With so many variations of tomatoes available you might be a bit confused about what type to grow in your garden. To help you out, we’ve created a list of the favourite variations of tomatoes grown in Australia.
You will find tomatoes that are bush or vine types with a range of sizes, shapes, colours and tastes that grow in different conditions.
Indeterminate vs Determinate
Indeterminate varieties are considered vining and should be staked for support. Indeterminate tomatoes usually grow for an extended period and produce larger crops but start to flourish later. The determinate variety of tomatoes are generally a shorter bush type that blooms over a shorter time frame. After the tomatoes have ripened they die shortly after.
The HomeLeisure list of favourite tomato types
There are some 7,500 varieties of tomato around the world, but here’s a list of some cultivars available in Australia that you could try growing in your garden.
An indeterminate hybrid variety that requires staking as it grows up to 2.5m tall. This variety is an early fruiter, late Spring and Summer, producing smooth, large, ruby red once ripened with an excellent flavour. Plant in a sunny position for the best colour and flavour and when planted in a container be sure it is large enough to sustain the plant. Unfortunately, their tolerance to diseases and bacteria is low however great for salads.
A unique open-pollinated mid-season indeterminate variety produces large solid deep oblate, ribbed, slightly flat, deep in colour fruit with pink/red meaty flesh. They have a delicious flavour and are ideal for slicing. This plant tends to flourish in Spring and early Summer, be sure to plant in full sun for best results. It May need staking, however, this plant when matured becomes a very sturdy bush. Great for both containers and gardens.
Black RussianAnother unique indeterminate variety, producing medium-sized, dark mahogany red skin, dark chocolate flesh with a complexed well-balanced flavour. The fruits are traditionally meaty and rich, great for salads, sandwiches and drying. Sow in Spring to early Summer or after frost, be sure to plant in full sun and stake for support. Does well in both containers or garden beds, however susceptible to diseases.
An early-season fruiting variety bred to be highly resistant to a wide range of diseases. The plant itself is tall, fast-growing and can protect its fruit from sunburn due to its extensive foliage. Produces smooth, ruby red fruit with excellent flavour, described as gourmet-style tomatoes, great for salads whilst also having a long-lasting shelf life. Plant in full sun.
Grosse LisseOne of the most popular open-pollinated indeterminate varieties, growing up to 2m tall with the help of stakes or a trellis. Produces smooth oblate fruit best picked with a hint of pink and ripened indoors for best results in flavour. This variety enjoys a warmer climate bringing it to a medium to late-season plant. Great for a beginner gardener, plant in full sun for best results.
This is a Roma type determinate variety and is very popular for its added health benefits as it contains 50% more of the antioxidant Lycopene. Be sure to plant in direct sunlight as they will grow to a height of 1m, with the help of a stake. They produce bright red fruit with great flavour for all aspects of cooking.
Mama’s Delight is easily one of the best varieties for a novice gardener due to its manageable height, growth and how they do not require any trimming. This medium sizes plant will still need a stake and full sun to flourish. Produces lovely red fruit for salads.
Mini RomaAlso known as grape tomatoes, the mini Roma is a hybrid bred from a cross between a Roma tomato and a cherry tomato. These determinate variety fruits are small, oval-shaped, sweet and bite-sized and go great in salads. Like most tomato varieties be sure to plant in full sun for best results.
The Patio Tomato is also known as Patio Prize or Pot Prize and is a Roma hybrid that is a compact determinate variety and is very productive despite its small size. They only grow to an average of 0.5 meters and produce small plum-shaped tomatoes. They are low maintenance and do still require staking whilst fruiting to help support the weight they grow well in small gardens or pots with full sun.
Said to be one of the world’s finest flavoured tomatoes, producing mild yet sweet, large oblong and meaty fruits. This indeterminate variety provides earlier fruiting with higher production, grown with full sun the fruits are great freshly slices or cooked to a mild and sweet sauce. Other popular pink varieties are the German Pink or the Brandywine heirloom.
This Roma type is well known for being the highest yielding variety, growing tall and producing sweet, thick-skinned tomatoes. Due to their thick skin, these heavy tomatoes are well suited for drying and saucing. They can work well growing in a tomato cage and tend to be a one harvesting plant, full sun required.
San MarzanoAn indeterminate variety small bush plant that produces high yields of thick-skinned, long and thin Roma tomatoes. They can be grown in small pots, do not need to be stake and have a high resistance to diseases. This plum tomato is ideal for cooking and making tomato paste.
This cherry sized tomato is an indeterminate type that is also known as the Sweet 100 and can grow to around 2 metres. They are vigorous and high yielding, producing sweet cherry tomatoes in the mid to late season. They can also self-seed and may continue to grow from last years season, but they need to be staked. Sweet bite tomatoes should be picked quite regularly as overwatering can cause them to split.
This semi-determinate variety produces fruit with a unique green-gold colour when fully ripe, and the plant itself grows wide and bushy. They flourish for a longer season and require staking to support the weight of the fruit. This particular variety does very well in containers in full sun. The Green Grape plant is very disease and heat resistant making it great for new gardeners.
Tommy ToeThis is an open-pollinated indeterminate variety that usually grows to around 2.5 metres with the right supports and full sun as this vining plant has good climbing capabilities. It has been regarded as the best tasting heirloom, they are a strong garden variety that grows in the mid to late season producing sweet and large cherry tomatoes. This plant does best in garden beds due to their maximum height.
This type of tomato is indeterminate that grows to about 1.8 metres tall with the help of support and full sun. Would grow best in a garden bed, but can also be managed in a large container. This plant produces great tasting, shiny red, well textured with excellent flavoured plum-shaped tomatoes.
The tumbler is well known for being a traditional hanging basket plant that produces small, yellow and red sweet cherry tomatoes. They are quite attractive for their low maintenance and fairly high yielding. They can be grown in a small pot or the garden supported by a small stake in full sun.
Yellow PearThere is a variety of different yellow types of tomatoes including the little sugar yellow, yellow baby (aka the mini yellow pear) and lemon boy just to name a few. Typically they have a lower level of acidity which causes them to be milder than most other tomatoes. The typical yellow tomato is a mellow salad variation and can grow quite tall. They are quite vibrant with their bright yellow flesh which is a great feature if you are looking to add colour to your garden.
Be sure to never plant tomatoes in the same soil consecutively each year, they require crop rotation which is a process that best benefits the plant. By rotating between different crops in the soil it will prevent the build-up of soil-borne pests and disease. Crop rotation also allows the soil to replenish any nutrients which might have otherwise been depleted over time.