Tomato Varieties for the Midwest

Midwestern gardeners will have luck with these easy-growing tomatoes.
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©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

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'Yellow Pear' Tomato

Once 'Yellow Pear' starts bearing, it doesn’t stop until frost. The cherry-type tomatoes mature in 75 days.

'Jet Star' Tomato

If you like your tomatoes on the sweet side, plant 'Jet Star', one of the earliest hybrids available. This tomato has tremendous disease resistance, so it's a great indeterminate variety.

'Celebrity' Tomato

A 1984 All-America Selections winner, 'Celebrity' tomatoes are famous for their disease-resistance and ability to produce under various weather conditions. Determinate plants produce large, bright red fruits in 70 days.

'Early Bush' Cherry Tomato

'Early Bush' produces heavy yields of red cherry tomatoes. This variety produces tomatoes 7 to 10 days earlier than other varieties and does well under adverse weather conditions. Plants do not require staking or caging, making them easy to grow in pots.

Halladay's 'Mortgage Lifter'

Many gardeners claim to grow the legendary ‘Mortgage Lifter’. According to the story, the plants were so popular, the original grower sold enough of them to pay off the mortgage on his family farm. This heirloom hails from the James Halladay family in Kentucky, where it’s been grown since the 1930s. The pink beefsteak fruits are meaty and rich in old-fashioned tomato taste.

'Black Cherry' Tomato

'Black Cherry' matures in 65 to 70 days on large, bushy plants that can grow up to 8 feet tall.

'Marmande' Tomato

'Marmande' is a beautiful, large-fruited tomato with slight pleats. Considered a hearty beefsteak tom, it is an old French variety that has a true tomato taste with an intense flavor when ripe. 'Marmande' matures in around 70 days and is great for gardeners in cool climates.

'Brandywine' Tomato

Brandywine tomatoes date back to the 1880s and are a staple heirloom variety, revered for their impeccable flavor and ease of growth. The large beefsteaks—which are generally pinkish-red but will depend on the particular cultivar—grow on upright plants and ripen in 85 days. Though you'll be eager to harvest right away, let them mature on the vine to develop their sweet flavor.

'Genuwine' Heirloom Marriage Tomato

'Genuwine' hybrids boast meaty fruits that develop in as little as 70 days, more than a week earlier than 'Brandywine' tomatoes. 

'Early Girl' Tomato

'Early Girl' is one of the first tomatoes to be ready for harvest, making them a fit for gardeners with short seasons or those itching to bite into a homegrown tomato ahead of the game. This hybrid matures in just 50 days on indeterminate, 6- to 8-foot plants.

'Sun Sugar' Tomato

Charming 'Sun Sugar' cherry tomatoes are ready for snacking in about 60 days, and will continue to produce abundantly throughout the growing season. The orange-yellow fruits, as the name would suggest, are irresistibly sweet, but have a true-tomato bite.

'Pineapple' Tomato

These heirlooms are big on size and flavor, producing vibrant 1- to 2-pound tomatoes that are yellow in color, often with red to pink streaks. 'Pineapple' has a distinctively fruity flavor.

'Mr. Stripey' Tomato

Weighing in around one to two pounds at maturity, ‘Mr. Stripey’ is a beefsteak-type tomato with pinkish-red and yellow streaks, and a high sugar content that makes them sweet and delicious. The indeterminate vines start bearing in about 80 days and reach 8 to 10 feet tall.

Tomato 'Juliet'

Sweet, meaty 'Juliet' tomatoes are ready to harvest in about 60 days. These grape-shaped fruits resist cracking and are a great choice for gardeners whose growing seasons are short or whose climates are cool.

'Sweet Olive' Tomato

'Sweet Olive' tomatoes are an outdoor, semi-determinate variety. The 'Sweet Olive' produces clusters of bright red, crunchy and sweet baby plum tomatoes. Though they require staking, you won't have to prune these tomatoes much and they won't split on you.