What tomato varieties are recommended for Maine and what are some growing considerations?


What tomato varieties would you suggest for in-ground planting? I’d like to plant 2-3 varieties for eating off the vine, and for canning BBQ sauce and salsa. Are there any other considerations for tomato growing in Maine?


Abi Griffith, Horticulture Community Education Assistant

I would suggest you do a soil test in the sight you will be planting, if you haven’t already.  It’s a helpful practice and is often the key to understanding what is going on in your garden and setting your plants up for success.  Go to the Analytical Lab and Maine Soil Testing Service to request a soil test box and form.

Here is a quick instructional video on how to collect a soil sample for submission. There is an approximate two week turn around and you’ll probably have to wait until your soil warms up!

As to what to grow, the choices are unlimited and really depend on what you like to eat. There are recommendations in Vegetable Varieties for Maine (scroll down for helpful tomato suggestions). Also, we are fortunate to have several reputable seed companies in Maine that you can research varieties that will thrive in our climate. Other best practices include:
  • Planting time (you want to wait until the danger of last frost is gone) which is typically late May to early June. No need to get them in extra early as they won’t be doing much growing and it has been my personal experience to still get good yields into the later season, even if they go in a little later.
  • Planting healthy transplants
  • Staking and pruning (for disease management and increasing yield).
  • Refer to New England Vegetable Management Guide – Tomatoes Outdoor for an in depth look into growing tomatoes outside in New England.