We grow early tomato varieties in that rush to harvest the first tomato of the year, and late season varieties to have a little something to look forward to at the end of the season. Midseason (or main season) tomato varieties are those mainstays of the vegetable garden that overlap both the early and late tomatoes and give us a good harvest all summer long.
In general, midseason varieties are ready to harvest anywhere from 65 to 80 days after planting.
Tips for Growing Main Season Tomatoes
Because these tomatoes will provide a good portion of your tomato harvest, it pays to really focus on what you want in a tomato. Do you want to grow them for canning or saucing? Do you prefer fresh tomatoes to slice onto sandwiches or into salads? Or do you love cherry tomatoes? You may want a mix, and that's great, too!
No matter which tomatoes you decide to plant, be sure to follow good organic tomato-growing practices, whether you're growing in a garden or in a container.
In selecting varieties for this list, I focused on tomatoes that are reliable producers, and that have great flavor as well. Of course, any list like this is subjective -- we all have our favorite tomatoes, after all. But if you're unsure where to start, this list will provide you with several options.
Ten Reliable, Delicious Midseason Tomato Varieties
1. 'Amish Paste'
If you grow tomatoes to can or make sauce, 'Amish Paste' is one of the best. The tomatoes are tasty enough to eat fresh off of the vine (which is rare among paste tomatoes) and it produces a steady crop of eight to twelve ounce fruits. Ready for harvest from about 80 days after planting until frost. Indeterminate.
2. 'Box Car Willie'
'Box Car Willie' get high marks all around: fantastic old-fashioned tomato flavor, pretty reddish-orange fruits, and high productivity make this variety a winner. The plant itself is fairly resistant to most common tomato diseases, and blossom end rot is rarely an issue. The fruits are good-sized, usually around a pound or so. Harvest starting around 80 days after transplant. Indeterminate.
3. 'Break O' Day'
'Break O' Day' is a very reliable producer with excellent tangy tomato flavor. This is another variety that is resistant to blossom end rot and cracking -- always a nice feature! It provides high yields of red, round, eight to ten ounce fruits from about 70 days after transplanting. Indeterminate.
4. 'Dr. Carolyn'
These little yellow cherry tomatoes are like a flavor explosion in your mouth. The somewhat tangy, somewhat sweet flavor is quite nice, and the fruits are just pretty: pale yellow, borne in clusters that ripen from about 78 days after planting and just keep going -- producing heavy yields up until frost. Indeterminate.
5. 'Green Grape'
'Green Grape' is perfect for those gardeners who haven't yet tried any of the "green when ripe" tomato varieties. The flavor is definitely unique: a little tangy, a little sweet, with what some describe as a somewhat spicy undertone. 'Green Grape' delivers fairly high yields of tasty cherry tomatoes from 60 days after planting. Indeterminate.
6. 'Jaune Flamme'
'Jaune Flamme' is a beautiful tomato, first off: a unique combination of red flesh and orange skin. Huge flavor for such a small (cherry) tomato -- quite tangy. 'Jaune Flamme' will provide a consistent harvest of tomatoes from about 75 days after planting. Indeterminate.
7. 'Kellogg's Breakfast'
This delicious, beautiful orange beefsteak tomato is juicy, flavorful, and just generally perfect in my opinion. The foliage tends to be a little sparse for such a large plant, but gardeners shouldn't worry about that as it doesn't seem to have any effect on the yield or the fruits themselves -- you'll be harvesting from around 80 days after transplant. Indeterminate.
8. 'Martino's Roma'
This is another good, reliable paste tomato. However, if you're looking to grow something that will provide tons of tomatoes for canning or saucing, this is the one to choose. Dr. Carolyn Male states in her book 100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden that "it loads up with dark red pear-shaped fruits that make it look like a Christmas tree until the tomatoes reach maturity---then the plant falls over." In my experience, it is also much less susceptible to blossom end rot than most paste tomatoes as well. Harvest around 75 days after planting. Determinate.
9. 'Red Pear'
These pretty little red pear-shaped, cherry-size tomatoes have earned a spot in my garden every year. They are beautiful in salads or as part of a crudités platter, and the flavor is mild, perfect for those who don't like in-your-face tomato flavor. Steady yields of tomatoes from around 78 days after planting. Indeterminate.
10. 'Yellow Pear'
This is another variety that I grow every year. And, to be honest, if I had to pick between 'Red Pear' (above) and 'Yellow Pear,' well....'Red Pear' would get the boot. 'Yellow Pear' is generally more flavorful than 'Red Pear' (on the sweet side) and the fruits are just so pretty. It produces very high yields of fruits from around 75 days. The only drawback is that the foliage is very susceptible to early blight, so if that is traditionally an issue in your garden, you may want to pass these up and grow 'Red Pear' instead. Indeterminate.
There you have them: ten delicious, productive main-season tomatoes to grow in your garden!