Backyard Gardener Tomato Trial


2021 results posted below. Tomato trial will not be continued in 2022.


The goal of the tomato trial is to determine easy to grow tomato varieties that are productive in the Texas Hill Country.Participants take home tomatoes to grow in their own garden,and report on the results monthly.  If you are interested in participating, there are a few things you should know.

  • These plants, while free, are trial tomatoes. If you do not intend to answer questions about them monthly or are taking a long trip and have no one to take care of them, or do not have a spot for them, please do not request plants.
  • New gardeners and experienced gardeners are welcome!


    Cherokee Purple Tomato

  • Tomatoes will be given out the middle week of April.
  • Tomato varieties for 2021 are listed in the chart below. Varieties were selected because of their performance in the prior year trial and/or their “supposed” heat tolerance. This list includes hybrids, heirlooms and open pollinated varieties. Varieties “Red Snapper”, “Abe Lincoln” and “Valley Cat” are new. Varieties “Tasti-lee” and “Thessaloniki” are not returning due to poor performance. Variety “Valley Girl” performed well, but this variety  has been phased out by the seed industry and is no longer available.
  • To have a baseline standard, everyone must take and grow a provided “Celebrity” tomato. At minimum, you need to have at least one “Celebrity” and one other variety. There is a limit of eleven plants per garden site (ten plus one “Celebrity” ) .
  • Overall supplies are limited and people will be signed up on a first come first served basis. Please send me an email or call me if interested. A second email will be sent out in late March asking you which tomato varieties you would like. No tomato varieties will be assigned before this date ( This is because I’m not sure how many seedlings will survive).
  • Participation is not restricted to Gillespie County, but you must come to the Gillespie County Extension Office to get the plants. If there are a lot of participants from a neighboring county and Covid-19 numbers are low, pick-ups may be arranged at other county extension offices.
  • If you’re curious but can’t participate, results will be posted below, in my quarterly newsletter,  or in the Fredericksburg Standard Newspaper.

Contact Beth McMahon at if interested or with questions.

Data Taking Instructions for Trial
Data Sheet May
Data Sheet June
Data Sheet July
Data Sheet August
Data Sheet September

Heat Tomato Trial Summary 2020
Heat Tomato Trial 2019
Tomato Trial 2021 Summary

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