Roma tomatoes determinate or indeterminate

Hungry for More?

Yellow cherry tomatoes, red grape tomatoes and one large plum tomato from my garden. (Along with one stunted yellow tomato.)

It’s been a hot, hot summer. Droughts and dry weather across the nation can cause problems for farmers and gardeners alike. My tomatoes are still pretty green despite receiving a hefty watering every evening, but luckily I had the foresight to plant some small tomato varieties, which are coming in strong.

Of my seven tomato plants, I’ve been enjoying the fruits from three – an yellow cherry tomato (variety called Sun Gold), a red plum tomato (variety called San Marzano, similar to Roma) and a red grape tomato (not sure of the specific variety).

SEE MORE: Arkansas Tomatoes are Ripe for the Pickin’

Do you know the difference between these three types of small tomatoes – cherry, plum and grape?

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are the smallest, and as their name implies, they’re round in shape, similar to cherries. I have a yellow variety (though if you ask me, they’re orange), but red cherry tomatoes are very popular, too. These continue to ripen after you pick them. Also known as tomatinas (or baby tomatoes), they’re very sweet. Great by themselves, although I’ve also sliced them in half and used them in salads, stir-fries and on pizza.

Recipe recommendation: Fresh Corn Salad With Cherry Tomatoes

Plum Tomatoes

Almost everyone has heard of Roma tomatoes, but not many people know they’re a type of plum tomato. Like the fruit of the same name, these tomatoes are oval-shaped and larger than cherry tomatoes, though still smaller than your average ‘mater. (I’m growing another variety, San Marzano, which are a little more pear-shaped than oval.) Plum tomatoes have fewer seed compartments and a more concentrated flavor, so they’re great for sauces – which makes them very popular for processing. The farmers who grow the tomatoes that are used by Red Gold grow Romas.

SEE MORE: Tomatoes Lead the Way in Vegetable Crop Production Value for Tennessee

Recipe recommendation: Oven-Roasted Tomatoes With Italian Herbs

Grape Tomatoes

Grape tomatoes are like a combination of cherry and plum tomatoes. They’re smaller and bite-sized like cherry tomatoes, but they’re oblong in shape like plum tomatoes. Grape tomatoes grow in clusters on the vine – similar to grapes, of course – and so I have more of these than any others. Once you pick them, they stop ripening, so it’s a good idea to take preventative measures against birds if you grow a lot of these. Grape tomatoes also have a thicker skin than the other small varieties, and are a little sweeter, which make them perfect for salads. I usually just cut them in half longwise and sprinkle over a bed of lettuce and carrots with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette, though I even put some fresh grape tomatoes on my tacos last night, since that was all I had left!

SEE MORE: 12 Recipes with Tomatoes

Recipe recommendation: Zucchini and Grape Tomato Salad

Now that you know the difference between these three tiny tomato varieties, I hope you get to try them all! Which kind of tomato is your favorite?

Roma vs Plum Tomatoes

Tomato is scientifically referred as Solanum lycopersicu, and it comes under the family Solanaceae. It is consumed as a fruit or vegetable and can be eaten raw or as a processed product. Tomato has several beneficial health effects due to the presence of lycopene and several other vitamins. Although it is perennial from its origin, it is cultivated as an annual crop for the agricultural purposes. This article reviews two common types of tomatoes; namely Roma and Plum, and their specific characteristics and differences.

Roma Tomato

Roma is one of the tomato varieties commonly found in super markets. They are also known as Italian tomatoes or Italian plum tomatoes. It is prominently available in red and yellow colors where the shape is pear or egg shaped. Some of the major areas growing Roma tomatoes are United States, Australia and Mexico. Like other tomatoes, Roma is also canned and made into sauce as preservation methods for prolonging the shelf life of tomatoes. Having less number of seeds and smaller seeds facilitates the above processes. In addition to those advantageous characteristics, Roma tomato has many other merits present in its physiology. Roma tomatoes grow as vines and have determinate passion of growth. Therefore, it acquires a fairly high fruit bearing ability. Some of the genetically improved Roma types are resistant to some common diseases such as fusarium wilt and verticillium.

Plum Tomato

Plum tomato is one of the very popular types of tomatoes cultivated widely in Europe and America. Plum tomatoes are also referred as processing tomatoes and paste tomatoes due to their specific purposes in use. Unlike the round shape of the standard tomatoes, plum tomato shapes vary from oval, to cylindrical. Also, the size of the fruit varies with the variety. Although large tomatoes are found in the markets, small size plum tomatoes are more famous than the rest due to ease of usage. There is a very small plum tomato variety, which is closer to a grape in size, and so it is called “grape tomato”. Having less number of seed compartments and less amount of water in composition enhance the quality of the final product, which can be a sauce or a paste. There is a high varietal difference in plum tomato type, where Roma and San Marzano are most prominent.

What is the difference between Plum Tomato and Roma Tomato?

• Roma and Plum tomatoes are two common types of tomatoes famous as processing tomatoes.

• Roma tomato is one of the famous varieties coming under plum tomato type. It is also called as Italian plum tomato.

• One of the main differences between the two types is the area of growing. Roma tomato is a determinate type vine, whereas plum tomato consists with determinate and semi-determinate type vines.

• Due to that reason, Roma bear fairly high amount of fruits.

