Disease-Resistant Tomato Varieties: Choosing Tomatoes Resistant To Disease
By: Laura Miller
Nothing is more depressing than losing an entire crop of tomatoes. Tobacco mosaic virus, verticillium wilt and root-knot nematodes can damage and kill tomato plants. Crop rotation, garden hygiene measures and sterilizing tools can only control these problems to a limited extent. When these problems are present, the key to reducing tomato crop loss lies in selecting disease-resistant tomato plants.
Choosing Tomatoes Resistant to Disease
The production of disease-resistant tomato varieties is one of the main objectives of modern hybrid development programs. While this has been successful to some extent, no single tomato hybrid has yet been developed which is resistant to all diseases. Additionally, resistance does not mean total immunity.
Gardeners are urged to select disease-resistant tomatoes which are relevant for their gardens. If tobacco mosaic virus was an issue in past years, it only makes sense to select a variety resistant to this disease. To find disease-resistant tomato varieties, look on the plant label or seed packet for the following codes:
- AB – Alternarium Blight
- A or AS – Alternarium Stem Canker
- CRR – Corky Root Rot
- EB – Early Blight
- F – Fusarium Wilt; FF – Fusarium races 1 & 2; FFF – races 1, 2, & 3
- FOR – Fusarium Crown and Root Rot
- GLS – Gray Leaf Spot
- LB – Late Blight
- LM – Leaf Mold
- N – Nematodes
- PM – Powdery Mildew
- S – Stemphylium Gray Leaf Spot
- T or TMV – Tobacco Mosaic Virus
- ToMV – Tomato Mosaic Virus
- TSWV – Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus
- V – Verticillium Wilt Virus
Disease-Resistant Tomato Varieties
Finding disease-resistant tomatoes isn’t difficult. Look for these popular hybrids, most of which are readily available:
Fusarium and Verticillum Resistant Hybrids
- Big Daddy
- Early Girl
- Summer Girl
- Yellow Pear
Fusarium, Verticillum and Nematode Resistant Hybrids
- Better Boy
- Better Bush
- Burpee Supersteak
- Italian Ice
- Sweet Seedless
Fusarium, Verticillum, Nematode and Tobacco Mosaic Virus Resistant Hybrids
- Big Beef
- Bush Big Boy
- Bush Early Girl
- Fourth of July
- Super Tasty
- Sweet Tangerine
Tomato Spot Wilted Virus Resistant Hybrids
- Primo Red
- Red Defender
- Southern Star
Blight Resistant Hybrids
In recent years, newer varieties of disease-resistant tomato plants have been developed in conjunction with Cornell University. These hybrids have resistance to different stages of blight:
- Iron Lady
- Summer Sweetheart
- Plum Perfect
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Disease resistant tomatoes are what everyone hopes for when planting tis delicious vegetable. Selecting the best tomato cultivars takes more than choosing the best shape, color, and size. The most complete disease resistance package should be considered for reducing losses to diseases, as well as best results when growing.
Tomato plants have a growing season in the late spring and summer because the plant requires a lot of sunshine to thrive.
At the peak of the tomato growing season, the fruit produces large quantities, the fruit is less likely to be infested with nematodes, and the fruit tastes better.
Some of the most common types of tomatoes include Roma tomatoes, Heirloom tomatoes, and Cherry tomatoes. We give you an insight into different Heirloom varieties and some of the more unusual-looking tomato plants.
Two Common Types of Tomatoes
Before diving into the specific different types of tomatoes, you must first understand that tomato plants fall into two general categories: determinate and indeterminate.
Determinate tomatoes are grown on a bush and tend to stop growing when the fruit sets on the top bud.
Indeterminate tomatoes continue growing until the plant reaches almost 20 feet tall. Indeterminate plants continue to produce fruit until the first frost kills them.
All tomato types stem from these two categories. Hybrid tomatoes combine the best part of each group to form a plant that can grow in less than ideal weather conditions and is also disease resistant.
Beefsteak is One of the Most Common Types of Tomatoes
Beefsteak tomatoes are indeterminate and one of the meatiest tomato varieties. Beefsteak tomatoes are enormous and magnificent for cooking.
Of all the tomato types, beefsteak is the best for making pasta sauces and fresh dips because of the fruit’s excessive amount of juice. Beefsteak tomatoes have a mild flavor and harvest some of the largest fruit of the different varieties of tomato plants.
Often growing up to six inches in diameter, beefsteaks are excellent slicing tomatoes for sandwiches. One way to identify a beefsteak tomato is to notice the unusual ribbed shape of the large fruit.
Green Zebra is One of the Unusual Tomato Varieties
Green Zebra tomato plants may look quite distinct from conventional red tomatoes, but the taste is just as good. The tomatoes’ acidity makes the fruit is both sweet and tart and a great addition to salsa or Italian salad.
Green Zebra tomatoes are easy to locate because of their unmistakable look. The fruit is a green tomato with light green and yellow stripes. When harvesting a Green Zebra, note that the fruit is very firm compared to other tomato types.
