A tomato variety that’s over a hundred years old, the ‘Saint Pierre‘ is one of the tastiest varieties, on par with the more famous ‘Beefsteak’.
Visually similar to cluster tomato, its flesh is firm and gourmet-worthy.
→ Discover: best tomatoes for cooking
Origin and special characteristics
The ‘Saint Pierre’ tomato is a French heirloom variety that has been cultivated since the end of the XIXth century. This variety has an indeterminate bearing, meaning it never stops growing; because of this, staking is required. Very vigorous, it’s also among the most productive. Fruits are large, round, fleshy and their peel is smooth. They form in clusters of 4 to 5 tomatoes.
Planting ‘Saint Pierre’ tomatoes
Start your seedlings as early as April, but keep them indoors for fear of late frosts. As for transplanting, it takes place a bit later, towards mid-May.
- the day before, soak the seeds in water;
- the day after that, sow the seeds in a mix of sand and soil mix;
- when two leaves appear, select the most vigorous ones and move them to individual nursery pots.
→ Read also: how to sow tomatoes
Planting Saint Peter tomatoes:
After you’ve obtained nice seedlings (perhaps you’ve purchased them in a garden store, which is also fine), the planting itself is fairly easy. Simply dig a hold about eight inches deep (twenty centimeters) and settle the foot down inside it, slanting it somewhat. Then, backfill to the point of burying the base of the stem up to and including the first pair of leaves.
The portion that’s underground will sprout extra roots, giving the plant even more vigor.
On the same day, water abundantly while avoiding wet leaves, and hammer the stakes in.
Care and growing
Saint Pierre tomatoes are relatively easy to care for. The most important thing to watch for is watering:
- never get water on the leaves;
- don’t overwater, just give the plant enough water to not go thirsty.
To retain moisture in the soil, a great recourse is to simply spread mulch.
- Only remove those that are blocking the sun out.
- Don’t remove too many or your plant will start having trouble growing.
- ‘Saint Pierre’ tomatoes need staking.
→ More to learn about growing tomato
Pests and diseases
As is common for tomato plants, ‘Saint Pierre’ tomatoes may develop blight. Insects also love infesting the plant, as well. Whitefly (tiny white winged flies) and cotton bollworm caterpillars may inflict severe damage if not controlled.
Harvest and preserves
When they’re ripe, ‘Saint Pierre’ tomatoes can start to be harvested mid-July, up to mid-October. What’s best is to pick them off regularly. That way you’ll always savor them at peak maturity, which also means peak savor and nutritious content.
Nonetheless, if ever there are too many for you to consume, you should know they will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator.
Cooking Saint Peter tomatoes
The ‘Saint Pierre’ tomato is delicious raw, diced up in a tossed salad, or cooked in the form of sauce, soup and baked tomato (more on the best cooking uses for different tomato types here).
To learn more, read:
- Staking tomatoes
- All there is to know about growing tomato
- Potted tomato: how to grow them in containers?