoes, and their high water content renders them best enjoyed fresh. Cherry tomatoes are typically very sweet and range in color from red to yellow.
New for 2023, this ruby and green striped cherry tomato is a great way to add fun and flavor to the garden! A 2022 AAS Winner, Purple Zebra is an incredibly productive plant, producing between 150 and 200 two-inch fruits per season.
The original seed for this AAS Winner came from an Italian farm. Sugary Hybrid produces sweet and juicy oval-shaped fruits in clusters. The semi-determinate plants set mature fruit in as little as 60 days.
One of the sweetest cherry tomatoes around, we think this All-America Selections Winner tastes even better than candy. The thin-skinned, golden fruits are crack resistant and are delicious in salads, atop sandwiches, or eaten straight from the vine! The prolific fruits mature in 62 days.
Best paste tomatoes
Also called plum tomatoes, perhaps the most exemplary variety is Roma. Paste tomatoes are typically oblong and have lower water content and fewer seeds than other types, making them excellent for canning and sauce-making.
Everything you love about the Roma variety, but with better flavor and improved disease resistance. La Roma grows on bushy determinate vines, making harvesting the prolific tomatoes a breeze. The medium-large fruits mature in 75 days and are a long-time customer favorite for canning.
This gorgeous plum tomato produces shiny red oblong fruits with few seeds. The four-ounce fruits mature in 72 days and boast enhanced disease resistance, while the determinate vines are easy to manage. Plum Regal is hard to beat in terms of flavor and ease of growing!
Best heirloom tomatoes
Heirlooms are open-pollinated varieties that have been passed down from generation to generation. Most heirlooms carry the story of a particular family or a place, and the variety must be at least 50 years old to be considered an heirloom. These tomatoes often boast unique flavors, shapes, and colors that you won’t find in hybrids.
This variety gets its name from the area near Naples, Italy where this plum tomato has been grown for centuries. The thick-walled fruits are perfect for making sauces and pastes, plus they’re extremely prolific. San Marzano matures in 75 days.
This heirloom variety produces large, oxheart-shaped fruits that can weigh a pound or more. These lovely tomatoes have sweet, juicy, flesh, and mild flavor. Giant Oxheart matures in 75 days.
An heirloom classic since 1940, Mortgage Lifter is an indeterminate variety that produces large, meaty fruits with few seeds. This pink beefsteak is one of the heaviest producers in the garden with crops maturing in 75 days.
No matter what type of tomato you’re looking for, there is a perfect variety for you. From small cherry tomatoes to beefsteaks, globes, and heirlooms, you’re sure to find a tomato that’s perfect for your garden and your taste buds. Be sure to research each variety before planting to ensure that you select a tomato that’s best suited to your climate and gardening conditions.