Amish Paste (paste/oxheart)
Dates back to the turn of the century with the Amish in Wisconsin, and is often called the best for sauces and canning. Its deep red fruits are large for paste types (about 8 oz.) making it more of an “oxheart” variety. As with all 5 of our oxhearts, production is lower than typical pastes, however the “real tomato” flavor is outstanding. Indet. 74 days
Andrew Rahart’s Jumbo Red
These brilliant, scarlet red beefsteaks weigh in at 12 to 16 ounces. This is the kind of delicious, juicy tomato to eat right off the vine. Sturdy vines with good disease resistance bear very abundantly. Very meaty and brimming with rich robust flavor that will delight your taste buds! Indeterminate. - 92 days.
Anna Russian (oxheart)
An heirloom oxheart variety from Brenda Hillenius, of Oregon, who got it from her grandfather, Kenneth Wilcox, who received seeds from a Russian immigrant. An excellent, gorgeous tomato. Early maturing for a heart-shaped tomato, the large, visually beautiful, pink-red fruit normally weighs about 1 lb. Superb rich old fashioned tomato flavors with lots of juice. Indeterminate. 70 days. (pictured tomato 15.5 oz.)
Courtesy of Mary Ann, Pilot Rock, Oregon
Arkansas Traveler (heat tolerant)
Bred by the University of Arkansas and well known to be a high producer even in high heat. Abundant crops of pink tomatoes that average 7 oz. Indeterminate, 85 days.
Aunt Ginny’s Purple
This heirloom beefsteak variety has flavor so excellent and rich that some folks claim it is equal to or better than Brandywine. Deep pink tomatoes weigh 12 to 16 ounces and are mostly smooth with very little cracking. Potato-leaved plants are vigorous and give decent yields of these juicy and delicious tomatoes. This is one to plant for excellent flavor, not necessarily production. Indeterminate. 75-85 days.
Heirloom variety from Australia. Seed company promises “huge”, “abundant fruit” with lots of “old-fashioned flavor”. That’s what we like to hear (and see)! We added this one in 2009. Although I planted mine late, the fruit were huge and they tasted really good. Indeterminate 85 days.
Compliments of Dave & Ashley, Cordova, TN
Basrawya (heat tolerant)
2014 addition, red fruit a little smaller than a tennis ball. Seeds came from Basra, southern town of occupied Iraq. Strain is adapted well to their hot weather.
Picture and source: RareSeeds.com
Beauty a.k.a. Ugly
We have been offering these for several years as “Ugly”, as they were once named. They have recently been renamed “Beauty”. Strong, vigorous plants stay a manageable size and produce a heavy crop of 12 to 16 ounce ribbed beefsteak-shaped fruit with wonderful, old-fashioned tomato flavor. This variety is early and productive and it keeps well after harvest. Indeterminate. 75 days. Tomato Growers
Okay, I know, it sounds too generic to some of you, but a customer requested it in 2008 and we tried it here at TBC. We loved it in our own garden as it often had ready fruit that were also very tasty. (VFNASt) One of the most popular hybrid beefsteak types. Bright red tomatoes weigh up to 2 lbs. Large yields, fruit, and good tolerance to cracking/splitting. Indeterminate, 80 days. Picture courtesy of Loren, Memphis, TN.
Seed company boasts this plant will give an exceptional crop of tomatoes that will get up to 2 lbs. Smooth, bright red tomatoes that make for a good all-around garden type. Full flavored, juicy sandwich tomato. Indeterminate 85 days.
We have been asked to grow this Burpee hybrid, for as long as I have been growing plants. I give in... we are now growing some of what everyone else only has. Indeterminate vines yield fruit averaging 10 to 16 oz. Burpee states that harvest begins about 78 days after “setting plants in the garden.” Picture and source: Burpee
Big Daddy Hybrid- SEED CHARGE +0.50
2015 addition to satisfy the Big Boy and Better Boy fans. This is one of Burpee’s new ones that has been around for a few years with positive feedback. 15 oz ruby red meaty fruit on vines that are Fusarium and Verticillium resistant. Indeterminate, 78 days Source and picture: Burpee
Big Zac - SEED CHARGE +0.50
This hybrid was bred by Minnie Zaccaria, a New Jersey gardener. This tomato has good fruit production of fruits consistently a pound each. A meaty, good tasting tomato with good disease resistance. Ind., 80 days. (This plant costs 50 cents more due to a much more costly seed.)