Locating Sun Gold Tomato Types
Sun Gold is one of the common types of tomatoes and includes the popular Cherry tomato. Sun Gold tomatoes are incredibly flavorful and are best enjoyed fresh off the vine or in a garden salad.
Due to their flavor, include Sun Gold tomatoes in your meals at any point in the year. Sun Gold tomato plants grow aggressively because they are indeterminate and continue to produce fruit throughout the entire growing season.
If you hope to grow your own Sun Gold tomatoes, it is helpful to plant early in the growing season to produce the most fruit.
The Wide Array of Heirloom Tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes are a non-hybrid cultivar and also open pollinated. Insects instead of chemicals naturally pollinate an open pollinated plant.
Because Heirloom tomato varieties are open pollinated, fruit production is genetically more diverse than other tomato types.
Heirloom Tomato Varieties
Growers utilize the seeds from the best producing Heirloom tomatoes to produce the largest yield from season to season. Compared to other common types of tomatoes, Heirlooms have a shorter shelf life and are less resistant to diseases like fusarium.
Delicious Brandywine Tomatoes
One kind of Beefsteak tomato is the Brandywine tomato plant. Brandywine tomato plants grow up to nine feet tall and have large potato leaves. The plant requires a lot of rain for proper fruit production – at least two inches of water per week.
The Brandywine tomato is a deep red color and is regarded as one of the best-tasting tomato varieties.
Because the tomato is so large, it is a great slicing tomato for BLT sandwiches. Additionally, Brandywine tomatoes are an excellent topping for a salad paired with other fresh vegetables.
Everything You Need to Know about Roma Tomatoes
Roma tomatoes go by a few different names. These tomato plants are also referred to as paste tomatoes or plum tomatoes. A Roma tomato is oval-shaped and significantly smaller than Beefsteak tomato types.
Plum tomato fruit has less juice and a chewy exterior flesh, making it great for sauces and canning. These medium-sized tomatoes are among the most common tomatoes at the grocery store because the harvest usually produces many tomatoes at a single time.
If you want to plant Roma tomatoes yourself, know that these tomatoes do not grow well indoors unless the conditions are similar to outdoor conditions regarding temperature.
How to Distinguish Grape Tomatoes
Grape tomatoes are incredibly healthy and an excellent topping for salads or enjoyed on their own. These tomatoes contain vitamins that promote eye, skin, and bone health and help the body fight infection.
Before purchasing grape tomatoes, you should know how to identify them in a grocery store correctly. Grape tomatoes are often confused with cherry tomatoes because they are tiny compared to other tomato types.
Cherry tomatoes are perfectly round, similar to cherries. On the other hand, Grape tomatoes are more oblong, similar to some grape varieties’ shape.
What are Big Beef Tomatoes?
Another Beefsteak tomato type is the Big Beef tomato plant. Big Beef tomatoes are hybrid plants that produce fruit up to six inches in diameter with an abundance of flavor.
Because Big Beef tomatoes are hybrids, the plant is easy to grow and has disease resistance. Commonly mistaken for Better Boy tomatoes, Big Beef produces fruit much quicker than other Beefsteak varieties.
Another benefit of Big Beef tomato plants is that the fruit grows even in undesirable conditions, like cool and wet weather. Big Beef tomatoes are popularly used for sauces and as a sandwich topping.
The Unique Story Behind Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes
The Mortgage Lifter tomato was created in the 1930s by a gardener who sold so many Mortgage Lifter tomatoes that it paid off his entire mortgage! This tomato variety is a popular taste test winner.
Mortgage Lifter tomato plants are indeterminate and grow fruit continuously on a plant that grows up to nine feet tall. The fruit is a large, low-acid, pink-colored fruit of the Beefsteak variety.
Growing the Cherokee Purple Tomato in the Fall
Growers across the country prefer Cherokee Purple tomatoes because they produce fruit in a variety of regions.
This type of tomato is most popular in the summer and early fall. The outside of a Cherokee Purple tomato is a dusky pink, while the inside is a deep red.
Cherokee Purple tomatoes are best enjoyed on a pizza or sauce because their juices are so prominent. When picking Cherokee Purple tomato varieties, pay attention to the top of the stem. When the stem is still a bit green, they are ready to harvest.
How to Know if You Have a San Marzano Tomato
The San Marzano tomato is a type of plum tomato. San Marzano tomatoes are commonly mistaken for plum tomatoes. However, San Marzano tomatoes are longer and thinner than a typical plum tomato.
San Marzano tomatoes have been praised for their flavor, which contains sweetness and the perfect amount of acidity. Because these tomatoes have fewer juices and seeds, they are ideal for sauces to use for lasagna or pasta.
Tomatoes are a tasty addition to salads and sandwiches. Some tomato varieties contain more juices than others, like Amish tomatoes, making them perfect for homemade sauces.
Both tomato plant classes, determinate and indeterminate, produce fantastic fruit that can be enjoyed throughout the year.
If you learned the most common types of tomatoes here, please share this article about different tomato types on Pinterest or Facebook with your friends and family.
Tomato Varieties Resistant to Late Blight
Hybrid, red, globe, (8 ounces) resistance: VFNT, late blight
Popular in the U.K.
