A traditional French market tomato, the St. Pierre tomato is a bright-red, medium-sized tomato that is particularly excellent fresh in salads and salsas.
|Germination||7 - 14 Days|
|Sowing Method||Indoors Sow (trays)|
|Days to Maturity||75 Days|
|Greenhouse / Polytunnel||Recommended|
|Recommended Soil pH||5.5-7.0|
[75-80 days] The St. Pierre tomato is an indeterminate, heirloom beef-steak tomato actively sought out in the street markets of France. In most climates, it’s fairly hardy and produces moderate to high yields early in the season. The fruits are round, medium-sized, 3-inches in diameter. The soft, meaty flesh has good to excellent flavours, and produces especially well in cooler growing regions. They are easy to grow, and are particularly well-suited for hothouse horticulture, as they can sometimes pick up tomato blight when planted outdoors.
St. Pierre tomatoes are best grown in a greenhouse. Since tomatoes need a long growing season, start seeds indoors as early as January or February for greenhouse crops (or March and April if you really want to try planting outdoors.)
Starting Indoors: Start by sowing seeds in trays of good compost 2cm apart, in modules with 2 seeds per cell, or in peat pots. Cover with glass or plastic to make sure soil after gently watering to ensure the soil stays evenly moist. Keep soil temperature to about 18C. Germination takes about 7-14 days with heat and up to two weeks without.
Remove the glass/plastic cover once seedlings appear. Transplant into small pots as soon as 2-4 true leaves have formed. Thin module seedlings to one per cell. When first truss of flowers appear, transplant to permanent growing site. If planting outdoors, make sure to harden plants off gradually before transplanting.
When growing tomatoes outdoors, wait until all risk of frost has passed before transplanting. Also, make sure to harden the plants off, gradually acclimatising them to outdoor conditions over a period of 7 - 10 days, and then plant them out from early June when the plants are 20 cm (8") tall. Plants should be set 45 cm apart with 75 cm between rows.
Stake the plants by tying the stem loosely to a cane or other support. To prune, remove the side shoots above the leaf joint when they reach 2cm length. Take out the growing point when the plants reach the greenhouse eaves or the top of the cane outdoors.
Like all tomatoes, the St. Pierre tomato needs water regularly and often. Uneven watering can causes fruit to split and/or blossom end rot - black blotches on the end that cause the fruit to rot.
Harvest when fruit is fully filled out and bright red in colour. Tomatoes are not frost hardy so make sure to harvest them all before the frost comes. Use the green tomatoes for chutneys or cooked in stir-fries.