Grow These Naturally Sweet Tomatoes

'German Johnson' tomato
‘German Johnson’ tomato

Some tomato varieties are sweeter than others. They naturally develop more sugars which means they will be sweeter than tomatoes which naturally develop more acids. The combination of sugars and acids—there are more than 400 naturally occurring compounds that account for tomato flavor– makes for what is often called “old-fashioned tomato flavor.”

Of the tomatoes that are naturally high in sugars, here are several–both large and small– that you will likely find sweeter than others. If a sweet tomato is what you crave, one of these will likely be for you.

Good Products for Growing Tomato Family Crops:

Sweet Tomatoes that are Large in Size

  • ‘Abraham Lincoln’: a bit of old-fashioned acidity flavor well-tempered with sweetness. Heirloom; medium-size; open-pollinated; indeterminate; 77 days to harvest from transplant.
  • ‘Ace 55’: tart flavor with a sweet aftertaste, lower in acid than other tomatoes. Medium-size; open-pollinated; determinate; 80 days to harvest from transplant.
  • ‘Aker’s West Virginia’: sweet and rich flavor, delicious. Heirloom; big fruit; open-pollinated; indeterminate; 85 days to harvest from transplant.
  • ‘German Johnson’: some say this tomato is as sweet as a watermelon. Heirloom; large fruit; open-pollinated; indeterminate; 80 days to harvest from transplant.
  • ‘Giant Belgium’: sweet flavor in a very large fruit, to 5 pounds. Ohio-native; open-pollinated; indeterminate; 90 days to harvest from transplant.
  • ‘Hillbilly’: sweet and fruity. West Virginia heirloom; open-pollinated; indeterminate; 85 days to harvest from transplant.
  • ‘Red Rocket’: sweet-acid blend, smooth and flavorful for early season tomato. Compact growing determinate, open-pollinated; 60 days to harvest from transplant.
Tomatoes in kitchen
‘Sweet Chelsea’ tomatoes

Sweet Tomatoes That Are Small in Size

  • Sweet Treats: sweet and rich. Cherry tomato; hybrid; indeterminate; 70 days.
  • Sweet Baby Girl: sweet and flavorful. Clusters of fruit; hybrid; indeterminate; 65 days.
  • Sweet Chelsea: extra sweet. Jumbo cherry tomato; hybrid; indeterminate; 67 days.
  • Sweet 100: very sweet, abundant until frost. Large cherry; hybrid; indeterminate; 65 days.
  • Sweet Million: improved Sweet 100. Hybrid; indeterminate; 65 days.

Old-Farmer’s Admonition

You will have to test this admonition for yourself: many old-timers say to grow sweet tomatoes, add a spoonful of sugar to each hole when you plant.

Also of interest:

Tomato Flavor Explained

Tomato Seed Starting Tips

Paste Tomatoes for Home Gardens

Garden Planning Books at Amazon:

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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