Are you looking for a new, mild-tasting tomato variety to add to your vegetable garden? The Arkansas Traveler tomato plant is the perfect garden addition with large yields of round, heat-resistant, and crack-resistant slicing tomatoes!
Keep reading to learn about this delicious tomato’s history and how to keep the plants happy and healthy.
Looking for Arkansas Traveler tomato seeds? Check availability.
History of the Arkansas Traveler Tomato
Arkansas Traveler tomatoes came into the spotlight in 1971 through a man named Joe McFerran. The University of Arkansas horticulture department is where the variety was developed, which is where McFerran worked.
McFerran wanted to create a high-quality, great-tasting, crack-resistant tomato. He developed a test for this, and the heirloom Arkansas Traveler tomato was the result.
Characteristics of the Arkansas Traveler Tomato
This type of tomato falls into the indeterminate category, meaning you’ll get abundant tomatoes throughout the growing season. The plants themselves will also continue to grow throughout the growing season. They can be as tall as five feet by the fall.
Due to their size, you might need trellises or stakes to keep the plants upright. Stakes will also keep the tomatoes off the ground, preventing rotting.
The tomato plants create medium-sized pink to red fruits with a round shape. They are drought-tolerant, crack-resistant, and can withstand high temperatures. They’re pretty hardy compared to other tomato varieties.
Arkansas Traveler tomatoes are usually about the size of your palm. They have a beautiful deep pink color and a meaty texture. Their taste is mild and rather sweet compared to other tomato varieties.
Since these tomatoes can get as big as your hand, you can expect them to be six to eight ounces. They can grow larger, but this is their average weight. This is another reason you’ll need to support these plants with stakes and trellises.
Arkansas Traveler Tomato Uses
This tomato variety is great for eating raw and cooked. Their mild flavor is the perfect addition to any tomato-based meal.
What Do They Taste Like?
These tomatoes are very mild in terms of acidity. They have a pleasant, sweet taste that most people will enjoy.
Cooking With the Arkansas Traveler Tomato
You can use this tomato in any recipe that requires tomatoes! Their mild flavor is perfect for cooked sauces, soups, or margarita pizza. They are slicing tomatoes, so they are also great on sandwiches or salads due to their meatiness.
Canning / Freezing / Drying
You can easily can these tomatoes at home with lemon juice and water. Or you can freeze them by sealing them in an airtight bag or container. Drying them in a dehydrator or oven is also great for giving your recipes a deep tomato flavor.
Arkansas Traveler Tomato Recipe Ideas
Here are some delicious recipes to try at home with your tomatoes:
Health Benefits of the Arkansas Traveler Tomato
Tomatoes are rich in all kinds of vitamins and nutrients! Vitamin C and antioxidants are the ones to take note of, as they help boost your immune system.
Tomatoes can also help decrease blood pressure, improve blood sugar, and aid in heart and eye health!
Growing Them at Home
The growing season for the Arkansas Traveler tomato is from late spring into late summer. You can typically plant them outside after the first frost, and they’ll sometimes continue growing until the fall.
The Arkansas Traveler likes warm weather. But, they generally grow well in USDA hardiness zones four through 11.
Size and Spacing
Your tomato seeds should get buried at least ¼ inch deep. And each plant needs to be a minimum of two feet apart from each other to prevent overcrowding.
Arkansas Traveler tomatoes get open-pollinated, which means wild pollinators like bees and birds help pollinate them.
Caring for Your Arkansas Traveler Tomato Plants
If you plant your tomatoes from seeds, you should start them indoors about four to six weeks before outdoor planting. Place them on a windowsill for adequate sunlight and water them often. The soil should always be moist, but don’t drown the roots.
Use the following parameters as a guide when planting them outdoors.
Your tomatoes will need full sunlight, which is roughly six to eight hours daily. Plant them in an area where there are no sun-blocking objects.
Tomatoes like the Arkansas Traveler tomato usually like slightly acidic soil, but they do well in most soil types. They also like moist, well-drained soil. Use organic matter or rocks in your soil to help with drainage.
In most planting zones, your tomatoes need watering every other day. However, if it is very hot and dry, they’ll need water daily. Always ensure the soil is moist.
You’ll need to fertilize this tomato variety about once a month. Use the Ultimate Tomato Fertilizer Guide for help.
Pruning and Pinching
Tomato plants usually don’t require much pruning or pinching. But, you should always take any dead parts of the plant off throughout the growing season.
Removing dead stems and leaves will help the plant focus on growing its healthy stems and fruit.
Some diseases your Arkansas Traveler tomato can get include the following:
- Late blight (a fungal disease that causes brown spots and decay)
- Verticillium wilt ( a fungal disease that attacks open wounds of the plant, causing sudden discoloration and wilting)
- Anthracnose (a fungal disease that causes rotting)
To prevent diseases like this from spreading, always remove the dead parts of the plant. Read our blog post on common tomato diseases for more information.
Potential pests you may experience include:
- Aphids (sap-sucking bugs)
- Tomato hornworms (large moth caterpillars that eat the plant)
- Flea beetles (leaf-eating beetle)
Signs of pests include chewed parts of the plant, eggs, and the physical bugs. Pesticides can usually help control the problem. Our tomato pest guide will tell you what you need to know to win the war against uninvited guests!
When to Harvest Arkansas Traveler Tomatoes
You can harvest your tomatoes when they’re a deep pink color around the entire fruit. This usually happens 75 to 80 days post-planting.
Do not pick them if they are still green.
Where to Buy Arkansas Traveler Tomato Seeds
Have we convinced you to grow these tasty tomatoes in your garden this year?
If you want to add this tomato variety to your garden, starting from seed will be your best bet since seedlings will be hard to come by at nurseries or garden centers.
But you’re in luck because you can buy Arkansas Traveler seeds at one of our favorite online retailers, Hoss Tools! They offer large packets of high-quality seeds for a great price.
Wrapping Up the Arkansas Traveler Tomato
If you want a hardy, crack-resistant, and delicious tomato, the Arkansas Traveler tomato is for you! These plants constantly yield beautiful pink medium-sized fruits throughout the growing season. They are great raw or cooked additions to all your meals!
Visit our Tomato Plants page for more information on growing tomatoes!