Compliments of Steve Lawrence
Offered here for the first time in 2011. Old-timer worthy of a large spot in your garden as a main crop kind of ‘mater. Seed source recommends this as a multi-use kind of tomato variety for its old fashioned flavor, prolific ability, furthermore, its crack-free and long season attributes. Expect large 10 to 16 oz. reddish-orange fruits. Indeterminate, 80 days.
This is a semi-determinate variety with compact, bushy plants. Plant is disease resistant to include Fusarium Wilt. This is a good producer, with a very large crop ripening at the same time making it an excellent variety for canning and freezing. Expect dark pink fruits that are 7-10 ounces with the sought after old-fashioned flavor. This is a farmer’s market favorite in Southern regions. SEMI-DETERMINATE, 76 days.
Huge pink beefsteaks up to 5.5” with “incredible heirloom flavor and very high yields”. This hybrid promises Brandywine flavor in an improved disease resistant plant. Even ripening fruit are a “soft heirloom texture” with thin skin and “exceptional tangy-sweet taste”. Indet., 75-78 days.
Brandywine, Suddath’s Strain
Mrs. Sudduth of TN gave seeds said to be in her family for 100 years, to tomato seedsman, Ben Quisenberry of Ohio. Prolific potato leaf plant producing 1-2 lb. large, pink fruit. This is a strain many believe to be that of the original Brandywine. Excellent flavor! Very large crops that can tend to slow down in the Summer heat. Plant this one for the flavor. A good tomato grower will pair these with more heat tolerant, prolific varieties for full season tomatoes. Indet. 85 days. (pictured tomato 1 lb. 7 oz.)
This tomato has beaten Brandywine in taste tests! Heirloom Caspian Pink was originally grown in Russia in the area between the Caspian and Black Seas. Frequently compared to Brandywine in taste but with a longer season. Indeterminate. 80 days.
I have seen this one for years, but we are first trying it in 2010 as I am hearing more about it from consumers. Deep red fruit weigh 1-2 lbs. with dense, meaty flesh and “extraordinary flavor”. Taunting other tomatoes, this supplier (and others) boasts of this beefsteak’s high yield. Indeterminate, 80 days.
New for 2015, 1-2 lb Rosy-pink thin-skinned beefsteaks will be pick-able earlier than other large fruits in the garden, at 78 days. Indeterminate potato leafed plants are promised to have production as well as “complex”, “intriguing”, and “old-timey” flavor. Source: Territorial Seed
New for 2021! High yielding plant producing medium red globe shaped fruits. Expect this one to give an all purpose tomato averaging 4 ounces, but sometimes up to 16 ounces. Seed source describes it as an, “excellent assertive tomato taste for those who don’t like sweet fruits.” Ind. 70 days.
Source: Victory Seeds
Heirloom favorite of the late Chuck Wyatt. “Superior” 1 pound meaty beefsteaks are the claim. I do know that some of my customers have tried this one and recommended it. This is new for us at TBC for 2017.
Classic Beefsteak from Baker Creek
New for 2019. This is Baker Creek’s new offering for “good old-fashioned tomato flavor.” Although I would typically say this is too generic of a name for me, perhaps Baker Creek feels this one warrants all claims of what a beefsteak should be.(All “beefsteaks” are not the same. Generally plants labeled as “beefsteak” are misleading. It is a mere reference to shape, and can seldom be replanted for its true identity is unknown / withheld.) I trust Baker Creek for good seeds, so let’s give this one a try. 1-2 lb deep red fruit. Rare Seeds
New for 2021! I thought we might look for another roma/paste type WITH flavor AND production. These are a smaller type offering the potential for great production. Expect 2-6 ounce fruits. Indeterminate, 85 days.
Source Victory Seeds
We tried this one first in 2008 and were very happy with its flavor. Seed company promises “real tomato flavor” in this hybrid tomato. High yields of deep red beefsteaks weighing up to a pound. Great for off the vine eating. Indeterminate. 70 days.
Old Italian heirloom type. Large, deep-red, juicy tomatoes are pretty and deeply ribbed. This is a pretty boat shaped tomato. This variety is hearty and does well in hot weather, but continues to produce even when the weather turns cool. Ind. 78 days.