• The shape of Plum tomato can be oval or cylindrical while Roma is oval or pear shaped.

There are few things better than a ripe, juicy tomato right off the vine. Eaten raw, sliced for sandwiches, whizzed into a simple summer gazpacho, tossed into an herbaceous salad, or simmered into savory jam, the tomato is versatile and vibrantly flavorful—at least when it’s in season.

And when that season arrives, it does so with what feels like reckless abandon—it’s a mad dash to enjoy them while you can, and to find time to preserve more for later. As Deborah Madison puts it in her cookbook Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets, “When it comes to taste and pleasure, the gap between locally grown tomato in summer and a long-distance tomato the rest of the year is enormous.” Naturally, some varieties are better for snacking and for eating right away; others are best suited for sauces, roasting, and stews. (You can even freeze tomatoes, though we recommend cooking them first for optimal flavor and texture.)

Most of the tomatoes we encounter in the supermarket are high yield strains, harvested when “mature green,” which means that fruit has developed enough to support continued maturation once it’s off the vine, but not so much that they’ll bruise easily or rot during shipping (mainly from Florida, California, and Mexico).

Picking “mature green” is the optimal way for growers to transport massive amounts of fruit so that there’s always a supply, 12 months out of the year, no matter where you live. But this approach rarely produces aromatic, flavorful tomatoes—that’s why we recommend growing them yourself or shopping at your local farmers market for the best flavor and texture. The one exception to this rule? The smaller the commercially grown tomato, the better it’s likely to taste. That’s because smaller fruit is less likely to bruise during transit, and is therefore allowed to stay on the vine longer, plucked when it has actually started to ripen.

There are lively debates every summer as to the best way to store those tomatoes once you’ve got ’em. But the conventional wisdom about keeping them out of the refrigerator may not be as accurate as you might think (seriously, we put it to the test…over and over and over again).

As for gardening? Tomatoes have two different growth habits and it’s important to know which type you’re planting. Otherwise, you may end up with tomatoes that take over your entire garden or a potted fire escape tomato plant that becomes unwieldy. The first type is called “indeterminate,” meaning vining plants that grow tall, sometimes eight to 10 feet, and need support. These guys yield fruit continuously throughout the season and can keep on going as long as good growing conditions persist. The other type, known as determinate, exhibits a more compact, shrub-like growing pattern. These “bush” tomatoes tend to do well in containers and will stop growing once the top bud of the plant sets fruit.

But at the end of the day, genetically speaking, at least, tomatoes are either heirlooms or hybrids; here are the ones you should know, and the best ways to use them up while the season’s at its peak.

Conventional Tomatoes You’ll Find at the Grocery Store

Cherry Tomatoes

Among the smallest and, dare I say, cutest of cultivars, these round tomatoes are perfect for snacking, stuffing, or tossing in pasta, grain, or green salads. Then again, they’re also excellent in cooked preparations, like compotes and sautés. Ranging in size from just about the tip of your thumb to a whole golf ball, you’re most likely to encounter red ones, but it’s possible to find yellow, green, and black varieties, too.

These are one of your most reliable grocery store choices—they’re typically sweeter than their larger counterparts. The Super Sweet 100 is an especially popular red hybrid cultivar, but farmers markets sometimes sell Black Cherry tomatoes, which are really more of a reddish-purple akin to the color of red grapes. If you grow them yourself, watch out—given the right conditions, these indeterminate cherry tomato plants can take off like crazy.

Grape Tomatoes

Teeny grape tomatoes have a more oblong shape, thicker skin, and lower water content than their cherry brethren. That lower moisture level is why these are such a reliable year-round supermarket staple: they ship and store remarkably well. Grape tomatoes hail from the plum tomato family, which is believed to originate in Southeast Asia. Some chefs gravitate to their small size, which is as perfect for a quick sauce as an appealing garnish. But they’re just as great for snacking, roasting, or tossing into salads, too.

As for their place in your garden? They tend to ripen in clusters, perfect for those who want a large yield all at once.

Kumato Tomatoes

You’ve likely seen these brownish-red tomatoes in the supermarket, boxed in plastic and sold in one- or two-pound packages. The brainchild of Spanish scientists, Kumato is a trade name given to a patented non-GMO hybrid cultivar known in Spain as “Olmeca.”

These maroon-hued tomatoes are available all year round. They’re prized for their complex, sweet-tart flavor and relatively low water content. Kumatoes also exhibit a more vibrant, uniform color and impart a more tomato-like scent than many other commercial cultivars.

Campari Tomatoes and Tomatoes on the Vine

Campari is not technically a tomato on the vine, but a rather a cocktail tomato, despite the fact that you may see it sold in plastic clamshell containers with the vine still on. Campari tomatoes are globe-shaped, bigger than cherry tomatoes but smaller than your average tomato on the vine.

“Tomato on the vine,” or “cluster tomatoes,” on the other hand, are greenhouse-grown and typically sold in supermarkets in clumps of four to six fruits. The stems are intact, which gives the fruits a more pronounced tomato aroma, according to a USDA report on greenhouse tomatoes. That said, the name is a bit of misleading marketing: those tomatoes haven’t really ripened on the vine, at least not to the point that you and I would consider “ripe.” Like most supermarket tomatoes, they’re shipped when they’re still on the green side—technically, a tomato can receive the vine-ripened moniker so long as they’ d are picked at what’s called the “breaker” stage—when they’re just beginning to show signs of changing color.

