By Anne Baley
Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable grown in American gardens, and their fruit can be turned into dozens of different dishes after they’re ripe. They might be considered almost a perfect garden vegetable except for having to deal with the slippery seeds. If you’ve often wished for a tomato without any seeds, you’re in luck. Tomato growers have developed a number of seedless tomato varieties for the home garden, including cherry, paste and slicing varieties. Growing seedless tomatoes is done exactly like you would any other tomato; the secret is in the seeds.
Types of Seedless Tomato for the Garden
Many of the earlier seedless tomatoes are almost completely free of seeds, but some of them fall a little short of this goal. “Oregon Cherry” and “Golden Nugget” varieties are cherry tomatoes, and both claim to be mostly seedless. You’ll find about ¼ of them with seeds, and the rest will be seed-free.
“Oregon Star” is a true paste-type, or roma tomato, and is great for making your own marinara or tomato paste without having to mill out pesky seeds. “Oregon 11” and “Siletz” are classic slicing seedless tomato plants of varying sizes, with all of them boasting that most of their tomatoes will be seed-free.
The best example, however, of a seedless tomato may be the new “Sweet Seedless,” which is a classic garden tomato with sweet, red fruits that weigh about half a pound each.
Where Can I Buy Seedless Tomatoes?
It’s rare to find specialty seeds for seedless tomato plants in your local garden center. Your best bet will be to look through seed catalogs, both in the mail and online, to find the variety you are looking for.
Burpee offers the “Sweet Seedless” variety, as does Urban Farmer and some independent sellers on Amazon. “Oregon Cherry” and others are available on a number of seed sites and will ship all over the country.