The Mr. Stripey tomato is not like other tomatoes — but that’s what you might love about it! It has a sweet flavor, a generous size, and a gorgeous appearance that’s sure to spark lively discussion. It’s a fairly low-maintenance tomato variety that waits until the latter part of the summer to present you with pretty, tasty fruit (people say it’s worth the wait!).
Keep reading to learn all about the Mr. Stripey tomato and whether or not it’s right for your garden. You can plant one this spring and look forward to enjoying the striped fruit this summer!
History of the Mr. Stripey Tomato
The Mr. Stripey tomato is an heirloom variety that was introduced to the market in the early 1990s by a man named Wayne Hilton. Mr. Hilton previously owned several companies that helped both breed and produce tomato seeds, so it makes sense he would help promote tomato varieties like the Mr. Stripey.
Characteristics of the Mr. Stripey Tomato
These heirloom tomatoes are indeterminate, which means their vines grow quite long and need support like stakes, cages, or trellises. You can expect your plants to grow to be at least six feet tall!
Its appearance is what really separates this tomato from the rest. Mr. Stripey tomatoes have yellow and red stripes on the outside and a marbled interior of beautiful reds and yellows. Good looks is just one of the things that will make the Mr. Stripey your new favorite tomato.
The Mr. Stripey is a mid- to late-season tomato with fruit maturing after 80 days.
Mr. Stripey tomatoes are firm and sweet. Walk by your plants during harvest season and you’ll notice their sweet scent in the air.
These red and yellow fruits grow very large — weighing an average of 1-2 pounds each. Because of their size, Mr. Stripey tomatoes are considered beefsteak tomatoes.
These plants will grow wonderfully in zones 2-12. As long as they have plenty of sunlight and the ideal soil conditions, you won’t have a problem with them growing.
Size and Spacing
It’s important that these plants have the appropriate size in between them or they will not grow properly. Plants should be placed 3-4 feet apart. Rows will also need at least 3-4 feet in between them.
All tomatoes are self-pollinating and need only the assistance of bees and wind to get the job done.
Mr. Stripey tomatoes aren’t fussy to grow (another reason to grow one in your garden). They need the same care as your average tomato variety.
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!
Tomatoes typically need between 6-8 hours of sun a day.
The preferred soil conditions for tomatoes are well-draining, loamy, slightly acidic (pH 6.2 – 6.8), and amended with compost. Adding crushed or ground eggshells to the soil may also help prevent blossom end rot, a condition caused by calcium deficiency.
Tomatoes need the soil they’re growing in to be moist, but never soggy. 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. Most tomatoes need an inch 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.
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.
Tomato plants are prone to diseases, such as early and late blight. Certain diseases may cause a regular leaf to appear wilted, or make green leaves turn yellow. It’s critical to learn more about tomato plant diseases before growing your own tomatoes.
To learn how to detect, treat, and take steps to prevent diseases, read our tomato diseases guide.
Tomato hornworms are a true thorn in the side of all tomato growers. These green or blue caterpillars with a black or red horn on one end appear out of nowhere and quadruple in size in no time at all. They’ll eat through an entire tomato plant in a few days if they get the chance.
The best thing to do is remove them and drop them into soapy water. If you happen to have a pet bearded dragon or any other carnivorous or omnivorous lizard though, and you don’t use pesticides on your tomatoes, these hornworms are a favorite treat of those critters.
For information to help you spot, eliminate, and deter 15 different pests, visit our guide on common tomato pests.
When to Harvest Mr. Stripey Tomatoes
Mr. Stripey tomatoes will be ready for picking 80-85 days after transplanting in the garden — typically in mid- to late-July. Because it will keep producing fruit that ripens at different times, plan to keep visiting your Mr. Stripey for harvesting until the first frost hits.
Common Uses For Mr. Stripey Tomatoes
Mr. Stripey tomatoes are “slicer tomatoes” commonly used for sandwiches or salads. However, you can use them for anything from diced tomatoes on tacos to stuffed tomatoes to homemade spaghetti sauces or casseroles.
What Does This Tomato Taste Like?
These tomatoes are deliciously sweet, making them a wonderful choice for cooking, drying, and eating raw.
Cooking with these tomatoes will add a sweet flavor to your favorite dishes. They are not ideal for spicy dishes, such as chili. Instead, use them in dishes that lend themselves to a less acidic tomato flavor, such as pizza sauce or spaghetti. Their generous size makes them ideal for stuffed tomato recipes.
Eating these tomatoes raw is often the preferred way to eat them. Large, beefsteak tomatoes like these are perfect for completing a mouthwatering BLT or adding a layer of flavor to a salad.
Canning these tomatoes is a great way to enjoy your harvest year round. Because they are wonderful for sauces, consider making them in advance and canning them.
Because these tomatoes are so sweet, there are plenty of wonderful ways that you can enjoy them. Give these recipes a try!
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomatoes aren’t just pretty to look at, they are very nutritious fruits. They have plenty of Vitamin A and C. You’ll get a healthy dose of potassium and antioxidants, too! Include tomatoes in your diet to enjoy the wonderful health benefits that they offer.
Where to Buy Mr. Stripey Tomato Plants or Seeds
Where to Buy Mr. Stripey Tomatoes
Mr. Stripey tomatoes are easily found at local farmer’s markets, or if you happen to have a local farm that lets you pick your own tomatoes.
Wrapping Up the Mr. Stripey Tomato
The Mr. Stripey tomato is an easy-to-grow tomato plant that brings a sweet taste to the kitchen and an aesthetic appeal to the garden. The yellow/orange background with beautiful red stripes makes this tomato truly one of a kind. These large tomatoes can be used cooked or eaten raw.
Excited for more tomato content? Then visit our tomato page for growing tips, comprehensive guides, and tasty recipes!