Our Master Gardeners’ Suggestions and Comments (by Jessie, the tomato lady):

Our very favorite tomato variety is Mexico Midgets. They are smaller than the standard cherry but they are so very sweet and the plants grow like a weed.  If you aren’t successful with growing these you may want to reconsider even growing tomatoes. When you go out to pick them you end up eating more than you save to bring inside. If you like to use tomatoes in your salad these are the perfect size and unlike larger cherry varieties, you don’t have to worry about them sliding off your plate as you try to cut them. If you have squirrels that like to get at your tomatoes, you won’t have to worry with these plants- the squirrels could not possibly keep up with the volume produced. Once again- our very favorite.

Good old tried and true. Rutgers and Ramapo have been developed for a NJ climate, so they are usually dependable and often serves as a stalwart of the garden. Chef’s Choice is another good steady variety- it has a pleasant taste and is a great producer.

Our most disease resistantSummer Pick, a shorter plant with 11 oz. red fruit, is supposed to have superior disease resistance, a rarity. This is our first year offering it so we don’t have personal experience yet.

Most often requested by repeat customers: Cherokee Chocolate has a lot of people who come back year after year asking for it. It’s a large chocolate/red colored beefsteak. The people love the flavor.

Make your garden pretty, not just practical– it’s not just red tomatoes anymore. We have some great non red ones. Just a few examples: Indigo Gold, a cherry tomato that changes from a purple to a goldish as it ripens. Then there isSpeckled Roman, a red and green striped with an elongated shape. And it has great versatility- great for sandwiches and for cooking, and a high producer as well.

Most Anticipated– Brandysweet Plum, a cherry size fruit, is a cross between 2 of the best tasting tomato varieties- the full-size Brandywine heirloom and the super sweet cherry size Sweet 100’s.  We can’t wait to see what this one tastes like.

Plant to have the most fun with– Sweet N Neat. This is a tomato plant that only grows to be about 10-12” tall. Perfect for a spot on your picnic table or patio. It is sure to get lots of comments when people see the ripening fruit. And it makes a unique hostess gift for someone. My very favorite use for it is for kids. Buy each child a plant, have them take care of their own, see whose plant gets the most tomatoes, or the first tomatoes. Make gardening fun.

Fun named plants– sometimes a variety just has such a great name it’s hard to resist. Box Car Willie, an heirloom that originated in NJ, is said to be named after a Grand Ole Opry singer in the 1940’s. It was a very popular tomato during the depression, high yielding, medium size, and juicy, with old fashioned tomato taste. And then another great name- Uluru Ochre. This is actually named after a famous rock formation in Australia. The tomato, a reddish brown, is a similar color as the rock. This is a great shorter 3 ft. plant, very sturdy with large tomatoes. They say the taste varies a lot according to the weather. When grown last year they were very sweet.