Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants
We're gonna' need a bigger basket....
Laurel holding a Flammée tomato
"Life is short, my gardening friends.
Let' s stop awhile to rake away the rocks and weeds,
Dig into the Earth and dream of a bountiful harvest."
In Lycopersicon Veritas. ~ Laurel
From Susan Case in Pennsylvania. One day's harvest last month... Yum.
Welcome to the astonishing world of heirloom tomatoes! We are your Southern California source for 100 luscious varieties of strictly organically grown heirloom tomato plants, a couple of carefully chosen great-tasting hybrids, plus a fine selection of gardening products for your home garden and for growing in containers and greenhouses.
My gardening career began in 1954 when I was 4 years old. I dropped a pumpkin seed into Grandma's bird bath in Idyllwild, California. It sprouted. Ah, germination. I swooned.
Now I'm 64 and stilled thrilled by watching a seed pop and become a beautiful little plant. It grows big and gives us fruit, then the seeds from those fruits give us teeny plants of the same magical variety again and again and they grow and grow, year after year. This is the miracle of germination.
I now grow and ship about 30,000 plants all over the country every year, year round, to all 50 states and Puerto Rico, tambien.
2015 will mark our 15th year offering tomato plants online.
Please grow organically to help renew the soil and get the best tasting tomatoes and other homegrown bounty from your garden. The Earth will thank you and your harvest will be tasty, indeed.
Guacamole Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes. Try making these with different color cherry tomatoes!
The Best Tomato Sandwich Drawing was today, October 2nd, at noon, Pacific Time.
And our luck winner is Stacy Dorsett of Macomb, Illinois!
Congratulations Stacy! Your Great Big Tomatoes will ship with your order in the spring.
We got so many enticing, yummy recipes from wonderful our customers! The recipes will be posted this month on the 'Best Tomato Sandwich' page: The Best Tomato Sandwich
Ordering has begun!
The new Big List for 2016 has been posted and ordering for your 2016 spring/ summer garden has begun! Our Tomato Varieties and How to Order
Some of our babies getting their start....
Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries
The Fall-Winter List for 2015
20 varieties will be available for shipping in October, November & December. Plants are in limited quantity, please order early. See photographs and descriptions here: Our Tomato Varieties and How to Order
Purple Haze Homegrown
San Marzano Redorta
A Map to Our Website
Our Tomato Varieties and How to Order
Click the link to see The Big List for 2016 with prices, descriptions and photographs of our varieties of tomatoes for spring and summer along with detailed information for placing your order.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We ship Post Office Priority Mail -- but we will ship UPS if you cannot get post office deliveries to your house. If you cannot receive Post Office packages on Saturdays please let us know and we will be sure your plants do not arrive on a Saturday! We are happy to ship to PO Boxes, no problem.
Payment Information ...and shipping details (Please read before you order.)
Because plant prices do not include shipping and handling, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with shipping costs before ordering. This important payment & shipping information includes a detailed explanation of shipping and packaging costs and techniques and our guarantee.
Growing Tips and Garden Products Laurel's best growing tips, organic gardening products, organic plant food, coco peat, and favorite tomato books. Plus, learn how to easily and successfully grow even the largest tomato plants in containers.
Our 2016 On-Site Plant Sale Dates Join us Sundays in April, May and early June to choose from more than 70 varieties of tomato plants and our selection of fine gardening products including 3 sizes of Smart Pots, organic fertilizers and natural, effective insect control.
Will This Be a Gift? Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants offers personalized gift certificates for all occasions. Our gift certificates are themselves an elegant gift. You may choose certain varieties, or a certain number of plants or a dollar amount for your recipient's certificate.
What is an Heirloom Tomato?
Discover why heirloom tomatoes have the fabulous old-time tomato taste you remember or may have never experienced.
Are Tomatoes Really an Aphrodisiac?
A definitive answer to this age old question.
Need Heirloom Tomato Seeds?
Go to Tomatofest.comfor 600 outstanding varieties of certified organically grown Heirloom Tomato Seeds. You will be redirected to TomatoFest.com
Heirloom Tomato Tart from Kendall-Jackson, recipe by Brian Emmett: http://blog.kj.com/k-j-fan-recipe-heirloom-tomato-tart/
My Personal Favorites
A Photo Gallery of some 'Stranded on a Desert Island' choices ...a few of Laurel's favorites.
Paul Robeson, Laurel's Favorite, in its 4" shipping pot, ready for packaging, along with a photograph of the fruit. Not to scale :)
Heaven at BJ's House. Copyright, BJ Miles 2012
A Fred Cook Cornucopia. Copyright Fred Cook 2012
Let's party at John Sauln's house! Part of his harvest, summer 2014. Yum.
