Grow a Beautiful Basketful of
Heirloom Tomatoes In Your Garden
My Harvest from 20 Years Ago!
In this photograph of my fall harvest 20 years ago in 2003, you will see some of my favorite varieties I grew that year. They include Aunt Ruby's German Green, Brown Derby, Yellow Brandywine, Paul Robeson, Dagma's Perfection, Carmello, Japanese Black Truffle, Black Cherry, Green Zebra, Black Plum, Sun Gold, Azoychka, Green Giant, Costoluto Genovese, Marianna's Peace, Brandywine OTV, Kellogg's Breakfast, Green Grape, Sunset's Red Horizon and Momotaro.
These delightful tomatoes are as easy to grow as the common hybrids and need no special care other than fluffy, deeply amended, healthy soil, lots of sunshine, moderate watering, clean garden practices and sturdy support. Most of these plants will get really big, up to 7 feet tall, 3 feet wide.
Our 2 dwarf varieties, Velvet Night and Wild Fred, stay small and shrubby, 2 to 4 feet tall, with lots of beautiful tomatoes.
There are more than 10,000 varieties of heirloom or heritage tomatoes being grown worldwide and more than 15,000 known varieties.
We have narrowed it down to the best of the best for you! Look For The Big List below.
Don't forget to pre-order your TomatOh Holders.
Our supply is limited.
TomatOH! Holders, the Only Tomato CagesYou Will Ever Need
Powder Coated 40" Stackable Cages! Proudly Made in the USA!
Go See! Growing Tips and Garden Products
Shipping to All 50 States!Call me I'll get them to you. ~ Laurel 310 534 8611
5 year Guarantee! Strong, Rugged, Heavy.
ABOUT SHIPPING COST....
We normally ship Priority Mail to California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona. Transit times to these areas: 2 to 3 days from the time they leave Los Angeles.
For longer journeys you may want choose 1 - 2 day Express Mail which must be signed for -- and your plants arrive within 48 to 60 hrs. after leaving LAX. For mountain or outlying areas it can take 72 hrs.
Because we ship large hearty 12" to 18" plants, (not tiny 3" or 4" starts (as some plant companies do), the heavy weight and dimensions make Express Mail expensive, but your plants arrive in pristine condition and arrival within that time frame is guaranteed -- or your shipping cost is refunded.
You do have the option to choose Priority Mail which may take 2 to 4 days without money-back guarantee of transit time.
We are very encouraged to find that our plants are arriving safely with Priority Mail to the vast majority of customers addresses - albeit a little pale due to an extra day in transit.
They easily perk up after a drink and a few days in your garden with full sunshine and TLC.
Priority Mail will save you money; it's half the cost of Express Mail.
You will have as much time as you need during our phone call to decide on your shipping method. We can start with a shipping estimate -- and you choose either Express Mail or Priority Mail.
Phone ordering will get you an immediate estimate. Email order estimates take several days. We do not use texting for orders or estimates.
Laurel ~ 310 534 8611 (land line)
"Say, where do you grow all these plants, Laurel?" Here's a shot from inside one of our greenhouses in Los Angeles as it's filling up with plants. Soon they will be out of the greenhouses and into full sun where we harden them off before shipping them to you.
How We Grow our Plants
All of our plants are 100% organically grown and shipped to you in individual 4" pots, grown in top-quality Fox Farm 'Lucky Dog' organic starting mix, healthy, lush and full-sized, from about 10" to 18" tall, hardened off and ready to plant out. Occasionally we ship an 8" plant as long as it has a strong stem and well-developed root system.
A detailed 4 page step-by-step planting and growing guide is included.
All of our fresh organically grown seeds pass individually through our fingers for quality control and are then started by The Tomato Elves.
We harvest many of our seed varieties from our own garden.
Each plant comes to you individually packaged and protected in a sturdy container, with a permanent name label for your garden.
Our unique No Shift-No Crush PLANTSAFE© Custom Packaging, which I designed 28 years ago, protects your plants from shifting or movement in transit, assuring safe arrival from here in Los Angeles to your door.
