Favorite Heirloom Tomatoes & Their Characteristics

heirloom tomatoes

I’m craving fresh vegetables from the garden, especially my favorite heirloom tomatoes.  First, I have my tomato plants under the grow lights, and hopefully I will be tilling the garden in a few weeks. I believe the last frost date in Zone 6B is around May 15.  Heirloom tomatoes take up much of the space in my garden. Check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips before you leave.

Why?  Because they have a totally different taste from store brought tomatoes and hybrid tomatoes. It’s hard to describe the flavor of a tomato, it must be experienced. I’m a visual person, so I thought you would like to see the end result of what is being planted in my garden.  Additionally, learn a few characteristics of my favorite tomatoes.  Also, I hope this information will help you make a decision on what tomatoes you want to purchase before you buy from your local garden center.

Before you select your tomato plants, decide how you want to use your tomatoes.  Do you want to use them for sandwiches slices, make sauce, paste or salsa.  Or do you want to use them in salads?  Will you canning them?  I love slicing tomatoes in the summer and just eating them with a little mayo and pepper. Yum! I also make salsa, sauce, freeze them and can my harvest, so I need a variety in my garden.

Here’s a few of my favorite tomatoes.  Lets start with the tomatoes in the picture below:

1. Brandywine Pink (back)  – First, I like this tomato for its color and taste. How often do you see a pink tomato? The Brandywine Pink has a sweet taste, so I use it on sandwiches and as my go to when I want my sliced tomatoes with mayo. I also cut these in cubes for salads and tacos. I grow the Brandywine Red and Brandywine Yellow as well.

2. Hillybilly (center) –  Next, the Hillbilly originated in my home state West Virginia. The color is a mix of yellow and red. It is delicious and has a sweet taste. It slices beautifully. I also add it to fresh salsa or salads.

3. Yellow Beefsteak (center left) –  So, I like the size of this tomato. It’s great for slicing.  The tomato is large and it’s great for thick slices.  Also, I add it to salads and salsa. I have a mixture of beefsteak seeds, so I don’t know if I’m going to get red, yellow, orange or green. It’s always nice to see what the end result is in the garden.

4. Brandywine Yellow (center right) –  This tomato has a better taste that the
Brandywine Pink, but it doesn’t produce as many tomatoes and it’s the last tomato plant in the garden to produce fruit. If you find that you like this tomato, you may want to double the amount of plants in your garden and stalk them well. They produce fruit up to 2 pounds each. Very pretty in salads or slices.

5. Cherokee Purple (front center)  – This tomato has beautiful deep burgundy color. The flavor is bold. This tomato is what home gardening is about, and no home kitchen garden is complete without at least one plant.


6.  Amish Paste (Heirloom) – This is the tomato that I use for sauce. It’s a plum tomato that is meaty. I also use for salsa. Be warned, this plant grows hardy amounts of fruit that will topple your cage if not heavily stalked.



7. Better Boy (Hybrid) – One of the most popular if not the most popular tomato in the garden. This is the slicer of all slicers and great on burgers. Nice medium size tomato that you can’t go wrong planting.



8.  Early Girl (Hybrid) – Another kitchen garden favorite.  As result, I plant Early Girl because it produces early and it’s a great slicer.  Early Girl is perfect on burgers as well as my go to for tomatoes and mayo.


9. Paul Robeson (Heirloom) – Last, this tomato is called the luxury tomato. It is named for Paul Robeson who was considered elegant, renowned, and charismatic. I think this is my favorite tomato.  I remember the first time I tasted this tomato, I fell in love.  Because the taste is indescribably delicious, it will have a place in my garden if no other makes it way in.
Heirloom tomatoes are not know for their beauty, but their taste.  The crack and have other blemishes, but the tast remains superior.  I hope that you found my list of favorite heirloom tomatoes beneficial.  You may also like:  10 Benefits of Vegetable Gardening.



  1. I am really hoping my tomatoes will do well! I have 3 different kinds of determinate tomatoes in big pots. They are coming along slowly but since Jenna has 3 different plants in her raised beds and they are going crazy it should all work out well. She will have the early ones and I will share my later ones! I see lots of BLTA sandwiches in my future!

    • I'm excited that you're going to have fresh tomatoes for your BLT sandwiches. I look forward to making then in the summer, which is the only time that I make them now that I think about it, lol. Keep me posted.