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The Campari Tomato

Campari tomatoes, a supermarket favorite, are considered to be some of the most flavorful varieties of tomato. They have a perfect acidic to sweet taste and are amazing in many dishes, as well as right off the vine.  If you’re in the market for a low-maintenance tomato that yields compact-sized fruit bursting with flavor, then keep reading to learn how to add the Campari Tomato to your garden this spring.

Campari Tomatoes sitting on a towel.

History Of The Campari Tomato

The Campari Tomato was developed in Europe by a Dutch seed company but today they are owned and trademarked by Mastronardi Produce Company of Ontario, Canada. 

All About The Campari Tomato

The Campari Tomato is an indeterminate tomato variety which means it is a vine tomato and will continue to bear fruit all season long. These tomatoes are considered a hybrid variety and were produced to feed the need of the tomato market in the late 20th century. 

Physical Characteristics

The Campari tomatoes are a deep red color and mature to the size of about a golf ball, so not as large as some tomato varieties but larger than a plum tomato. These plants grow to around 6 to 8 feet in height and have full, green foliage. These tomatoes grow on the vine in clusters and ripen from the top down.

Ripening Season

Being an indeterminate variety, these tomatoes will continuously grow all season long but are considered to be a “mid-season” tomato. Most Camparis grown in greenhouses take about 70 to 90 days to fully mature.

The Campari will not survive a frost and tomatoes are ready to harvest once they turn a nice, deep red color. 

Qualities 

The Campari tomato is a very flavorful tomato. They are firm and have a sweet-to-acidic balance like few other tomatoes. They’re ideal for salsas and sauces or even eating raw. 

Size

These tomatoes are a little larger than a plum tomato, weighing in around 32 grams. 

Campari Tomatoes on the stem.

Planting Zones

The Campari Tomato is typically grown inside greenhouses or grown indoors. They are a huge commercial-based tomato and a supermarket favorite you can purchase mostly all year-round. If you want to plant your own Campari Tomatoes in your outdoor garden, the USDA hardiness zones are 3-11. Remember, these tomatoes will not survive any type of frost conditions. 

Size And Spacing

The Campari Tomato will grow anywhere from 6 to 8 feet tall and does very well when planted in 5- to 10-gallon planters. When planting in your garden or greenhouse, they will need quite a bit of space to grow and will require stakes or cages for support. Plant your Campari Tomatoes with at least three feet of space to grow underneath them, as well as 3 to 4 feet of space surrounding them. 

Campari Tomato Plant Care 

Being relatively easy tomatoes to grow, there are still a few important things you should know about Campari Tomato care. 

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.

Sunlight 

Campari Tomatoes need full sunlight to thrive and produce healthy fruit. They need at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. When growing indoors, they either need to be by a very sunny window or will need the help of grow lights. 

Soil

These tomatoes will require soil that is nutrient-rich. Most store-bought potting soils would be perfect for starting your tomato plant. If you are planting where you are unsure of the soil nutrient levels, you can always check the pH of your soil with at-home testers or purchase the proper soil amendments. 

A woman watering a garden.

Water

The Campari tomato will need to be kept on a consistent watering schedule. While they were bred to be drought-resistant, all tomatoes need to have moist, well-drained soil to thrive and produce the best crop. 

Fertilizer

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

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.

Disease

One major feature of Campari Tomatoes is that they are pretty disease-resistant. But there are a few things that you need to watch out for when growing your tomato plant.

Campari Tomatoes have very delicate skin, so cracking can affect your tomatoes if you do not water them evenly or enough in general. The other is blossom end rot, which is where brown or black patches will show at the bottom of the tomato — this is caused by soil that does not contain enough calcium or by uneven watering. 

To learn how to detect, treat, and take steps to prevent diseases, read our tomato diseases guide. 

Diseased tomato plant.

Pests

Like any tomato plant, Camparis are not resistant to various garden pests. Some of the more common ones are different worms and mites. You want to get rid of these pests once you spot them since they can destroy your beautiful tomato plant in a short amount of time.

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

When To Harvest Campari Tomatoes

Campari Tomatoes in a wicker bowl.

Harvest your Campari plant once the tomatoes become nice and plump and turn a deep red color all over. Do not let them over-ripen on the vine since that can invite diseases and pests. 

Common Uses For the Campari Tomato

As stated before, these are a favorite in supermarkets, restaurants, markets, and the like. There are many ways to use and enjoy the Campari Tomato.

Taste

These tomatoes have a thin, delicate skin and have a textbook acidic-to-sweet ratio which makes them popular for cooking, canning, and eating raw. They are very juicy which makes for delicious fresh salsas or juice concoctions.

Cooking 

Campari Tomatoes can be used to create flavorful tomato sauces, chili, stews, soups, casseroles, tarts — you name it! If you have a favorite recipe for marinara sauce, why not use Camparis the next time you make it? 

Canning

As mentioned before these tomatoes are great for salsa and sauce so canning these tomatoes is one way to preserve your Campari harvest to use after tomato season has ended. You can use some of your canned homegrown tomatoes for cooking your favorite stew or sauce on a cold winter’s day. 

Canning tomato sauce in glass jars.

Recipes

Campari Tomatoes are versatile tomatoes but most people use them for sauces because of the balance of sweetness and acidity. Here are a few recipes to get you started:

Keto Tomato Marinara Sauce

Parmesan Roasted Campari Tomatoes

Tomato Basil Soup

Salsa in a glass jar.

Health Benefits Of The Campari Tomato

All tomatoes have vitamins and minerals that are good for our bodies such as antioxidants, lycopene, vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and vitamin B. Tomatoes aren’t just beautiful and tasty fruit — it turns out they’re a really healthy, too.

Buying Seeds Or Plants

If you want to plant your own seeds, you can purchase Campari tomato seeds online or even sometimes locally at plant nurseries. Since this is a popular tomato variety, chances are good that you can even find starter plants at local nurseries or big box garden centers.

Where To Buy The Campari Tomato

Purchasing Campari tomatoes is pretty easy — in fact, they’re probably on your local supermarket’s shelf right now. They are usually available all season long, since this was one of the reasons these tomatoes were cultivated. 

Wrapping Up The Campari Tomato 

The Campari Tomato is a fairly easy tomato to grow from seed or starter plant. They are bred to be disease resistant require basic tomato care, and can even be grown indoors under proper conditions. The small tomatoes are delicious and can be used raw or cooked in all kinds of recipes. Even if you don’t grow your own Camparis, they’re widely available in grocery produce departments for you to enjoy year-round.

Let us know if you have ever grown Campari tomatoes in your garden or if you have a favorite tomato recipe you’d like to share. To read about other tomatoes, click here for our tomato blog posts.

Kathleen Kocar

Thursday 8th of September 2022

I just save the seeds from the tomatoes I buy in the store. No need to buy seeds separately. Then you can just save the seeds from the tomatoes you grow for the next year!