Your heirloom tomato plants will have several different types of foliage; some very wispy, fern-like, and delicate like Anthony's Passionate Heart and San Marzano Redorta, some thick and hearty like Wild Fred and Marianna's Peace and everywhere in between, in varying shades of green. Black Beauty and Brad's Atomic Grape have deep indigo-blue stems and stunning touches of indigo in their foliage.
Some plants reach 6 to 8 feet, with occasional vines of SunGold and Rapunzel reaching 12 ft. or more. They do not get that tall when grown in containers.
Our Dwarf plants, Wild Fred and Velvet Night, stays shrubby and compact reaching 2 to 4 feet tall.
Thorburn's Terra Cotta
Call me to order your plants!
Laurel ~ 310 534 8611
Brad's Atomic Grape
This top seller was developed by Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms.
The new BIG LIST for 2024 is below! Go see!
Order early to reserve your plants and especially your shipping period.
Laurel ~ 310 534 8611
We send you big, lush, hearty plants, 10" to 20" tall, in 4" pots, 100% organically grown outdoors in full sun here in Los Angeles.
Our plants do not need hardening off or adjusting to your climate. Occasionally we will send a smaller plant if the root system is well-developed. The stocky dwarf plants are usually shipped at about 4- 5".
IMPORTANT: Your plants must go into full sun as soon as possible. They will suffer if kept indoors for more than 2 or 3 days.
They need sunshine and heat -- so it's vital that we ship when it's planting time. If you want them sooner than your weather is reliably warm, we include a disclaimer.
See all the photographs in the Big List below!
16" tall plants, ready to ship or to pick up!
NEW FOR 2024
Beefsteak Classic, Black Prince, Cream Cherry, Druzba,
Rasberry Mochi, Apricot Zebra and more!
And...Bear Claw is back!
Shipping and Pick-Up Periods For 2024
Choose your Shipping Period before you order, or ask Laurel what's best for your area.
Some Shipping Periods offer limited varieties.
Call me for the January and February 'Early Bird' list of 16 varieties.
310 534 8611
All other Shipping Periods feature all of our varieties.
Period A -- Super Early Bird List - January 1st to February 12th (LIMITED VARIETIES)
Period B -- Early Bird List - February 12th to February 26th (LIMITED VARIETIES)
Period C - March 11th to March 25th
Period D - March 25th to April 8th
Period E - April 8th to April 22nd
Period F - April 22nd to May 6th
Period G - May 6th to May 20th
Period H - May 20th to June 5th
Period I - June 5th to June 17th (LIMITED VARIETIES)
Period J - June 17th to to June 26th (LIMITED VARIETIES)
Custom Grown Plants
Would you like to grow a tomato variety that is not on our list?
With a 10 week lead time, we will custom-grow plants for you.
Minimum Custom Grown order: 8 plants per variety.
To Order By Telephone: 310 534-8611
Monday - Friday 9:00 to 5:00, Saturday 9:00 to 3:00, Pacific Time
Shipping Costs: Payment Information & Shipping Costs
1. Take a look at The Big List of tomato plants below. Make a list of the plants you need.
Minimum order is four (4) plants. Orders of 64 or more plants qualify for a volume discount.
2. Go to the Growing Tips & Garden Products link:Growing Tips and Garden Products to choose your fertilizers and garden products.
3. Choose your shipping period from the list above.
We ship nationwide via Post Office Priority Mail or EXPRESS MAIL.
VERY IMPORTANT: EXPRESS MAIL PARCELS NEED TO BE SIGNED FOR. PLEASE WATCH YOUR TRACKING INFORMATION!
TRACKING WILL TELL YOU WHEN YOUR PLANTS ARE ARRIVING.
WE ATTACH TWO LARGE, NEON GREEN LABELS TO OUR PARCEL STATING 'NO SIGNATURE REQUIRED' BUT SOMETIMES A NEW OR PROBATIONARY CARRIER WILL INSIST ON A SIGNATURE.
