Every year I grow several different varieties of cherry tomatoes in my garden, and at the end of the growing season, I compare each cherry tomato variety for production and disease resistance. I take careful notes on which varieties are most prolific, which seem to out-grow the blight, and which withstand summer droughts with nary a wilted leaf. Then I decide which ones make the grade and earn a spot on my “favorites” list. Here’s the skinny on a few of this year’s superstar cherry tomatoes from my garden.
Favorite cherry tomato varieties
‘Isis Candy’: Multi-colored fruits are marbled with orange, red, and yellow and often have a golden starburst pattern on the blossom end when ripe. This beautiful coloration is carried throughout the fruit’s interior as well. Each cherry tomato is three-quarters of an inch across and has a sweet, rich tomato flavor with tender, thin skin. A consistent performer, though not as prolific as other cherries, I’ve found that ‘Isis Candy’ should be allowed to fully ripen on the vine to allow the flavor to completely develop.
‘Black Cherry’: This variety of cherry tomato has a classic black tomato flavor: sweet, rich, smoky, and complex. The one-inch mahogany-brown fruits are produced in moderation on very vigorous plants that exhibit decent disease resistance. Though the skins are a bit thicker and plants produce slightly later than some other cherry tomato varieties, ‘Black Cherry’ is a must-have for my garden.
‘Green Grape’: Plants produce lovely, yellowish green fruits that have darker green shoulders and a kiwi-colored interior. Each grape-shaped cherry tomato measures about an inch across and has a zippy, mildly sweet flavor. Fruits grow in clusters of up to a dozen, much like grapes, and have very thick walls and few seeds, giving them a meaty texture. Plants show good disease resistance, especially to wilts.
‘Sun Gold’: Considered by many to be the gold standard of cherry tomatoes for it’s sweet, sugary taste, ‘Sun Gold’ is an early ripening variety that continues to produce prolifically until frost. A single ‘Sun Gold’ plant can produce over 1000 tomatoes! Each three-quarter inch fruit is a beautiful golden yellow and hangs in large drooping clusters of up to twenty fruits. The only negative is the fruits’ tendency to split after heavy rains.
‘Snow White’: With ivory-colored fruits that mature to a creamy soft yellow, ‘Snow White’ is as prolific as other cherry tomato varieties and shows increased disease resistance. The fruits measure an inch across and have a sweet, fruity flavor that’s just right for garden snacking. Of all the cherry tomatoes I’ve grown, this is my personal favorite. I find it to be sweet without being overly sugary, and it produces consistently until the first frost. A slightly larger variety called ‘Super Snow White’ sets ping-pong ball sized fruits that are just as sweet.
‘Sweet Pea Currant’: One of the tiniest tomatoes you’ll find, ‘Sweet Pea Currant’ bears an abundance of mini-fruits delicately arranged with a dozen or so on each truss. Measuring a mere quarter-inch across, the cardinal red pea-sized fruits are born on sprawling plants covered in tiny leaves. Everything about this plant is cute! These tomatoes have a very sweet, fruity flavor and are a huge hit in the salad bowl.
Which cherry tomato varieties are your favorites?