Seed & Plant Reviews

The Winner of the 2009 Tomato Awards Is… Sweet Cluster!

I don’t know if you’ve picked up on this yet, but I like tomatoes. I’m pretty sure that, to date, they are my favorite thing to grow. This year I planted six varieties and I thought I’d share my thoughts on which ones I thought were best. (Not all tomatoes are created equal, you know.) So without further ado, may I present to you – The 2009 Tomato Awards!… Also known as Dave’s Favs for 2009… Or Tomatoes I like… Or whatever.

Starting at the top, my number one pick for tomatoes this year is…

Sweet Cluster Tomato

#1. Sweet Cluster

I like to eat my tomatoes like apples and this is the perfect variety for doing just that. They are the perfect size – about the size of a lightbulb, but a very nice round shape. They also produce like mad! They produce in clusters (thus the name) of about six or more tomatoes. These are hands down my favorite tomato of 2009.

#2. Sweet 100

Now this ranking may be a little skewed. I love cherry tomatoes and this was the only variety that I planted this year – so it automatically makes it into the top by default. The flavor was good, but I think I have had better cherry tomatoes (just not this year). I do have to say I was impress with their production though – lots of long trailing clusters.

#3. Lemon Boy

I do have a thing for the slightly unusual when it comes to gardening, so yellow tomatoes certainly have an attraction for me. But I do really like the flavor and texture of the lemon boy tomatoes. This is one that I’ll be planting on a regular basis in years to come.

The Others

The rest of these were fine and good. All of them were quite edible, but they weren’t anything really special. They were “just tomatoes”. So in no particular order…

Brandywine – There were kinda fun because they grow very large. I sliced one up for lunch and I hardly had room on my plate for anything else. This is what you want to grow if you want to out-grow your neighbor.

Beefmaster – Mine were pretty ugly looking. Quite bulgy, like someone was trying to fit two tomatoes into one skin. Still tastes good though. Can’t tell its shape when you turn it into salsa…

Better Boy – This is your all-round average, all-purpose tomato. It’s nice. It’s good. Not much else to say about it.

So that’s my tomatoes of 2009. I’m ready to start planning for 2010, so if you’ve got some favorites that you’re willing to share – leave a comment!

12 replies on “The Winner of the 2009 Tomato Awards Is… Sweet Cluster!”

I really think you should try Sungold or Sun Sugar. They are both yellow/orange cherries, gives you the best of both your favourites! Both are early producers so perfect for AB, and don’t need a greenhouse. Sun Sugar is more acidic but super sweet too so it’s like having a sweet and sour candy. I don’t even bother growing big tomatoes anymore because they just don’t measure up in the flavour department.

Hey Jill! Sounds great! I don’t think I’ve heard of those ones before – where would one order those seeds?

Good report. We had a variety of tomato types this year. Sweetie tended to produce the est but Biltmore had the bigger fruit. Also tried Tamina, Sungella, and a couple of others for which I lost the tag.
You can see them on my blog.


I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all your posts about the hoop-house.
There are so many great tasting tomatoes to offer up as recommendations I am not sure where to start….
How about JDs Special C-Tex (black), Black Cherry or Chocolate Cherry, Green Doctors (green when ripe cherry), Hay’s Tomato (Heart), Green Zebra, Lucky Cross (Bi-colour), Casey’s Pure Yellow, Ludmilla’s Red Plum, Orange Minsk.
If you are looking forward a particular flavour profile or size or shape or colour, please feel free to ask as I love talking about tomatoes.

I have found a lot of good info here – I’m in Saskatchewan and was looking for info on growing asparagus but found so much more. Thanks! My favorite cherry tomato is Sugar Snack but I haven’t been able to find seeds – only plants at the greenhouse. They are noticeably sweeter than Sweet 100s, I think. I have a problem yard (water table is one inch above ground – lol) so I am trying straw bale gardening this year. It’s too early to plant much yet but I have been conditioning my bales – or I should say nature has been as we have had quite a bit of rain lately. I will be planting directly into the bales once they are conditioned enough. For potatoes, I have planted them in a long narrow area with bales on all sides. Straw on the ground first because it is so wet, then the potatoes and covered with dry leaves/straw. I will add more as the plants grow so will be a little like growing potatoes in a barrel or tires.

Glad to find that sweet cluster was your favorite tomato. It’s the main plant in my indoor hydroponic garden. I have one question for you. You describe your tomatoes as being the size of a light bulb. The biggest one I’ve had so far was about the size of a ping pong ball. This could be due to stunning the plant with too high of fertilizer about a month ago. BUt I”m also wondering if having 60 tomatoes on one plant might be too many for the roots to handle? Any thoughts are appreciated.

Rick Hanes
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Rick: 60 tomatoes per plant does seem like quite a lot. I like to prune my tomatoes pretty aggressively, so that might account for the larger fruit sizes.

The Sweet Cluster Tomato has been the award winner at my house. Together with the Juliet’s I’ve had successful harvests, a challenge on the wet side of the mountains here in the Columbia River Gorge.
Unfortunatety the supplier has discontinued the seed and I am searching for an alternative. Some of you may be in the same situation. Please post some ideas.

Sweet cluster is my favorite but I cannot find a canadian supplier of the seed. Versy’s do not have them anymore. Do you know of a supplier?

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