accolades from Saveur, Culture, Good Food Awards, Urban Famr, and Wine Spectator

Comparison Chart for Heirloom Tomato Varieties

Every spring I sell heirloom tomato plants at the St. Paul Farmer’s market and I’m always trying to organize the information in a way that is not so overwhelming for people.  Based on the questions I have received over the years, I’ve put together a chart that explains the distinguishing characteristics of the heirloom tomato varieties that I grow and sell.  Hopefully this can help you decide what varieties you want to try in your own tomato adventures.  Let me know if you have favorites that I don’t grow which you think are “must haves”.

Early Tomatoes & Red Main-Season Tomatoes



Disease Resistant Tomatoes & Sweet, Pink Tomatoes


Bi-Colored, Yellow & White Tomatoes


Black Tomatoes & Paste Tomatoes


Orange Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes & Cherry Tomatoes




  1. […] tomatoes […]

  2. […] market.  For more specific information on size, growth habit, flavor, and disease resistance see this post which gives more in-depth information (*note that the previous post is for 2012 varieties, so a […]

  3. John Steinmeyer on March 3, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Great Website!!

    But I cannot find Cherokee :Purple listed anywhere. I am growing 20 plants this year for myself and friends and it is the most tasteful tomato we have tasted and very prolific.

    Thanks for considering. John

    • Dorothy Stainbrook on March 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Hi John, I go back and forth growing Cherokee Purple. I will be growing it this year, but didn’t last year, so it wasn’t in the roundup. I like Cherokee Purple… I just find it very similar to a lot of the other large pink-to-purple varieties, so I switch it up a bit.

  4. […] to the extent that I can in a blog post.  For a more complete summary of growing attributes,  see Heirloom Tomato Summary Charts.  For my favorite catalogs for ordering heirloom tomato seeds, see Top 5 Seed Catalogs for Heirloom […]

  5. […] Cracking can occur at all stages of fruit growth, but as fruit mature they become more susceptible, especially as color develops.  Some varieties of tomatoes are more susceptible to cracking than others, regardless of whether it is an heirloom variety or a hybrid variety.  For information on heirloom varieties that are more or less prone to cracking, see the heirloom variety chart. […]

  6. […] a milder flavor than others, some tend to be sweeter and others tangier, etc. (check out Dorothy’s heirloom tomato chart for guidance).  In addition, depending on what you’re making, consider cutting your tomatoes in […]

  7. […] a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.   See more on these and other heirloom varieties on the Comprehensive Comparison Chart on this […]

  8. […] Some will look beautiful in salads, while others provide the perfect slices for a BLT.  Dorothy’s heirlooms chart is a big help here. For example, she notes that Black Mauri is great in salads, Japanese Black […]

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