Tomato Types

This Latin American fruit comes in thousands of varieties. Decide what to grow based on your needs and your garden space.
today tomatoes are popular around the world

today tomatoes are popular around the world

The first Spanish explorers in the Americas thought tomatoes were deadly. Luckily for us, they were wrong.

Though referred to as a vegetable, tomatoes are actually a fruit native to Mexico and Central America where they grow year-round. There are thousands of varieties of tomatoes. A trip to the local market is a great way to find the types of tomatoes that are liked and would be good choices to grow in the garden.

Choose Roma tomatoes for sauce, cherry tomatoes for salads or slicing tomatoes for sandwiches. Each tomato has a slightly different texture and flavor. Choose the type that's right for the need and a variety that grows in the climate. The local garden center will have seedlings available in the spring or seeds are available year-round if the growing from seed is preferred.

When Spanish explorers discovered tomatoes they thought they were poisonous. They looked similar to another plant that was known to be toxic so many people were afraid to eat them. Once the explorers realized tomatoes were safe they were quickly adopted as part of their diet. They carried seeds back to Europe where they became wildly popular. Many hybrids have been created from those first seeds. Now tomatoes are popular around the world.

One of the first choices to make when choosing the type of tomato you want to grow is based upon the amount of space you have to work with. There are two basic types of tomatoes, determinate and indeterminate. Determinate types are shorter, bushier and have fruit that ripens close to the same time. Indeterminate types are taller and more like vines. They need to be staked and pruned, but they produce fruit over the entire season as long as the plant is healthy. For a small space garden it'd best to choose the determinate variety, for more space plant either type or a mixture of the two types.

Next Up

In Your Words: 9 Tomato Planting and Growing Tips to Try

These tomato tips from our readers combine folk wisdom with science and a little luck. Try them and see if they boost your harvest.

Vertical Gardening With Tomatoes

Growing tomatoes up rather than out is probably the most popular vertical gardening technique of all. Here are two tried and true ways.

Tips for Harvesting Tomatoes Early

These tricks will protect young tomato plants so that an early harvest is possible.

Plant Tomatoes in Trenches for Better Results

Ensure healthy, successful tomato plants in your vegetable garden by planting half or more under the soil in a trench. Learn how and why.

Planting Tomatoes

Follow these tips for growing tomatoes in your summer vegetable garden.

How to Prune Tomatoes

Learn how to prune tomato plants—and why you should do it.

Planting Tomatoes From Seed

Learn how to grow tomatoes from seed.

Types of Rutabaga

With nearly a dozen rutabaga types on offer from breeders and growers, the Laurentian rutabaga usually comes out on top for ease of growing.

Types of Turnips

Turnip varieties go way beyond the standard old Purple Top and white Tokyo Cross, to include surprising range of sizes, shapes, colors, flavors of both roots and leafy greens, and time they take from seed to table.

The Different Types of Sweet Potatoes

There are over 400 different sweet potato varieties around the world, figure out which is best for your garden.


7am | 6c
7:30am | 6:30c
8am | 7c
8:30am | 7:30c

This Old House

9:30am | 8:30c
1pm | 12c
1:30pm | 12:30c
2pm | 1c
2:30pm | 1:30c
3pm | 2c
3:30pm | 2:30c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

Fixer Upper

10pm | 9c

Fixer Upper

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

Fixer Upper

1am | 12c

Fixer Upper

2am | 1c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Salvage Dawgs

4:30am | 3:30c

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.