In an ideal world I would grow several types – a couple of cherry varieties for salads, a cordon for sauces and chutneys and a thick-skinned variety that's perfect for roasting on the barbecue.
Sadly I have space for only one, and it seems there's no single tomato for me, so a compromise needs to be struck. Do I opt for flavour or yield, thickness of skin or resistance to disease? Suitability for salads or sauces?
I've had great success over the years from old favourite Gardener's Delight – a cherry type that grows as a cordon and produces tasty sweet fruits that almost melt in the mouth. It makes a nice sweet sauce, too, although you need a fair amount of tomatoes for a meal. Recently this reliable tom has been usurped by the even sweeter 'Sungold'. I also love the larger, stripy cordon variety 'Tigerella'.
New varieties for 2013 include F1 hybrids 'Terenzo', which looks perfect for growing in hanging baskets, and 'Sweet Million', a cordon type that promises hundreds, if not millions, of delicious fruits. Then there are heirloom varieties such as 'Brandywine' and 'Black Cherry', and blight-resistant types such as 'Loretto' and 'Ferline'.
I think I'll stick with 'Sungold' this year as the plants produce a great crop of incredibly sweet fruits. They're perfect in salads although very few make it to the kitchen as I eat them off the vine in the garden.
Which tomato varieties will you be growing this year? Do you grow a wide selection or do you stick to a tried and tested old favourite?