Part of Larry Nelson's 2014 harvest, Ohio
A Beautiful Caprese
What Our Customers Say...
and lots of photographs of their gardens
Our Tomato Varieties and How to Order - See all 100 of our heirloom tomato plant varieties.
What is an Heirloom Tomato?
Growing Tips and Garden Products
Are Tomatoes Really an Aphrodisiac?
Go to Tomatofest.com Need seeds? For 600 varieties of heirloom tomato seeds!
What Our Customers Say
New Varieties for 2016
Big Red Tomatoes
Medium Size Red Tomatoes
The Biggest Tomatoes
Small Fruited/Cherry Tomatoes
Early Ripening Tomatoes
Pink and Purple Tomatoes
The Black Tomatoes
The Green Tomatoes
The Yellow, Gold & Orange Tomatoes
Multi Colored Tomatoes
Sauce and Paste Tomatoes
Smaller Plants for Containers ....and small garden spaces.
Growing Tips and Garden Products
Our 2016 Plant Sale Dates
Favorite Tomato Recipes Great Recipes for your heirloom tomatoes!
The Best Tomato Sandwich Great sandwich recipes from our customers!
Laurel's Blend Olive Oil My Favorite!
More Olive Oil: www.californiagoldoliveoil.com
Favorite Links ...Featuring some excellent resources!
Help For Your Loved Ones Who May Wander.
Do you know an autistic child or other beloved person who might become lost and need help? Here is marvelous resource to get them home safe: www.IFINEEDHELP.org
Need Heirloom Tomato Seeds?
Go to Tomatofest.comfor 600 outstanding varieties of certified organically grown Heirloom Tomato Seeds!
We are delighted to present our Laurel's Blend Olive Oil blend again for 2016.
Golden, mellow, smooth and buttery with a discreet touch of earthiness to complement your heirloom tomato harvest, this superb quality, award-winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil was created by our friend and fellow heirloom tomato fan, Kevin Tazelaar, Founder of California Gold Olive Oil Co. in Oakdale, California.
Kevin sent us little bottles of different blends to try in a blind taste test. After many tastings, I chose my favorite; Kevin had it bottled and surprised us by naming it Laurel's Blend.
In the photograph you will see that some of the oil is missing. While shooting the photographs, I lost my mind, opened the bottle and had some for a snack with fresh-picked tomatoes, Greek olives and feta. I couldn't stop myself. You will get a full bottle, we promise.
For details and how to order click: Laurel's Blend Olive Oil
for 2016, Great Big Tomatoes!
Great Big Tomatoes Natural Liquid Compost, The Energy Drink for Tomato Plants.
It's a concentrated liquid compost to give your plants extra growing power, and is, of course, all organic. Use it in addition to your fertilizers.
Great Big Tomatoes has really impressed us in out garden with heartier, stronger stems, healthier lush foliage, bigger, better, yummier tomatoes and extremely healthy soil and our customers concur!
You will find it here on the Growing Tips and Garden Product page. Quarts and Gallon size!
Get the most from your tomato plants with Great Big Tomatoes!
Now in two sizes, one quart and one gallon.
Growing in Containers?
Try our Smart Pots. In Black or Tan!
We have 25 gallon and 30 gallon Smart Pots along with the 20 gallon size.
Just add a tomato cage or other support. These are inexpensive but durable heavy fabric pots used by professional nursery growers. Folks went crazy for these at our on-site sales here at the nursery. Perfect for growing tomatoes or any other crop for container gardening. Lightweight and durable enough for years of growing, they fold flat for easy shipping.
Growing Tips and Garden Products
Growing in a Colder Climate or Planting Early?
Early-Start Plant Protectors. So many of you have asked for these 18" tall water-filled teepees to insulate your plants and soil against frost and cold temperatures. Start tomato plants and all your warm weather plants a month or more earlier than usual.
Growing Tips and Garden Products
Our customer Diane Fagerberg's tomato plants in Fort Collins, Colorado after a late snow storm in early May. She heard the weather report and covered them with Plant Protectors and inverted Smart Pots. 19 inches of snow fell!
The temperature dropped to 16F and the water in the Plant Protectors froze solid for 3 days....oh no!
Surprise! Diane's plants were alive and healthy after the storm and produced a great crop of yummy tomatoes. Yay, Diane!
Here's How to Order Plants!
Order By Telephone or email. Easy as 1, 2, 3.
