How to Grow Pink Tomatoes

Overview

One alternative to the standard red tomato is the pink variety. These tomato plants produce fruits in various hues of pink from light to dark. Studies conducted by Dr. Asaph Aharoni of the Weizmann Institute of Science revealed that pink tomatoes are the result of a genetic mutation. Pink tomatoes have thinner skin and contain less lycopene than their red counterparts. Popular pink heirloom and hybrid varieties include Brandywine, Caspian Pink, Cherokee Purple, Early Bird and Ferris Wheel.

Step 1

Plant pink tomato seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last expected frost for your region.

Step 2

Fill peat pots with slightly-moistened potting mix.

Step 3

Sow two seeds per pot, 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep and 2 inches apart, then cover lightly with soil.

Step 4

Set peat pots on a tray and place in a location with full sunlight and consistent temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Seeds typically sprout within seven to 14 days of planting.

Step 5

Harden off seedlings gradually once plants grow to at least 6 inches in height. Set pots outside for a few hours each day, gradually increasing the length of time outdoors each time.

Step 6

Work 2 to 3 inches of organic compost into the designated planting area with a garden tiller or pitchfork. Break up any large clumps and remove rocks or other debris to create a clean planting site.

Step 7

Dig 4-inch holes, spaced at least 3 feet apart.

Step 8

Fill each hole with water and allow it to soak in before transplanting seedlings.

Step 9

Place the seedling, including the peat pot, into the hole, just below the first set of leaves and pack soil around the base.

Step 10

Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch (organic compost, grass clippings or straw) around the base of each plant to help with moisture retention and prevent pest and disease attacks.

Step 11

Insert a tomato cage over each seedling, centering the cage over the plant. Gently push down on the top to push the prongs down into the soil.

Step 12

Water growing tomato plants with at least 1 inch of water per week.

Step 13

Apply water-soluble fertilizer around the base of each plant every three to four weeks during the growing season. Follow manufacturer directions for dosage.

Tips and Warnings

  • Applying fertilizer to the foliage or stems of the plant may cause burns.

Things You'll Need

  • Tomato seeds
  • Peat pots
  • Tray
  • Seed-starter potting mix
  • Water
  • Organic compost
  • Garden tiller or pitchfork
  • Trowel
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Tomato cages

References

  • Texas AgriLife Extension Service: Easy Gardening--Tomatoes
  • Renee's Garden: Starting Tomato Seeds Indoors
  • Victory Seeds: Heirloom and Rare Pink/Purple Tomato Varieties
  • Science Daily: Pink Tomato Gene
Keywords: planting pink tomatoes, pink tomato varieties, starting tomato seeds

About this Author

Deborah Waltenburg has been a freelance writer since 2002. In addition to her work for Demand Studios, Waltenburg has written for websites such as Freelance Writerville and Constant Content, and has worked as a ghostwriter for travel/tourism websites and numerous financial/debt reduction blogs.