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Rundle's Urban Farm

Spokane, WA

Which Tomato Varieties Made the cut for 2023?

Selecting the Top tomatoes of 2022

The 2022 garden season came to an prolonged yet abrupt end at the beginning of November. We went straight from no sign of freezing to inches of snow in the first few days of the month. The tomatoes we harvested in mid October, in anticipation of a normal first frost, spent most of October and November ripening on the kitchen counter. And I finally finished processing them just before Thanksgiving. Now, in the depths of winter, garden planning makes for a cozy reprieve. Today’s goal? Determining the top tomatoes of 2022 and which ones made the cut for 2023.

Top tomatoes of 2022 - wrapping up the harvest

1. Anna Banana Russian – Top Tomatoes of 2022

First, the star of the summer, Anna Banana Russian. Maybe I was pre-disposed to like this tomato given that it’s name so closely matched on I was frequently called growing up. Or maybe, it’s just that wonderful. Anna Banana was a bright yellow heart shaped tomato with superb flavor and sweetness. It outproduced all of our other tomatoes and did the best ripening on the counter without spoiling at the end of the season. Additionally, it resulted in some of the finest tasting tomato sauce I’ve ever made and some of the most interesting looking salsa. This one is definitely a must grow for years to come.

2. Cherokee Purple – Top Tomato in 2021 and 2022

The next one I’ll mention is quickly becoming a standby in our gardens: Cherokee Purple. It did well for us as it has in past years. This year was pretty rough for tomatoes as the weather took an extra month to warm up and then once it did got so hot that the tomatoes weren’t able to produce much fruit. The Cherokee Purple did not disappoint however. It was one of the very first to ripen, even before the cherry tomatoes. And as always, the flavor is outstanding! Now in the depths of winter, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

3. Church

After Cherokee Purple, we have Church. Now, this is a variety that keeps you holding your breath till the end of the season. In our growing season, it produces very late. And, to be fair, most of the Church tomatoes we got had to be ripened on the counter. But it was worth it. These uniquely shaped blocky tomatoes usually weigh in at 15 ounces or more. They are incredibly meaty and are excellent for processing. And, finally, they taste amazing. These were originally a variety I grew out in a Seed Savers Exchange trial and I hope that someday soon they will make an appearance in their catalog.

Top tomatoes of 2022

4. Dwarf Eagle Smiley Yellow – Top Tomatoes of 2022

Another variety I fell in love with this year was Dwarf Eagle Smiley Yellow. This variety was sent to me with some other varieties I requested by the acclaimed Craig Lehoullier author of Epic Tomatoes. He threw this one in for me to try as an introduction into the world of Dwarf tomatoes. I couldn’t have been happier! Normally, I don’t like cherry tomatoes, but this one was amazing! Incredibly sweet and juicy, yet not like a typical cherry tomato. This was a bit firmer and didn’t have that tart gush of seeds that most cherries typically have when you bite into them.

5. Indigo Apple

Indigo Apple was another variety from last year’s garden that did not disappoint in this year’s. These tomatoes are simply stunning to look at and the flavor is quite good too. My favorite way to use these is dehydrated and turned into sun-dried tomatoes.

6. Orange Banana

Then Finally, we have the Orange Banana Tomato. This is a paste tomato variety that I ordered from Victory Seeds. I’ve been on a bit of a quest to find a high production paste variety that will produce enough for canning sauces and salsa. This one was a winner! Next to the Anna Banana, it was one of the best tasting tomatoes in the garden. It was also highly prolific. Most of the fruits only weighed 2 ounces, but we harvested several of them almost daily throughout the summer. The color of these just makes you smile. They will definitely be a repeat in many gardens to come.

Top tomatoes of 2022 - Orange Banana

7. Smiley

And finally, a variety that was a bit disappointing this year that we’re hoping for better success with next year. The Smiley was one of our favorites from our 2021 gardening season. However, I made such a big deal out of this variety that I sold out of my Smiley starts before I had made sure to set aside some for our own garden. That resulted in a second round of Smiley starts that were just started too late. The small starts got quickly crowded out. That said, the fruit we did get off of these plants was still excellent and we are hoping for better results next season.

That sums up the top tomatoes of 2022. What tomato varieties did you grow or enjoy this year? I’d love to hear about them.

Stay tuned for a summary of some of the other varieties we grew this year as well as descriptions of the other varieties we plan to grow in 2023.

2 thoughts on “Which Tomato Varieties Made the cut for 2023?”

  1. Thank you so much for your reviews!! I have been hurting my brain trying to decide on a tomato cultivar to plant this season. I’m sold on Orange Banana after reading your article, but hopefully now I can just find some seeds to buy…

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