Picture compliments of Hanna
Huge red fruit is smooth, nearly solid and often weighs more than 2 lbs. Excellent flavor, tiny seed cavities, and very little cracking. This is the variety that holds the world record for the largest tomato ever grown as set in 1986 with a giant 7 lb 12 oz fruit! Indeterminate. 77 days.
This is a pink beefsteak of German origin. As the story goes, the heritage was passed from a doctor’s German family - to an Amish lady in Seymour, Missouri - to a Missouri farmer Pierce. Fruit weigh in up to one pound. Side-by-side taste tests from the seed company yielded this fruit a winner for flavor, and thus it was a shoe-in for me. Indeterminate, 70-80 days.
Image courtesy of Kathleen, NY, NY
Hybrid type widely offered throughout the U.S. Bright red fruits are 3-5 inch, round, firm, meaty, and “rich in beefsteak flavor”. Indeterminate, 85 days.
Florida 91 (heat tolerant) - SEED CHARGE +0.50
Uniformly red, smooth 10 oz. tomatoes have “heat-set capabilities” per the source. Very versatile tomato with strong, healthy vines and resistance to diseases including alternaria and gray leaf spot should make this a favorite. DETERMINATE, 72 days.
Florida Pink (heat tolerant)
Huge beefsteak variety with fruit weighing 1-3 lbs. Light dusty rose color fruit with green shoulders. Heavy bearer with few seeds and lots of flavor making it also suitable for cooking. Sets fruit well even in high Summer temps. Indeterminate, 85 - 90 days.
(From the garden of Richard Garnett, Collierville, TN. Tomato weight 2 lb 7.6 oz)
Genuwine Hybrid (heat tolerant)
2015 addition. This is a successful cross between two well loved heirlooms. Fruits are 10-12 oz with some ribbing of the Costoluto Genovese, as well as its ability to set fruit in hot weather. Brandywine gives this cross its size, fuller shape, and great flavor in less time. 70 days. Tomato Growers
Family heirloom with an abundance of deep pink tomatoes weighing 2 lbs. or more. If you like Brandywine, this one is also full of luscious flavor, but supplier claims its fruit to be earlier, larger, and more plentiful than those of Brandywine. Indeterminate, 77 days.
Picture courtesy of Loren, Memphis, TN.
We are trying a new seed source for 2019 in hopes of finding a hardier plant than we had in the past. This is a longtime favorite in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. It is one of the parent lines of Mortgage Lifter. This plant’s vines produce meaty, pink, very flavorful fruits averaging one pound, with few seeds. Do not expect a large yield size, but this one does have great taste. Indeterminate, 80 days. Tomato Growers
Potato leaf plants produce large 1-2 pound fruits. These are meaty with few seeds making them excellent for canning or freezing. Seed company promises excellent yields and taste. We tried this one in 2008 and got feedback such as, “that is the best tomato I have ever had!” Indeterminate 85 days.
German Red Strawberry (oxheart)
German heirloom. Red fruits are 10 oz to 16 oz. and look like very large strawberries. They are very meaty with few seeds and little juice yet big taste. Fantastic for saucing or slicing. The only complaint we have had on this one is that they were not huge producers in 2009, but still they were complimented for taste. You may have to plant more of this type or similar oxhearts to get a better yield. Unfortunately, oxhearts don’t seem to be huge producers. Indeterminate. 85 days. (pictured tomato 9 oz.)
Gill’s All Purpose
New for 2021! Red, round ALL PURPOSE tomato growing up to 3” in diameter. Seed source states they are to yield well. Apparently, they were bred and released in 1947. Semi-determinate, 90 days.
This is another for the big tomato search! Huge fruits average 1-2 lbs. and have weighed in at nearly 5 lbs. Very dark pink fruits have smooth blossom ends and medium ribbing on the shoulders. Very pleasing full flavored tomato that has a sweet flavor to it. Indeterminate 82-90 days.
Totally Tomatoes exclusive! Smooth bright red fruits averaging 10-15 oz. Good flavor. Tall vigorous plants produce abundantly. Modern disease resistance. (VFFNTASt) Indeterminate, 65 days.