Aunt Ruby's German Green
Click: Our Tomato Varieties and How to Order to choose your plants and shipping period. The Big List begins halfway down that page. Big page, when you get there, keep scrolling.
Click here: Growing Tips and Garden Products to choose your fertilizers and garden products.
Shipping begins in early to mid March when the plants are big enough to travel.
Questions? Call Laurel:
Order desk telephone hours from June through October are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Pacific Time
We are in Los Angeles, California.
¡Hablamos Español! Mas o menos....
Fax: 310 494 0518 Email: Tomatoplants@pacbell.net
Tomato plants are available beginning mid to late February for shipping to US destinations throughout the year to suit your climate.
Our customers begin ordering on Monday, August 17th at 9:00 am (Pacific Time) for their spring and summer gardens for 2016.
Plants will be shipped when the weather is just right for planting in your town or earlier if you wish.
If ordering for extremely early shipping we can triple insulate your plants a so they do not freeze in transit.
Minimum order is one plant if paying by check. For credit card or PayPal orders, 4 plants. Orders of 64 plants or more receive a volume discount.
We do not sell wholesale.
Gift Certificates are available year round.
Our tomato plants are lovingly grown from seed, using careful 100% organic methods and shipped to you in their large 4" deep nursery pots.
Brown Derby, Kellogg's Breakfast and Costoluto Genovese
Do you live or work in Southern California?
You can call to reserve plants and arrange to pick them up. ( By appointment only.)
We do not have a retail store, absolutely no walk-ins, please, ever. Please call for information. 310 534 8611
When Should You Plant?
First, check your region's average temperatures:
To find your average temperatures click here www.weather.com Type your zip code into the Local Weather box on top and click GO.
Scroll down to the row of 4 peach colored boxes and click on 'Averages' where you can explore the temperature graph for your city's month-by-month highs and lows, and determine your optimal planting time when the average low temps stay reliably above 50º. That is your best planting time.
About Frost Dates. Please oh please don't plant in cold soil!
Tomatoes are a hot weather crop. You can usually plant safely about 3 weeks after your last predicted frost date.
Most new gardeners plant too early. When the soil is cold, the plants go dormant. Dormancy weakens your plants forever--they never quite catch up or recover completely and often do not produce well or ripen properly.
Be sure the nighttime air temperature is reliably 48º to 50º or above and the soil is reliably warmed up to above 50º or your plants will go dormant and just sit there in the cold soil, staring at you and not growing until the weather warms up. This dormancy stage makes your plants very susceptible to disease and insect damage, delays fruit set and reduces yield. You can warm the soil for a few weeks before planting with clear plastic placed over the garden bed to absorb solar heat from the sun or use our Wall 'O' Water plant protectors and plant safely 3 weeks earlier than usual!
Be patient; wait until it's warmer and you will be rewarded with robust happy tomato plants and a good harvest.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that night temperatures and soil temperatures should be steadily above 50º before planting tomatoes.
About Blossom Drop During High Temperatures
Remember that pollen becomes sterile at daytime temperatures higher than about 98º and nighttime temperatures above 72º, so don't expect fruit to set during those times. The plant knows that the pollen is not viable and drops the blossoms. When the weather settles down, the blossoms will stay on your plants and produce fruits. We do have a few varieties that produce at higher temperatures.
Japanese Black Trifele
Shipping is normally timed for when your nighttime temperatures stay reliably above 52º, or earlier if you desire. We have Plant Protectors -- water filled 18" tall teepees -- which absorb solar heat during the day and release it gradually during the night to keep the air around your plants warm. This means you can plant a few weeks earlier than usual.
Click here: Growing Tips and Garden Products for detailed information on planting.
Tomato planting here in Southern California, and in many areas of USDA zones 10 and 11, or Sunset Magazine zones 22-24, begins in latest March depending on our night temperatures. If the ground is below 52º, we use season extenders or wait until April.
Hey, Laurel! My Garden Center is selling plants in February...it must be time to plant!
Yes, I know the local garden centers have plants for sale here in February. Why do they do this? Some folks have greenhouses. Most do not. You plant in cold soggy February soil; of course the little plants don't make it in the cold weather or get diseased so you go back in April for more plants thinking you did something wrong.
You didn't. You were tempted. You caved. But that's tomato love. Try to control yourself and wait until it's steadily above 50º at night.
However, there is a solution. If you can't wait to plant, order our Early Season Wall O' Water Season Extenders and plant 4 to 5 weeks earlier than normal. :)
Choose Your Shipping Time
We ship your plants during a 15 day period of your choice. Each period begins on a Monday. For instance, if you choose April 20th as your shipping period your plants will ship between April 20th and May 4th. Orders are shipped first in, first out.
