15 Oldest Tomato Varieties to Grow

Whether you are making sandwiches or cooking steak, tomatoes are a must-have. However, not all tomatoes are rich-flavored.

With artificially crossed varieties being introduced in the market, it is high time you should start growing heirloom varieties in your garden.

So, do you want to grow the oldest tomato variety? Here are the 15 oldest varieties.

When Was the First Tomato Grown?

Tomato is as old as 700 AD. However, different regions have different stories regarding their interaction with tomatoes.

Americans have been using them from the earliest time recorder. It is also believed that tomatoes are native to Americans. So, we can say the first tomato was grown in America, probably in the era of the Aztecs.

Europeans were introduced to tomatoes once they started discovering new lands.

Would you believe tomatoes were once considered poisonous? It resembles wild peaches, which are deadly for humans.

So, most people didn’t dare take them near food. However, it was widely grown in houses for decorative purposes.

Southern Europe was one of those regions that welcomed tomatoes in their kitchens wholeheartedly, as they were able to identify them among wild peaches.

Once people started differentiating tomatoes from wild peaches, it was quickly accepted across all the regions.

What are the Advantages of Growing Old Tomato Varieties?

The foremost advantage of heirloom or old varieties of tomatoes is their rich flavor. The modern varieties used in the market are artificially crossed to maximize the yield. Though it is an affordable option, the cost is saved by comprising the flavor.

So, if you are looking for rich-flavored tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes are the only suitable option.

Secondly, heirloom varieties breed differently than modern varieties. When you breed an heirloom variety, it produces a plant that resembles the parent plant.

However, breeding modern artificially crossed varieties is not that simple. The seeds of modern varieties can be sterile. You cannot predict what variety they will produce, even if they are fertile.

Sometimes modern varieties produce a plant that resembles one of their parents, and sometimes, it may resemble a grandparent.

It means you have to invest a good amount of time and resources in producing your desired plant with the help of modern seeds.

Amish Paste

Amish Paste tomato
Source: www.mygardenlife.com

One of the most famous and commonly used varieties of tomatoes, the Amish Paste, finds its origin in Wisconsin in the late 1800s. The introduction of this variety is credited to the Amish, a traditional Christian group inhabiting Wisconsin.

Have you ever wondered how canned sauces are so plummy? It is because they use Amish Paste variety. It is considered best for canned sauces.

If you plan to grow Amish Paste in your garden, you can expect them to get ready as soon as 80 days. Though the fruit is juicy, you need to support the plant with a cane or trellis.

Related: 31 Funny Tomato Names (No. 9 Will Amuse You)

Black Cherry

Black Cherry tomato

Are you looking for the best tomato variety for snack dishes? Black Cherry is the only answer. As the name suggests, the size of this variety is comparatively smaller than other varieties. However, when it comes to flavor, no one can beat the Black Cherry variety.

If you plan to grow them in your home garden, keep one thing in mind. The Black Cherry variety craves sunlight. So, make sure you plant them in a spot where they can enjoy full sunshine for at least 6 to 8 hours a day.

You can expect them to get ready in almost 70 to 75 days. Similar to other varieties, you would need to support the vines of Black Cherry.


Brandywine tomato

Who doesn’t like tomatoes in steak? However, the tomatoes you use in steak should have a creamy texture, low acidity, and a rich flavor. All these characteristics are present in Brandywine.

Among other varieties, one way of identifying the Brandywine is its leaves. Unlike other tomato varieties that have serrated foliage, the leaves of Brandywine have smooth edges. You can expect them to get ready within 60 to 70 days.

The seeds for different colors are different. So, make sure you buy the seed of the color you want to grow.

You can plant Brandywine tomatoes, as well as other varieties from this article, in containers. If you want to know how to do it, check out this article.

Cherokee Purple

Cherokee Purple tomato
Source: www.hudsonvalleyseed.com

If you want to grow an heirloom variety but don’t know how to maintain a vine with the help of canes and trellis, you should go for Cherokee Purple. They are almost a century-old variety, and their bushy plant will be an attractive addition to your home garden.

You can expect them to get ready within almost 80 days. The best thing about the Cherokee Purple variety is its disease resistance. Besides, they are strong enough to withstand a dry spell. So, you won’t have to worry about its water needs.

The pinkish-purple hue of the fruit makes it a delicious addition to your food.

Chocolate Stripes

Chocolate Stripes tomato
Source: sandiegoseedcompany.com

Are you looking for a delicious heirloom tomato variety for delicious sandwiches and tasty salads? If yes, you must grow chocolate stripes in your garden. These tomatoes can weigh as much as one pound.

At first glance, they might look like sturdy fruits. However, their reddish flesh has a unique flavor that no other variety can beat. They can become ready to harvest in almost 75 to 80 days.

