Best Tomato Varieties for Kansas City Backyard Gardens
With summer in full swing, I find myself thinking about food, farmer’s markets and gardening on a daily basis so what better topic to write about than everyone’s favorite vegetable (or is a fruit?), tomatoes! I am no expert, but I’ve had a backyard garden my entire life, and I enjoy experimenting with new varieties each year. Plus, I just happen to be the daughter of the tomato whisperer. I have grown my fair share of slicing tomatoes and cherry tomatoes which are the focus of this blog entry. I do not, however, grow sauce and canning varieties such as Roma so feel free to share your favorites in the comments. Are you a backyard gardener? What do you think of my list, and what are your favorites?
Sarah’s Characteristics of a Good Slicing Tomato
- Fine, smooth texture for slicing
- Good on BLTs!
Sarah’s Characteristics of a Good Cherry Tomato
- Moderately Acidic
- Thin Skinned (so pick them early and often)
- Small enough to pop in your mouth as a snack, or throw in salads
Best Slicing Tomatoes for Kansas City Gardeners
Better Boy Tomato
I call this old reliable. Better Boy is a hybrid variety with a medium size and firm red skin (not a pink red, more of an orange red). It is always my first to produce each year, and has an extremely high yield all season long. The flesh texture is smooth, and they are moderately juicy. The flavor is very balanced combination of sweet and acidic. They are medium sized and round; I find this size more practical than some of my more exciting hybrids.
This is an heirloom variety with heavy, large, sometimes misshapen, flat fruit. The skin is thin, the color is a pink-tinted red. Brandywine tomatoes have a pronounced sweet, tangy acidic flavor that I find intense and delicious. They are very juicy. I have had great luck growing these in our climate as well, and I generally find the yield in the medium range.
Marianna’s Peace Tomato
This is my first year growing Mariana’s Peace tomatoes, but I can’t leave it out. This is the best tasting tomato I have ever had. This is an heirloom variety of medium size and flat shape. It is supposed to have a low yield, and late to maturity. I have read that the skin was thick, but I found it to have a normal/medium skin thickness, and the texture was silky smooth. The flavor is rich, and perfectly balanced between sweet and acidic. This is the perfect slicing tomato, and it will make the best BLT of your life.
Not my favorite, but Goliath tomatoes tend to develop very early.
Black Cherokee Tomato
I can’t get Black Cherokee tomatoes to grow well in my yard, but I like the flavor, size, and interesting dark color
Pineapple tomatoes are very large with an orange/red blotchy flesh and sweet, tangy, fruity flavor.
Celebrity tomatoes are a small, red, prolifi, well-balanced hybrid.
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Best Cherry Tomatoes for Kansas City Gardens
Black Cherry Tomato
Black cherry tomatoes are very rich, complex flavor on small, round mahogany colored cherry tomatoes. I keep trying other varieties, but this is my favorite.
Sunsugar Cherry Tomato
Sunsugar tomatoes are very sweet, juicy tangy flavor on small, bright orange cherry tomatoes. Said to be crack resistant.
Sungold Cherry Tomato
Sungold cherry tomatoes are sweet, fruity, tasty bright orange cherry tomatoes. I like the flavor, but I remember preferring the sunsugar.
Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato
Yellow Pear cherry tomatoes have nice flavor on a larger, pear shaped cherry tomato; adds visual interest to dishes and salads, and can be sliced in half.
Love this! We share a deep love of tomato season. I eat them like an apple, with a salt shaker, until I get canker sores 🙂 I need to get my hands on a Mariannas Peace tomato, don’t think I’ve tried those before? I want to plant tomatoes for next summer, this will be my go-to guide. Hope you are doing well!
Great list. I’ll have to try some of those. I’ve had great luck this year with Gardener’s Delight cherry tomatoes in my containers. The first fruits came earlier too– end of June/early July and are still producing, though they are waning. Btw, congratulations on your new little guy!
Thanks for this comprehensive tomato list! You seem like an expert to me. I would like to try a small raised bed next year and have the girls ‘help’. Need to figure out a place in our yard where it would work… Enjoy these last weeks of summer. Happy gardening!
Where can you buy the Marianna’s Peace Tomato plant? I have never heard of that variety it sounds delicious!
Surprise but your list is similar to what I grow in Oregon! Haven’t tried Mariana’s or your #1 cherry tomato. Will be moving to Excelsior Springs in 2 weeks so I will get to try them next year!!
My tomato supplier guy swears Carbon is the best tomato on the planet. You should try those next year too! Happy moving.
I grew my tomatoes in hay bales last year. You have to condition bales. Easy. Tomatoes grew great and I had tons of tomatoes. You can do it in your backyard too. Thanks,
Looking to locate/buy avalanche tomatoe seed
Need help with tomato plant problem – – only 2 out of 14 – – might be fusarium wilt (??)