We will help you choose the week when your climate is perfect for tomato planting. For example, if you order in January for your Minnesota garden, we ship your plants at the end of May. If you wish to experiment with growing in cooler temperatures we will ship them earlier, as you wish.
Do you need advice about planting tips, soil preparation, trellising, fertilizers, etcetera? We know how important it is to get good advice and we want to be able to continue offering expert advice about choosing plants and gardening tips.
or all customers: when you place your order we are happy to offer consultations no charge whatsoever when we take your order .
If you do not place an order or do not plan to, consultations are $25.00 per 10 minute period.
For a specialized consultation by phone which requires detailed research into your climate conditions and advice in creating a garden in your particular climate, including soil conditioning, the best time to plant, season extenders, landscaping ideas, plant lay-out, detailed variety selection, fertilization techniques, or how to grow for market, etc., fee is $120.00 per hour.
We do not do on-site consultation or landscaping.
Ordering is in full swing!
Fax: 310 494 0518
Order desk telephone hours from August through November are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific Time.
We are on the West Coast in Los Angeles.
To Order By telephone, email or fax, see Here's How to Order above.
We do not have a retail store or walk-in hours.
We are open to the public only Sundays in April, May and June from 11:00 to 1:00.
1725 W. 257th St
Lomita CA 90717
310 534 8611
Heirloom Tomato Seeds!
America's favorite source for more than
600 outstanding varieties of organically grown Heirloom Tomato Seeds.
Black Sara , Chuck's Yellow, Gary Ibsen's Gold, The Dutchman. These seeds are available
Go to Tomatofest.com
Will This Be a Gift?
Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants offers several different styles of personalized and customized gift certificates for all occasions. Our gift certificates are themselves an elegant gift. You may choose certain varieties, or a certain number of plants or a dollar amount for your recipient's certificate.
Laurel will personally create and send or email a beautiful full-sheet antiqued parchment gift certificate for any occasion: All holidays, Valentines Day, birthday, wedding, anniversary, graduation, promotion, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, house or garden warming, sympathy, congratulations, remembrance, or just pure tomato love.
The Personalized Gift Certificate
Your recipient's Personalized Gift Certificate will feature a full-color array of 12 beautiful heirloom tomato photographs printed on full sheet parchment, along with your personal greeting of any length. $5.95.
The Personalized Gift Certificate with Detailed Descriptions and Photos
If you will be selecting specific varieties for your recipient,
Laurelwill add additional full sheet antiqued parchments printed with detailed descriptions and full color photographs of each tomato you choose.
This stunning certificate is a spectacular gift in itself.
$10.50. For more than 2 pages of photographs, additional cost is $2.00 per page.
Shipping charges will be included, so your recipient will be free to relax and choose from more than 75 varieties of heirloom tomato plants and garden products. Plant cost will be averaged at $5.95 each so your recipient can choose from among our more expensive plants.
You may also select a dollar amount in $10.00 increments beginning at $35.00.
These elegant full sheet certificates add a heartwarming touch to your gift. Your recipient and Laurel will get together and determine the perfect shipping week when the weather is just right for planting in their garden.
will be happy to personally assist your recipients in choosing plants for their climates and preferences when they call to redeem their certificates.
The Personalized Gift Certificate on Parchment, $5.95 plus postage of $4.05.
The Personalized Gift Certificate on Parchment with Detailed Descriptions and Full Color Photographs, $10.50.
The Emailed certificate. You or your recipient can print this one out. Please use beautiful paper; our certificates are specifically designed for elegant papers including parchment, vellum or rag in a bright white or creamy color. $5.95
Gold Medal Yellow, Kellogg's Breakfast, Marvel Striped, Grandma Oliver's Green & Vintage Wine.
Need Heirloom Tomato Seeds?
We're feeding the world
with Heirloom Tomatoes
- Gary Ibsen & Dagma Lacey
Click for 600 varieties of heirloom tomato seeds!
Go to Tomatofest.com
Visit Carmel TomatoFest® for TomatoFest Garden Seeds ~ the world's largest and finest selection of more than 600 varieties of certified organic heirloom tomato seeds, gorgeous photos of luscious heirloom tomatoes for your garden, the very best in gardening supplies and organic gardening information.
Favorite Links ~ click for some cool resources!
