Some tomatoes have names that really pique one’s curiosity to learn their stories — the Green Zebra, the Fourth of July, the Mortgage Lifter, for instance. The Kellogg’s Breakfast tomato is another tomato with a story behind the name, although it’s not what you might initially guess! The name actually has to do with the gorgeous orange color of the tomato’s flesh.
Keep reading to learn about this tomato that’s a hit with home growers — you might decide that a Kellogg’s Breakfast tomato will be the new tomato variety in your garden this summer.
History of the Kellogg’s Breakfast Tomato
The Kellogg Breakfast tomato was named by Darrell Kellogg, a Seed Saver Exchange (SSE) member and not the Kellogg of cereal fame (that’s Will Keith Kellogg). The tomato itself originated in West Virginia and came to Darrell Kellogg from a friend. He grew the tomato in his Michigan garden and liked it so much that he saved the seeds from the fruit and continued growing them.
Kellogg gave seeds to Bill Minkey who then introduced the seeds to SSE in 1993. From there the tomato has become quite popular among fans of tasty heirloom varieties.
The “breakfast” part of the tomato’s name is supposedly because the beautiful orange color of the inside of the tomato reminds people of orange juice.
Characteristics of the Kellogg’s Breakfast Tomato
The Kellogg Breakfast tomato is an indeterminate, heirloom and the vines grow from 6-10 feet tall. It produces large carrot-orange beefsteak tomatoes. It’s a very productive tomato that requires staking or a very sturdy garden structure to support the weight of the fruit on the vines.
Mid- to late-season tomato. After transplanting it takes 80 days for fruit to mature and the plant produces fruit for weeks until the first frost.
The fruit is meaty, almost seedless, and thin-skinned.
Large, slightly flattened beefsteak-style tomato that weighs 14-32 ounces.
The Kellogg Breakfast tomato grows in zones 3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9.
Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last spring frost. Seeds germinate within 7-14 days.
Size and Spacing
Tomato seedlings should be planted deeply with only the top 1-2 sets of leaves showing (after planting, pinch off the others). Moisten the soil prior to planting. Plant tomatoes 24-36 inches apart and put either large cages, stakes, or some sort of sturdy structure in place for tying the vines to.
Like most heirloom tomatoes, the Kellog’s Breakfast tomato only needs natural pollinators like honeybees, bumblebees, and wind.
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!
The Kellogg’s Breakfast tomato doesn’t seem to require anything but normal tomato care, other than perhaps a little more water than the average tomato variety.
Tomatoes require full sun — at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.
Should be acidic (6.5 pH), well-draining, and amended with compost and decomposed manure to a depth of 24-36 inches.
Spread a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around your tomato plants, but keep the ground clear of mulch three inches around the base of the plant. Water on a regular basis at the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry. Give this tomato 1 1/2 inches of water each week.
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.
Lush, bushy tomato plants won’t give you many (if any tomatoes). 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.
Kellogg’s Breakfast tomato is resistant to blossom end rot and sunscald. It’s best to take normal precautions against the common tomato diseases like blight, fusarium wilt, Septoria leaf spot, Verticillium wilt, and Southern bacterial wilt. Keeping the foliage dry by watering the base of the plant is your best defense against tomato plant disease.
To learn how to detect, treat, and take steps to prevent diseases, read our tomato diseases guide.
Tomatoes suffer a number of pests including aphids, whiteflies, tomato hornworms, slugs, pill bugs, stink bugs, and rodents. Companion plants like marigolds, catnip, fennel, dill, basil, and cilantro repel common tomato pests. Netting helps keep out birds and larger pests, but can also interfere with beneficial insects and pollinators.
For information to help you spot, eliminate, and deter 15 different pests, visit our guide on common tomato pests.
When to Harvest Kellogg’s Breakfast Tomatoes
Kellog’s Breakfast tomatoes are ready when they’re plump, heavy, and a carrot-orange color.
Common Uses For Kellogg’s Breakfast Tomatoes
These tomatoes are great for slicing, but they also have a good flavor in cooked foods.
What Does This Tomato Taste Like?
A Kellogg’s Breakfast tomato is described as having a flavor that is rich, with good acid-to-sugar ratio. Others report the tomato as “sweet and tangy.” What’s clear is that the flavor is what people rave about just as much as the gorgeous color of the fruit.
Kellogg’s Breakfast tomatoes make delicious sauces, chilies, soups, stews, and casseroles.
Raw seems to be a lot of people’s favorite way to eat this tomato. It’s a perfect slicing tomato for burgers and sandwiches or cubed in salads. It also adds a nice color to salsas and bruschetta toppings.
Canning / Freezing / Drying
Kellogg’s Breakfast tomato plants are reported as “very productive” and the fruit is very large. So you’ll probably need to preserve your harvest for enjoying after tomato season ends.
Tomatoes are some of the easiest produce to can. Click here for an article that will tell you everything you need to know to safely can and store your tomato harvest. Tomatoes may be canned just as themselves or made into chutneys, sauces, and salsas for canning.
Tomatoes can also be frozen, although you might never have thought abut doing that. Frozen tomatoes become mushy when thawed out, so use them for cooked foods. For the best way to freeze your tomatoes, read this article.
Making your own sun dried tomatoes will save money and give you better-tasting dried tomatoes than store-bought. This article covers three drying methods for creating delicious preserved tomatoes.
Health Benefits of Kellogg’s Breakfast Tomatoes
Tomatoes aren’t just delicious fruits from the garden — they’re healthy too. Tomatoes are high in vitamins C and K, potassium, and folate. They’re also one of the best dietary sources of lycopene, an antioxidant credited with reducing the risks of heart disease and cancer.
Where to Buy Kellogg’s Breakfast Tomato Plants or Seeds
It’s not likely you’ll find starter plants for the Kellogg Breakfast tomato, but seeds are available from many online retailers, including Amazon.com.
Where to Buy Kellogg’s Breakfast Tomatoes
Like most heirloom tomatoes, you won’t find Kellogg’s Breakfast tomatoes in chain grocery stores. They are sometimes available at specialty grocers or at farmers markets.
Wrapping Up the Kellogg’s Breakfast Tomato
The reviews that home growers have posted about the Kellogg Breakfast tomato are testimonials of what a great addition this tomato would make in your garden this year. While you may not decide to make the large beautiful orange-colored tomatoes a regular part of your breakfast table, they’re sure to show up at lunch or dinner!
Do you a suggestion about growing Kellogg’s Breakfast tomatoes or a favorite recipe to share? Leave it in the comments section below! And to read the stories behind other tomato varieties, click here for our other tomato-related blog posts.