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Best Tomatoes for Greenhouse Growing

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.

Greenhouse Tomatoes

Greenhouse Tomatoes

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.

Grafted Tomatoes

Commercial Tomato Growing

Commercial Tomato Growing Using Grafted Tomatoes

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.

These may not have a root system strong enough to cope with the demands the size puts on the plant. To solve this they always use grafted plants where the roots are from a variety with a very good system and the plant tops from the variety they want to grow.

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