Lawns, Gardens & Trees


| Share

New Tomato Varieties

Try these All-American Selections winners in your garden.

Do you like tomatoes? Of course! Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable grown in gardens!

Do you want to try something new? I hope so because there are lots of new tomato varieties available.

Let’s focus on new varieties that have won the prestigious All-America Selections (AAS) Award. These varieties have performed well in tests conducted by professionals across the nation.

A strong trend in tomato breeding today is to develop varieties that combine the best qualities of modern varieties (high yields, reliability, and resistance to diseases) with the flavors of heirlooms.

This trend led to the development of the ‘Chef’s Choice’ tomatoes. ‘Chef’s Choice Orange’ was derived from the popular heirloom ‘Amana Orange’. It has the great flavor and bright color of the heirloom, but ripens earlier, resists cracking and resists diseases. It won the AAS Award in 2014. Since then, ‘Chef’s Choice’ has released purple, red, pink, yellow, green and black varieties, and many of those varieties have received AAS honors. This year’s release is ‘Chef’s Choice Bicolor’, an AAS-winner that has beautiful pink streaks inside its yellow flesh.

If you are looking for a huge, delicious beefsteak, consider ‘Buffalosun’. Its fruits weigh 18–24 ounces and have attractive ribbing. The fruits are orange with red streaks. The flesh is sweet and tender with pink marbling inside. The 5-foot, indeterminate vines resist late blight and several other diseases. Fruits ripen in only 70 days.

Another award-winning beefsteak variety is ‘Mountain Rouge’. The fruits are pink, weigh 12-14 ounces, and have a flavorful balance of acid and sugar. The tomatoes have minimal seeds and slice very well. From the Carolina mountains, the ‘Mountain’ series of tomatoes are famous for their resistance to diseases and grow especially well in cooler climates. The indeterminate vines produce heavy yields beginning in 73 days.

‘Galahad’ is a red beefsteak tomato with wonderful flavor and strong resistance to late blight. Its fruits are round and weigh 7–12 ounces. The determinate vines are vigorous and do not require pruning. ‘Galahad’ matures in 69 days.

I love the meaty taste of ‘Roma’ canning tomatoes but am frustrated with their susceptibility to blossom end rot. The first cluster of my ‘Roma’ tomatoes almost always have blossom end rot. ‘Early Resilience’ is a new ‘Roma’ type that resists blossom end rot. The vines resist many foliar diseases and are compact, growing only 24 inches tall. Harvests begin in 70 days.

Cherry tomatoes are fun to grow (and eat), but they crack easily. ‘Crokini’ is a new variety from France with crunchy fruits that resist cracking. The indeterminate vines produce fruits in only 63 days.

If you grow in containers, you may want to try ‘Celano’. This is a new grape tomato that won the AAS award for its delicious flavor and a bushy habit suitable for containers. The vines grow only 40 inches tall.

‘Red Torch’ and ‘Sparky’ are other recent AAS-award winners. These red tomatoes are striped with orange flames. Their indeterminate, 6-foot vines are productive and produce early (65 days). ‘Red Torch’ fruits are oblong and 1.5 inches long. ‘Sparky’ tomatoes are globular, 1-inch fruits with an extended shelf-life gene, allowing it to store well after harvest. Their resistances to diseases are not specified, but the vines have shown a good ability to produce high yields under extreme heat and other environmental stresses.

Look for these varieties when you visit your local garden center this spring. Better yet, grow your own transplants. Mid to late April is a good time to sow tomato seeds indoors. Do a Google search to find seed companies that sell these varieties. Pay special attention to any delays in shipping due to the COVID pandemic.

'Chef's Choice Bicolor' tomato
'Chef's Choice Bicolor' and other 'Chef's Choice' tomatoes are famous for their superior taste and texture, both for cooking and eating fresh.
'Buffalosun' tomato
'Buffalosun' is a huge beefsteak with attractive pink marbling inside.
'Mountain Rouge'
'Mountain Rouge' is a pink beefsteak with outstanding flavor and strong resistance to diseases.
'Galahad' tomato
'Galahad' is a red beefsteak with delicious flavor and an easy-to-manage determinate vine.
'Early Resilience' tomato
'Early Resilience' is a 'Roma' type with superior resistance to blossom end rot and vine diseases.
'Crokini' tomato
'Crokini' cherry tomatoes are sweet, crunchy and resist cracking.
'Celano' tomato
'Celano' is a new grape tomato with delicious flavor and a bushy habit suitable for containers.
'Red Torch' tomato
'Red Torch' is a striped tomato with excellent flavor and high yields.
'Sparky' tomato
'Sparky' is a very sweet, striped tomato with a long shelf life after harvesting.

Written by , Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Source: All-America Selections. Photos courtesy of All-America Selections.

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.