If you cannot receive post office packages on Saturdays please let us know. We will ship your plants on a Monday or Tuesday so they don't arrive on a Saturday!
We do not ship UPS or FedEx. No exceptions.
Phone order: payment is made when you place your order by phone. We take all major credit cards, debit cards or PayPal.
About Phone Orders During April & May: It is not always easy to get through due to extremely high call volume in April and May.
Please try again, don't leave a message; we won't get it for at least 3 weeks.
Please call until you reach us. 310 534 8611
(Cancellations are accepted within 48 hrs. from the date/time of your payment to receive a full refund or store credit. After 48 hours we issue a full refund for your shipping cost less 50% restocking fee for plants and packaging.)
To Order by Email or FAX
FAX # 310 494 0518 With your list and credit card data. Our FAX line is only for orders which include credit card numbers. It is secure.
Before you order, read our 'Payment and Shipping Costs' page for shipping and packaging info and our guarantee: Payment Information & Shipping Costs
Make a simple alphabetical list, not a spreadsheet, of your plants, along with fertilizers, SmartPots, etc. from our Growing Tips and Garden Products page: Growing Tips and Garden Products
Choose your shipping period from the list above and email or FAX with:
1. Your name
2. Your billing and shipping address
3. Your 'anytime' telephone number
4. Your best email address
5. Your preferred shipping period
6. The payment type you plan to use: VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, PayPal - we send you a handy PayPal invoice, or Cash if picking up.
7. Your plant list in alphabetical order along with some alternates and a list of the garden products you need.
8. Required: Please include a list of several alternate plants you'd like in case one of your choices is not available. This happens because seeds and plants do not always grow on schedule.
Please have Laurel choose an appropriate, similar, delicious alternate for me if a plant is not available.
Important: If you do not want Laurel to choose alternates for you please select one option:
1. Please substitute from this list of alternates: (list your choices)
2. Please send a second plant of one on my main list.
(We can't accept orders without a few alternate choices. Back orders add additional fees.)
After we receive your emailed order we will send an invoice within a day or so. You then call or FAX payment information to reserve your plants.
When you get your invoice, call our office with credit card or PayPal information right away to reserve your plants.
Very Important: After payment is made, you will get a copy of your receipt by email. Please check your receipt carefully to be sure all your information is accurate. If there is a mistake in your shipping address and you have not corrected it, we may have a wrong shipping address, your plants could get lost and you will have to re-order.
If you do not get a receipt by email within 5 days of talking to Laurel or AJ and paying for your order, please call or send 'urgent' email to be sure we have your correct email address.
(Cancellations are accepted within 48 hrs. from the date/time of your payment to receive a full refund or store credit. After 48 hours we issue a full refund for your shipping cost and retain a 50% restocking fee for plants and packaging because we grow your plants according to sales.)
Calling in your order is faster. 310 534 8611
We are in Los Angeles.
Here are our Telephone hours September 25th through July 1st, Pacific Time:
Monday through Friday 9:00 to 5:00, Saturday 9:00 to 3:00, Pacific Time.
Please note our time zone. If you call at 9:00 from, say...New York, it's 6:00 a.m. here. And we are/were asleep.
Brown Derby, Kellogg's Breakfast & 1884
Need Tomato Seeds instead of plants?
Here is the very best place for heirloom seeds: Go To Tomatofest.com
When Will My Plants Ship?
Shipping begins with a few varieties in February and continues with all varieties throughout the spring and summer or until we sell out. (We sometimes have a list of about 10 to 12 varieties for fall and winter, too, but not every year.)
Your shipping time is scheduled during a 15-day period to suit your desired planting time in spring or summer.
This means your plants will ship during that period. They may ship on the very last day of that period.
EXAMPLE: If you choose Period E, April 8th to April 22nd, your plants will ship sometime within that period.
Your plants will be shipped during the period you select -- as long as that period is not fully booked and the plants are big enough.
If your plants are not big enough we delay shipping for more growth and safe arrival. It helps to have your alternate choice(s).