Beefsteak Tomatoes

Here’s a bit of trivia: while beefsteak is the common name for the large, baseball-sized tomatoes you’ll find on your deli sandwich in the dead of winter, it’s also a category referring to shape: Brandywines and Cherokee Purples are technically beefsteaks, too.

Fresh beefsteak tomatoes make me think of the tomatoes of my Jersey childhood. They smell like summer; warm, fragrant, and juicy. Beefsteaks hold up well to slicing—you can get them pretty thin—so one heavy tomato goes a long way. They’re perfect on sandwiches like tomato, mayo, and toast or this lobster BLT. But out-of-season beefsteak tomatoes are a different matter entirely, almost always bland, mealy, anemic, and watery.

Roma Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are the canning tomatoes of choice, thanks to their firm texture, slender shape, and low water content—they’ve got fewer locules, or seed compartments, than their round beefsteak counterparts. Fewer seeds means less waste and more fruit. They also happen to be prime candidates for container gardening—they’re determinate growers that won’t get too leggy.

Romas are also commonly referred to as plum tomatoes, paste tomatoes, or Italian plum tomatoes, and they’re well-suited for thick, tomato-based sauces, whether used fresh or canned. (Fresh plum tomatoes are widely available at grocery stores, but they’re also often what you’ll find in canned tomatoes). In the industry, plums like Romas are referred to, broadly speaking, as “processing tomatoes.”

Heirloom, Farmers Market, and Specialty Tomatoes

Sungold Tomatoes

Sungolds are round cherry tomatoes that exhibit an orangey-gold color; the hybrid was introduced to British and American gardeners back in 1992. You may see them in grocery stores that stock produce from local farms, but Sungolds are the darling of the farmers market come late summer. They’re the closest thing to nature’s candy that you can possibly imagine, an enchanting balance of tangy and sweet flavors—heavy on the sweet. They find their way easily into salads, but I love them just for snacking, right out of hand. I find myself having to buy them twice a week.

They’re so easy to grow that if you plant a few, you’ll want to keep a diligent eye on them because they offer such high yields. Farmers like them, too, because they remain a bit more firm than the average cherry tomato, meaning they travel especially well. If you find yourself with a bumper crop, roast the tomatoes in salt, olive oil and a tiny bit of sugar: the juices ooze out and become caramelized. Keep them in your fridge in a jar for tossing into pasta, throwing into omelets, or topping a homemade pizza.

Yellow Pear Tomato

This tomato is what it sounds like: a yellow tomato shaped like a pear. The heirloom is known for its bite-sized shape and mild flavor. Unlike some of its more contemporary cousins, the pear cultivar dates back to 18th century Europe, and while other pear-shaped varieties are available (orange and red, namely) the yellow ones are the most common. It’s one of the oldest tomatoes grown in the United States for mass consumption—I’m talking 1847 and the dawn of canning. The vines on this indeterminate growing tomato can get really leggy and grow fast, promising an abundance of fruit all summer long.

Brandywine Tomatoes

The Brandywine has become the poster child for farmers market heirloom tomatoes. The pinkish-red beefsteak is prized for its intensely meaty interior, sweet flavor, and well-balanced acidity. Brandywines are slow growing and minimal yielders, known for their potentially enormous size—they can swell to over a pound.

They work well cubed for panzanella or just tossed with other colorful tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and olive oil for a simple salad. Don’t be alarmed if you see them sold with splits and deep grooves (known as “ribbed shoulders”) and green spots (or “green shoulders”) near the stem—it’s not uncommon and the tomato’s still perfectly good for eating.

Green Zebra Tomatoes

Lime green and striped lemon yellow, green zebras remain brightly acidic even when ripe. There’s some debate about whether they’re actually an heirloom cultivar—they were first bred in the early 1980s, so they’re still relatively young. That being said, they’re popular with chefs and food lovers and you’ll usually find them grouped with heirlooms at farmers markets. Popularized by Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, green zebras make for a zippy, acidic green gazpacho.

Cherokee Purple

Here’s another substantial tomato, an heirloom beefsteak with reddish-purple, almost mahogany-colored flesh and a sweet, rich flavor. The Cherokee purple is revered for its dense, juicy texture, and a dark interior with small seeds, which are surrounded by a green gel and scattered throughout the fruit. The large tomatoes work well in salads, sliced thinly for a BLT or burger, or used for canning and dehydrating. Like Brandywines, they’re prone to irregular shapes—some call them downright ugly—and sometimes their skin will split.

Scientist Craig LeHoullier, author of Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All Time, was recognized by Slow Food USA for rediscovering and preserving the variety. He credits the heirloom to the Cherokee people, and received the seeds in the mail from a man in Tennessee who said he believed they dated back 100 years.

Garden Peach Tomatoes

Like their namesake, these sweet but mild heirloom tomatoes sport a coating of fuzz. And there’s no missing the peachy glow on the yellow skin, with a faint blush of pale pink that appears across the flesh when they’re ripe. If they’re sold as part of an heirloom mix at the farmers market, peach tomatoes should be the ones you eat quickly, because the delicate fruit won’t make it as long as some of their heavier, meatier counterparts. They don’t get too large, typically; chop them up for salads or just sprinkle them with salt.

