2017 Great Tomato Plant Sale
About the Great Tomato Plant Sale
Thousands of heirloom tomato and other vegetable plants will be on sale at the Sixth Annual Great Tomato Plant Sale, Heirlooms of the World. Don't miss it!
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 below. And, check out our Hot Master Gardener Picks page for recommendations!
Plants will cost $3 each (cash or check only, please!), and the income will support the community education work of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County.
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.
Plants Available for Sale
What will be offered for sale? We've put together some information that will help you consider your choices before heading to the sale.
- Here's a descriptive list of the tomato varieties that will be available at the Walnut Creek sale on April 1. (Second sale date will be April 8 if sufficient inventory is available.)
- Here's a shopping list for Walnut Creek that you can print and bring with you.
- Here's a descriptive list of the tomato varieties that will be available at the Richmond sale on April 8.
- Here's a shopping list for Richmond that you can print and bring with you.
- Here's a descriptive list of the tomato varieties that will be available at the Antioch sale on April 22.
- Here's a shopping list for Antioch that you can print and bring with you.
And, check out featured varieties on our Hot Master Gardener Picks page...
Three Sales in Three Locations in 2017
→ The Central County Sale will be held at Our Garden in Walnut Creek on Saturday, April 1, 10 am to 3 pm. Subject to inventory availability, a second Walnut Creek sale will be held at Our Garden on April 8.
→ Returning this spring, the West County Sale will be held at the Richmond Public Library, in the City of Richmond Civic Center, on Saturday, April 8, 10 am to 3 pm.
→ Also returning this spring, the East County Sale will be held in Antioch at the Mangini Agricultural Museum within the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, on Saturday, April 22, 10 am to 3 pm.
→ Whichever sale you attend, come early for best selection, and remember to BYOB...bring your own box. Even better, BYOW...bring your own wagon!
→ Plants will be $3.00 each, cash or check only, please.
→ Wondering what will be available?? See the lists at left!
→ Wondering what to choose? Check out our Hot Master Gardener Picks!
Please Remind Me!
To set a reminder for the sale(s) of your choice, visit the following links:
Helpful Tomato Tips & Techniques
Love tomatoes? Want to grow your own? Wondering how? Check back later for details on presentations that we'll have at the Walnut Creek sale. Also, visit our Ask a Master Gardener tables at all the sales to get your tomato (and other gardening) questions answered.
In addition to the resources that will be available at the sale, 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!