2019 Great Tomato Plant Sale
About the Great Tomato Plant Sale
Thousands of heirloom tomato and other vegetable plants will be on sale at the 8th Annual Great Tomato Plant Sale, Heirlooms of the World. We hope you can make it! Here's what's in store for participants...
What makes the Great Tomato Plant Sale so special?
We base our selections & recommendations on the local experience of UC Master Gardeners who field-test & grow these tomato varieties in their own Contra Costa gardens and at Our Garden, our Walnut Creek demo garden. Many varieties are tough to find at local nurseries, but easily obtained at our sales.
UC Master Gardeners will be available at the sales to advise on plant selection, site location and preparation, planting, fertilizing, pruning, and harvesting. Strategies to minimize plant disease and maximize production will also be discussed.
In 2019, we're offering dozens of varieties of heirloom tomato plants from many worldwide locations, along with lots of tough, high-performing hybrid tomato varieties by popular demand. In addition, we will have numerous types of peppers, many unusual and hard-to find—from sweet and juicy to hot and spicy, as well as a wide variety of eggplants, tomatillos, herbs and other summer veggies.
All plants will be $3 each (CASH OR CHECK ONLY, please!). All income supports the community education work of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County.
What varieties will you offer?
Watch this space for eggplant lists.
How do I decide?
Need help choosing from among the dozens of tomato varieties we offer this year? Our UC Master Gardeners will have you covered with their own recommendations of what they consider must-have tomato varieties. We describe these vetted selections on our 2019 Hot Tomato Picks page.
It’s true that growing heirlooms can sometimes be tricky, and growing conditions can vary dramatically across the county. That’s why we suggest you try several different varieties & types of tomatoes to see what works well in your garden. If you struggle with diseases, check out our great selection of hybrids too.
Three Sales in Three Locations in 2019
The Central County Sale will be held at Our Garden in Walnut Creek (corner of N. Wiget Lane and Shadelands Drive) on Saturday, March 30, 10 am-3 pm, including a special talk on Making the Most of your Summer Garden, details below.
Note: Depending on inventory, we may hold a second Walnut Creek sale on April 13. Please check back on this website AFTER the March 30 sale.
The West County Sale will be held at the Richmond Public Library located within the City of Richmond Civic Center on Saturday, April 6, 10 am-3 pm.
The East County Sale will be held at Mangini Garden located within the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds in Antioch on Saturday, April 13, 10 am-3 pm.
Whichever sale you attend, come early for best selection, and remember to BYOB...bring your own box.
Plants will be $3.00 each, CASH OR CHECK ONLY, please.
Helpful Tomato Tips & Techniques
Love tomatoes? Want to grow your own? Wondering how? Here are some great tips from the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County.
If you're at the Walnut Creek sale, be sure to catch our talk on Making the Most of your Summer Garden (at 10:45 am or 12:30 pm).
Our presenter will be UC Master Gardener extraordinaire Janet Miller, manager of Our Garden since its inception in 2009. With Janet's leadership, the program at Our Garden yields over 12,000 pounds of produce annually that we donate to the Monument Crisis Center in Concord.
Janet will explain not only what to plant in your summer garden, but when and where. She'll also provide great growing tips that will help your garden be healthy and productive all summer long.
First discovered in the Andes more than two thousand years ago, the tomato was cultivated extensively by the Aztecs and then taken by Spanish explorers to Europe in the sixteenth century. Initially, it was thought to be poisonous because it was a member of the nightshade family. Italians were the first to discover its culinary prowess and introduce it into their cuisine. Once tomatoes caught on, they spread across Europe and adapted again and again to the climate and soil of each specific region.
Tomatoes come in a dazzling spectrum of colors, belying that aphorism that 'red' is synonymous with 'tomato'. Colors range from black, purple, pink, green, orange and even white to every shade of red imaginable. There are also spectacularly beautiful striped tomatoes like Big Rainbow and Chocolate Stripe. Each color has its own unique taste. Some are sweet and fruity; others have rich, complex flavors, acidic and tangy. Tomatoes are the undisputed queen of the garden, and nothing tastes better than a homegrown tomato!