Roll Call

Sharing time! What varieties of tomatoes are you growing this summer? This was not the roster of tomatoes I’d initially planned to be growing this year, but here’s the list of what I’ve got…

Celebrity – I grew this for the first time last year as it was highly recommended by Lyndon Penner at his U of S tomato class. This is a crowd favourite for a reason – really delicious and produces like crazy. I’m doing two of these in 2020.

Juliet – Another Lyndon suggestion that I grew last year. Also an AAS winner like Celebrity. I have had a lot of trouble trying to grow San Marzanos (they always get blossom end rot for some reason), Juliets seemed a bit like a hybrid of a paste and a grape tomato, with amazing flavour, high production, and kept well into the fall on the counter. Growing two, as these freeze well for winter use.

Mamma Mia – The reason I planted Juliet last year was because I was actually looking for Mamma Mia which was sold out everywhere, and Juliet was suggested as a good alternative. It is a paste tomato and allegedly a better alternative to San Marzano for Canadian gardens. I’m excited to try it!

Sunsugar – I usually grow one of these every year. They are always by far the earliest cherry tomatoes, and ridiculously sweet.

Spoon – I have mentioned these before. They are definitely not for everyone but I just love the novelty. They are teensy tiny, saskatoon-berry sized tomatoes on a big plant that gets pretty out of control. They are a pain to pick because they are so small, but I love them in salads and they are a fun conversation starter. My surviving spoon plant came back from the brink of death and is currently about one inch tall, but should be over 4 feet in a month or so if we start getting some consistent sunlight!

Brown Berry – One of my favourite heirloom cherry tomato varieties that I have been growing since my first year of “grownup gardening.” They are not super sweet but still very flavourful and produce well, and a lovely colour.

Ananas Noire – This is my most favourite tomato. They don’t produce well at all, maybe 3-5 tomatoes per plant, and ripen super late in the year. They are ugly AF on the outside but the most gorgeous range of colours when you cut in, and taste almost like a tropical fruit. I look forward to my first bite of an ananas noir every summer.

Pineapple – Apparently Ananas Noire is a variation of pineapple. I cannot recall if I’ve ever grown pineapple before, but I found a pack of seeds in my garage that I ordered in 2012. They germinated and so I’m growing these alongside Ananas Noire to see how much of a difference there is and if I truly prefer one over the other.

Babywine – I have been falling out of love with this variety in recent years. It’s sort of like a smaller Brandywine, and in a good year it tastes amazing but last year was a bad year for tomatoes so my Babywine plants ripened ridiculously late and also had kind of a mealy texture. I’m giving it one last chance this year, but it has been looking sickly since I put it in the ground a few weeks ago.

Big Zac – I’m trading a colleague an extra padron pepper plant for this one. I’d never even heard of this novelty variety but apparently it’s the largest tomato one can grow. It should be interesting! I doubt I’ll get a six-pounder but I’m excited to try it.

Mystery??? – I also had a random variety tomato seed pack in my garage and just planted a bunch of the seeds. Three germinated, and based on the leaf shape and growth pattern they all kind of look like they might be the same variety. Nonetheless it is fun to have some mystery tomatoes whose variety will be a surprise for later in the summer! (Sometimes I don’t label my plants for this very reason.)

In Memoriam

As I mentioned I’m not totally impressed with the above lineup. I’d planned for some new varieties and old favourites, but had a few germination/staying alive issues. RIP to my ungerminated seeds or seedlings that emerged but didn’t make it across the finish line: Black Cherry, Green Grape, Emerald Evergreen, Black Beauty.

I know this site doesn’t exactly have a rollicking comments section but if you feel so inclined I’d love to hear what varieties other people are growing, and am always open to suggestions for what I might try growing next year!

Join the Conversation


  1. I want to hear all about your Mama Mia and Juliet plants productivity. Next time I have a garden I want to go full speed ahead with salsa making and want the best bang for my buck with paste tomatoes.


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