San Marzano

Native to the volcanic soils in the shade of Mount Vesuvius in Italy, San Marzanos tomatoes are prized by chefs for their meaty texture and easy-to-peel skin. Marked with a little x at the bottom, blanched, and peeled, it makes for quick skinless fruit best-suited for pastas and sauces. San Marzanos are less watery and goopy than other tomatoes so there’s very little waste. In winter months, when decent fresh tomatoes are nowhere to be found, canned imported San Marzanos are the tomato of choice for homemade sauce.

This particular variety is also well-suited for oven drying and roasting because of its texture; there’s much more concentrated tomato flavor because there’s simply more tomato meat to go around. (Psst: Oven-dried tomatoes are great for a snack, or lovely sprinkled with thyme and for infusing olive oil.)

San Marzanos aren’t a widely grown cultivar, but you can purchase seeds or plants and grow them yourself. That said, purists will argue that the taste just ain’t the same without the volcanic soil; for the real deal, make sure they indicate “D.O.P.” (loosely translated as “protected designation of origin). If you do decide to grow them at home, be forewarned that they’re a vining plant, and can reach six to eight feet or taller depending on growing conditions. They will need some serious staking or caging to keep them supported as they continue to produce fruit.

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Tips For Growing Roma Tomatoes

If you’re a fan of fresh tomato sauce, you should be growing roma tomatoes in your garden. Growing and caring for roma tomato plants means that you’ll be growing the perfect tomato for making delicious sauces. Let’s look at a few tips for growing roma tomatoes.

What is a Roma Tomato?

A roma tomato is a paste tomato. Paste tomatoes, like roma tomatoes, generally have a thicker fruit wall, fewer seeds and a denser but more grainy flesh. Roma tomatoes tend to be oblong in shape and heavy for their size. The also tend to be more firm than a non-roma or paste tomato.

Roma tomatoes are determinate, which means that the fruit ripens at one time, rather than continually through the season. While they can be eaten raw, they are at their best when they are cooked.

How to Grow Roma Tomatoes

Caring for roma tomato plants isn’t that much different from caring for regular tomatoes. All tomatoes need plenty of water, soil rich in organic material and need to be staked up off the ground for the best fruit production. Roma tomatoes are no different.

Prepare the soil of your tomato bed by adding compost or a slow release fertilizer. Once you plant your roma tomato plants, water them at least once a week. Once your roma tomato plants are 6-12 inches high, start staking the roma tomatoes up off the ground.

Romas do tend to be a little easier to grow than other tomatoes due to the fact than many are fusarium and verticillium wilt resistant. While these diseases can kill other tomatoes, many times roma tomato plants can withstand the disease.

When is a Roma Tomato Ripe?

While tips for growing roma tomatoes is helpful, the end goal is to harvest roma tomatoes. Because roma tomatoes have a firmer flesh than other kinds of tomatoes, you may wonder how to tell when is a roma tomato ripe.

For roma tomatoes, the color is your best indicator. Once the tomato is red all the from the bottom to the top, it is ready for picking.

Now that you know how to grow roma tomatoes, you can add these tasty saucing tomatoes to your garden. They are just one of the many tomatoes that you can try adding to your garden.

US: Five new edible varieties earn AAS Winner designation

All-America Selections just announced five new Winners, all of which are new edible varieties.

Each of the following new AAS Winners was trialed throughout North America by professional, independent, volunteer judges who grew them next to comparisons that are considered best-in-class. Only those entries that performed better than the comparisons are granted the AAS award designation.

The first five AAS Winners for the 2020 garden season are:

  • Cucumber Green Light F1 (National)
  • Tomato Celano F1 (National)
  • Tomato Early Resilience F1 (National)
  • Tomato Galahad F1 (Regional)
  • Watermelon Mambo F1 (National)

Growers, retailers and consumers will find these AAS Winners for sale as supply becomes available through the distribution chain. Click on the breeding company link to email the breeder about ordering seed.

Each AAS Winner is marketed through social media, public relations and trade shows and are proudly grown in 190 AAS Display Gardens across North America.

  • AAS Display gardens can be found here.
  • Retailers can request an All-America Selections Point-of-Purchase package from the AAS office.
  • PowerPoint presentations are available on SlideShare or on the AAS website.
  • Bench cards and variety markers can be downloaded from the AAS website.

Cucumber Green Light F1
AAS 2020 Edible Winner
National Winner

This little beauty is an excellent mini cucumber, said many of the AAS Judges. The yield was higher than the comparison varieties with more attractive fruit, earlier maturity and superior eating quality. “I would absolutely grow this in my home garden” commented one judge. Grow Green Light on stakes or poles for a productive, easy-to-harvest vertical garden that will yield 40 or more spineless fruits per plant. Pick the fruits when they’re small, between 3-4” long, and you’ll be rewarded with great tasting cucumbers, even without peeling. Succession plantings will ensure a summer-long harvest.