Henderson’s Wins All
Geniune stock grown from seed obtained from the USDA Seed Bank. This heirloom and particular strain originated with the Henderson Seed Company in 1924. Regular tomato foliage plants that produce 1 lb or more pink fruit with “absolutely scrumptious taste”. I understand Ponderosa to be one of the original parent plants and the reason I picked this variety. Indeterminate, 90 days.
This is another Burpee hybrid that we are trying in 2016. One pound beefsteak with a classic tomato red skin. Picture and source: Burpee
Italian beefsteak that is an oblong, boat shaped fruit that just looks like a picture of Italy. Deep red fruits average 1 lb. and 4” in diameter. Supplier promises an impressive yield of delicious fruits. Ind. 85 days.
Classic heirloom from Italy. Good production of 12-16 oz. fat, red, meaty, slightly pear-shaped tomatoes. Good choice for cooking, eating fresh, or canning. Personal favorite of the owner of one of my seed sources as he promises, “rich, complex, sweet flavors that are well-balanced with good acidity” and “BIG TASTE”. Indeterminate. 75 days.
Italian Tree Tomato
“Tree”? I just couldn’t resist AGAIN! Oh gees’.seed company promises vines that “can grow to 15-feet” with many, many “meaty, 1-2 pound, 4-5” red tomatoes with superior sweet flavors perfectly balanced with just the right amount of acid”. Some sort of trellis or cage recommended as this plant can bear bushels of all purpose fruit. We tried this for the first time in 2008 and were very happy with its many huge fruit that tasted among the best. However, we are getting mixed feedback as to its yield so it may be picky with its climate/soil, etc. Indeterminate, 85 days.
New for 2020! So.. I thought it was pretty, liked the name, and the seed company said it has “wonderful flavor.” This hybrid was developed by the folks that gave us Florida 91 and 47. Deep red fruit will be approximately 10 oz. Det. 79 days.
Source: Tomato Growers
New for 2020! This is a return of an oldie, but goodie. Bright red roma/paste type with few seeds and very meaty. Tapered red fruits are shaped like banana peppers at 4-6” long. Indeterminate, 80 days with good yield.
Source: Tomato Growers
New to us in 2017, this heirloom variety was distributed by the late Chuck Wyatt. Key words/points: “wonderful”, 2 lbs or more, “perfect” beefsteak shape, large yields Indeterminate, 80 days. Tomato Growers
Courtesy of Duane Leitch, Des Moines, IA
This was a special requested tomato from a man I know. He remembered his grandfather planting “Margo” as a child. I laughed at him for years saying his grandfather must have been planting “MargLoBE”! (I thought the name was just slaughtered with southern drawl.) Then..I found this one..there REALLY was a Margo! His grandfather liked the flavor and the size of these dwarf, compact plants. Upright, 30” tall plants need less support than most. (Grandpa must not have staked his tomatoes.) Fresh or cooked this one is described as a “delight for kitchen gardens and fresh market”. Pretty, red, slightly flattened, green-shouldered fruits that average 6 oz. Prolific plants display vigorous growth with good fruit cover. Okay, Glenn..we will see!!! DETERMINATE, 70 days.
This is a pink heirloom that originated in Czechoslovakia. Seeds were brought to America during WW2. Potato leaf variety producing moderate yields of 1-2 lb. beautiful, pink beefsteaks. Dense, creamy, sweet flesh with rich, complex, old tomato flavors. Indeterminate. 85 days.
Brought to the U.S. by a Mexican family living in the Midwest. Regular leaf plant yielding huge sets of 1 lb. pinks with good acid and great flavor. Flesh is a bit unsmooth but tomatoes are uniformly round, large, and slightly flat. I have to admit, I just picked it for 2007 because I like that song by James Taylor, but now its one of my favorites for size and flavor! Indeterminate. 80 days (pictured tomato 1 lb. 10 oz.)
Also called Radiator Charlie as the whole story goes. I think this man “who sold these plants for $1 to pay off the mortgage on his house”, is the owner of one of the best known heirloom tomato stories. Longtime favorite with good yields of very large, smooth, pink-skinned fruits even in droughts. Meaty with few seeds. Indet. 85
Mrs. Houseworth (oxheart)
Prized heirloom from the 1930’s, originally from Mrs. Houseworth’s garden in Centerville, Pennsylvania. 3-4 inch heart-shaped, pink fruit. I have a customer who says he could plant his entire garden with this type. Wonderful oxheart, but again, not a huge producer. I encourage anyone wanting a big, meaty, small seeded, thick canner or slicer to try all the oxhearts for your own custom fit. They do all have wonderful, slightly different flavors. You can’t go wrong with any of these we carry. Indeterminate, 78 days.
