2017 Great Tomato Plant Sale
About the Great Tomato Plant Sale
Thousands of heirloom tomato and other vegetable plants were on sale at the Sixth Annual Great Tomato Plant Sale, Heirlooms of the World. We hope you didn't miss it. If you did, this page will give you a taste of what's in store for next year.
What makes the Great Tomato Plant Sale so special?
We base our selections & recommendations on the local experience of UC Master Gardeners field-testing & growing these tomato varieties in their own Contra Costa gardens and in Our Garden, our Walnut Creek demo garden. Many of our varieties are only available locally through us, impossible to find in local nurseries. And, in keeping with our emphasis on sustainable gardening practices, many come from open-pollinated seeds we've harvested ourselves from our own gardens.
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.
What can I find at the Great Tomato Plant Sale?
- dozens of varieties of heirloom tomatoes, including lots of new varieties for 2017, hailing from many worldwide locations.
- several tough high-performing hybrid tomatoes as well (by popular demand!).
- numerous types of peppers, many unusual and hard-to find—from sweet and juicy to hot and spicy.
- a wide variety of eggplants, tomatillos, herbs and other veggies.
- Variety lists and shopping lists can be found above. And, check out our Hot Master Gardener Picks page for recommendations!
UC Master Gardeners will be available at the sale 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.
What's for Sale in 2017?
Here's where we provided lots of info to help folks consider their choices at the 2017 sale. Plants were $3 each (cash / check only, please!); as always, the income helps support the community education work of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County.
To see what we had for sale in 2017, check out the lists below. They contain helpful descriptive information, even if you missed the sale.
But wait, there was more! Our Sales always have so much more than tomatoes. We also offered over many varieties of very unusual peppers and several lovely varieties of eggplants & tomatillos, thousands of plants overall. Here's a descriptive list of the other veggies we had for sale (updated 3/12).
Thank You Contra Costa
Thank you Contra Costa! You've really come out and supported us at our three Great Tomato Plant Sale locations, including the final sale in Antioch. The proceeds from these sales help fund our educational outreach programs all across the County, such as consulting assistance for dozens of community and school gardens, regular Ask a Master Gardener tables at local Farmers Markets and other venues, our year-round Help Desk, community presentations, and of course, Our Garden, the amazing demonstration garden created by the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County. We couldn't do these things without your ongoing support for our mission, and it is sincerely appreciated.
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.
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!