(Solanum lycopersicum) This crop, native to the Americas, has become the most popular garden crop over the last 200 years. We offer an amazing selection of many of the finest old varieties in lots of delicious colors! A few heirloom varieties have plants that don't get quite so large. Called "determinate" varieties, these grow to a certain size and then set all their fruit more or less at once. Determinates may be a better choice where tomatoes are grown in a very small garden, or in containers. All varieties are believed to be 'indeterminate' (long vines), unless specified 'determinate' (short vines). The best-tasting varieties tend to be indeterminate, and most of ours are unless otherwise noted. For many reasons, it is highly recommended to start your seeds indoors and transplant out. First, the tomato is a long season crop and northern growers will want a jump start, but also tomatoes greatly benefit from transplanting as it helps them to grow into a more sturdy plant. Seeds germinate in 7-14 days. Ideal germination temperature is 70-80 F. Sow seeds 1/8 inch deep. Transplant outdoors after all chance of frost have passed. Tomatoes have a unique ability to grow extra roots along their stems, which helps the plant to become better established and take up nutrients, so it is wise to dig a deep hole and plant the tomato so that the bottom few inches of stem are below the soil line. (Note: this ability is unique to tomatoes and planting deep in this manner will kill or harm other plants.) Plant in full sun. Plants prefer rich, well-drained soil and regular watering. Space plants 24-36 inches apart (determinate tomatoes can be planted 18-24 inches apart).
60 days. Fantastic, sugar-sweet tomato flavor, that is fruity, with a hint of grape and plum flavors. If you relish the experience of digging into a bowl of high-quality cocktail tomatoes, then the Black Strawberry is your tomato. This 1-ounce fruit is marbled in blue, scarlet and gold. A bowl full resembles a luminous and luxurious bunch of gems, and indeed the flavor is decadent and indulgent, with perfectly sweet and tart balanced flavor! This extremely productive and early variety makes it an obvious choice for gardeners and market farmers who want rugged, early-producing plants, and do not want to sacrifice eating quality
75 days to maturity. Superior breeding efforts have resulted in one of the most delectable and color- saturated tomatoes we have seen! Plants produce bunches of 2-inch globes, round and brilliant blue, maturing to a golden yellow with blue shoulders. This newer variety was introduced by J and L Gardens and is a cross between the famously sugary Amy’s Sugar Gem and the antioxidant-rich OSU Blue tomato. It is perfect to snack on or for salads and should be a centerpiece for market displays!
60 days. This micro-dwarf is about 8-10 inches tall! This scrumptious cherry tomato is every bit as delectable as it is pretty, encapsulating what we love most about the recent heirloom seed renaissance! The heart-shaped, brick-red colored fruit is about the size of quarter. These tasty morsels burst with intense smoky black tomato flavor that is a notable cut above many other super dwarf tomatoes. Breeder Andrea Clapp loves to breed tomatoes with garden aesthetics in mind. Fittingly, the diminutive plants have beautiful, thin, jagged rugose foliage and dainty heart-shaped fruit that exude charm in a landscape design. A newly introduced variety from Andrea Clapp, offered only through Baker Creek.
70-80 days. A gilded salad tomato with superb flavor, introduced by the legendary tomato breeder Tom Wagner, who bred the Green Zebra tomato and many other delectable heirlooms. The 3-5 ounce fruit is scrumptious and snackable with a unique color pattern. This newer variety will display slight variations in size and color, making for fun surprises!
These gorgeous globes have the lustre and stunning color of a stained glass masterpiece. Its beauty is only outmatched by its flavor! The Sart Roloise tomato is bursting with sweet, fruity and complex flavor with just the right acidity, owing its tropical flavor profile to its parentage. It is a cross of the White Wonder tomato, which lends pineapple sweet notes, and the Baby Blue tomato, which explains the deep indigo blue brushstrokes on the shoulders! This variety was bred by Roland Boulanger, Sart Eustache, Belgium. This is a large beefsteak type. The big, beautiful fruit averages 10-20 ounces each, with the most captivating color and sheen, making it a must have for market gardeners, chefs and anyone who loves a gourmet flavored tomato with pizazz.
Incredible flavor, color and history! Introduced in 1893 by James Thorburn of New York, this is one of the most sensational tomatoes we have ever grown. With honey-brown skin, orange-pink flesh, and green seed mass, this is an eye-catching slicer with an out-of-this-world flavor. The tomato produces heavily during mid-season and then drops off quickly once cool weather sets in. As a cooker it will yield a pumpkin-orange sauce with a floral aroma. We are excited to have this tomato that was painted in color in Thorburn’s 1893 catalog; at last we can offer this rare treasure! From the collection of Dr. William Woys Weaver.
This tomato came in to my grandfather ’s collection from his friend Dr. Harold E. Martin (1888-1959), the creator of Dr. Martin’ s Lima Bean. Dr. Martin used it as a breeding parent to create the True Black Brandywine tomato which I discussed several years ago in The Heirloom Gardener. Fejee Improved or True Beefsteak appeared as a new cross or selection about 1883 in the seed catalogs of David Landreth and Robert Buist of Philadelphia. Ideal for slicing, the fat, oblate fruit about 4 to 5 inches in diameter features maroon or brownish-purple flesh with a red “bloody” center as shown in the picture. It received the name Beefsteak because it resembled raw aged beef. Treat as a late season tomato. Due to the heavy fruit, plants should be staked or caged.