What are Heirloom Tomatoes? (All About Them)

What are Heirloom Tomatoes? Let’s get out of the box! As we are not going to talk about regular classic tomatoes but the special heirloom tomatoes. The heirloom tomatoes that are also called heritage tomatoes are natural cultivars of tomatoes and grown to get the taste despite being less resistant to diseases.

Quick takeaways:

  • The heirloom grows seasonally and is available in the market lush in the summer and fall seasons.
  • Farmers love to collect the seeds of this costly tomato variety so that they can regrow the heirloom tomatoes.
  • Being such unique in shape and size as normal tomatoes and being this juicier it’s hard to believe that they are all-natural and open-pollinated.
  • There are so many varieties of heirloom tomatoes out there just like Aglaonema. The popular varieties that are grown mostly of heirloom tomatoes are Black cherry, black Krim, Azoychka, banana legs, three sisters, and Brandywine.

What do heirloom tomatoes look like? 

Heirloom tomatoes have thin skin, watery and juicy flesh with soft skin yet they are much larger than normal tomatoes. The tomatoes being so delicate and having fine outer covering need to be used within a couple of days as they have a short shelf life. The heirloom tomatoes have signature stripes on the skin that’s why they get such a name. The stripes get fade as the heirloom tomatoes age.

Common NameHeirloom tomato, open-pollinated tomato
Botanical NameSolanum lycopersicum
Plant TypeAnnual, fruit
Size5-8 ft. tall
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeLoamy, well-drained
Soil pHAcidic
Bloom TimeSummer
Flower ColorYellow
Hardiness Zones1-13 (USDA)
Native AreaSouth America
Toxicity Toxic to pets

What do heirloom tomatoes taste like?

When you eat heirloom tomatoes you get A sweet flavor that deepens as they get mature. You know the heirloom tomatoes come in various colors, and their taste also varies with the color. The yellow heirloom tomatoes have a light flavor with a very little acidic flavor.

Dark-colored heirloom tomatoes like the color purple or maroon have a smoky flavor, pink heirloom tomatoes have a sweet flavor giving a hint of both sweetness and acid. The orange heirloom tomatoes have a sweet flavor again less acidic. The red heirloom tomatoes have a strong flavor due to high acid levels and have less sugar. In the end, the striped heirloom tomatoes have a sweet flavor and are full of juice. These tomatoes have more juicy content than others. 

What are Heirloom Tomatoes? Some Heirloom tomatoes varieties

The heirloom varieties are available in the world in different shapes and sizes, with various colors and flavors. The heirloom tomatoes being delicate can get attacked by pests or diseases. It is important to take full care of these plants by often watering them and providing Florida Weave Trellis to support the plant and keep them healthy as the pests mostly attack the weak heirloom tomato plants like aphids, birds, groundhogs, rabbits, and squirrels

To learn more about the plant world, you may also read related articles, Can Different Varieties of Tomatoes Be Planted Together? (Cross-Pollination)

Family heirlooms

The family heirloom tomatoes are the ones that are produced by the same family involving hierarchical generations. The tomatoes that you will get have features matching the parent or grandparents or other members of the same family. 

Commercial heirlooms

The commercial heirloom tomatoes are just like other commercially grown tomatoes. 

Mystery heirlooms

The mystery heirloom tomatoes are the one that is prepared from the cross-fertilization or pollination between one heirloom, tomato, and the other heirloom tomato variety. 

Created heirlooms

The created heirloom tomatoes are the ones that are prepared from the cross between the varieties of heirlooms or between one heirloom and other hybrid types. 

Planting Heirloom Tomato Plants

The following are some basic points for planting Planting Heirloom Tomato Plants:

When to plant:

  • The heirloom tomato plants group best when they are planted during spring by Seeding or transplanting small plants from the garden center.
  • In case if you are living in an area having a long growing season then I would prefer you to plant the heirLoom tomatoes by directly seeding the plant in the garden.

Selecting a Planting Site:

  • You need to select a place that receives a good amount of light and has well-draining soil. 
  • Make sure not to plant the tomatoes in an area where there are already grown plants of the same family, for example, peppers or eggplant as the tomato plant is able to catch the diseases easily if it is already in the soil.

Spacing, Depth, and Support:

  • You need to plant the tomatoes in a way that there should be space between the tomatoes 2 to 3 feet apart. 
  • You need to plan the plant in a way that the soil reaches the first set of leaves so that it strengthens the support as there are tall growing plants. 
  • You need to provide the heirloom tomatoes with the support of tall cages and a trellis system. 

