September 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Scientist in the garden: How to grow cool tomatoes

I’ve always grown tomatoes in my garden and I like unusual varieties. This year I’ve got a bunch of cool tomatoes growing out back. Some are now starting to ripen so it’s getting more exciting. Note that this posted has been updated for 2020.

Growing tomatoes is not as hard as I thought originally, but there are some tricks. I’m going to do a separate post fully on tomato growing tips. Some key ones are pick the sunniest spot in your yard, work on the soil every year including via green cover crops, don’t over-water or over-fertilize, and mulch.

Below I’ve posted pictures I took just this week of some of my favorite unusual varieties. We just had some Lovers Lunch and Berkeley Pink Tie Dye for breakfast today and they were amazing.

Beauty King Tomato
Beauty King Tomato. My current favorite type of tomatoes. Beautiful, big, and delicious. Only downside I’ve found is most years I only get 3-4 tomatoes per plant. 
Lovers Lunch Tomato
Lovers Lunch Tomato. These tomatoes are very distinctive. They have a mottled stripy kind of look. They look kind of like Beauty King but are smaller. The taste is fantastic, both sweet and tangy.
Berkeley Pink Tye Die Tomato
Berkeley Pink Tie Dye Tomato. A classic from Wild Boar Farms. The green and orange, red, and even a hint of yellow striping is like a Grateful Dead T-Shirt. Very good flavor, but a step below the bliss of Beauty King and Lover’s Lunch.
Lucid Gem tomato
Lucid Gem tomatoes. These guys are memorable. They get oranger and oranger as they ripen. They have really good hang time on the vine and produce even in our very hot Davis Augusts.
Bull’s Heart Tomato. Fun shape and good flavor. Lots of meat and little juice so a great slicer.