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The Raspberry Lyanna Tomato

We may as well let you know right away that the Raspberry Lyanna tomato, while delicious, doesn’t taste like a raspberry!  Instead, the name comes from the beautiful pink-red color the fruit turns when it ripens.  But don’t let the absence of raspberries in the taste put you off – there’s plenty to love about this tomato that falls into an interesting category of tomatoes.

If you’ve never heard of a Raspberry Lyanna tomato before, keep reading to learn about it.  You might decide to track down a plant or two for your garden this spring!

Four ripe pink tomatoes on the vine.

History of the Raspberry Lyanna Tomato

The Raspberry Lyanna tomato comes from Russia, although the specific details of its cultivation are unknown.  Some believe the tomato’s name is actually a misspelling since the name “Lyanna” isn’t of Russian origin.

Characteristics of the Raspberry Lyanna Tomato

The Raspberry Lyanna is a semi-determinate heirloom tomato.  (Did you think they had to be one or the other?  I did.)  This means its growth pattern is sturdy and bushy, like a determinate, but it produces fruit throughout the season, like an indeterminate.  It has the best of both tomato worlds!

A Raspberry Lyanna grows to a height of 3-5’ which makes it a great candidate for container gardening.  Be aware it’s a productive plant that needs sturdy stakes or cages for supporting the vines and fruit.

A Raspberry Lyanna tomato against a white background.

Ripening Season

Raspberry Lyanna tomatoes are mid-season tomatoes and the fruit matures after 70 days.

Tomato Qualities

A Raspberry Lyanna tomato has firm flesh with a smooth skin.  The fruit is described by many as having no blemishes and few seeds.  Gardeners in online forums often mention what a “pretty” tomato it is.

Tomato Size

A Raspberry Lyanna tomato is medium-sized and round, weighing 6-8 oz.

Closeup of a single pink tomato on the vine.

Planting Zones

The specific zones Raspberry Lyannas will grow in aren’t readily available.  The ideal upper temperatures for these tomatoes is 75-95 degrees F with the low temperatures not below 50 degrees.

Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last spring frost in your area.  Plant outside when nighttime temperatures stay above 50 degrees.

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.

You can plant Raspberry Lyanna tomatoes 18″ apart if you’re diligent about pruning/pinching.  Otherwise, plant them 36″ apart.  Remember to put stakes or cages in place for that future growth.

Pollination

Like all tomatoes, Raspberry Lyannas are self-pollinating.  Bees and wind are all that’s needed to get the job done.

Plant 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.

Raspberry Lyanna tomatoes require normal tomato care.

Sunlight

Tomatoes need 6-8 hours of sunshine a day.

Soil

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.

Water

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.

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/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.

Disease

All tomatoes are susceptible to diseases, so it’s always a good idea to take normal precautions against the common 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 and removing any foliage in contact with the soil are your best defenses against tomato plant disease.

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

Pests 

Pests love tomatoes as much as we do. Aphids, whiteflies, tomato hornworms, slugs, pill bugs, stink bugs, and rodents are just a few of the critters you’ll have to be on the lookout for. 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 Raspberry Lyanna Tomatoes

Check your Raspberry Lyannas in mid-July to see if any fruits are the gorgeous pink color it’s named after.  You’ll be able to continue picking tomatoes until the first frost (typically in late September).

Gardeners have mentioned that Raspberry Lyanna fruit holds up well at room temperature after harvesting.

Three pink tomatoes in a bowl on a counter.

Common Uses For Raspberry Lyanna Tomatoes

The consensus seems to be that Raspberry Lyanna tomatoes are wonderful “all purpose” tomatoes (with one exception that I’ll mention below).

What Does This Tomato Taste Like?

Some of the taste reports of a Raspberry Lyanna tomato are: “sweet and rich,” “best tasting tomato in my garden,” “one of the most delicious tomatoes I’ve ever tasted.”  It’s sweet flavor tends to put it at the top of taste rankings.

Cooking

Use Raspberry Lyannas in all your favorite recipes – sauces, stews, soups, chili, casseroles.

Eating Raw

Eating fresh seems to be the favored way to enjoy a Raspberry Lyanna.  It might be too small to slice for traditional sandwiches or burgers (it’s nowhere near beefsteak size), but you can use it in tacos or pita sandwiches, salads, fresh salsas, pico de gallo, and bruschetta toppings.

Canning / Freezing / Drying

Raspberry Lyanna tomatoes are heavy producers and chances are you’ll need to preserve your harvest.  These tomatoes do well for canning, freezing, and drying.

Recipe Ideas 

 Almond Ricotta Caprese Salad

Southern Tomato Pie

Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Panzerotti (a deep-fried Italian treat!)

Summer Panzanella

Summer Tomato and Herb Dip

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

All tomatoes are high in fiber, 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.

Picked pink tomatoes.

Where to Buy Raspberry Lyanna Tomato Plants or Seeds

Surprisingly, Raspberry Lyanna tomato seeds aren’t widely sold online, but they can be purchased from Rare Seeds and a few other online resources.  If you happen to come across them at nurseries or garden centers where you live, you may want to make a note of the retailer so you can return the following year.

Where to Buy Raspberry Lyanna Tomatoes

Since the seeds for these tomatoes are hard to find, you can bet finding the actual fruit is even harder.  You’ll likely have to scour farmers markets, make calls to specialty produce stores, or even contact nearby tomato farms to find out if anyone grows them in your area.  (Or you can just grow them yourself!)

Wrapping Up the Raspberry Lyanna Tomato

Closeup of pink tomatoes on the vine.

A Raspberry Lyanna tomato is one of those fun, hard-to-come-across varieties that has made a positive impression with home growers who’ve been lucky enough to grow it.  The reviews on the appearance and taste of this tomato are testimony of what a great addition it would make to a kitchen garden.  Because it’s a semi-determinate, it’s ideal for those who don’t have the space for an indeterminate, but still want a continuous yield of homegrown tomatoes all season long.

Are you one of the lucky gardeners who grow Raspberry Lyanna tomatoes in your garden? Let us know in the comments section below! To read about other tomato varieties, click here for our tomato blog posts.