Top 10 Facts About Tomatoes

Homegrown cherry tomatoes growing

Tomatoes are easy to grow and are becoming a more and more popular crop. A couple of tomato plants will produce hundreds of fruit and keep you in fresh tomatoes from mid Summer right through to early Autumn. Since now is the time to start sowing your tomato seeds we have compiled our top 10 list of interesting facts about this prolific plant to stoke up your interest.Our full range of our ‘IONA’ tomato seeds are available from our seed shop here.


Visit our Tomato Shop Here

  • Tomatoes originally came from South America, where their Aztec name translated to plump thing with a navel.
  • The scientific name for tomato is Lycopersicon lycopersicum meaning wolf peach.
  •  People used to be afraid to eat tomatoes, thinking them poisonous due to their relation to the belladonna or (deadly nightshade) plant.
  • Tomatoes increase in weight as they ripen, even after harvesting.
  • Tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene which is important for the health of the prostate gland in men.
  • They were first brought to Europe in the mid 1500’s.
  • The first tomatoes in Europe were yellow varieties, the Italian for tomato is pomodoro and translates to golden apple.
  • A tomato is a fruit. The confusion arose after the 1890s when the US supreme court named them a vegetable for taxation purposes. A fruit is the edible part of the plant containing seeds, a vegetable is stem, leaf or root.
  • There is no mention of tomatoes in either the bible or in the complete works of shakespeare.
  • 600,000 tomato seeds traveled to the International Space Station and back before being grown in school classrooms all over Canada as part of the ‘Tomatosphere I, II, III and IV’ experiments.
  • There are over 10,000 varieties of tomato, these come in a variety of colours including pink, purple, black, yellow and white.

A full list of seeds and growing equipment for tomato plants is available here at the tomato shop.

  1. bonnie payette

    should fresh picked tomatoes be refrigerated? I only refrigerate mine if they seem like they are getting overly ripe.

    1. yazmin

      I guess bonie, I never really thought that tomatoes needed to be in the refrigerator unless they are cut open. My granddad owns a garden that is famous in Mississippi and he told me that you should put it in there before it gets like that…..

        1. Andrew

          Hi Barbie. Tomatoes are considered a high potassium fruit, but their form can make a huge difference (1 cup servings): tomato paste 2455 mg. tomato puree 1065 mg. tomatoes, fresh 400 mg. I hope this helps. Andrew

    1. Andrew

      Hi Kookie. Tomatoes are a fruit by their botanic definition but were classified as a vegetable in the States for some tax purpose I think. Technically they are a fruit and a fruit only but I guess with the government they can be anything they want them to be!

  2. Rafay

    Hi,Rafay speaking,I want to know if you or anyone can make tomato sauce out of tomato because prego brand is out of stock at Dubai! Pls reply with recipient if possible.

  3. bob

    hey I’m doing my homework and its on fruit and veg I have decided tomatoes are there any more facts you know that could help me?
    thx Bob
    (my name is actually Bob)

    1. Andrew

      Hi Josey
      This is blossom end rot which is due to a lack of calcium. It is most likely caused by insufficient watering which is common if growing in containers or grow bags. Water transports calcium and if there isn’t sufficient flow the fruit ends will be starved leading to cell wall damage and rot. Keep you plants well watered to combat this problem.
      I hope this helps

    1. Andrew

      Do you normally eat tomato leaves? Also, and I am not trying to be smart, it’s ‘their leaves’ rather than ‘they’re leaves’. They’re is an abbreviation (shortened version) of ‘they are’. Don’t give up eating tomatoes they’re delicious!

    1. Andrew

      Hi A Guy. I have amended this to read ‘South America’, my apologies for not checking this and my poor knowledge of geography and ancient civilisations!

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