Bred by Known-You Seeds
(Click link for order contact)

AAS Winner Data

  • Genus species: Cucumis sativus
  • Common name: Cucumber
  • Fruit size: 3-5-inch-long fruits, weight 2-3 ounces
  • Color: Green
  • Plant height: 6-7 feet
  • Plant habit: Vining, requires staking
  • Garden location: Full sun
  • Garden spacing: 20 inches
  • Length of time to harvest: 37 days from transplanting
  • Closest comparisons on market: Diva F1, Iznik F1

Tomato Celano F1
AAS 2020 Edible Winner
National Winner

Celano is a patio type grape tomato with a strong bushy habit. It is best grown with some support, such as a tomato cage. This semi-determinate hybrid tomato is an early producer of sweet oblong fruits weighing about 0.6 oz. each. Plants grow to 40” in height and spread to 24” and have excellent late blight tolerance. In comparing it to other grape tomatoes on the market, one judge summed it up by saying “(Celano) is sweeter, the texture is better, the color is deeper, the plants are healthier, and the yield is phenomenal.” Prova Celano oggi!

Bred by ProVeg Seeds
(Click link for order contact)

AAS Winner Data

  • Genus species: Solanum lycopersicum
  • Common name: Tomato
  • Fruit size: Small grape tomato, weight 0.6 ounces
  • Color: Red
  • Plant height: 3-4 feet
  • Plant habit: Bushy, some support helpful
  • Garden location: Full sun
  • Garden spacing: 2 feet
  • Disease resistance: Late Blight tolerant
  • Closest comparisons on market: Jolly Girl F1, BHN 785 F1

Tomato Early Resilience F1
AAS 2020 Edible Winner
National Winner

Early Resilience is a rounded Roma tomato with a deep red interior color, uniform maturity and good quality flesh for canning and cooking. Determinate, bushy plants can be staked but it is not necessary. The AAS Judges noted that this variety was very resistant to Blossom End rot, resulting in a high yield and less fruit loss. Similar great taste as the comparisons but a much healthier plant and fruits. (See long list of disease resistance below) Overall, this is an excellent variety that would be a home canner’s dream. This could very well replace some of the other Roma varieties as a new standard in the arena, or maybe “colosseum” of Roma tomatoes!

Bred by Heinz Seeds
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AAS Winner Data

  • Genus species: Solanum lycopersicum
  • Common name: Tomato
  • Fruit size: 2-inch-long, weight 3-3.5 ounces
  • Color: Red
  • Plant height: 18-24 inches
  • Plant habit: Bushy, staking optional
  • Garden location: Full sun
  • Garden spacing: 2 feet
  • Length of time to harvest: 115 days from transplanting
  • Disease resistance: Verticillium dahliae race 1; Fusarium oxysporum f.sp lycopersici race 2; Alternaria alternata f. sp. Lycopersici; Stemphylium spp.; Tolerance Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. Michiganensis; Xanthamonas spp.; Phytophthora infestans.
  • Closest comparisons on market: Plum Regal F1, Heinz Super Roma F1

Tomato Galahad F1
AAS 2020 Edible Winner
Regional Winner – (Heartland, West/Northwest)

Yes Sir! Galahad is a brave new tomato variety that has a high level of Late Blight resistance because both parents are resistant. In this case, one plus one equals a very strong two! Galahad is a high-yielding, great tasting tomato that grows on a strong sturdy plant. Judges agreed that the sweet, meaty flavor is better than that of the comparison varieties and boasts of being crack resistant. Broad shoulders (just like Sir Galahad?) and large, clean fruits grow on a highly productive, disease-resistant plant. Certainly, a variety you’ll want to use in your battle for tomato greatness.

Bred by EarthWork Seeds, distributed by Garden Trends Wholesale
(Click link for order contact)

AAS Winner Data

  • Genus species: Solanum lycopersicum
  • Common name: Tomato
  • Fruit size: 3-inch fruits, weight 12 ounces
  • Color: Red
  • Plant height: 4 feet
  • Plant habit: Determinate, compact
  • Garden location: Full sun
  • Garden spacing: 2 feet
  • Length of time to harvest: 75 days from transplanting
  • Disease resistance: Verticillium, Fusarium Wilt Races 1-3, Nematode, Gray Leaf Spot, Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus, Late Blight
  • Closest comparisons on market: Defiant F1, Mountain Merit F1

Watermelon Mambo F1
AAS 2020 Edible Winner
National Winner

Summertime means melon time and Mambo watermelon will grow and yield well even in cool cloudy conditions! Gardeners who plant Mambo will enjoy multiple, perfectly round melons with a beautiful dark green rind and deep red flesh. The sweet crisp flesh is extremely tasty and holds well (doesn’t overripen) if you can’t harvest them right away. Each 9” fruit will weigh about 11 pounds at maturity, which is only 75 days from transplant. A smaller seed cavity means you almost get the look of a seedless melon but the superior taste of a seeded melon. The AAS Judges agree this is one of the easiest watermelons they’ve grown because of high seed germination and vigorously healthy vines.

Bred by Known-You Seeds
(Click link for order contact)

AAS Winner Data

  • Genus species: Citrullus lanatus
  • Common name: Watermelon
  • Fruit size: 8-9-inch fruits, weight 11 pounds
  • Color: Green striped rind with red flesh
  • Plant length: 12-13 feet
  • Plant habit: Climbing, vining
  • Garden location: Full sun
  • Garden spacing: 12-13 feet
  • Length of time to harvest: 75 days from transplanting
  • Closest comparisons on market: Top Gun F1, Shiny Boy F1

For breeders who wish to enter the 2020 AAS Trials, there are new pricing incentives for early entries.