We reserve the option to hold up a shipment if temperatures en route from our nursery to you are extremely cold. We want your plants to arrive alive. If you still want them shipped during cold springtime temperatures to cold areas with night temps below 39º, you assume the entire risk of severe cold damage in transit and we will not be responsible for cold-damaged plants.
We do offer the option of our Double-Box or Triple-Box Systems which will insulate your plants. This increases shipping weight/dimension: higher cost.
Do You Need Exact Week or Exact Day Shipping Service?
Your plants will ship during an exact week rather than a standard 15 day shipping period.
The added costs are noted below. See Note*
These Service Fees are added to your shipping cost.
For Exact Week Shipping Service
For 1 to 4 plants -- add $40.00 service fee to choose an exact week.
For 5 to 9 plants -- add $55.00 to choose an exact week.
For 10 to 20 plants -- add $65.00 to choose an exact week.
For 21 to 30 plants -- add $75.00 to choose an exact week.
More than 30 plants -- add $3.00 per plant.
To choose a shipping period that is marked 'closed' -- add $50.00 plus $3.00 per plant.
If we have any openings our crew comes in early to get it packed up for you.
For Exact Day Shipping Service:
For any number of plants - add $70.00 plus $2.50 per plant.
*NOTE: Exact day and exact week shipping may mean some of your first choices may not be ready to ship.
In that case, Laurel will choose an appropriate alternate for you. No exceptions.
Questions? Just call me; I'm glued to my desk.
Laurel, 310 534 8611
Heirloom Caprese Salad. Yum!
When To Plant
Your plants should go into the garden during the best time for your USDA planting zone, when nighttime and soil temperatures remain steadily and reliably above 50º.
If you want to plant earlier when it's in the 30's or low 40's at night and are using hot caps or covers of some kind, that's great, you're the boss.
But please be aware, you are held responsible if your plants encounter very cold weather, below 40º, on their way from Los Angeles to your town, and arrive dead.
Tomatoes are a Warm/Hot Weather Crop. Don't Plant in Cold Soil!
If you choose earlier shipment, you risk the chance of cold soil and cold air triggering dormancy, undermining the health of your plants and setting back their growth progress, reducing and delaying your harvest. This can cause stunted growth, disease-prone plants, uneven ripening and low production during the entire season.
If you opt to plant in cold soil, we cannot be responsible for poor growth. Two to three weeks after your last frost date is usually the best time to plant.
Wait for the warm weather when soil temperatures are 70º and overnight temperatures are reliably above 50º.
How Many Plants? Smart Spacing
Most of these heirlooms get really big, from 5 to 8 feet tall, 3 to 4 feet wide, and need to be spaced at least 32 - 36 inches apart in rows at least 4 to 5 feet apart.
Sure, they are small when you plant them; don't let that fool you. King Kong and Clifford the Big Red Dog were small when they were born, too.
Our Dwarf plants are shrubby and need to be planted 2 feet apart.
Photo 1. Dan Barnes with his plants growing in big cages....can you spot Dan?
Photo 2. Dan Miller's big plants with lovely wife and hungry dog.
Photo 3. Dan Hornbaker and his 8 ft. Aunt Ruby's German Green plant.
What is it about guys named Dan?
For example, a garden bed 6' by 18' will accommodate 10 -12 plants -- 2 rows of 5 or 6 plants -- depending on plant size at maturity, while providing plenty of root space, airflow, and room for lots of foliage and fruit.
Our dwarf varieties remain small and compact, from 20" to 4 ft. tall and can be spaced 18 to 20" apart on center.
See theGrowing Tips page for more detailed information.
Plant Prices, Minimum Order
Our organically grown tomato plants are priced from $8.95
each to $9.95 each; a couple of our very rare plants are priced higher at $12.95 each. Plant prices are next to their names on The Big List below. Shipping cost is not included in the plant price.
Minimum order is 4 plants.
Price break begins at 64 plants.
Substitutions, Very Important Information!
Sometimes we must substitute a plant if your first choice is not available.
