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The Yellow Pear Tomato

Who doesn’t love tomatoes that are relatively easy to grow, and bear a bright, tasty fruit? The Yellow Pear tomato is all that and much more – no points for guessing where the name comes from, though!

Although pear tomatoes come in orange and red variants, the yellow ones are the most common. Gardeners, both experienced and beginners, love to grow this variety in their gardens because of their unique cute shapes and colors.

If you’re looking to add a new variety of tomatoes to your garden this year, let me tell you why this tomato variant may be the perfect fit for you. Read on to know more!

Yellow Pear tomatoes on the vine.
Yellow Pear tomatoes are a fun variety for your garden and your kitchen.

History of Yellow Pear Tomatoes

Although it’s difficult to determine the exact year when humans started cultivating this variety of tomatoes, some sources claim that it’s as old as the fur trade which started in the 16th century. During this time, Europe began to plant pear tomatoes from the Americas.

However, the first record of them being grown was in 1805 by renowned biologist Christiaan Hendrik Persoon. Yellow tomatoes were then introduced to the western world and became popular in North America pretty quickly. By 1847, it was one of the three tomato varieties that was widely cultivated in the USA. In 1998, there were 25 variants of the Yellow Pears offered by the Seed Savers Exchange (SSE), the leader in heirloom seed preservation and a partner of heirloom tomato gardeners.

Characteristics of the Yellow Pear Tomato

Yellow Pear tomato plants belong to the indeterminate heirloom tomato group. This tomato variety bears distinctively mild-flavored, pear-shaped tomatoes.

Yellow Pear tomato plant with fruit.

Ripening Season (Early, Late, Etc.)

Yellow Pears are a mid-season plant. The fruits will be plump, ripe, and ready to be picked at about the 70 to 80-day mark.

Tomato Qualities: Tart, Sweet, Firm, Etc.

The ripe fruits of these small, yellow pear-shaped tomatoes have a sweet, juicy, and mild flavor that makes them the perfect tomatoes for fresh salads and summer sandwiches.

Tomato Size

When they are ripe and ready to be harvested, these bite-sized tomatoes will grow to between 1 and 2 inches in length. Each fruit weighs about an ounce.

Closeup of Yellow Pear tomato fruit.

Planting Zones

Yellow Pear tomatoes grow well in almost all zones from 2 to 12. Initially sow the seed indoors for 6 to 8 weeks before the average last frost date. Once the seedlings germinate, tomato cultivation can be moved outdoors once all the danger of frost has passed and the soil’s temperature is at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Size and Spacing

The seeds take a couple of weeks — around 2 to 3 — to germinate, and will be 4 to 6 inches by week 8.

When you’re planting them outside, make sure to give them ample space to grow, approximately 36 inches in between.

Keep in mind that Yellow Pear tomatoes are indeterminate vines, which means they can reach up to 12 feet in height. Make sure that you have a support structure ready, like a wire tomato cage. If they’re left to grow on the ground, they can become susceptible to pests and insects.

Pollination

Since Yellow Pears are self-pollinating like most heirloom tomatoes, they only need natural pollinators like honeybees, bumblebees, and the wind.

Closeup of tomato blossoms.

Plant Care

The proper care for Yellow Pear tomato plants doesn’t entail anything extraordinary. Just give them normal care and a support structure to help them grow properly.

Sunlight

When transferring them outdoors, pick a sunny spot as they grow best in full sunlight — 6 or more hours a day will be sufficient. A shade cloth or similar protection may be needed when it gets very hot in summer.

Soil

Soil conditions need to be soft, well-tilled, and full of nutrients. Quality peat-based soil with compost will give you a successful tomato crop. It also needs slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5 to 6 for the best results. Since this plant is not deeply rooted, its soil requirements don’t need to be more than 4 to 5 inches to grow.

You’ll want to avoid extremes in soil moisture since it can cause calcium deficiency in your tomato fruits and a black tissue to form on the surface where rot can enter.

Row of tomato plants in soil.

