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1 October 2020

Best Buy salad tomatoes

Woolly, tasteless tomatoes from the supermarket don't stand a chance next to home-grown salad tomatoes
Ceri Thomas

Tomatoes are the most popular garden vegetable, as they're easy to grow and produce an abundance of fruit. Needless to say, the taste and juiciness of home-grown ones are nothing like the woolly ones from the supermarket.

The Which? Gardening experts have trialled 16 salad-tomato varieties so they can recommend the best ones that not only taste great but also grow well in the UK.

To read about the latest veg trials, as well as trials of flowers, gardening techniques and products, be sure to subscribe to Which? Gardening magazine.

If you're a Which? member, you can log in to find out which salad-tomato varieties we've included in the table below. Not yet a member? Join Which? to get instant access to all our reviews.

The best salad tomatoes
What it looks like Salad tomato variety Yield per plant

This variety was one of the first varieties to produce ripe tomatoes, starting from mid-July onwards, and there was little green fruit left to mature by the end of September. We harvested a steady supply of small (4.5cm), uniform, scarlet-coloured fruits, weighing around 60g each, from our vigorous plants, which had unusual potato-like leaves. These tomatoes have a firm skin but are easy to chew, with tender and very juicy deep-red flesh and a bright-green central core. The cavities are well-filled with golden seeds. The fruits retain a faint aroma of the vine and their lovely taste balances stronger sweet, savoury and fresh flavours with mild acidity. Find out which tomato variety we're talking about - log in or join Which?

How Which? tested salad tomatoes

We selected 16 salad-tomato varieties that are claimed to be suitable for growing indoors and sometimes outdoors. We sowed our seeds in April, and in May we planted up two growing bags with three plants of each variety and put them in our greenhouse.

All plants were grown as cordons, watered as necessary, and fed with tomato fertiliser. The growing points were pinched out in mid-August to encourage the fruits to swell and ripen. Ripe fruits were picked, weighed and counted each week; fruit quality, ease of growing from seed and plant health were also assessed.

All the tomatoes were sampled by trained taste-testers. These experts can distinguish and rate the individual components of tastes and textures, such as savoury, sweet and succulence, and identify subtle differences in aroma. They also rated how appetising the tomatoes looked.