Heirloom Versus Hybrid Tomatoes

gardening

There’s nothing better than fresh, home grown tomatoes in the summer.  I grow both heirloom and hybrid varieties, but my preference is heirlooms shown above.  I prefer heirlooms because they have a larger selection, more flavorful and great for seed saving. I save the seed and use them to start new plants the next growing season.  Heirloom tomato seeds have been passed down from generation to generation and from gardener to gardener.  The plants produced are true to their parents, meaning what you produced last season will hold true for the current growing season.   


It’s time to decide what tomatoes you want to grown on your patio or in your home garden, so check out my list, do your homework and choose a few varieties. Some tomatoes are great for slicing, salads, sauces and paste. 

My favorite heirloom tomatoes are:


  • Paul Robeson
  • Brandywine – Pink, Red, Black
  • Cherokee Purple
  • Paul Robeson
  • German Johnson
  • Beefsteak
  • Black Krim
  • Hillbilly
  • Mortgage Lifter
  • Amish Paste – Meaty and great for sauce and salsa. 
  • Boxcar Willie
  • Kellogg’s Breakfast
There are hundred of heirlooms, these are just a few that I grow each year. I try a new variety each season so my list will continue to grow. 

My favorite hybrid tomatoes are:


  • Early Girl
  • Celebrity
  • Better Boy
  • Roma
  • Sweet 100 – My favorite in salads. 
  • Delicious

Hybrids are a cross between two genetically different tomato varieties. If the seed is saved, the plant produced could be from one or the other parent. I personally don’t save hybrid seed. I like to now what I’m producing.  


There are a few disadvantages to growing heirloom tomatoes. They must be heavily staked and/or caged.  The vines are vigorous and will grow wildly if not contained. They are also known to crack easy and they are tender. They are also not the prettiest in shape, but the colors are beautiful. It takes longer to produce fruit. You can see the difference with the heirloom versus the hybrid in the above picture with the Brandywine Pink variety. It is odd in shape and has cracked. 


The disadvantages listed are why you don’t find them on grocery store shelves, but they are highly sought out by home gardeners. The taste can’t be beat. 

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