Hero Image

Great Tomato Plant Sale

2020 Sales—Our response to COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place restrictions


Update 4/5/2020: 2,400 plants sent to Orchard Nursery in Lafayette! They are closed temporarily (too many orders!), but will take new online orders on Monday, April 6, at 7pm.

CANCELLED: The Great Tomato Plant Sales at Our Garden Walnut Creek (April 4), Rivertown Demonstration Garden (April 11) and the Richmond Public Library (April 25).

We cannot conduct a public sale of the plants. We are making arrangements to get these healthy happy seedlings into the community, and are donating plants to community gardens that our program supports. Check back for ongoing updates.

Our plant sale is cancelled; but our demo gardens are still growing veggies

Many tomatoes and peppers thrive in our county. Check out our 2020 "Hot Tomato Picks" for selections to grow in your own garden.

Below we list other veggie plants that do well here, and have been planted in our 2020 or past years' vegetable demonstration gardens. Note that we have separate tomato lists for East and Central County; these reflect the differing growing conditions. West county has cooler, foggy conditions. Choose shorter maturity cycle tomatoes for planting in West County. (That goes for the peppers too.)

2020 Tomato Descriptions at Our Garden Walnut Creek
2020 Combined List of All Veggies growing at Our Garden Walnut Creek

2020 Tomato Descriptions at Rivertown Demo Garden, Antioch
2020 Combined List of All Veggies growing at Rivertown Demo Garden, Antioch 

2020 Pepper Descriptions for Our Garden and  demonstration gardens

Great Tomato Plant Sale Graphic

Helpful Vegetable Growing Tips & Techniques

Love vegetables?  Want to grow your own?  Wondering how?  Use these great tips from the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County.

Tomatoes - Growing Tips & Abiotic Disorders
Dry Farming Tomatoes
Common Tomato Pests & Diseases
Tomatoes & Drought in Contra Costa
About Tomatoes-Frequently Asked Questions
Growing Peppers

Plate of heirloom tomatoes. Photo cr. M.Saarni ©UC Regents

About Tomatoes

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 tomato variety has its own unique taste.  Some are sweet and fruity; others have rich, complex flavors, acidic and tangy.  Tomatoes are the Queens of the veggie garden—nothing tastes better than a home-grown tomato!