You can grow any type of tomato in a greenhouse but the bush (also known as determinate) varieties take up a lot of valuable floor space whereas the cordon (also called pole or indeterminate) varieties make best use of the vertical space and are, therefore, far more productive in terms of total yield and the best tomatoes to grow in the greenhouse.
Varieties like tumbler or sweet million which are small bush types developed to grow in pots or hanging baskets can be profitably started and grown in a greenhouse until the summer arrives and then moved out on to the patio etc. for the warm season.
Usually the seed supplier will state if a particular variety of tomato is best grown in a greenhouse or outdoors.
You can generally grow outdoor types in a greenhouse but not less cold-resistant, greenhouse-only types outdoors unless you enjoy a really warm micro-climate such as can be found in some London and the South East gardens.
Commercial growers have the benefit of heating in cooler weather and automatic ventilation and climate control when the summer heats things up which enables them to grow nearly every day of the year.
Without heating, your home greenhouse (technically called a cold greenhouse if there is no heating at all) will extend the season by weeks at either end.
Some suggestions for best tomatoes for greenhouse growing.
These are all cordon varieties:
- Sungold – early, prolific and very sweet
- Capprica – modern commercial variety that replaced Cedrico. Excellent flavour, reliable and consistent
- Ferline – formerly a commercial variety, similar to Capprica
- Gardener’s Delight – an old favourite
- Ailsa Craig or Craigella – an old favourite and the upgraded greenback resistant variety. Great traditional flavour
- Black Opal – sweet, black variety that has to be tasted.
Commercial greenhouse tomato growers look to grow extremely large plants with over 25 fruit trusses per plant. They usually grow just one or two varieties – types that meet the supermarket’s specification.
This grafted plant system is becoming more popular generally but is more expensive and limited in varieties available. Personally I am not fully convinced it is worth it to the home grower. By deep planting you can develop a pretty good root system anyway.
Further Information: Tomato Growing Guides
- Types of Tomatoes – An Introduction to Tomato Growing Part 1
- Sowing and Starting off Tomatoes – Introduction to Tomato Growing Part 2
- Growing Tomatoes in a Tomato Grow-house (Mini-Greenhouse)
- Growing Tomatoes in a Greenhouse
- Growing Tomatoes in the Greenhouse Border
- Growing Tomatoes in Pots or Grow Bags in the Greenhouse
- Growing Tomatoes by Ring Culture
- Growing Tomatoes in Straw Bales
- Growing Tomatoes Outdoors
- Planting & Growing Tomatoes Outdoors
- Growing Patio Tomatoes – Dwarf Bush Variety Patio Tomatoes
- Water Requirements for Tomatoes
- Ideal Temperatures for Growing Tomatoes
- Removing Tomato Side Shoots (Suckers) & Stopping Tomatoes
- Best Tomato Varieties – My Top Tasty Tomato Picks
- Heirloom Tomatoes (Heritage Tomatoes)
- Best Tomatoes for Greenhouse Growing
- Tomato Troubles & Diseases | Causes & Cures of Tomato Problems
- Raising Tomato Plants from Seed