Please list some alternates, if you do not list alternate choices, Laurel will personally choose a very similar and delicious variety which should do well in your climate.
If you do not choose a few alternates, we cannot take the order.
Hey...Where's the Shopping Cart? Can I Order Online?
No, we do not have an online shopping cart due to variable plant sizes, from 9" to 20" tall, so shipping weight will vary.
Each plant can weigh from 12 oz. to 2 lbs. This means variable shipping weights and package dimensions -- this needs to be calculated individually.
Payment Information & Shipping Costs Folks, please read before ordering!
Be sure you know our prices, shipping method, packaging costs and our guarantee before you order so you will not be surprised/stunned by the cost of 1 to 3 day shipping. It is expensive. We don't want you fainting and hurting yourself. We ship large, live plants from Los Angeles.
(Cancellations are accepted within 48 hrs. from the date/time of your payment to receive a full refund or store credit. After 48 hours we issue a full refund for your shipping cost and retain a 50% restocking fee for plants and packaging.)
Your Privacy, Guaranteed
Your personal information, email, phone number, purchases, address, etc. is never shared with anyone, ever.
When To Order
You will choose the shipping period you want for spring-summer of 2024.
April and May shipping gets booked up early, so order early to reserve your shipping time. Your delivery will be scheduled during a 15 day period for your desired spring or summer planting time.
For instance, if you choose April 10th to April 24th as your shipping period your plants will ship sometime between April 10th to April 24th. If they are too small to ship it may be a few more days.
Will-Call Orders - Pre-Order to Pick Up Your Plants - by appointment only.
Do you live or work in Southern California? We do not have a retail store but you can pickup your plants here at our nursery throughout spring, summer and fall.
You must call and speak to Laurel or Adrienne at several days ahead for availability and to have your order ready to go: pulled and prepped for pick up.
Will-call is by appointment normally on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays 11:00 to 3:00. If you can only pick up during the week let us know.
1725 257th St. Lomita CA 90717
310 534 8611 Call until you reach us.
We do not have a daily retail store except on Sundays from 11:00 to 3:00 beginning in March.
On Sundays beginning in March, please join us for our open-house plant sales from 11:00 to 3:00.
Laurel is allergic to manufactured perfumes; please avoid perfuming before you set out unless you're ready to see choking, gagging, sneezing and the hairy eyeball.
We are in Lomita in the South Bay/Torrance area of Los Angeles County near Western and Pacific Coast Highway, 30 minutes south of LAX, 6 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 4 minutes west of the 110/Harbor freeway.
You will see symbols in The Big List right below.
Here's what they mean:
(H) Hybrid. We offer a few hybrid varieties. The ones I chose were developed with great flavor as the main criterion. These are delicious varieties which we have grown and taste-tested to ensure superior flavor.
Our Sunshine Symbol this variety grows beautifully in all climates, and my customers tell me it can do well in sustained high heat -- but not hotter than 97º. Pollen normally becomes sterile above 97º.
Customers report this variety can be extra heat tolerant and can produce well up to 97º.
A specialty plant, developed to produce consistently in very hot weather, up to 97º- 100º.
Our Penguin Symbol means this variety grows beautifully in all climates, and my customers tell me it does especially well in cooler temperatures and produces late into the cool season.
Twin Penguins: Grows beautifully in most climates and can be extra cold tolerant. However, this does not mean North Dakota-in-dead-of-winter-tolerant. These tomato plants need night temperatures consistently above 40º F.
Our Mountain Symbol means this plant is a good choice for your high altitude garden -- and grows beautifully everywhere else, too.
(E) Early ripening variety, with 78 days or less to ripe tomatoes.
(VE) Very early varieties, usually less than 68 days from plant-out to ripe fruit.
(EE) Extremely early ripening varieties, ready to pick in only 45-60 days from planting.
A good choice for growing in pots, and a variety which Laurel has already grown successfully in containers. Any heirloom tomato plant will grow well in a large 10 - 30 gallon container with proper growing techniques. The dwarf varieties can be grown in 5 gallon containers.