Mrs. Maxwell’s Big Italian
This Italian heirloom given to a Mrs. Maxwell of Missouri. We are getting it in 2017 from Tomato Growers Supply. Expect 1-2 lb dark pink beefsteaks on “prolific” potato leaf vines. Fruit is “just right for eating fresh” and told to be meaty enough for canning or making sauce. Indeterminate, 80 days. Tomato Growers
Mule Team (heat tolerant)
Heirloom saved by generations of gardeners and reintroduced because of its endurance qualities: vigorous fruit set, round, baseball-sized globes that weigh approximately 8 oz, with a sweet, mild flavor. Meaty, textured fruits are produced continuously right up until frost on sturdy plants. Good all purpose tomato, with Good disease and heat resistance. Indet. 85 days.
Neves Azorean Red
(Aka. NAR) Developed by Anthony Neves who brought seeds from the Azores. Seed company describes this plant to grow like “wildfire” and produce an abundance of big 1-3 lb. beauties that have a “huge flavor punch that is fantastic”. Great disease resistance promised. This one was added to our list in 2009. Indeterminate, 75 days.
compliments of Wendy, Smithville, TN
compliments of Janine from Olive Branch, MS
ATerritorial Seed was our source for this indeterminate, open pollinated heirloom. Trials are said to have routinely produced fruit weighing over 1-1/2 lbs. This source gave it lots of tasty adjectives! It is reported to have “golden streaked, reddish skin”...so I am stashing it with the reds...some of you folks have to dare to try some “reddish” ones! I do know and like the supplier. Check it out: Territorial Seed
Another big one to try! Huge, somewhat irregular, pink fruit that can consistently grow 1-2 lbs. Taste is described as “superb, sweet, and perfect tomato taste”. Said to have “excellent yield”. Heirloom from Lebanon. Indeterminate, 80 days.
Great paste tomato for sauces and canning promising to be rich and flavorful fresh or cooked. This is a long pepper-shaped 4 -6” fruit which grows in clusters of 2-5. Indeterminate 85 days.
Phoenix (heat resistant)
VFFA Hybrid, This is an early, 8 oz. red, heat resistant variety promising “excellent” disease resistance and “vigorous” plants promising “a large harvest even when weather is very warm”. Hmmm....no word on flavor....but any ‘mater is better than no ‘mater when it is 105 out there! New for 2013! DET. 72 days.
Red Racer SEED CHARGE + 0.50
Ah, added this one for 2018... for being... cute. 1.5 inch snacking tomato produce “huge” yields in only 57 days. This hybrid is promised by the seed company, to be “small, but big in taste”. Resistant to Tomato Mosaic Virus. Determinate.
This is another “monster”. If you’re looking for the biggest bragging tomato, give this one a try. This heirloom came from the Richardson family in Tennessee. Juicy and meaty pink beefsteak fruit between 1 to 1.5 lbs. Flavor is good and so is the production. Indet. 90 days
Roman heirloom. Large fruit are deep red, “with almost a purple tint”. This is a new addition for 2014. We picked it for its productivity reported within customer reviews.
Picture and source: RareSeeds.com
Rose De Berne
New in 2015, this heirloom from Switzerland can be found on ‘best tasting tomato’ lists. Tomatoes are said to be a ‘rose shade of red’ with a ‘sweet, deep, rich tomato flavor.’ If you desire a thin skin tomato, this is one of those. Maintain constant moisture to avoid fruit splitting in the garden. Indeterminate, 75 days Gourmet Seed
New for 2020! I want to love this tomato! Round, red medium-size tomato.. it is a good looking little ‘mater. Supplier says that even beginning gardeners will find this one easy to grow. Indeterminate, 78 days.
Russian 117 (oxheart)
Huge, heart-shaped (oxheart) fruit is often doubled and can weigh up to 1 lb and more. Meaty tomato with few seeds as most oxheart varieties, but with a bit better production than typically seen. Indeterminate 90 days.
