UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Public Tomato Trial

Be a citizen scientist

We invite you to join our public tomato trial and be a citizen scientist! Help us gather information by growing trial tomatoes in your garden and reporting the results. By having participants grow the same three varieties in home gardens all over the county, we will learn how they perform under a broad range of growing conditions. This valuable data can help identify new varieties to offer at future Spring Garden Fairs and help gardeners make informed choices about what varieties to plant.

How it works

Participants will

  • buy a set of the three trial tomatoes at our Spring Garden Fair
  • grow them in their gardens this summer
  • report their results online or via an app


Growing Requirements

Before you register, make sure you have the appropriate conditions to successfully grow tomatoes this summer. Your growing space should:

  • have reliable access to water
  • receive at least 8 hours of sun per day
  • have adequate space to grow all three tomato varieties. Tomatoes need about 2 square feet per plant or a container at least 18" to 24" wide and deep per plant.

About growing tomatoes


2024 Trial Varieties

Bronze Torch

Clusters of 1½ oz. brick-red fruit with bronze striping. Well-balanced flavor, texture, and sweetness. Prolific early producer with good crack resistance.

Indeterminate. F1 hybrid. 65 days.

Photo from Renee's Garden


Chef's Choice Orange

Bright orange beefsteaks, 8–11 oz. Great taste, low acid. Intense color does not fade or discolor when cooked. High yielding. Earlier and more productive than most orange beefsteaks. High disease resistance to Tobacco Mosaic Virus. 2014 AAS Winner

Indeterminate. F1 hybrid. 75 days.

Photo from Johnny's Seeds


Plum Regal

Virtually crack-free paste tomato with few seeds. Loads of bright red, flavorful, 4 oz. plum-shaped fruits on compact, determinate plants. Solid, meaty texture for sauces and pastes. High disease resistance to Fusarium, Verticillium, and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus.

Determinate. F1 hybrid. 72 days.

Photo by Karen Schaffer


How to participate

Sign up with SeedLinked

We are using the platform SeedLinked to collect the data. You need to sign up with SeedLinked before you can purchase trial tomatoes. Signing up is just an indication of interest. You won’t officially be part of the trial until you buy your trial seedlings at our Fair.

Purchase seedlings at our Spring Garden Fair

  • We will have about 150 sets of the three trial tomatoes available on a first-come basis.
  • You need to have signed up with SeedLinked before you can buy the trial tomatoes. But please understand that signing up doesn't guarantee availability.
  • There will be a special area for picking up the trial tomatoes, before you check out at the cashiers.
  • The trial tomatoes are the same price as the other tomato seedlings.

Follow along and report your results

Log into your SeedLinked account and report your results at any time. You can report results either using their smartphone app or on their website. We will also send out occasional reminder emails and will post updates here as the season progresses.

Webmaster Email: webmaster-mgsantaclara@ucanr.edu