Ready to discover the best heirloom tomato varieties to add to your garden this season? In this post I’ll share with you some of the very best classic heirloom tomato varieties that are perfect for canning season. All of these varieties can be used to make thick and meaty tomato sauces.
I love to grow tomatoes. Starting tomatoes from seed, buying heirloom starters from the neighbourhood greenhouse and tending to them all summer long is a chore I long to do. There’s something special about growing tomatoes from seed all the way to the mason jar. Nothing could be more rewarding for a gardener.
In this post, it’s my hope to help you choose the very best tomato varieties for your garden so that you can accomplish this too.
Heirloom Tomato Varieties
With thousands of tomato varieties on the market, selecting the best options for your garden can seem like a monumental task. Since each variety offers up its own unique set of characteristics, you’ll want to make selections based upon how you plan to put your precious garden bounty to use.
If your goal is to serve up tasty tomato sauce, some varieties are better suited for the job than others. The best tomatoes for succulent homemade sauces have fewer seeds and a firm, meaty texture.
Learn how to can pasta sauce in the Free Canning Course.
Determinate tomatoes yield their entire crop all at once, while indeterminate varieties parcel out their harvest over the course of an entire season. If you are the kind of person who wants to do all of your harvesting and processing at one time, determinate varieties may be ideal.
Grow These 5 Awesome Tomato Varieties for Fantastic Homemade Sauces
5 Great Determinate Tomato Varieties
Italian Roma Bush Tomato Seeds
This disease-resisting heirloom tomato is excellent for pastes and sauces. If you want to be seen as a tomato sauce aficionado, you’ll want to grow this variety.
Many tomato experts and master gardeners actually call the Russian Big Roma “the perfect sauce tomato.”
Unlike most paste and sauce tomatoes, this is an indeterminate variety which produces large, dark and deep red fruit with a pure and rich flavor available throughout the growing season.
San Marzano Roma Pole Tomato Seeds
This Italian determinate tomato variety produces a deep red fruit between 3 and 4 inches in length. Some gardening experts believe that the San Marzano makes the absolute best tomato sauce.
San Marzano’ tomatoes are at the peak of sun-ripened deliciousness when red, and have a slight give when gently squeezed.
Be warned, however… don’t judge the San Marzano by its raw, right-out-of-the-garden flavor. The uncooked taste leaves a lot to be desired, but the process of cooking them down to make sauce releases the magic qualities in this tasty tomato variety.
The Polish Linguisa tomato is an heirloom variety with very meaty flesh. It produces large fruit that are shaped like sausages and weigh up to 12 ounces.
These odd looking and uniquely shaped tomatoes are ideal for sauces and pastes. This particular tomato makes a sweeter sauce and is a top choice of many discerning sauce-making tomato growers around the world.
The Jersey Devil tomato is extremely prolific. With bright red banana-shaped fruits that reach 4 to 5 inches in length at maturity, the Jersey Devil has very few seeds and a rich, sweet flavor.
Thanks to its thick, fleshy texture, this delicious tomato can also be eaten straight off the vine in sandwiches and salads.
This excellent sauce-producing tomato variety was developed in the United States and has been chosen by Organic Gardening magazine as a top paste tomato.
Since the versatile fruit is juicier than most other paste tomato varieties, this delicious tomato is perfect for eating straight from the garden. So, don’t be afraid to add some to your favorite salad or sandwich, but make sure you save enough to makes lots of thick and full-bodied sauce!
I’ve personally had amazing results growing Amish Paste tomatoes from seed. Some tomato varieties I just can’t seem to be successful from seed to harvest with, but Amish Paste I trust time and time again.
MORE PASTE TOMATOES
Of course, this is list is far from comprehensive. There are lots of other terrific choices that can be used to make succulent pastes and sauces.
If I were to add a 6th it would be the classic beef steak.
Beefsteak Pole Tomato Seeds
This list a great starting point, however, because you can easily find many of these varieties at your local garden centers or in seed catalogues such as this free one. Try adding some or all of them to your garden this year for truly outstanding results later!
Try out these popular and proven heirloom tomatoes
Heirloom Tomato Seed Collection