4 Unusual Tomato Varieties That Look & Taste Incredible!

If you are looking to try something new and different this year, then there is nothing better to experiment with than tomatoes. 

In this article, we will tell you why you should try out unusual tomato varieties and which ones to try.

Unusual Tomato VarietyTasteLookEase Of GrowingOrder From Reputable Supplier
Black Cherryblack cherry tomatoes10/1010/1010/10Visit Website
Sungold F1Sungold F1 Tomato10/109/1010/10Visit Website
Green ZebraGreen Zebra Tomato10/1010/1010/10Visit Website
Super MarmandeSuper Marmande Tomato9/104/1010/10Visit Website

Why Try Out Unusual Tomato Varieties?

One great thing about growing your own fruit and veg is that you can try out a lot of different varieties. 

Commercial growers focus on varieties that are easy to grow and will bring them the biggest profit. So they will look for varieties that have the biggest yield. While taste is also important for commercial growers, they tend to stick to the ones they know will make them money.

Commercially grown tomatoes also tend to ripen their tomatoes all at once, which brings a lot of benefits for the commercial grower.

But for a vegetable gardener, such a glut can be difficult to deal with. Unless you give some away or preserve them. 

The cheapest tomatoes you get from a supermarket, don’t tend to taste of much. If you want tomatoes with a sweet flavour, you will have to pay more.

When you grow your own, you can grow anything really. So, if you want a rich flavour or a mild flavour, you can get it.

And you can also grow unusual tomato varieties that look different. We are used to red tomatoes and in some supermarkets you might get yellow or orange tomatoes.

But did you know that you can get purple tomatoes, for example?

Imagine the astonishment of your guests when you serve them a delicious tomato salad with their BBQ meat with purple tomatoes.

And growing your own unusual tomato varieties is also not expensive, because the seeds tend to be cheap, and you get a good yield per plant.

If you are now keen to have a go, here are 4 unusual tomato varieties we would recommend you try.

I will rate each of them in terms of taste, look and ease of growing.

Tomato “Black Cherry”

Tomatoes of the Blach Cherry variety

This is an old “black” heirloom variety. It’s an open pollinated variety which means you can save your own seeds.   And that is great news, because it means you can become self-sufficient for this tomato variety.  

This is currently my favourite variety, although many seed suppliers have begun replacing it with “Black Opal”. But thankfully, you can still get it, at Thompson & Morgan, for example.  

Let’s have a closer look at this unusual tomato variety.


I love this tomato because it has a superb smokey taste. It’s like nothing I have ever tasted in a tomato before. That’s one of the main reasons I like to try unusual tomato varieties.  

The first time I tried it, I was speechless. It was in a very posh restaurant and I embarrassed my husband by asking the waitress about the tomatoes.   

She was very nice though and asked the chef, who told me it was a Black Cherry tomato.  

So when I got home, I did some research and found a supplier. I got a packet and, although it was slightly too late in the season, I gave it a go with one plant.  

And I managed to get quite a good yield from this one plant. And the tomatoes we got were heavenly. I have been growing this variety ever since and also save the seeds, so I can continue to eat this delicious tomato.  

For taste, I rate this tomato a 10!

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Although as vegetable gardeners we don’t grow our veggies for looks, unless we want to show them, it is still great to look at your garden and find beauty.  

And vegetables and fruit can provide that just as well as ornamental plants. And unusual tomato varieties can be very beautiful.  

Black Cherry tomatoes have a deep dark red, almost purple colour. And depending on the light, they can even look black. That’s probably how they got their name.  

They draw your eyes in when there are ripe tomatoes on the plants and give your garden some interest.  

It’s a colour that you won’t see that often in vegetable gardens, so I love to have these little beauties in my garden.  

For look, I rate this tomato a 10!  

Ease Of Growing

Green tomatoes growing on tomato plants

When it comes to trying out unusual tomato varieties, many people are worried, because they think that they need a lot of work and effort and are difficult to grow.  

But that’s not true. This variety is very easy to grow.   

You start the tomato seeds off indoors in a propagator on a windowsill or a heated greenhouse. You can do this as early as January. Or if you propagate them in an unheated greenhouse, wait until March or April.  

In small pots or roottrainers sow your seeds. Ideally, you want moist soil, then cover the seeds lightly with a layer of compost.  

Like with most tomatoes, they tend to germinate quite quickly, in one to two weeks.   

