With 10,000 varieties of tomatoes of all shapes, sizes and colours, it can be hard to know which are the best tomato varieties. Some are great for adding fresh into salads, while others come into their own when they’re cooked. Some prefer a hearty beefsteak variety, while for others only the sweetest tomato varieties will do.
To help you pick, we polled BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine readers to discover their favourites. Take a look at readers’ eight top tomato varieties for salads, grilling, baskets and more, below.
‘Gardeners’ Delight’: a large cherry, cordon variety. This old favourite was a resounding winner, netting 48 per cent of the public vote. It has a delicious tangy flavour, and is reliable and prolific when grown under cover or outdoors. It was voted best for salads.
Ripe cherry tomatoes ‘Gardeners’ Delight’
‘Moneymaker’: a salad, cordon variety. This is popular for its reliably huge yields in poor soil and bad summers. It was voted the top all-rounder – great for use in sandwiches and salads, roasting and grilling.
A heavy yield of salad tomato ‘Moneymaker’
‘Sungold’ AGM: a cherry, cordon variety. This orange cherry was voted the sweetest, and is best eaten raw. It also has good disease resistance.
Hands-full of orange cherry tomatoes ‘Sungold’ AGM
Best for baskets: ‘Tumbling Tom’
‘Tumbling Tom’: a cherry, bush tomato, voted best for growing in hanging baskets. This compact variety has sweet fruit, and is available in classic red and yellow varieties and also does well in pots and containers.
Ripe ‘Tumbling Tom’ cherry tomatoes
‘Ailsa Craig’: salad, cordon. This flavour-packed variety has been around for 100 years and for good reason; it has thin, dark-red skin and a firm texture.
Salad tomatoes ‘Ailsa Craig’ ripening on the vine
‘Shirley’ AGM: salad, cordon. Popular with exhibitors, Shirley is ideal for growing in an unheated greenhouse. It matures early and has good disease resistance.
Salad tomatoes ‘Shirley’ AGM ripening on the vine
‘Marmande’ AGM: beefsteak, cordon. Its meaty texture and strong flavour make Marmande perfect for slicing into sandwiches and for cooking. Can be grown outside.
Beefsteak tomatoes ‘Marmande’ AGM ready to harvest
‘Golden Sunrise’ AGM
‘Golden Sunrise’ AGM: salad, cordon. These unusual, vivid-yellow fruits have a fantastically sweet flavour and are great for adding colour to salads. Other recommended yellow tomato varieties include the Tomato ‘Sungold’.
‘Golden Sunrise’ AGM tomatoes ripening to golden-yellow on the vine