SGT PEPPER'S TOMATO
Quite possibly my favorite tomato on the farm...but don't tell the others!
Season after season, Sgt Pepper's Tomato is the crowned jewel of our gardens at Carmel Bella Farm. This magical variety produces incredibly high yields of the most stunning heart-shaped (ox-heart) fruits with attractive shades of deep purples and pinks…my favorite! As the fruit ripens, the smooth shoulders darken further, almost turning completely black with a deep red base. The purple and black colors on this fruit become more prominent when exposed to more sunlight. I have always been one who is fond of tomatoes with that beautiful purple pigment, but these take the cake with their stunning color, shape, production and top notch flavor.
The size of the fruits can vary greatly, but most are quite impressive weighing in at approximately 24 ounces. When sliced open, you will find meaty, dense flesh with minimal to no seed cavity. Their flavor and texture is incredible when enjoyed fresh off the vine, but is also a fabulous contender for sauces and roasting with its full flesh and delectably-sweet, rich, bold and well balanced tomato taste.
The challenges you will face when growing this variety is proper staking and strong plant support techniques. The vines are fast growing, often topping out around 6 ft, but are very skinny with a droopy, regular leaf foliage (not as attractive as tomato plants with beautiful broad leaves and thick stems- these are much more flimsy and droopy). As with most ox-heart varieties, Sgt. Pepper's needs strong, consistent support to hold up its leggy disposition and to keep the large amount of fruit it produces off the ground and from breaking the main stem. If well supported, you will be rewarded with the most prolific vines, tastiest fruits and the unmatched beauty of these flawless fruits gracing the dinner table.
Hats off to the talented breeder Jason Haynes for crossing 'Osu Blue' (often a parent in many of the newer anthocyanin tomato varieties grown today) and 'German Red Strawberry'. He has made a true treasure we all now get to enjoy.
Name: SGT. Pepper’s Tomato
Breeder: Jason Haynes
Tomato Type: Ox-Heart
Fruit Size: Varies greatly 10-24 ounces
Growth habit: Indeterminate
Foliage: Regular leaf, droopy habit
Days to maturity: 80
Production: Medium- heavy yields
Disease Tolerance: Moderate
Exterior color: Purple-black with a pink-red base
Flesh color: Pink-Red
Flavor notes: Rich, sweet, earthy, complex
Texture: Firm, juicy, dense, smooth
Purpose: Slicer, fresh eating, cooking, drying