These Seven New Tomato Varieties Have Been Named the Best for 2020
They stood out in trials across the country for their flavor, disease resistance, and productivity.
Biting into a sun-warmed, perfectly ripe tomato is one of the purest joys of summer, and the best way to capture that juicy, fresh taste is to grow your own. If you're looking for a few new varieties to try out in your garden this year, All-America Selections, a national plant-trialing organization, just announced seven new tomatoes chosen as the best-of-the-best by AAS judges. They were grown alongside other top-performing tomatoes in trial gardens across the country, and outperformed each of them, earning a respected AAS award. Try one (or all) of these outstanding new tomatoes in your garden this year for a crop that's guaranteed to taste better than anything you can find at the store.
These super-cute, aptly named tomatoes look like tiny yellow apples growing on the vine. Trial judges were impressed by their sweet, citrusy taste, matching their fruity appearance. Apple Yellow can reach maturity in 110 to 120 days, depending on if you start it from seeds or a transplant, and it's indeterminate, meaning the plant will keep growing until the first frost. When grown in full sun, the plant can reach about six feet in height and produce up to 1,000 tomatoes, so you'd best get a few tomato salad recipes ready if you decide to plant this prolific grower. However, Apple Yellow was developed by Gana Seed Co, Ltd. in Korea, and seeds for this variety aren't yet widely available in the U.S.
Grape tomato lovers, take note—Celano is one of the best new varieties you can grow. It's well-suited for growing in containers in full sun on your patio, though it'll do best if it has a cage for support. Celano is also an early producer—this semi-determinate grower can reach maturity in just 60 to 70 days from when you plant it and tops out around three feet tall. Judges noted that this variety showed excellent resistance to blight, a common disease that afflicts tomatoes. Compared to other grape tomato varieties, one judge noted that Celano has a sweeter taste and overall better yield.
Shop Now: Celano Hybrid Tomato Seeds, $3.65, totallytomato.com.
This variety lives up to the lofty reputation of heirloom tomatoes for being the most flavorful; according to judges, Buffalosun has a sweet taste and better texture than other popular heirloom tomato varieties, which can sometimes be a little mushy. Buffalosun tomatoes are a beautiful combination of yellow, orange, and red, and have a high yield with minimal cracking (splitting skin on the fruit). The plants reach maturity in 70 (for transplants) to 110 days (for seeds), and are indeterminate, usually producing about 15 fruits per plant. They grow best in full sun with the aid of a cage or stakes, and can reach up to six feet tall. Judges also noted that Buffalosun kept producing more and more fruits throughout the season (each hefty orb usually weighing over a pound), even after other varieties had stopped yielding new tomatoes. Bred in France, the seeds have yet to become widely available in the U.S.
Chef's Choice Bicolor
One of the best beefsteak types you can grow this season, Chef's Choice Bicolor tomatoes have a sweet and slightly savory flavor and smooth texture. Judges also complimented this tomato variety for how attractive it looks in a garden with its yellow-orange fruits that resist cracking despite their thin skin. A single plant can yield about 30 meaty fruits, usually weighing about half a pound each. The fruits mature early, usually in about 75 days, but this variety can keep producing new tomatoes well into September in the Midwest. The plants are indeterminate, reaching about five feet tall in full sun so they need support to stay upright.
Shop Now: Chef's Choice Bicolor Hybrid Tomato Seeds, $3.10, totallytomato.com.
Producing up to 300 bright red, bite-size cherry tomatoes per plant, Crokini got high scores for both its impressive yield as well as the sweet, slightly acidic taste and firm, crunchy texture of each fruit. Judges also loved this variety for its resistance to blight and cracking throughout the entire growing season. Plants are indeterminate and can be ready for harvest in as little as 60 (for transplants) to 105 days (for seeds). In full sun, the plant can reach six feet tall. Developed in France, this variety will soon be available from Ball Seed in the U.S.
This roma type was chosen as a top performer in part because of its high yield (over 25 fruits per plant) and resistance to blossom end rot, a common tomato disease that spoils the fruits' good looks. Early Resilience also boasts a balanced flavor of just the right amounts of sweetness and acidity, and it's one of the best tomatoes for home canning and cooking. Judges praised the health of this plant throughout the season, and also noted that some of its fruits ripened in the middle of July, two weeks sooner than other roma varieties in the trial garden. The determinate plants stay compact, only growing up to two feet tall in full sun, are ready to harvest after about 115 days.
Shop Now: Early Resilience Hybrid Tomato Seeds, $3.45, totallytomato.com.
Strong and sturdy, Galahad lives up to its namesake (one of King Arthur's legendary knights) with stout vines and excellent disease resistance. Growing up to four feet tall in full sun, Galahad produces large fruits (usually weighing about 12 ounces) that judges noted would be ideal for canning pasta sauce or homemade salsa. These determinate plants are usually ready to harvest after about 75 days. Also praised for its appearance, Galahad tomatoes are round and bright red with a sweet, meaty flavor.
Shop Now: Galahad Tomato Seeds, $5.45, johnnyseeds.com.