I’ve often marveled at the skill of the writers of seed catalogs. Once of my favorite is from Totally Tomatoes ( They have hundreds of varieties of tomatoes, and they have to make every one of them sound good and unique….a formidable task. So I was inspired to play with some slightly…uh…more interesting (and at times, more honest) names and descriptions for tomato varieties:

Grey Velvet Wonder – Even the staunchest tomato-hater amongst your kids won’t be able to resist the cute soft furry coating of mold on these fruits. A truly cuddly tomato!

Big Blighty Bertha – the race will be on to pick these big beauties before the plants succumb to late blight.

Green Marbles – this plant will produce loads of dense, hard green cherry-sized tomatoes. This one is a prolific producer, so you’ll have plenty to share with the neighbors – you know, the ones you don’t like.

Hornworm’s Delight – if you’re creating a wildlife garden, this is the plant for you. By July, the vine will be crawling with dozens of these cute, fat caterpillars making the leaves look like lace.

Bodacious Brownie – the world’s first brown tomato. Remember your first homegrown tomato? This one is exactly like that one…or would be if you’d stuck in the back corner of the fridge and forgotten about it all of these years. Slice it if you dare!

Hail Beater – hail just bounces off of these beauties, specially bred to have a protective thick and hard skin. Your teeth will too, so consider this one for decorative purposes. (picture of tomato jack-o-lantern at right)

Grainy Globe – looking for a tomato with a really grainy feel in the mouth? This one replaces Sandywine as the premier grainy tomato.

Compost King (not an “eating” tomato) – This one’s not for eating, but it makes great compost! So plant this one right next to your compost pile and feel good that you’re producing good quality soil amendment for next year’s vegetable bed.

Cracker Jack – imagine gorgeous red fruits with plenty of Grand Canyon size fissures sliced into the flesh.

Little Aphid Annie – your kids will be tickled with this one, the only tomato that actually attracts a virtual insect zoo right in your own yard! Combine with Hornworm’s Delight for extra pesty fun.

Early Hurl – disgusting taste but on plants with a 22 day maturity! You’ll definitely have “first ripe tomato” bragging rights with this one.

Tomato 471-AZQ12 VFNNTPZQ…. So completely pest resistant that it should not be consumed by anyone! (use gloves when handling)

Blandywine – an old heirloom variety that wins nearly every tasteless tomato contest.

Grocery Store Special – this tomato promises grocery store taste year round (yes, even in the summer!) without having to drive to your supermarket. Heck you won’t care when the squirrels eat these. In fact, you might hope they do!

No Show – a fruitless variety that provides monstrous, water hogging vines that are never hindered or marred with flowers or fruit – no need to worry about whether the fruits will ripen before frost because there won’t be any! Be sure to use an extra large cage with this one. (alternatively called the Farmer’s Market Moneymaker since you’ll have to go to the farmer’s market if you want any homegrown tomatoes)

Big Baby – this is one of the most temperamental, whiny varieties that we offer. When other plants are doing well, this one will still require your full attention with its temper tantrums – wilting, turning yellow, and losing leaves for no reason.

Happy Growing!