A tomato thatâ€™s named after a wild pig. What next? Given its interesting name, you may imagine that the Pink Boar tomato may be an unusual fruit. And you would be right. From the outside, with the distinctive green stripes running down across the red, to the juicy, tasty insides, this is a tomato to take note of.
If you want a low-maintenance tomato that has a slightly different (but delicious) taste than the average tomato, then keep reading to learn if the Pink Boar tomato is right for your garden!
History of the Pink Boar Tomato
The Pink Boar is an heirloom tomato bred by tomato grower and breeder, Brad Gates and is a variety of the Wild Boar series. After growing heirloom tomatoes for the taste, Brad began to breed his own varieties to enhance this further, and to introduce interesting looks.
Characteristics of the Pink Boar Tomato
As an indeterminate tomato, the Pink Boar grows vines that lengthen, rather than bushing upwards. The plants need to be staked and also grow well on trellises.
Pink Boar tomatoes are mid-season tomatoes, with fruit maturing 70-80 days after transplanting in the garden.
The Pink Boar tomato is an attractive tomato. The skin is red, with a strong pink tinge. It can vary from a lighter shade to a darker one. The skin is streaked with shiny green stripes running vertically. The insides of the tomatoes are quite dark red.
Like other heirloom tomatoes, the Pink Boar has a distinctive flavor, described as slightly smoky, with a tangy sweetness.
Pink Boar tomatoes are relatively small, weighing 2 to 4 ounces (60-120 grams). They are usually about 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) in diameter.
Because the Pink Boar tomato fruits early in the season, it does well in slightly cooler climates. It is not frost-resistant, though, so it should not be grown in planting zones below 8. They donâ€™t tolerate frost well, so they should only be planted out after the last spring frost.
Pink Boars can tolerate zones 11 and 12, but you need to make sure the plants get enough water.
Size and Spacing
Pink Boar tomato plants can be planted about 24 inches (60 cm) apart, but you will need to plant a stake between two plants and use some wire between stakes to create a rough trellis for the vines to wrap around.
Pink Boar tomatoes have self-pollinating and rely on agents, such as wind and bees to get the pollen from the stamen to the pistils.
In general, tomatoes are un-fussy plants and relatively easy to care for. The Pink Boar tomato takes this even further. It is a hardy plant, grows vigorously and is very productive.
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.Â
Like its cousins, the Pink Boar tomato needs full sunlight, which translates to at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight a day. It can grow fairly well in semi-sun, but will not do as well as in the full sun.
The Pink Boar tomato prefers clay soil that has amendments to loosen it or loamy soil that has a lot of rich, organic matter. Above all, the soil must be well-draining.
If you give your Pink Boar tomato plant too much water, it will weaken, or even kill, the plant. It shouldnâ€™t be necessary to water more than once a week, making sure you soak the water to a depth of 7 inches (12.5 cm). If you live in a very dry climate, or the plant is over-dry, then you may need to water more often.
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.
An indeterminate plant like the Pink Boar can invest a lot of energy into growing long vines, rather than developing fruit. 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.
Pink Boar tomatoes are susceptible to the same diseases that plague most tomato plants. The most common of these are early blight, bacterial canker, and bacterial speck. The evidence of the diseases is usually black spots on the fruit.
You can use fungicidal sprays but should make sure they are organic as far as possible. You should also remove any affected plants as soon as you see evidence of diseases.
To learn how to detect, treat, and take steps to prevent diseases, read our tomato diseases guide.
Hornworms are one of the pests that attack Pink Boar tomatoes. They are usually controlled naturally, but you can consult your local garden store if the problem persists. Aphids are also a common pest and can mostly be washed off with a strong stream of water. It is also valuable to consider introducing their natural predator, the ladybug, onto your plants.
Whiteflies lay their eggs under the leaves. Most of these can be washed off with insecticidal soap.
For information to help you spot, eliminate, and deter 15 different pests, visit our guide on common tomato pests.
When to Harvest Pink Boar Tomatoes
The best time to harvest Pink Boar Tomatoes is fairly early in the season — in warmer zones, start checking them in mid-June. These tomatoes can be picked green and they’ll continue to ripen. However, if you leave them on the plants for longer, they’ll ripen and have a stronger taste.
Common Uses of Pink Boar Tomatoes
There is nothing like a flavorful tomato to add some zing to your cooking. The Pink Boar tomato has a strong taste and it’s juicy, making it suitable for all types of dishes, including stews, tomato sauces, and bolognese sauce.
Tomatoes that are richly flavored, like the Pink Boar, are great to eat raw. They can be sliced and used in salads and as a garnish on dishes.
Canning / Freezing / Drying
Pink Boar tomatoes can be preserved by canning, freezing, or drying. All of these processes are effective, but take note of how long you will need to keep them and choose the most appropriate method.
Canning can be quite a finicky process so, to keep the food safe, make sure you follow the steps carefully. Click here to check how to can tomatoes correctly.
Pink Boar tomatoes are great in:
Health Benefits of Pink Boar Tomatoes
The Pink Boar contains vitamin C (for cell growth a stronger immune system) and vitamin A (for immunity, vision, and growth). They also contain high levels of lycopene, which is thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart problems.
Where to Buy Pink Boar Tomato Plants or Seeds
Where to Buy Pink Boar Tomatoes
You may be lucky enough to find some Pink Boar tomatoes at your local grocery store, but heirloom tomatoes aren’t usually grown commercially and sold retail. You’re more likely to find them at a farmersâ€™ market or roadside farm stands.
Wrapping up the Pink Boar Tomato
The Pink Boar tomato is striking with its dark red skin and glossy green stripes. Even though it produces fairly small tomatoes, they’re loaded with a unique flavor and juiciness that make them favorites for eating raw and in many delicious cooked dishes.
Are you a lucky gardener who grows Pink Boar tomatoes in your garden? Let us know about them in the comments section below! To read about other tomato varieties, click here for our tomato blog posts.