See detailed container-growing info: Growing Tips
(Ch) A cherry tomato. These little fruits can be red, black, orange, pink, purple, green, yellow, ivory, white or bicolor and in varying shapes: round, pear, grape, ping pong, pea-sized and plum-shaped.
F/C This denotes a tomato that grows well in foggy coastal areas but also does beautifully in full sun. Thanks to Cynthia Sandberg at Love Apple Farm for this list!
(B) A big tomato of at least 1 or 2 pounds.
(BB) A really big tomato. These 'super braggers' can reach 3 to 4 pounds.
(BBB) A ridiculously huge tomato, these delicious, prize winning giants can reach 5 lbs.
(SM) A small plant, great for containers or smaller garden spaces.
(VSM) A very small, dwarf type plant, some produce lots of big tomatoes, some are cherry tomatoes -- for small containers and tiny gardens.
(P-S) Paste or sauce type, especially popular for sauces. These tomatoes are richly flavored, ideal for cooking because flavors increase exponentially during the cooking process, and are also marvelous for fresh eating.
(HG) For your Historical or Heritage Garden. These are storied tomatoes with a fascinating history, including well-known historic varieties, some of them named after persons of high renown, or an historical event. Some are tomatoes with tall tales and legends attached to their names. Many have simply stood the test of time.
D or S-D Determinate or Semi Determinate. Grows to a predetermined height, sets lots of fruit early that ripen over a 3 to 7 week period, then continues to produce tomatoes for at least 2 or 3 months with proper care. Keep feeding them! We currently have one variety that is S-D, Florida 91.
Days: IMPORTANT INFO! This means days to maturity/ripe fruit at ideal temperatures of above 50º at night and above 70º daytime. Cooler weather will add about 2 to 3 weeks to ripening time. So, it is the approximate time from planting the seedling to harvesting the ripe fruit. Can vary from climate to climate.
New for 2024 This means we are offering these varieties this year for the first time.Not a 'new' variety.
A Map To The Website
The main list is coming up below.
Here are links to the other pages
Growing Tips and Garden Products How to have a fabulously successful tomato garden!
Need tomato seeds?
Go toTomatofest.com for 600 varieties of heirloom tomato seeds!
Our 2024 Plant Sale Dates Please join us for our Sunday Sales here at the nursery in spring and summer! (Please check back for sale dates)
Payment Information ...and shipping details (Please read before you order.)
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.
Favorite Tomato Recipes Great Recipes for your heirloom tomatoes; please send us your favorite recipe!
The Best Tomato Sandwich Recipes from our customers; please send us yours!
What Our Customers Say And some photographs of their gardens...
Laurel's Blend Olive Oil Come see!
Here is the The Big List For 2024!
1884 ($8.95) (B)
(HG)(E) 78 days.
1884 is a superbly flavored old-time tomato which grows on a strong vigorous plant and produces big luscious 1 lb. to 2 lb. deep dark pink fruit with luxurious flavor and sets fruit readily in hot weather.
The original plant was discovered by James Lyde Williamson growing out of a huge pile of debris after the big Ohio River flood of 1884 in the tiny town of Friendly, West Virginia.
This grand fruit has taken top mention year after year in tomato tastings all over the country. Easy to grow and very productive.
A Laurel's Favorite!
Amish Rose ($8.95) 80 days.
This lovely old Amish tomato that has been one of my favorites for more than 20 years. With rich, Brandywine-like flavor, strong growth reliability and old time nuance, it is a magical inhabitant for your garden.
This is a classic, fabulously flavored tomato that I want you to grow so you will know what I know.
I have been getting requests for Rose for years after it was featured in a PBS radio show years ago. The host spoke of how her late Mom, named Rose, had always grown this tomato in Pennsylvania and that she'd saved her Mom's seeds for 40 years.
She lost the seed packet during a move and was devastated. I called the station to leave a message that I knew of this tomato and could help -- that I had seeds to send her.
We had a very emotional conversation when we realized her Mom and I both loved of this extraordinary tomato and that I had seeds for her.