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We want to thank you for your support of our Great Tomato Plant Sales at both Our Garden in Walnut Creek and Rivertown Demo Garden at the Contra Costa Fairgrounds in Antioch. Your smiles and enthusiasm for veggie plants bring us great joy.

Last chance ...
Don't miss the Great Tomato Plant Sale in Richmond if you are still looking for more of your favorites, plus we're offering additional varieties that like cooler climates. Come for tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, beans, and more!


West County Sale, Richmond (Richmond Civic Center Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza):

  • Saturday April 27th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All plants are $4.00
We accept credit cards (Visa & MasterCard only), checks, or cash, credit cards preferred.

For safety reasons, pets are not allowed inside the sale area.

Download Shopping lists (PDF files that can be printed)

Note: Assume all varieties will be available at all three sale locations unless otherwise noted.

Protecting Tomatoes

during Hot Summer Days

We all know that tomatoes love warm sunny days, ideally daytime temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees. However, when summer temperatures rise above 95, problems with your plants can arise. Above 95 degrees, tomato plants will stop growing, their flowers are not able to pollinate and fruit cannot fully ripen. At high temperatures fruit can actually suffer sunburn and plant stress can lead to increased susceptibility to pests and diseases.

Here is a list of suggestions to help your plants survive during those “Dog Days of Summer” and enjoy a season of delicious fruit from your garden.

Add some Pep to your Step with Peppers

Hot Serrano Tampiqueno - SandiaSeed
Hot Serrano Tampiqueno - SandiaSeed
As we prepare for the Great Tomato Plant Sale (GPTS), the excitement and anticipation are mounting. Since January, our volunteers have planted over 6,000 pepper seeds! With 38 varieties on offer this year, we are confident you will find plenty of choices that capture your interest.

Your feedback is important to us. We appreciate learning about your growing challenges and successes, and especially your suggestions for new and interesting peppers. Your input helps us determine what peppers to offer, so let’s keep the conversation going. Read on to see what is new in 2024, plus bonus descriptions of a few returning favorites.

Read More

We are looking forward to hearing from you CoCoMGmedia@ucanr.edu

Plant Sale Tips:

Choose the Right Tomato

How do you decide which tomato variety to buy with almost 80 one-of-a-kind heirloom and hybrid tomatoes to choose from? We’re here to help you!

First, you need to decide which varieties will thrive where you live, so we’ve included two site-specific lists: tomatoes that grow well in cooler climates and those that need lots of heat. Next, determine where your tomatoes will be grown. If you are planting in containers, we’ve highlighted some of the best choices for growing in pots.

Now to the fun part: what do you want out of a tomato plant? Our curated lists share some of the best traditional tomatoes choices, as well as unusual varieties for the avant-garde grower.

Read more

Plant Sale Tips:

Growing Tomatoes in Containers

If you are limited on space, growing tomatoes in containers is a great alternative to planting in the ground. Make sure to choose a sunny spot that gets at least six hours of sunshine a day and follow these tips for a successful growing season.

Read more

What's New in '24

Based on our own experience as gardeners in Contra Costa along with the latest information we hear from growers, we regularly update our Master Gardeners’ collection. This year we’ve added eight new tomato varieties to our collection. After you read more about them, you’ll want them all!


Tomato_Cherry_Tommy Toe_Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds rareseeds.com
Tommy Toe—an Australian variety, this cherry is early, bright red and prolific with excellent flavor and plenty of juice. An unbeatable combo! It practically grows itself and sets hundreds of blemish-free, 1-oz. tomatoes. But there’s more…it’s disease- resistant. Great for snacking, salads or even juicing.


Tomato_Beefsteak_Alices Dream_Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds rareseeds_com-150
Alice's Dream—a Polish cross between Blue Gold and an unknown indigo has created one of the most colorful tomatoes we have—golden yellow with dark red striping. Known for its sweet, complex flavor and wonderful citrus aroma, it is very productive even in low temperatures with good disease resistance. High in anthocyanins (the same healthy pigments that make other fruits and veggies purple/blue/black), the more direct, unobscured light received, the darker the shoulder splashes will be.

Tomato_Slicer_Belle of the Ball_Totally Tomatoes-150
Belle of the Ball—a rare hybrid bred from parents that originated in France over 100 years ago! It grows well in small spaces or containers, bears early with lots of uniform, slightly flat, round fruits that are both juicy and flavorful—a perfect balance of acid and sweetness. Try both fresh and cooked.

Tomato_Slicer_Carmello_Territorial Seed Company_150
Carmello—an early hybrid with a deservedly great reputation both in America and Europe due to its wonderful flavor, perfect sugar/acid balance, and crack-resistant skin. Bright red, juicy tomatoes are 10 to 12-oz. with a beautiful round shape. Expect very high yields on disease-resistant plants.

Tomato_Slicer_Celebrity Plus_Johnnys Selected Seeds_johnnyseeds_com-150
Celebrity Plus—if you loved the original Celebrity, then this ‘Plus’ is the plant for you with its added disease resistance! Exceptionally strong plants, which also grow well in containers and small spaces, bear clusters of 8-oz. bright red tomatoes. Widely adaptable and drought resistant, it’s perfect for snacking and cooking. An AAS Winner!

Tomato_Beefsteak_First Prize_Tomato Growers-150
First Prize—with a name like that, this tomato has lots to live up to. Vigorous plants produce loads of delicious 10 to 12-oz. fruits, even when conditions are not ideal, with good disease resistance and great flavor. Even though early, it continues to bear tomatoes over a long season just in time for the County Fair, where it’s sure to be a winner.

Tomato_Slicer_Precious Pink_freeimages.com_150
Precious Pink—a hybrid with an old fashioned flavor and juicy flesh, plus a high yield of 8-oz. fruits, what's not to love? Vigorous vines bear early and long. Think PINK!

Sioux—originally released in 1944 by the University of Nebraska, this heirloom variety is still worth planting eighty years later because of its incredible flavor and reliably large harvests, even in hot weather. The 4-6 oz. firm, red tomatoes are sweet yet tangy and full of rich, complex flavors. Excellent for salads as well as cooking and canning.

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!