Let the seedlings grow, keeping their soil moist, but don’t overwater them. Once they have two true leaves, you can pot them on, into 8cm (3in) pots.   

Growing Tip: Make sure you use good quality rich soil, to give your plants the best chance possible.  

You can start to harden them off, but make sure they won’t get too cold. Don’t let them get cold, they need a minimum temperature of 15°C.  

Hardening off can be done in a cold frame, or on a patio, if it is warm enough.  

Once the danger of frost has past, you can plant them out. Make sure you give them enough space, a spacing of around 60cm (24in) will do.  

You want to provide the Black Cherry tomato plants with support. Either by staking them or by using a tomato cage. This will ensure that these yummy cherry tomatoes stay off the ground.   As with other tomato plants, snip off any side shoots.  

They like moist soil, so in dry weather, water them regularly.  

Once the first fruits grow, start feeding the plants with tomato feed. This will ensure you get gorgeous tomatoes.  

For ease of growing, I rate this tomato a 10!

Tomato “Sungold F1”

Orange Sungold F1 Toamtoes

Although not a heritage variety it’s well worth growing.  

I was hesitant at first, but a good friend recommended it, so I gave it a go. And Sungold F1 is very popular among the unusual tomato varieties.   


I consider this one of the sweetest and tastiest varieties available today, almost like sweets, but healthy.  

There is nothing better on a hot summer’s day than to pick one of these and eat it right away. They are ideal for a salad or in the lunch box.   

No child can say no to these super sweet fruits. And if this is not a huge reason to grow unusual tomato varieties, I don’t know what is, right?  

For taste, I rate this tomato a 10!


The Sungold F1 tomato plant produces beautiful orange cherry tomatoes. They look like sweets hanging on the stems of the plant.

This orange variety adds a spot of colour to your garden, that brings joy when you see them.

Orange is normally a colour we associate with autumn and autumn vegetables, such as butternut squash and pumpkins.

So having these orange fruits in our garden in summer, makes them very special for me.

They also look great in a salad, mixed with red and yellow tomatoes and green basil. It’s almost an artwork on your plate.

For look, I rate this tomato a 9!

Ease Of Growing

This unusual tomato variety is also easy to grow. 

You can start sowing the tomato seeds from February indoors in a heated greenhouse or a propagator on the windowsill.

Fill a seed tray or small pots with good quality compost and then sow the tomato seeds thinly. If you are using small pots, sow two to three per pot.

Cover the seeds lightly with more compost. 

Top Tip: Water the compost before you sow the seeds and use a spray bottle to wet the cover soil.

tomato seedlings on windowsill

This will make sure that the seeds don’t get washed to the sides when you water them.

Keep them in a temperature between 15°C – 20°C and they should germinate in one to two weeks.

When your tomato seedlings have reached a hight of about 10cm (4in) you can transplant them to a bigger pot. 

This is the time when you start hardening them off. This will make them used to being outside before they move out permanently.

Hardening off can be done on a patio, in an unheated greenhouse or a cold frame.

After at least a week, they should have acclimatised themselves to the outside.

This unusual tomato variety grows well in a greenhouse or polytunnel, to which it can be planted out at the end of May.

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The Sungold F1 does equally grow well outdoors, but wait with planting the young tomato plants out until the danger of frost has past, which is normally early June.

Provide them with a sheltered, sunny spot. 

All tomatoes are hungry plants, so make sure you prepare the soil by adding organic matter, ideally in the autumn before. Tomatoes do best in moist soil with good drainage.

This unusual tomato variety is an indeterminate tomato,  which means that they will grow as high as you let them.

To restrict their growth pinch out at the top when they have reached the hight you want to be. Also pinch out the side shoots.

So they will need support, either by staking or by using a tomato cage.

Water regularly, especially in dry weather and start feeding them as soon as the first fruit appear.

This variety is also said to have some disease resistance to tobacco mosaic virus and fusarium wilt.

For ease of growing, I rate this plant a 10!

Tomato “Green Zebra”

Green Zebra tomato

When it comes to growing unusual tomato varieties for looks, this French heirloom variety hits the mark.

I came across it in a gardening programme and was fascinated, so decided to try it out. And I wasn’t disappointed.


Again, this heirloom tomato has an unusual taste. The Green Zebra tomato is sweet and juicy but has also a tangy flavour. 

