It’s sometimes difficult to sort through the staggering array of tomato and pepper varieties available in today’s markets. I try to help my customers at the market by asking a series of questions, focusing on lifestyle and ultimate use of their tomatoes. Do they make a lot of salsa? Are they at the cabin and away from home a lot? Do they entertain and want beautiful color and variety in their salads? Are they into DIY and want to dry, can or pickle their tomatoes? Are they novice gardeners and want the best chance of success? Etc. In addition to the questions, I post signs with photos of the heirloom tomato and pepper varieties available this year (2013). Even if you are not a customer, these signs may help you organize your thoughts on varieties.
Heirloom Tomato and Pepper Varieties for 2013:
The following photos are signs I use at the markets, and they are organized by color and/or type of tomato primarily because these categories are easiest to explain to customers at a busy 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 few varieties on the signs will not be listed). Here are the 2013 signs:
Best Tomato Varieties for Early Tomatoes and/or Best for Disease Resistance:
Best Heirloom Tomatoes for Making Sauces or Growing in Containers:
Best Main-Season Tomatoes for Slicing & Fresh Eating (i.e., think BLTs):
Best Beefsteak-Type Heirloom Varieties (think BLTs and bragging rights – generally later):
Heirloom Tomato Varieties – Gourmet Black Varieties:
Best Heirloom Tomato Varieties – Sweet Orange Varieties:
Best Heirloom Tomato Varieties – Mild Yellow & Tangy Green:
Best Heirloom Tomato Varieties – Gourmet Striped:
Best Variety of Cherry Tomatoes (Heirloom & Hybrid):
Best Pepper Varieties – Hot & Spicy:
Best Pepper Varieties – Sweet:
There you have it for 2013 varieties. Some are new to me and being trialed, but most are tried and true in Minnesota.
Share some of your favorites? I’d love to hear about the varieties you liked or loved, as well as the ones that didn’t do it for you for whatever reason.
Thanks, and I hope you’re finding these posts helpful.