Recipes for heirloom tomatoes

The heirloom tomatoes have a robust flavor and the dishes should be prepared by giving them mild heat so that the flavor in the dishes stays intact. The heirloom tomatoes are used to prepare dishes like tomato pies, salads of various types, making juicy pasta, best bruschetta, etc. 

Price of heirloom tomatoes 

The heirloom tomato varieties are expensive as they are not grown in conventional ways. The heirloom tomatoes are grown after the farmer collects the single seed and then takes care of them, then plants them and grows them using all essential measures, that is all natural! So that’s obvious they would be expensive. 

These plants are produced by open pollination so proper conditions are maintained and natural pollinators like bees and butterflies are involved. The variety must be chosen right as the tomatoes contain the features of the parent plants and so on the population will proceed. 

Benefits of heirloom tomatoes 

Heirloom tomatoes are tomatoes that look amazingly delicious and taste so good as well. The heirloom tomatoes have a special chemical called lycopene which is considered to be one of the best natural antioxidants. The heirloom tomatoes have many skin benefits and help in diabetes by reducing the oxidative agents from the body. The heirloom tomatoes have high fiber content, vitamins like vitamins A, C, and B, and many minerals. These tomatoes have anti-cancerous properties and cure many chronic diseases. 

Footnote of the context

Heirloom tomatoes are expensive as we indicated above, but heirloom tomatoes are surely worth adding to your garden as you will get them at a high price in the market. What’s better if you have one at home? The heirloom tomatoes are not mass-produced which is why they are so expensive as the farmer spends more energy on a few plants in their favor. They are all naturally open-pollinated. We hope by now you have understood all about the heirloom tomatoes and find this article useful. Happy growing up! 


What is the difference between heirloom tomatoes and regular tomatoes? 

The heirloom tomatoes are all about their flavors whereas the regular tomatoes come in various sizes, and have less orientation toward the flavor or just a regular one. The heirloom tomatoes are juicier and plum-like that are so easy to chop, slice, and even cook. 

What makes an heirloom an heirloom? 

The heirloom varieties are open-pollinated and grown using the classic method of pollination. The great varieties are created by natural metis all flavors sunken deep inside the variety all naturally. They are different from the commercially reduced regular tomatoes. 

Can you eat heirloom tomatoes raw? 

The heirloom tomatoes can be eaten raw for making delicious salads, subs, etc. They can be cooked but make sure you don’t hate them too much so that their flavor stays in the dishes. 

Becky Decker

Becky Decker, our esteemed Editor-in-Chief, is a passionate gardener with years of experience in the world of horticulture. With her guidance, BonjourGreen.com aims to be your trusted companion on your gardening journey. Featured In   Becky Decker’s expertise and gardening wisdom have been recognized and featured in various prominent publications, including:   Homesandgardens.com Yahoo.com Urbansplatter.com Inkl.com Foliagefriend.com Yahoonews  Experience & Background   Becky Decker’s love for gardening has been a lifelong journey. She has honed her skills through countless seasons of planting, nurturing, and harvesting a wide variety of plants, flowers, and vegetables. Her deep-rooted knowledge is complemented by her Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Green Valley.   Prior to leading BonjourGreen.com, Becky worked as a garden consultant, helping countless individuals turn their outdoor spaces into vibrant, thriving gardens. Her experience spans over a decade, making her a trusted authority in the gardening community.   The Birth of BonjourGreen.com   Inspired by her passion for gardening and her desire to share her expertise with a wider audience, Becky Decker launched BonjourGreen.com in 2021. This platform serves as a hub for gardening enthusiasts of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros.   At BonjourGreen.com, we are committed to providing you with comprehensive guides, expert advice, and hands-on tips to help you achieve success in your gardening endeavors. Whether you have a small balcony garden or a sprawling backyard paradise, we have the information you need to make your garden flourish.   Our Mission   BonjourGreen.com is more than just a gardening website; it’s a community of gardeners who share a common love for nurturing the Earth. Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge and resources to create beautiful, sustainable gardens that bring joy and tranquility to your life.   Join Us on This Green Journey   We invite you to explore BonjourGreen.com and embark on your gardening journey with us. Whether you’re seeking advice on planting techniques, pest control, landscaping ideas, or the latest gardening trends, you’ll find it all right here.   Connect with us, ask questions, and share your gardening stories. Together, we’ll cultivate a thriving community of gardeners and help each other make the world a greener, more beautiful place.   Let’s dig in and grow together at BonjourGreen.com, where gardening dreams bloom!

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