"You need more tomatoes." ...Laurel
All original materials,
descriptions, photographs and
contained herein are protected by copyright and are the sole property of
Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants, www.heirloomtomatoplants.com
or of Gary Ibsen and Carmel
TomatoFest® -- www.TomatoFest.com
or of the following people, companies or entities:
Description by Gary Ibsen, Owner of TomatoFest.com
Purple Haze parentage line, Purple Haze single fruit,
Purple Haze sliced and
sliced Laurel's California Gold and Laurel's California Gold blossom-end
photographs are the property of Keith Mueller and used herein with his kind
permission. All rights reserved.
Foxy Lady plant and group of fruit are the
property of Dana Ferrin and used with his gracious
Green Giant photograph
is the sole property of Cynthia Sandberg, owner, Love
Apple Farm www.loveapplefarm.biz
used here with her kind permission. All
All original materials, tomato descriptions, photographs and original copy contained herein are protected by copyright and are the sole property of Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants, www.heirloomtomatoplants.com or of Gary Ibsen and Carmel TomatoFest® -- www.TomatoFest.com or of the following people, companies or entities:
* Description by Gary Ibsen, Owner of TomatoFest.com
Purple Haze parentage line, Purple Haze single fruit, Purple Haze sliced and sliced Laurel's California Gold and Laurel's California Gold blossom-end photographs are the property of Keith Mueller and used herein with his kind permission. All rights reserved.
Foxy Lady plant and group of fruit are the property of Dana Ferrin and used with his gracious permission.
Green Giant photograph is the sole property of Cynthia Sandberg, owner, Love Apple Farm www.loveapplefarm.biz used here with her kind permission. All rights reserved.
Bear Creek, Summer Cider, Hartman's Yellow Gooseberry, Purple Dog Creek, Todd County Amish and Chocolate Amazon photographs are the exclusive property of Lisa VonSaunder , www.amishlandseeds.com , and are used herein with her gracious permission. All rights reserved.
Blood Gulch, Zebra Collection and Valhalla photographs are the sole property of Krystal Elser of Elser's Country Farm and used herein with her very kind permission. www.elserscountryfarm.com
The following photographs, and any other photographs on this website are the sole property of Laurel Garza and Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants or the property of other persons and entities as noted and attributed herein. and may not be used without the express written permission of the persons and entities named here. All rights reserved.
The following photographs may not be used without the express written permission of Laurel Garza. 310-534 8611:Big Beef, Black Cherry, Brown Derby, Isis Candy, Eva Purple Ball, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Cherokee Purple single fruit, Dona, Black Krim, Rutgers, Japanese Black Trifele 3 fruit portrait, Black Plum grouped in bowl, Sara Black, Striped German, Matina, Valencia single fruit, Beiju, Bloody Butcher, Sweet Baby Girl, Grape, Sun Gold, Sun Sugar, Green Zebra, Black Zebra, Stupice, Lemon Boy, Beefsteak, Carmello, Momotaro, Kellogg's Breakfast, Super Sioux, Stupice, Flammée, Old German, Paul Robeson-single fruit, Persimmon, Twin Carmello, Yellow Brandywine, Laurel Holding Jaune Flammee, Sliced Brandywine OTV, Basket Next To Heirlooms On Table, and Heirloom Tomato Montage, Laurel holding Paul Robeson plant. www.heirloomtomatoplants.com All rights reserved.
All other photographs of tomatoes are the sole property of Gary Ibsen and TomatoFest.com® and used with the gracious permission of TomatoFest.com®. www.TomatoFest.com All rights reserved. Photos belonging to Gary Ibsen may not be copied or used in any way without his express written permission.
'Two Heirloom Tomatoes' watercolor painting is the sole property of artist Tom Hapgood and used herein with his gracious permission. www.tomhapgood.com All rights reserved.
The images on my pages are available for viewing only and may not be used for any other purpose without my express written permission. The images may not be linked to, or posted to other websites. The United States of America provides the right and the protection of and to “Original Works of Authorship” and certain Intellectual Property works. As the Owner of copyrighted works I hold the exclusive rights to duplicate distribute and create derivative works from my works. All the text, photographs, images, products: their titles and descriptions, designs, etc. used on my web site and in the finished products which I design, create, produce, sell, etc. are protected under the U. S. Copyright Laws (Title 17, U.S. Code). I will seek, accordingly, to protect my works and rights against unauthorized use and infringement. Please note: a criminal investigation may be initiated in cases of willful infringement for profit.
All rights are reserved. Any unauthorized use of any photograph or description contained herein will result in prosecution and penalties to the full extent of US copyright laws. 2000 - 2016