Early entries get a price discount.

  • Herbaceous Perennial Trial (was $1,200 per entry)
    • New Pricing:
      • $1,100 for entries received on or before August 15
      • $1,300 for received August 16 – September 3
  • Ornamentals from Seed: (was $600 per entry)
    • New Pricing:
      • $500 for entries received on or before October 15
      • $700 for entries received October 16 – November 1
  • Edibles from Seed: (was $600 per entry)
    • New Pricing:
      • $500 for entries received on or before October 15
      • $700 for entries received October 16 – November 1
  • Ornamentals from Vegetative Cuttings: (was $1,000 per entry)
    • New Pricing:
      • $900 for entries received on or before October 15
      • $1,100 for entries received October 16 – November 1

For more details about the trials, including entry forms and answers to frequently asked questions, click here.

For a complete list of promotional activities tactics, click here.

Herbaceous Perennial entries are due no later than September 3, 2019.

Edible, Ornamental Seed, or Ornamental Vegetative entry are due no later than November 1, 2019.

All entries are submitted to Jenny Boxell at [email protected]

For more information:All-America Selections Diane Blazek

How to Cut a Tomato

Wondering how to cut a tomato? Here’s a step by step guide and video that shows you how to dice a tomato, how to cut tomatoes for salad, and how to cut tomato slices.

Video: How to cut a tomato

Are you wondering how to cut a tomato but not sure the best way? There are many ways to cut a tomato: diced, into wedges, and into slices. Here is exactly how Alex and I cut tomatoes showing four different ways; we use these methods in everything from our pico de gallo recipe to our tabbouleh recipe! Here’s our step by step guide for how to cut tomatoes, including a video of me showing how to dice, slice, and cut tomato wedges in our kitchen.

Related: 20 Knife Skills Videos: How to Cut Everything!

How to cut a tomato step by step

Before we start, what’s the best knife to cut a tomato? Using a serrated knife is best for cutting through the tomato skin. You may notice that using a paring knife can sometimes tear and mangle the skin when cutting. (See below for our favorite serrated knife recommendation.)

Step 1

To slice a tomato: Place the tomato on its side. Using a large serrated knife, slice off the top of the tomato. Then cut the tomato into thin slices.

Step 2

To cut tomato wedges: Using a large serrated knife, cut the tomato in half. Then cut it again to make quarters. You can cut smaller wedges by cutting the quarters down the center.

Step 3

To dice a tomato (seeds in): Start with the tomato slices from Step 1. Cut them into thin strips, then turn the strips and cut crosswise into a dice.

Step 4

To dice a tomato (core and seeds out): Start with the tomato wedges from Step 2 (quarters are easiest). Cut out the core and seeds from each wedge by sliding underneath them with the knife. Cut the remaining tomato flesh into strips, then turn the strips and cut crosswise into a dice.

And there you have it: how to cut a tomato using 4 easy methods!

Let us know if you try our method for how to cut a tomato and tell us how it goes in the comments below.

Best chef knife & cutting boards

Alex and I are often asked about the best kitchen tools. And every time we answer, “A good sharp chef’s knife!” A good knife can drastically improve your time in the kitchen, and lasts for years (we’ve had our chef knives for 10 plus years). Here are some of the knives we recommend, as well as cutting boards and the best knife sharpener. These recommendations are perfect for outfitting your own kitchen, or great gifts for a wedding registry or someone who loves to cook!

Video: Knife Skills, Gear, & How to Hold a Knife!

  • 7″ Chef’s Knife — our best knife recommendation; the one used in the video!
  • 10″ Chef’s Knife — our favorite large knife
  • 8″ Chef’s Knife — our favorite affordable knife
  • Paring Knife
  • Serrated Knife / Bread Knife — this is the best knife for cutting tomatoes!
  • Non-Slip Wood Cutting Board (used in the video!) or Non-Slip Bamboo Cutting Board
  • Non-Slip Plastic Cutting Board
  • Knife Sharpener
  • Drawer Knife Organizer — this is how we store our knives, and it’s even slicker than a knife block

Looking for fresh tomato recipes?

Now that you know how to cut a tomato, here are some of our favorite fresh tomato recipes for you to try:

  • Goat Cheese & Tomato Pita Pizzas
  • Pico de Gallo with Black Beans
  • Peach, Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad
  • Tabbouleh (Mediterranean Bulgur Salad)
  • Heirloom Tomato Salsa
  • Homemade Tomatillo Salsa
  • Simple Summer Pasta with Tomatoes and Zucchini
  • Loaded Tater Tot Nachos
  • Best Mexican Pizza
  • Ribollita (Tuscan Vegetable Stew)
  • 65 Tomato Recipes for the Height of the Season


Wondering how to cut a tomato? Here’s a step by step guide and video that shows you how to dice a tomato, how to cut tomatoes for salad, and how to cut tomato slices.

