Tomatoes for Southern Ontario – Greenhouse to Garden TIPSGreg Sant
Southern Ontario’s climate is generally suitable for growing a wide range of tomato varieties. Here are some of the best tomato varieties to consider:
- Beefsteak: Beefsteak tomatoes are a type of large, meaty tomato variety known for their size, weight, and flavor. They are one of the most popular tomato varieties in the world and are often used in sandwiches, salads, and as a base for sauces. Beefsteak tomatoes can grow to be quite large, with some varieties weighing up to 2 pounds or more. They have a flattened or globe-like shape, with a smooth, firm texture and a deep red color when fully ripe. The flavor of beefsteak tomatoes is typically rich, sweet, and slightly acidic, making them a versatile ingredient in many different types of recipes. Beefsteak tomatoes are often grown in home gardens, but they are also available at many grocery stores and farmers’ markets.
- Cherry: Cherry tomatoes are known for their sweet, juicy flavor and firm texture, making them ideal for snacking, salads, and roasting. Juliet tomatoes are a hybrid variety that were developed in the late 1990s by a vegetable breeder named Dr. Randy Gardner. They are resistant to many common tomato diseases, including verticillium and fusarium wilt, making them a popular choice for home gardeners and commercial growers alike.
- San Marzano: San Marzano tomatoes are a type of plum tomato that originated in the San Marzano region of Italy. They are known for their sweet, rich flavor, low acidity, and firm, meaty texture, which makes them ideal for sauces, stews, and canning. San Marzano tomatoes are typically elongated and pointed, with a bright red color when fully ripe. They are prized by chefs and home cooks alike for their high quality and distinct flavor, and are often considered one of the best varieties of tomatoes for making sauce. San Marzano tomatoes are often used in Italian cuisine, particularly in dishes such as pizza, pasta, and tomato-based soups.
- Early Girl: Early Girl tomatoes are a type of indeterminate tomato variety that is known for its early maturation and high yields. They were developed by the Burpee Seed Company in the 1970s and have since become a popular choice among home gardeners and commercial growers alike. Early Girl tomatoes typically grow to be around 4-6 ounces in weight, with a round or slightly flattened shape and a bright red color when ripe. They have a juicy, meaty texture and a tangy, slightly sweet flavor, making them great for use in salads, sandwiches, and sauces. Because of their early maturation, Early Girl tomatoes are often a popular choice for gardeners who want to harvest their tomatoes earlier in the season, and they are also well-suited to areas with shorter growing seasons.
When choosing tomato varieties, make sure to consider the amount of sun exposure and the type of soil in your garden. It’s also important to choose disease-resistant varieties to ensure a healthy crop.