Aunt Ruby’s German Green

Aunt Ruby’s German Green tomato
Source: whiteharvestseed.com

Have you ever seen a green tomato? No, not the unripe tomatoes. Aunt Ruby’s German Green is the oldest tomato variety, and they never turn red, even when fully ripe.

Though you can notice pink streaks on the skin by observing closely, their overall appearance remains green throughout the season.

Aunt Ruby’s German Green can mature within 80 days, and the fruit is as large as one pound. Also, the sweet flavor of Aunt Ruby’s German Green with a tangy touch is difficult to find. The numerous awards Aunt Ruby’s German Green has won for the best garden taste are proof of its unique flavor.

Great White

Great White tomato
Source: www.rareseeds.com

How about growing a white tomato in your home garden? Wouldn’t it look beautiful? The Great White heirloom variety of tomatoes is among the best and oldest.

This sweet juicy is perfect for steaks and sandwiches. Great White is also an excellent option for introducing color variation to your salad plate.

You have to wait for 80 to 90 days for the Great White variety. Though the wait might seem long, the large tomatoes you harvest are worth it.


pineapple tomato
Source: www.rareseeds.com

The name of this variety tells a lot about its flavor as well as appearance. These big tomatoes have reddish-pink streaks on the skin and inside the fruit. When cut into slices and presented with steaks, they look perfect.

Regarding the taste, they are a bit sweet, but not sweet enough to ruin the taste of steaks. They are as big as 2 pounds, meaning the slices look amazing. They mature in almost 70 to 90 days.

As the size of matured Pineapple variety is large, ensure you use a proper support system when planting them.


Thessaloniki tomato
Source: www.threshseed.com

Are you looking for a variety with a balanced proportion of acidity and sugar? Thessaloniki is an ideal choice for you. This oldest tomato variety is thought to have originated in Greece.

The best thing about the Thessaloniki variety is that you can harvest it earlier than other varieties. The average time required for maturation is almost 60 to 90 days depending on the external conditions.

So, if the external conditions are favorable, you can enjoy fully ripened tomatoes within 60 days.

Yellow Pear

Yellow Pear tomato

As the name suggests, this variety looks like pears. These small-sized, yellow-colored tomatoes are perfect for snacks. They can mature within 80 to 85 days.

Though the fruit is small, you can expect a good yield from the Yellow Pear plants.

Also, you might need a sizeable cane or trellis to support the plant, as the yield is significant. One of the best features of the Yellow Pear variety is its disease resistance.

Finding this variety in grocery stores is difficult, so it’s best if you grow them at home. (buy the seeds here)

VR Moscow

vr moscow tomato
Source: www.hometownseeds.com

Here is another bushy heirloom variety that takes almost 80 to 90 days to ripen. Regarding taste, VR Moscow is the perfect balance between sweetness and tanginess. Because of their unique taste, you can use this tomato in different dishes.

Do you want an heirloom variety that can be eaten fresh? Or are you looking for the oldest tomato variety for canning? VR Moscow can serve both purposes quite well.

Mr. Stripey

mr stripey tomato
Source: www.seedway.com

Hands down, Mr. Stripey, is the most delicious heirloom variety you can grow in your home garden. They are the sweetest and the best choice for steaks and sandwiches.

The fruits are the size of one or two pounds and have reddish streaks over yellow skin. They can take almost 80 to 90 days to fully mature. Besides, you will need a strong cane or trellis to support the plant, as the fruits are sizeable.

Burpee, a credible gardening hub, offers the best Mr. Stripey seeds. (buy it here)


hillbilly tomato
Source: www.territorialseed.com

These large tomatoes, almost two pounds, are famous for their sweetness. Their low acid content makes them an ideal choice for many dishes.

You can identify them by their yellowish-red skin. The reddish streaks on the inner side of the fruit give the perfect pop of color to your salad or stake plates. Like most heirloom varieties, you must wait almost 80 days to enjoy ripe fruit.

Dr. Wyche

dr wyche tomato
Source: www.tomatofest.com

Whether buying a traditional heirloom variety or looking for the oldest tomato variety to grow in your garden, Dr. Wyche is the perfect option for you.

These delicious tomatoes have a vibrant skin tone and take 80 days to mature. Their taste is a combination of sweetness and tanginess. The fruit is sizable enough, and the yield is also good. So, make sure you properly support the plant.

Bonny Best

bonny best tomato
Source: www.developingrootstudio.com

You must be careful while selecting the variety if you are looking forward to can tomatoes. Bonny Best is an ideal option for canning. The inside of the fruit is plummy, and the taste is perfectly sweet with a balanced touch of tartness.

You can expect them to mature within 80 days. The yield of the Bonny Best variety is believed to be significant. Ensure you have solid support for the plant, as the fruits are sizable.


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