Scale 1x2x3x


  • 1 ripe tomato


  1. To slice a tomato: Place the tomato on its side. Using a large serrated knife, slice off the top of the tomato. Then cut the tomato into thin slices.
  2. To cut tomato wedges: Using a large serrated knife, cut the tomato in half. Then cut it again to make quarters. You can cut smaller wedges by cutting the quarters down the center.
  3. To dice a tomato (seeds in): Start with the tomato slices from Step 1. Cut them into thin strips, then turn the strips and cut crosswise into a dice.
  4. To dice a tomato (core and seeds out): Start with the tomato wedges from Step 2 (quarters are easiest). Cut out the core and seeds from each wedge by sliding underneath them with the knife. Cut the remaining tomato flesh into strips, then turn the strips and cut crosswise into a dice.
  • Category: Knife Skills
  • Method: Cutting
  • Cuisine: N/A

Keywords: How to cut a tomato, How to dice a tomato, How to cut tomatoes for salad, How to cut tomato slices

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

5 from 4 votes Jump to Recipe Published June 19, 2012 – Last Updated August 13, 2018

Why seed a tomato? Tomato seeds and their surrounding gel contain a lot of liquid. In certain recipes, that extra liquid can mess with the texture– like in Israeli Salad, for example. Some people have trouble digesting the seeds, which is another good reason to seed your tomatoes. During the seeding process, you can also get rid of the tough, white, flavorless parts attached to the core. Most of a tomato’s flavor resides in the red fleshy part, not the seeds and their gel, so tossing the seeds won’t change the flavor of your dish much. However, the gel does contain vitamin C and some nutrients, so be sure to check your recipe… sometimes having the seeds and extra moisture in the mix can be a plus! If you are ready to seed your tomatoes, read on for three simple step-by-step methods.

In some dishes, both seeding and peeling the tomatoes is recommended. To learn how to peel a tomato, .

I’ve posted three different ways to seed a tomato below. Method 1 is my preferred method; it keeps the tomato largely intact while sacrificing a minimum of the tomato flesh, meaning you’ll have more intact flesh to work with for dicing, slicing, or whatever you need. I also recommend Method 1 if you plan to stuff the tomato; it helps to keep the walls of the tomato firm. Method 2 is fastest, and best used when seeding lots of tomatoes for something like a sauce– it can leave the skin a bit mushed and bruised, so I wouldn’t use this method for a salad. Method 3 is great for when you want to quickly seed 1 or 2 tomatoes for a salad, but slice carefully– you can cut away useable tomato flesh if you’re not careful. All three methods work, so choose whichever is best for your purposes.

By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be a tomato seeding pro! 🙂

Recommended Products:

Chef’s Knife

Measuring Spoons

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How to Seed Tomatoes

5 from 4 votes Servings
1 Varies Prep Time
5 minutes Kosher Key
Parve Total Time
5 minutes Calories 81 kcal Print Recipe

Three easy ways to seed a tomato quickly and easily with step-by-step pictures.

  • Tomatoes

Recipe Notes

You will also need: knife, small measuring spoon or bowl

Method 1

  1. Place your tomato on a cutting board, stem side facing up.

  2. Roll the tomato sideways so the stem faces to the right, and cut the tomato down the center “equator” line into two halves.

  3. Use a small spoon (I use a quarter teaspoon) to scoop the tomato seeds and any tough white core out of the four seed cavities. Discard the seeds.

Method 2

  1. Place your tomato on a cutting board, stem side facing up.

  2. Roll the tomato sideways so the stem faces to the right, and cut the tomato down the center “equator” line into two halves.

  3. Gently squeeze the tomato halves over a bowl to dislodge the seeds from the seed cavities.

  4. Try not to squeeze too hard; use gentle pressure to keep the flesh intact and prevent bruising or a mushy texture.

  5. Use a spoon or your fingers to scoop out any seeds or tough white core that clings to the tomato. Discard the seeds.

Method 3

  1. Slice the tomato vertically (from stem top to bottom) into four quarters.

  2. Use a sharp knife to carefully slice the seeds away from the tomato flesh.

  3. Discard the seeds.

Nutrition Facts How to Seed Tomatoes Amount Per Serving Calories 81 % Daily Value* Sodium 22mg1% Potassium 1075mg31% Carbohydrates 17g6% Fiber 5g21% Sugar 11g12% Protein 3g6% Vitamin A 3780IU76% Vitamin C 62.1mg75% Calcium 45mg5% Iron 1.2mg7% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: Nutrition info above is for 1 pound of tomatoes.

Jump to Recipe

Red, tasty, perfect pieces of tomato adorning the top of your delightfully made green salad! It’s EASY, you just have to know how to cut a tomato for salad and you’ll be the host with the most!

Summer Cherry Tomato Salad

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy
  • Fast
  • Reliable
  • You have everything you need right in your kitchen.

Here’s How To Cut a Tomato for a Salad.

STEP 1. Remove the Stem and Core the Tomato. Then cut in half from top to bottom.

STEP 2. Cut the tomato into 8 pieces cutting from top to bottom.

STEP 3. Cut the tomato slices in half!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s).

What Size Tomato Should I Use For Salad?

Any size will work for a salad but for this type of cut, you’ll want to use one that is about the size of your fist.

Do I Need a Special Knife to Cut Tomatoes?

No special knife is needed. Just use a sharp one.

What Type of Tomato Should I Use for Salad?