Water

Once they are planted, water them regularly. During the hottest summer weather, make sure that the soil is kept moist with regular watering. You can also use a shade cloth if required. Using mulch soil can help retain moisture.

Fertilizer

When transplanting, make sure you give at least two applications of balanced fertilizer. Compost tea should be used, but for side applications, you can use dry fertilizer. You can also use liquid fertilizer for better absorption of nutrients through the roots and leaves.

After transplanting, add fertilizer every 3 to 4 weeks.

Pruning/Pinching

The Yellow Pear tomato plant sprawls over a large area and is pretty hardy in nature. You will need to initially pinch off the leaves on the lower side. While planting outdoors, set the plant at an angle where the stem is horizontal underground but upright above ground.

Person pinching sucker off tomato plant.

Disease

The Yellow Pear bears resistant tomatoes that don’t succumb to common diseases. More specifically, it is resistant to Fusarium and Verticillium wilts.

Pests

These tomatoes are susceptible to pests like worms, caterpillars, and aphids. Even some birds prize the tasty yellow fruits (can’t blame them!). However, for an experienced gardener, these problems are easy to handle with common measures like netting, soap sprays, and similar techniques.

When to Harvest Yellow Pear Tomatoes?

You will know your Yellow Pears are ready when they come off the vine easily and have a tell-tale golden-yellow color without any green. You’ll need a 1-2 week period for ripe tomatoes to develop.

Most plants continue to bear fruit up to two months after the first harvest. This, however, depends on the condition of the soil and the weather. This is a vigorous plant that can survive the coldness of fall so expect to enjoy the fruits of these productive vines for a long time!

Pile of picked Yellow Pear tomatoes.

Common Uses for Yellow Pear Tomatoes

These mild-flavored, pear-shaped tomatoes are most commonly consumed whole as a snack or sliced and diced into smaller pieces which are eaten fresh.

What Does This Tomato Taste Like?

Yellow Pear tomatoes have a sweet and juicy taste that is mild and not overpowering.

Cooking

Whatever you can do with regular popular tomatoes, you can also do with Yellow Pear-shaped tomatoes. It gives pastas and salsas a less intense flavor.

Overhead view of a pizza with white sauce ad yellow tomatoes.

Eating Raw

Because of their more delicate flavor, these tomatoes make a great table-fruit that can be enjoyed any time of day. You can also add tomatoes in salads with green bell peppers, arugula leaves, and greens. Many chefs prefer this variety of tomato as a salad topper for its appetizing color and subtle flavor.

Canning / Freezing / Drying

This variant of tomatoes can be dried and stored, and also used to make fresh tomato preserves.

Recipe Ideas

Summer Tomato Salad

Yellow Pear Tomato Preserves

Yellow Pear and Cherry Tomato Salad

A salad with various tomatoes, including yellow tomatoes.

Health Benefits of Yellow Pear Tomatoes

Yellow pear tomatoes have beta-carotene that’s known to neutralize cancer-causing free radicals. They also contain vitamin C, niacin, folate, and potassium which are great for regulating blood pressure, and improving nerve function and muscle control.

Where to Buy Yellow Pear Tomato Plants or Seeds

Yellow Pear tomato seeds are widely available in online stores, including Amazon.

Where to Buy Yellow Pear Tomatoes

While they may be difficult to find in regular grocery stores, you’re more likely to find them in farmers’ markets, specialty produce shops, and farm stands.

Wrapping Up: The Perfect Garden Addition for Tomato Lovers

Yellow Pear tomatoes on a board.

Yellow Pear tomatoes are among the best varieties of tomatoes. They provide nutrition while being delicious. It may take a little extra effort to care for these plants, but it’s worth it in the long run. Apart from adding diversity to your palate, they also add to your garden’s aesthetics by being the prettiest tomatoes with their bright colors.

Have you grown Yellow Pear tomatoes or do you have a favorite place to buy them? Let us know in the comments section below! To read about other tasty tomatoes, click here for our other tomato blog posts.