Last Updated: April 13, 2023
If you didn’t already know, thousands of tomato varieties exist. The diversity is staggering in every way, ranging in color, size, plant size, yield, and flavor.
However, the garden peach tomato has something most other tomatoes do not: fuzzy skin. So, in this article, I’ll share everything you need to know about this unique and special category of tomatoes!
About Garden Peach Tomatoes
Not much is known about the history of the garden peach tomato. Some credit Elbert S. Carmen with its original creation. This plant breeder created many new potato and tomato varieties through his decades of work in the late 1800s.
It is thought that these pubescent tomato varieties were first grown in American gardens as early as the mid-1800s. Quickly thereafter, they were bred to create several more “peach” type tomatoes.
Peach Tomato Types:
The notable characteristic of this variety is its slightly fuzzy skin. The tomatoes are oddly satisfying to touch, with an impossible soft outer skin, similar to a fresh peach.
This gives the impression that you’re holding a fruit (well, you technically are), when in reality it is a juicy tomato. I love sharing this variety with friends and family to see their reaction – it always starts with curiosity!
The tomatoes are on the small side, typically weighing around 2-3 oz, around the size of a racquetball (2-2.5″ diameter). This places them right between a large cherry tomato and a small globe type.
When fully ripe, the fruits will change from green to yellow, often with a slight peachy or pinkish blush on the tops. I noticed almost no cracked fruits, and apparently they have a great shelf life, too.
While the fuzziness is the most interesting trait of the garden peach tomato, it is only superficial. Once you slice it open, it is 100% tomato!
Garden Peach Tomato Flavor
While the name may fool you, it is not given for this tomato’s flavor profile. Yes it may look like a peach, but it doesn’t taste much like one.
Instead, the garden peach tomato tastes sweet and fruity (for a tomato) with low acidity. I find the flavor to be great for sandwiches, tomato salad, salsas, or bruschetta.
The first time I tried a garden peach tomato, I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor. I was expecting some compromise based on the fact that this variety was clearly a novelty (“let’s make a fuzzy tomato!”).
However, I personally love the flavor, though some may disagree. The yellow peach tomato quickly became one of my go-to tomatoes for best all-around flavor.
Growing Garden Peach Tomatoes
If you’re intrigued, I’m not surprised. The peach tomatoes are some of the most fascinating tomato varieties, and that is saying a lot! So, how do you grow them?
Start your seeds indoors about 5-6 weeks before the final frost date in your region. This extends the growing season enough to get good production, even in cooler temperate zones.
Plant out in full sun once the soil is warm, typically 2-3 weeks after your last frost date. Plant the seedlings deep (or sideways!) to encourage more rooting and a quicker transition to the native soil.
Garden peach tomatoes are indeterminate, meaning that they require either trellising or a large cage to perform best. Be sure to space your tomatoes wide enough to allow plenty of airflow, around 24″ between plants.
Prune away most of the sucker shoots to encourage a more upright, trellised shape. Or, allow the plant to bush out over a cage, pruning excess leaves to maximize airflow.
Garden peach tomatoes are ready to harvest when they have begun changing color. Reduce watering around this time to allow more flavor to concentrate in the fruits and to avoid cracking.
I hope this article has inspired you to consider growing the garden peach tomato! The yellow is my current favorite of the group, with the largest fruits and best flavor, but we still have more peach tomatoes to try growing!