What’s Your Favorite Eating Tomato?

Tomato ‘Gold Tomato’

“For Central MS, what is your best suggestion for a good “eatin’ ‘mater?” Question from Judy of Louisville, Mississippi

Answer: You can never love just one tomato! I have three standbys for great overall eating tomatoes. These are the ones I grow each year no matter what, and they’ll grow well in your Southern heat.

The best tomato for flavor is ‘Gold Medal’, a golden heirloom beefsteak tomato imbued with red blotches. It has beautiful fruit with an amazing sweet tomato flavor. Its only downfall is that it is not a big producer, but the flavor is tops.

My favorite all-purpose tomato is Franchi Sementi’s ‘Red Pear’. I’ve been singing the accolades of this traditional Italian heirloom for years. It bears lots of large, red, pear-shaped tomatoes with excellent flavor and firm, dense flesh. They are super for eating fresh or making sauce. This one is an all-around winner.

The orange-fleshed beefsteak ‘Kellogg’s Breakfast’ is a delicious tomato and the plants produce well. This heirloom has super sweet flavor and pleasing meaty flesh.

For great cherry tomatoes, I recommend you click here to read our Fafard article about the 10 best-tasting cherry tomatoes.

Good soil is essential for high tomato yields and good flavor. The richer and deeper the soil, the better the root development. Deep roots give tomatoes an edge during hot, dry spells, especially down South. Black Gold Garden Compost Blend and Earthworm Castings are ideal amendments for tomatoes, and both are OMRI Listed for organic gardening. Also, be sure to feed your plants with a fertilizer formulated for tomatoes.

Happy tomato growing!

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist



Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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