Most Productive Heirloom Tomato You've Grown

While flavor is always great, in my garden production matters. I hate wasting space on anything that is stingy giving me food. This year (in 6B SW MO) has been weird so far (coolish and really wet), but Vintage Wine has been doing fantastic so far. Anything else that is going to catch it in production has a lot of ground to make up.

So what heirloom tomato varieties are the best for you when it comes to pumping out lots of tomatoes consistently?


Rutgers or the yellow cherry tomatoes with no name.


I grew 10 heirlooms last year. Mortgage Lifter and Mr. Stripey were the two most productive I grew. Brandyqine was my stingiest.


Bloody Butcher only gets about racquetball size for me, but is still a good choice. It is very early, very productive and tastes really good.


Mortgage lifter did real well for me one year. I usually plant three or four plants together, that way maybe one variety will do better one year, and another, in another year. This year, I have three towers, with nine varieties. I have Amish Paste, Mr. Stripey, Mortgage Lifter, Brandywine, off the top of my head. I avoid all non heirlooms, as most have been produced for shipping and supermarket appearance. If any seed sprouts, I let them grow too.


Black Krim is the best for me. Lots of large fruit and a long growing season. Great flavor too!


Thessaloniki. Very productive, no disease issues, and keeps producing until first frost. It’s one of the only tomatoes that has a permanent spot in my garden.


Amish Paste.

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Last year I put in a single Black Krim a few weeks after all my others and I harvested 58 tomatoes off it. (I planted two this season)

I also planted only one NAR last season and it gave me 48 tomatoes.

I like the Brandywine Sudduth strain so I had two of those last year, and between them got a combined 64. Not as prolific as some, and tend to get cracks some worse - but they’re worth it to me!

San Marzano for a paste is better measured in pounds as they’re just unreal producers for me. 5 gallon buckets full — on and on…

This year I’m trying Boxcar Willie & Bulgarian Triumph heirlooms to see what I think about them.


Bart, I rowed up a bunch (dozen or more) of tomatoes and myself and some others having a picnic did a taste test that was unlabeled. (I knew what they were.) Both heirloom and standard garden center varieties were in the mix.

Celebrity won. That’s not an heirloom.
But, Black Krim was second on my scorecard.


Ill add my vote for Black Krim. First time growing it but after much research on TomatoVille, it and Big Beef (not sure if heirloom) were the ones that were most frequently mentioned as reliable producers.


This is a good one for sure. But do you ever have issues with Blossom End Rot in your area? I was and so started also growing Opalka for my paste tomato. It’s also very productive and doesn’t get BER, but it takes a while to start producing for the season and then shuts off production earlier than I’d like.


The question is about herilooms, not hybrids. This should be considered in terms of the climate where grown. I’m in a hot humid climate with a lot of similarity to Missouri.

The best paste tomato is Heidi. Decent scores go to Martino’s Roma and San Marzano.

There are several contenders for best slicer. Box Car Willie, Burgundy Traveler, Druzba, Lynnwood, and Red Brandywine would be among them. For a pink, I love Crnkovic Yugoslavian, Dora, Eva Purple Ball, and Stump of the World.

For yellow and orange tomatoes, Yoder’s German Yellow, Dr. Wyche’s Yellow, Kellogg’s Breakfast, and Jaune Flamme (tart delicious) are at the head of the list.

Cherry tomatoes are almost all productive. I recommend Dr. Carolyn Pink, Galina, Camp Joy, Black Cherry, and Green Grape.


I’ll second Stump of the World, its my go-to heirloom for my hot-and-humid area (my garden is also in an extra hot microclimate). It doesn’t last all summer but it cranks them out a good while.

This year I am trialing Amazon Chocolate, so far it is beating out SotW in terms of the size of the load. I almost grew Black Krim and I think I will try it next year. I even started the seeds of it before changing my mind… not sure why I didn’t keep just one.

I grew a lot of heirlooms that were productive in other climates but not in mine - a very long list of failures.

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Kelloggs Breakfast by a long shot. It far outproduces any other good sized heirloom I’ve ever grown. It’s also delicious.


What if you could grow a hybrid that had all the qualities of Brandywine except its stingy bearing habit? That is what Brandyboy does for me.

I don’t grow many pure heirlooms anymore- Jersey Devil for a paste type, but it doesn’t really produce more and isn’t as beautiful or tastier one than Striped Roman, a recent introduction bred for flavor and a combination of two heirlooms.

2 or 3 sprays of copper soap early in the season can do wonders for productivity if you aren’t growing under plastic in the humid region.

Hell, I have a one-year heirloom that sprouted from compost in my non tomatoed veg garden that bore excellent fruit into Oct. from seed that was a hybrid Brandy-boy seedling. This year I’m really putting it to the test. I was lucky that it was isolated from my other toms.


Not sure if this comment was intended for me, but Opalka is an heirloom, as far as I know.

Amish paste has been a beast for me in the past. Big production, big plant.

Sounds like I’m going to have to add Black Krim, Amish Paste, and SOTW to my grow list for next year for sure. I’ve got a few Kellogg’s Breakfast going, a few Opalkas, and one Dr. Wyche’s yellow. I already had Boxcar Willie on my grow list for next year. Because of my raised bed set up I usually shy away from any determinate varieties.

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I do get a touch of it, but since I’ve been adding Epsom Salt at plant-out, and using TomatoTone (or similar) that’s has a pretty good Calcium number, there’s been noticibly less.

What little I do get is always early, and the plant seems to outgrow it or have a greater ability to do the whole Calcium up-take thing. I toss the tiny green tomatoes at first sign of BER and it’s no big deal.

SM is such a great sauce tom that produces massive quantities that you never notice the ten or twelve green ones you tossed early on.

We froze up 80 quarts of them aside from what we gave away.