Hybrid, indeterminate, 95 days, globe (5 ounces), resistance: VF, blight
Exceptional blight tolerance. Low acidity.
Golden Sweet Tomato
Hybrid, indeterminate, 60 days, deep yellow, grape, resistance: late blight, cracking
Fun to serve with red grape tomatoes
OP (open-pollinated), determinate, 68 days, red, beefsteak (14-16 ounces), resistance: early blight, late blight
Developed by Oregon State University. Sets fruit well in both cool and warm temperatures. Strong resistance to late blight.
Old Brooks Tomato
Heirloom, indeterminate, 78 days, red, globe (6-8 ounces), resistance: blossom end rot, early blight, late blight
A good variety for canning.
Disease Resistance Codes
V Verticillium Wilt
F Fusarium Wilt
FF Fusarium, races 1 and 2
FFF Fusarium, races 1, 2, and 3
T Tobacco Mosaic Virus
St Stemphylium (Gray Leaf Spot)
TSWV Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus
More lists of tomato varieties
Connecticut Garden Journal: Disease Resistant Tomatoes
While we're still a good month away from starting tomato seeds indoors, it's not too early to plan what varieties to grow. Growing tomato plants from seed indoors is easy if you have a light setup. They only take about 6 weeks of indoor growing to be ready to plant and you get to choose from a wide range of varieties.
One of the problems gardeners often encounter with tomato plants are leaf blight diseases. Luckily, there are a number of early and late blight tolerant and resistant varieties on the market. So, try some of these this year in your garden.
'Iron Lady' is a determinate, red slicing variety with good resistant to blight and septoria leaf spot, as long as you grow it away from other blight susceptible varieties. 'Defiant' is a hybrid red, 6- to 8-ounce size variety with good leaf and root disease resistance.
'Mountain Magic' is a red cherry tomato that grows strong, produces lots of sweet, crack resistant fruit and doesn't get many leaf diseases. 'Matt's Wild Cherry' is a current-sized, red cherry tomato that is also a good disease tolerant choice.
For a nice saladette or plum-shaped, disease resistant tomato variety try 'Juliet', 'Plum Regal' and 'Valentine'. These varieties will produce an abundance of fruits for salads and canning.
As with any tomato, the healthier you keep the plant, the less problems you'll have. Plant, once the soil has warmed, in compost amended raised beds, keep the weeds away and water regularly. Trellis or stake tall plants to keep the fruits off the ground and mulch to slow the spread of diseases.
Lesser-Known Facts About Jet Star Tomatoes
Now let’s take a quick look at a few lesser-known facts about these tomatoes. You’ll nod your head at some, while others might be new to you. Either way, the fun facts we’re about to share won’t leave anyone indifferent.
Jet Stars are best grown in temperatures ranging from 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit but can withstand even the hottest days with a tolerance for temperatures of over 90.
Jet Stars will reach full size and stay beautifully shaped. Even during long hot spells, the plants won’t show any signs of heat stress.
This can’t be said about many other tomato varieties.
Tip: Some gardeners may complain about the bland taste of Jet Stars. But you can learn when to harvest your tomatoes for the best results. Let your plants go a bit past ripe. Do this and you’ll get tomatoes with a more well-rounded taste.
It’s an ongoing debate among experienced gardeners whether Jet Star tomatoes are good for canning or not.
One Jet Star tomato review will tell you the tomatoes are too bland-tasting for canning while other reviews will attest to successful canning practices.
Tip: There are ways to make up for the lack of acidity in these tomatoes. When canning your tomatoes, add 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice or citric acid per quart. By doing this, you’ll also be complying with USDA guidelines for safe canning practices.
Want another rare tip that will help your Jet Stars reach their full potential? Have you been treating your plants with fresh manure? If your answer is yes, that’s bad.
Treating them this way will only cause the plants to grow more foliage and less fruit. Instead, use well-rotted cow manure or compost. When planting, add some crushed eggshells to boost calcium levels. This will help your tomatoes grow healthy and vigorous.
Ready to Capitalize on Your Tomato Knowledge?
There are good reasons Jet Star tomatoes have been in the limelight in recent years. This indeterminate tomato variety has what it takes to deserve a spot in your garden. And there are no two ways about it.
Of course, there’s no accounting for taste.
But this tomato gives high-yielding, perfect-looking fruit. And if you’re the impatient type, you won’t have to sacrifice too much of your time. These tomatoes are easy to grow and will mature early.
So, if this is your preferred choice, start by getting your Jet Star tomato seeds and finding them a nifty full-sun spot in your garden. With tomatoes that grow as hard and fast as Jet Stars, the sky is your limit.
The good thing about getting to know different tomato varieties is that you can leverage this knowledge.
Picking up the tips and tricks from experienced gardeners is priceless. Anyone who’s ever had to build their gardening expertise from the bottom up knows this.
So, don’t waste your precious time on the wrong sources. Head over to the Gardening Channel and learn from the best.
Before, gardeners had to come together to exchange ideas so they could capitalize on them, which could take days..
Today the priceless gardening tips are just one click away.
A very informative article about the Jet Star tomato. Thank You for sharing your expertise knowledge about this wonderful variety.