Determinate, 72 days. New strain for 2015. (VFASt) Dark red, solid, meaty, fruits recommended as a good canning tomato.
Picture and Source: TotallyTomato.com
San Marzano (paste)
You will find full flavor hiding in this paste type. Blocky roma types are about 3.5” long x 1.5”. Clusters hold well on the vine and in storage. Fruits are high in pectin, giving sauces and pastes a natural thickness. Indeterminate 80 days. Totally Tomato
Sioux, Super (heat tolerant)
This is Super Sioux, the improved version of “Sioux”. You must try this one if you get the heat of the South! 4-6 oz. smooth fruits are bright scarlet red with rich acid flavor. Ind. 75 days
New for 2018, It has stripes! Ooops!... I already gave it a number and put it in the RED category... it IS mostly red. “Excellent”, pretty, round, small slicer with a beautiful red and orange exterior. Indeterminate variety will produce “enormous” yields. 75 days. Totally Tomato
(Seedless) Ruby Prize
New for 2022! I get requests for seedless tomatoes for those who they may ail. No one was impressed with the last one’s flavor. This one is productive with fruits to be “almost seedless.” OK, I am taking this straight from the source, “firm, have light green shoulders and are deep scarlet red at maturity.” Sets 9 to 10 oz. fruit in clusters of 2-4 on compact plants with good leaf cover. Hybrid Indet. 65 days.
Source: Totally Tomato
Steak Sandwich Hybrid
Added 2015, Burpee has this one listed as a “customer favorite”. Vigorous plants are said to be indeterminate and also of a compact, 30-36” habit. Fruit is to be around 10 oz and firm enough to hold together in a sandwich. Of course, they used every good-tasting term in their description! We will just have to try it out! Source: Burpee
SteakHouse (SEED CHARGE + 0.50)
Added 2014, Burpee is calling this their "breakthrough tomato". They had it on the front of the catalog this year, you may have seen it...it was almost the entire 8.5" X 11"!!!! Ok, so it was probably enlarged, and that was probably a small-for-its-age child holding it...BUT, we have to try it!!! In only 75-80 days. Indeterminate plants set fruit that is promised to reach 2-3 lbs. They go on and on, “biggest tomato ever bred”, “world’s biggest beefsteak”, “head-spinning fragrance”, “gorgeous, humongous fruits”...and I knew it was going to be on the list when I first opened my mailbox... (This plant costs 50 cents more due to a much more costly seed.)
Picture and source: Burpee.com
This is a small 1-2 oz., extremely early tomato, producing in 52 days. It exhibits tolerance to cold, maybe making this one an early one to place in a pot. We have tried early ones similar to this one before, but we are still searching for the “best” one...one with GREAT flavor and earliness! Seed company promises “superior flavor” and “high yield” with an “outstanding average of 87 fruits” per plant. Ind. 52 days.
Compliments of Karen, Abington, MA
Hybrid tomato popular in the Northeast. Tomatoes are 8 to 12 oz. with good flavor and structure. Tomatoes are smooth and resistant to cracking. Plants are vigorous, disease resistant and do best when staked or caged. Very large production. (VF) Indeterminate. 75-79 days.
We grew this tomato years ago. Huge 1-2 lb beefsteaks are lightly ribbed and a radiant pink. This seed originated over 100 years ago with famed seedsman, George Glecker. I remember it as a sweet tomato. The seed company calls them “scrumptious.” For a sweet tomato, it does have full flavor... of course, this is my memory only, and a different source. You must try Watermelon if you are a fan of the other sweets: Giant Belgium, Marianna’s Peace, and Sugar Snack. Picture and source: Sustainable Seed
Seeds from this heirloom variety came from a Big Tomato contest winner grown by Max Wolford. Produces large, firm, heart-shaped, 4 X 5 inch fruits that have thick, pink-red skins, but few seeds. Exceptionally juicy and very tasty. I have more than one customer planting an entire garden of these. This is another oxheart worth a good spot. Indeterminate. 90 days.
W- Pink Fang Roma
New for 2022! We picked this “fang like” tapered 6” roma tomato for flavor. Seed source promised that this was “the best taste of any paste tomato” they tried and that we “won’t be disappointed.” No report on production. I do believe that our romas should be more than a tasteless shape so we are giving it a try. Indet.
Source: Rare Seeds