It tastes very rich and luxurious and if you close your eyes you can imaging yourself sitting in a fancy restaurant on the coast of Italy or Spain.

It’s perfect in a salad with the Sungold and Black Cherry tomatoes, because the different tastes add a complexity that is just gorgeous. 

You don’t need to do much, just toss them together with some salt and pepper, two tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil and one tablespoon of good quality balsamic vinegar. 

I promise, this salad will become your favourite summer treat.

For taste, I rate this tomato a 10!


The Green Zebra plant produces medium-sized green tomatoes with yellow stripes, hence the name. And even when they ripe, they still have this zebra pattern, it’s fantastic.

The flashes of yellow really stand out on the green plant. It makes me smile whenever I spot them.

And on the plate they look so exotic. I like to keep them whole, so I stuff them. That way, you see them in their full glory.

When it comes to unusual tomato varieties that look good, this is definitely in the top 3.

For look, I rate this tomato a 10!

Ease Of Growing

feed your tomatoes once fruits start to grow

This is a French variety and is very hardy. It is said to be disease resistant too.

You can start sowing the tomato seeds for this variety as early as January indoors and continue sowing until April if you want.

Like with the other unusual tomato varieties, sow the seeds in a seed tray or small pot and place in a propagator.

Once the seedlings show two true leaves, you can pot them on into bigger pots, about 8cm (3in). Start hardening them off for at least 7 days, 14 would be even better.

Once there is no more risk of frost, you can plant them out.

This unusual variety will grow well in a greenhouse or polytunnel or outdoors in a bed.

Because this is a cordon variety (another name for indeterminate tomato), it will need staking to support the plant. And this is a very heavy cropper, so will need all the support you can give it.

Water your Green Zebra plants regularly, especially in dry weather.  They need moist soil, but don’t overwater them.

Once fruits start to grow, start feeding with tomato feed, about once a week to every 10 days.

Like with any tomato plant, pinch out side shoots.

For ease of growing, I rate this tomato a 10!

Tomato “Super Marmande”

Super Marmande Tomato seeds from Thompson & Morgan

I was looking for a sauce tomato that will work well to make delicious pasta sauces but also preserve and use over winter.

I did some research and came across this Italian beefsteak tomato called Super Marmande that sounded perfect. 


These heirloom tomatoes originate from Italy and have a rich sweet taste. They are also very juicy, which make them perfect for a tomato sauce with pasta.

They work much better than chopped tomatoes from a tin that you buy in the supermarket, because of the sweetness.

I grow the Super Marmande in the polytunnel which extends their cropping season. Towards the end of summer I start preserving them. Because you get such a meaty fruit, they preserve very well.

I make my own chopped tomatoes and they normally last me all winter. And it’s so nice to have this sweet taste for most of the year.

For taste, I rate this tomato a 9!


If there is beauty in ugliness then these scalloped, oblate fruits are beautiful.

To be honest, they are the ugliest tomatoes I have ever grown, but the flavour and great yield you get make more than up for it.

And as I tend to cook with them rather than eat them raw in salads, it doesn’t matter much anyway. And when it comes to nature, nothing is ugly really. And they do have a touch of pink on the shoulders.

For look, I rate this tomato a 4!

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Ease Of Growing

tomato seedlings

This meaty heirloom tomato is a semi-bush semi-determinate tomato plant. 

Like the other unusual tomato varieties, start with sowing the tomato seeds in seed trays and place under a propagator.

Once the seedlings are around 10cm (4in) tall, repot into a bigger pot.

In a heated greenhouse you can plant them out at the end of May. Outdoors, wait until there is no more risk of frost.

The Super Marmande plants will love a sunny and sheltered position. 

While this variety is a semi-bush variety, it will still need support, especially once the fruits start growing.

You get really big heavy tomatoes, so staking is still a good idea.

But it’s not necessary to pinch out the side shoots as it’s not a determinate variety. The plants do tend to grow quite vigorously, so you might need to trim them every now and then.

Keep watering these plants regularly and start feeding them tomato feed once the fruit start growing.

You should be able to harvest tomatoes from July through to September. 

I give this variety a 10 for ease of growing!

If you want to know more about growing tomatoes from seed, you can read our complete tomato growing guide.

I hope I could convince you to try out some unusual tomato varieties. They are so worth it. Happy Growing!

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