When cutting a tomato for salad, you’ll want to use one of the following tomatoes:

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Fresh Garden Tomatoes
  • On the vine hot house tomatoes.
  • In the winter, you’ll find that the cherry or roma tomatoes have the best flavor.
  • To Cut a Cherry Tomato for a salad, simply remove the stem and then cut in half or in quarters.

Zesty Cucumber and Tomato Salad. Photo Credit Christine Rooney

Tips and Tricks for Cutting Tomatoes for Salad

  • When using a small tomato, simply cut in halves or quarters
  • Use the smaller tomatoes in the winter time, they have a more reliable flavor.
  • Fresh tomatoes are always the best for salad and you’ll want to cut those as the photos listed above.
  • On the vine tomatoes are great off season salads as well.

Ya’ll Help Me Out, OK?

Please leave me a 5 STAR comment below. This helps others find Loaves and Dishes on the internet!

How to Cut a Tomato For Salad

Red, tasty, perfect pieces of tomato adorning the top of your delightfully made green salad! It’s EASY, you just have to know how to cut a tomato for salad and you’ll be the host with the most! 5 from 1 vote Pin Course: Side Cuisine: American Keyword: how to cut a tomato for a salad, how to cut tomato for salad Prep Time: 3 minutes 0 minutes Total Time: 3 minutes Servings: 4 servings Calories: 6kcal Author: Wendi Spraker

  • 1 Tomato
  • Remove the tomato core with a sharp knife.
  • Cut the tomato in half from the stem to far end and continue cutting those slices in half until you have 8 slices.
  • Cut the slices in half at the equator. Remove any obvious seeds.
  • Your tomato is ready for your salad!


  • When using a cherry tomato, simply cut in halves or quarters
  • Use the cherry or roma tomatoes in the winter time, they have a more reliable flavor.
  • Fresh garden tomatoes are always the best for salad and you’ll want to cut those as the photos listed above.
  • On the vine hot house tomatoes are great off season salads as well.


Nutrition Facts How to Cut a Tomato For Salad Amount Per Serving Calories 6 Calories from Fat 9 % Daily Value* Fat 1g2% Saturated Fat 1g5% Sodium 2mg0% Potassium 73mg2% Carbohydrates 1g0% Fiber 1g4% Sugar 1g1% Protein 1g2% Vitamin A 256IU5% Vitamin C 4mg5% Calcium 3mg0% Iron 1mg6% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

How to Dice Tomatoes in 3 Easy Steps

Easy as 1-2-3

We’ll show you how to dice tomatoes in just 3 easy steps. You can use this same method to dice all kinds of foods into cubes quickly and easily.

Image zoom Photo by Meredith

Before you get started: Remove produce stickers and wash tomatoes. (It’s usually easier to remove the stickers before washing.)

Step 1. Use a serrated kitchen knife or a very sharp straight-edged knife for slicing. Place the tomato on its side and cut into evenly spaced slices starting at the stem and ending at the bottom. Take care that the slices are the same width. For steps 2 and 3, you’ll make all of your slices the same width as step 1. If you want a very small-size dice, make all of the slices closer together.

Image zoom Photo by Meredith

Step 2. Arrange the tomato slices next to each other or stacked on top of each other. Cut the slices into evenly spaced strips.

Step 3. Lastly, make evenly spaced cuts across the strips and you’ll see how the pieces come away as small cubes. Congratulations! You just diced a tomato.

Image zoom Photo by MeredithHeather says:

Today we’re continuing with our knife skills series with how to dice a tomato.

Since I don’t have a photographer or an extra set of hands at my disposal -the latter would totally ruin my frequent “I only have two hands, wait a minute” excuse- the reader should know that during the actual slice the knife is held in the dominant hand. The top of the blade is gripped between the thumb and the second knuckle of the first finger and the other three fingers are curled around the handle. Some people find it more comfortable to rest their index finger along the top of the blade. Either of these two grips gives the cook better control of the knife than just gripping the handle.

A very sharp knife or a good serrated knife is essential for slicing tomatoes. A dull knife just tears the skin, smashes the fruit, or skids off the surface increasing the risk of a cut. Use care and common sense.

Removing the seeds is an important step for salsa and toppings for bruschetta, it keeps the flavor and the texture of the tomato without all the watery mess or funky seed texture

Let’s get started.

How to Dice a Tomato

Start by removing the core. There are fancy little gadgets called tomato corers, but a cheap-o metal 1/2 or 1/4 teaspoon works well.

Insert the tip of the spoon at the end of the stem and scoop it out.

Next, cut the tomato in half through the equator, not top to bottom. Lay the tomato on its side to accomplish this.

Use a -clean for Pete’s sake- finger to scoop out the seeds.

Usually it is perfectly fine to discard the seeds. The next step depends on the shape and firmness of the tomato.

Sometimes it is easier to slice the tomato if the cut side is on the cutting board. Ensure the fingers of the guiding hand are completely out of the path of the knife. If the tomato is particularly large, a second slice may be needed.

If the tomato was sliced several times, it may be easier to perform the next step one or two slices at a at a time. Stack the slices, cut side down, and cut into even strips.

Gather the strips and turn ninety degrees. Cut across the strips in even slices.

Look at that a nice, evenly diced tomato.

This post is a part of the Home Ec 101 Knife Skills Series.

This post was submitted to Tutorial Tuesday.

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