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The Big Rainbow Tomato

Big Rainbow tomatoes are known for their large size, sweet flavor, and gorgeous appearance. These tomato plants add an aesthetic appeal to any garden and bring great tasting fruit to the dinner table. Their mild flavor makes them ideal for salads. They are easy to grow, making them a great choice for beginner tomato growers.

Closeup of hand holding reddish orange tomatoes like the fruit of the Big Rainbow tomato.

What Is a Big Rainbow Tomato?

These beautiful tomatoes are best known for their appearance and size. They are a breed of big beef tomatoes, so you can trust that they will grow rather large. Big Rainbow tomatoes grow to over two pounds and most farmers boast of having larger fruit that is over 10 centimeters in diameter.

Their beautiful appearance is another reason that people love these heirloom tomatoes. When these huge fruits are ripe, they have a rainbow appearance. Red marbled streaks are seen throughout the red, yellow, and green exterior of ripe fruit for a truly unique look.

Closeup of assorted slices heirloom tomatoes.

There are other benefits to growing Big Rainbow tomatoes. This breed of homegrown tomatoes is known for not cracking. Plants often produce firm tomatoes that are naturally resistant to bugs nesting inside of them.

They are also naturally resistant to foliar disease. Because of this, and the fact that they do not crack easily, most gardeners will find them to be low maintenance. There is usually no need for pesticides or other chemicals when growing Big Rainbow tomatoes.

A reddish orange tomato on the vine.

How To Grow a Big Rainbow Tomato Plant

You can sow seeds either indoors or outdoors. When planting seeds outside, it’s important to make sure that there is no more frost. If there is frost, you’ll want to plant them indoors until the frost is gone.

Gardeners can use either planting trays or small pots for their plants. Plastic containers are also a great, budget-friendly idea. For a more cost-effective idea, use the bottom part of pop bottles, milk cartons, or egg cartons instead of purchasing starter trays.

As seedlings grow, they will need space. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that they are not planted together. Only plant one seed per container or space in a seedling tray.

Overhead view of a tray of tomato seedings.

Seeds need moist soil to grow, just as larger plants do. It’s important to remember that a fine mist of water is all that is necessary to keep the soil moist. If the soil gets soggy, it will stunt the growth of your seeds. Some may not grow into plants at all.

Seeds need the same amount of sunlight that plants in a garden do, which is 6-8 hours per day. This can be via sunlight or artificial grow lights.

Moving Seedlings Outside

Before moving seeds outside, it’s important to make sure that frost is gone. Seedlings should have completed the germination process, which takes 7-14 days, before being moved. Once those two criteria are met, you can safely move your Rainbow tomatoes outside.

Because these attractive tomato plants grow rather large, they need plenty of space. Make sure that there are 2-3 feet in between each plant. When planting rows of Rainbow tomato plants, there should be at least two feet in between rows.

Tomato seedling transplanted in the ground.

Because these plants can grow to six feet tall or higher, gardeners should expect them to require staking. Picking up stakes in advance if you do not have any is a great idea. As soon as plants reach two feet in height, stake them to make sure that you don’t accidentally stake them too late.

Rainbow tomato plants are considered indeterminate tomato plants. Determinate plants grow to a definite size, and then stop growing. An indeterminate tomato plant can keep growing until it is killed by frost. Because these plants are considered indeterminate tomato plants, they can grow far beyond six feet tall. Some indeterminate tomato plants grow to over ten feet tall!

A tomato plant tied to a stake for support.

Rainbow tomato plants should be in a sunny location in the backyard. They require at least six hours of sun to grow into healthy, large tomatoes.

Caring for Rainbow Tomatoes

Rainbow tomato plants require particular care to make sure that you have a harvest full of gorgeous Rainbow tomatoes instead of small tomatoes that did not grow properly or dead seedlings.

The following sections will provide highlights about tomato care. For a complete guide on optimal tomato plant care, from planting to harvesting and storage, please check out our article on How To Grow Tomatoes: The Complete Guide For the Best Tomatoes.  You may also be interested in our blog post on how to grow big tomatoes!

Water

These tomato plants require a steady supply of moisture. The soil needs to stay moist both during the germination process and when they are large enough to move outside. Check the soil regularly to determine if your plants need watering.

These large beefsteak tomatoes will be fine during light or medium rainfall. Seedlings will need to be covered if there is medium-heavy rainfall. Always keep an eye on your tomato plants during heavy rainfall. Bring them inside if possible or cover them. Too much water will give you cherry tomato type tomatoes instead of large tomatoes due to stunted growth.

Fertilizing / Feeding

Tomatoes require specific nutrients (such as calcium) to produce their best crops of fruit. To learn how to determine what your tomatoes need and when they need it, consult our ultimate tomato fertilizer guide.

Pruning / Pinching

Pruning and pinching are a tomato care technique that can help your tomato put forth its best yield. But you need to know when to do this and what tomatoes need it. To help you with this, visit our pruning tomatoes guide.

Diseases and Pests

Sad, but true — if you grow tomatoes, you’ll probably have to deal with these issues. To learn how to detect, treat, and take steps to prevent diseases, read our tomato diseases guide. 

For information to help you spot, eliminate, and deter 15 different pests, visit our guide on common tomato pests.

Harvest

Determining when to harvest these tomatoes is relatively easy. You can tell when they are ripe due to their exterior appearance. Once the fruit is red and green, you can trust that it is ripe and ready to be picked.

Display of yellow, orange, and red streaked tomatoes.

You can expect your harvest to be ready in approximately 90 days after transplanting. Because of this, it’s important to plant them early in summer as soon as the frost is gone to ensure that you are able to harvest them before the frost comes back in the fall.

Rainbow tomato plants typically deliver a large harvest of dozens of tomatoes. Make sure that you’re prepared to eat them or can them once you pick these colorful tomatoes!

Ways To Use Big Rainbow Tomatoes

With their mild, sweet flavor, Big Rainbow tomatoes can be used like any other tomato variety. They can be eaten fresh in salads or on sandwiches, they can be used for sauces or other cooking that calls for tomatoes.

For especially large harvests, they can be preserved by canning, freezing, or drying.

Plate of assorted heirloom tomatoes cut in half.

Recipe Ideas

Oregano-Marinated Tomato Salad

Tomato and Roasted Garlic Pie

Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary (the color of the Big Rainbow will make a beautiful drink)

Peaches and Tomatoes With Burrata and Hot Sauce

Pan Con Tomate

The Only Salsa You Need

Where To Buy Rainbow Tomato Plants Or Seeds

Rainbow tomato plants might not be that easy to find locally. A few online retailers list them in their website inventories. Seeds are more available and can be purchased at nurseries, garden centers, or online.

In Conclusion

Rainbow tomatoes are a favorite among restaurant owners, farmers, and everyone who enjoys tomatoes. These huge tomatoes can be used for one meal after another. Their beauty is not found in other varieties of tomatoes. It’s impossible to resist planting a row of these large, bi-colored tomatoes.

Hand holding two large reddish yellow tomatoes on the vine.

Do you have experience with growing Rainbow tomatoes or a favorite recipe you’d like to share? Leave a comment in the section below! To read about other tomato varieties, click here for our other tomato-related blog posts.