Tomato Seeds Recommended to Me

Tomatoes are fruits so I thought I should post here?

These tomatoes were suggested for me to try in my location, with a short season:

Early Girl
Early First Prize
Anna Russian
Gregori’s Altai
Sun Gold

Anyone have opinions on these? I relayed that FLAVOR is very important to me when requesting suggestions for tomatoes to grow. I am in 8A, PNW with Mediterranean climate.

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I’m not sure how they’d do in your climate, but unless others have a poor experience with them I’d strongly recommend trying the following at least once. For reference, we’re also in a shorter season Z5a here in South WI, but I’m guessing we get far more heating degree days which may be an issue with some of these slow maturers:

Brandywine (Sudduth) (Huge, wondeful tomato, but inconsistent production)
Cherokee Purple (Complex, smoky, the tomato that got me into tomatoes)
Lucky Cross (Newer, I think it’s a LeHoullier release, flavor was a bit inconsistent but gave us maybe the best tomato I’ve ever eaten.)
Bisignano No. 2 (big meaty saucer, I greatly preferred this to Anne Russian as a saucer)
Azoychka (early, tart fruity flavor)

Of course these may perform horribly in your climate, or the flavor might not be as good as it is here. But these are my top recommendations to trial right now with a focus 95% on flavor and 5% on yield, vigor etc.

Thanks, I have Cherokee Purple but have not gotten anything yet, been trying two years.

I am looking for “early” tomatoes with good flavor. I have a ton of tomato seeds, but most are long season, this is before I knew better on how to pick for our location.

This year I will try to start seeds for April fools, as the 100% “safe” time to plant outside is June 1st. It has been known to hail on Mother’s Day in our parts.

Last year is started snowing Nov 1st, this year no snow yet - had one day of hail. This is 6 wks later than last year already - hard to plan for anything with this broad of variances.

We are off grid in a tent, so no warm home to “start” seeds early. I will need a heating mat and a battery to use to start seeds early. At a time when solar is hard to collect…

So early is better for us than long season.

PNW does not get enough heat to consistently ripen many varieties. Siletz is supposed to be a determinate slicer developed for PNW. Gold Nugget is an early determinate cherry tomato. You are probably best off looking for early determinate varieties. There are several hybrid cherry tomatoes that also do O.K. Everybody seems to like Sungold.
I gave up on tomatoes when I was living in W Washington. I couldn’t get them to produce well at my location.

This year I grew early girl and bloody butcher (and also Amish paste) Early girl produced well and was very resistant to cracking. The first tomatoes were blander than bloody butcher, but they soon improved in flavor.

Glacier, Early Girl, Polebig, Gregori’s Altai, and Sungold are most likely to work given your climate. Add Bloody Butcher, Early Wonder, Eva Purple Ball, Siberian, and Heidi to round out your choices with some good flavored early and productive varieties. If you want a tart orange tomato, try Jaune Flammee. It is mid-season maturity but should mature for you. Black From Tula is a black when ripe variety that should produce. It is also mid-season.

Seed sources: and

I do this for a living/fun selling tomato and pepper plants each spring at

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Sorry – I should have looked closer than your location! Just not enough warmth up by you for most of my favorites. If Cherokee isn’t going to ripen up for you there’s probably no chance for Brandywine, Lucky Cross, or Bisignano to give you much of quality. The big old beefsteaks especially seem to just stay green on the vine until we get into the 80s…

That said, Azoychka is a pretty early slicer so may be worth a try if you want a sharper tomato. Black from Tula may also be worth a try – I assume it’s from Tula Oblast, so it presumably doesn’t need a lot of heat. I also quite like Black Cherry – haven’t grown it myself but it’s supposed to be pretty quick.

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I like Biyskaya Roza (Bijskaya Roza), which is a large pink beefsteak type from Siberia - at least that is the story I’ve been told. Very good tomato with great taste and usually the earliest of my beefsteak types to ripen here in Virginia.

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I plant the grape tomatoes every year to get extra paste-like tomatoes in case the San marzano fail. they work in a pinch. the sungold I planted years ago and they volunteer now, they’re sweet as hell, I mainly eat them as grazing snacks while I’m in the garden. they produce a ton.


People have made several attempts at dehybridizing sungold are you willing to share seeds so we can compare your version with the others?

sure, I can collect some this coming summer!

Are you saying that bloody butcher is bland?

Bloody Butcher is one of the most intense flavored early maturity red tomatoes. It won’t handle a comparison with a main season variety like Crnkovic Yugoslavian, but it will mature fruit in 55 to 65 days and tastes significantly better than other similar early maturity tomatoes. Horna was making a comparison with Early Girl which is known for producing bland fruit as the first to mature but better flavored a few weeks later on the same plant.

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Yes, this was exactly my experience.

Have you tried early first prize?

That sounds like a recommendation for bloody butcher.

Why get early girl if the early ones are bland?

Please ensure we are talking about the same variety. First Prize is a release from tomato Growers Supply First Prize VFFNT Hybrid Tomato – Tomato Growers Supply Company which is known for moderately early maturity, moderately good production, and decent flavor. You are in a cold maritime climate where early maturity is required. First Prize performs very well in high heat climates, not so much in cool climates like yours. It also has a fairly large core and carries the ug gene which reduces sweetness.

I give an unqualified recommendation for Bloody Butcher. It is the only tomato I know that combines first early maturity with rich tomato flavor and reasonably good production. Negatives are that it is golf ball size and not particularly resistant to septoria - similar to most open pollinated tomatoes.

Early Girl works very well in just about any dry climate. Ask yourself if your climate is relatively dry, especially during mid and late summer. If so, Early Girl is a good choice. Here is some trivia you might enjoy. J.D.'s Special C-tex is a tomato released by a guy who crossed Early Girl with Black Krim and stabilized the result. I don’t give an unqualified recommendation for Early Girl. It is specific to dry climates. Early Girl is a waste of time on the East coast and in the Midwest.

Actually, I was talking about this:

But yes, we are in a dry climate. Thanks for all your help.

I have not grown it, but from previous experience, would place it in a group that does not like cool climates. Give it a try and see what you find!

It gets in the 90s here in the summer. Is that considered a cool climate?

Where I’m from? Yes! I visited Kansas for the Walnut Council meeting in 2003. Standing in 107 degrees outdoors with a few hundred people, I introduced myself and where I’m from and said "I came up here to enjoy ya’lls nice cool weather. Some people from Minnesota thought I was crazy.

More seriously, tomatoes benefit from moderate temperatures between 70F and 92F. Above or below that range causes various problems. I wrote something relevant to this a few years ago you might like to read.

growing tomato seedlings and look for “What is the temperature range…”.

Some other things you might like:

Tomato culture and Tomato seed saving

A couple of other cautions, duration of growing season is a huge concern. If your growing season is not long enough to mature full season varieties like Yellow Brandywine, you will have to find shorter season varieties OR modify the climate such as with a hoop house. Overnight low temperature is also problematic Below 45F, most tomato plants go into blue funk where the stem refuses to transport phytonutrients. The effect malingers the next day meaning no growth or at best slow growth takes place.