Special Use Tomatoes - Opalka

Rated 2.00 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)


Solanum lycopersicum

HEIRLOOM All the components of an excellent saucing tomato – solid, meaty flesh and rich flavor with hardly any seeds. You’ll end up growing this every year to fill the pantry with jars of tomatoes! Elongated 9-11 oz fruit. Indeterminate. (0.15 Gram Packet)


The first bite of a friend’s homegrown tomatoes is the clarion call to gardening for many people. The flavor is incomparable and it lingers in our memories through the long winter days. And so begins the epic journey of devotion that is growing tomatoes. Native to the dry highlands of Peru, these plants are rather sensitive to the growing conditions found in much of the US, requiring some extra vigilance by the grower to mitigate plant diseases. Generally, they prefer good air flow from sturdy trellising and low humidity, although there are many varieties that have been selected to perform well under different conditions. The plants are either determinate, or indeterminate. On determinate plants the fruits ripen at one time and don’t necessarily need to be staked. Indeterminate plants continue growing until frost with fruit ripening until the plant dies. Nutrients: dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and K, potassium, manganese.

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SKU: 084-021-1-C Category:

Product Description

Average Seed / oz Seed / 100′ Row Average Yield / 100′ Row Days to Harvest
9000 1/2 gr 150 lbs 85
Planting Season Ideal Soil Temp Sun Frost Tolerance
After Last Frost 70-90°F Full Sun Frost Sensitive
Sowing Method Seed Depth Direct Seed Spacing Seeds Per Packet
Transplant 1/4″ NA 45
Mature Spacing Days to Sprout Production Cycle Seed Viability
18-24″ 6-14 Annual 4-7 years

Site Selection

Tomatoes are frost-sensitive annuals that require at least 8 hours of direct sun daily. Plant in soil that is fertile, well-drained, and high in organic matter.


Sow tomato seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date. Plant seed 1/4" deep in 3-4" pots. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 70-90°F. Seeds will sprout in 6-14 days. Transplant outdoors once the danger of frost has passed and temperatures have warmed. Plant 18-24" apart in rows 3' apart. When planting, sink plants 12-18" deep, right up to the base of the first leaves. This will promote good root development. Most indeterminate varieties require caging, staking or trellising. Determinate varieties may form upright bushy plants that do not require staking. Provide consistent moisture for the best yields.

To reduce the risk of disease, good pruning and watering practices are important. Prune mature plants to promote good air circulation. Also, water only the roots and soil, not the plant leaves. Mulching also helps reduce disease and maintain consistent soil moisture.


Time to maturity (harvest) for tomatoes differs greatly, depending on the variety (60-85 days). Determinate varieties mature earlier and all fruits mature at once. Indeterminate varieties require more time to maturity and will produce fruits all season.

Seed Saving

Perfect, self-fertile flowers are individual or in clusters of 2-20 flowers, depending on the variety. Being self-fertile, only one plant is needed for seed production, but there is a possibility of cross-pollination, so obey isolation distances or bag flowers for protection. Allow fruits to ripen beyond eating stage on the vine before harvesting for seed production. Cut the tomato in half and squeeze the jelly and seed goo into a jar. Add an equal amount of water to the goo. Loosely cover the container and place in a warm location for about 3 days. Stir or swirl once a day. A layer of fungus will begin to appear on the top of the mixture after a couple of days. This fungus not only eats the gelatinous coat that surrounds each seed and prevents germination, it also produces antibiotics that help to control seed-borne diseases like bacterial spot, canker, and speck. After 3 days are up, put a few more inches of water in your jar with your fermented goo, and allow the contents to settle. Once settled you can slowly pour off the water along with the tomato pulp and immature seeds, which will float. Viable seeds are heavy and will sink to the bottom. At this point you can pour all of your seeds and water into a colander to finish cleaning. Tap seeds out onto a fine mesh screen, paper towels, or a few layers of newspaper and allow to dry for a few days before storing.

Additional information

Weight 1 g

0.15 grams – Packet

2 reviews for Opalka

  1. 2 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I ordered opalkas from sowtrueseed for the first time this year and have been incredibly disappointed. I’m growing six opalka plants. They are busy, healthy, and grow vigorously, setting tons of fruit. However, they look closer to a very large cherry tomato than the paste tomato I was expecting. Of all the plants, one of them is growing the cherry-like tomatoes, but has also set the more pepper-shaped opalka tomatoes I expected. Very strange.

    The taste is fine. They are dense like a paste, but the shape and size of a cherry tomato-not elongated, nor anywhere near 8 ounces.

    It’s as though they’re a hybrid. They are absolutely not the tomatoes they are supposed to be.

    • :

      Hi Sasha,

      Thank you for leaving your review about your experiences with the tomatoes. I’m so sorry you’re not getting the tomato crop you expected.

      The whole growing experience seems to be quite bizarre. When you were describing the tomatoes as cherry-like then my mind went to either a) you somehow received the wrong seeds or b) cross-pollination had caused a hybrid.

      Both these things are unlikely but possible events. But describing seeing Opalka and cherry-like tomatoes on the same plant is a true curiosity. If it was a genetic issue (wrong seeds or accidental hybrid) then the genes would express pretty uniformly on the same plant. With different types of shaped fruits, I wonder if it is a phenotype trait that you are experiencing. Perhaps different water or nutrients or temperatures have caused stunted tomato growth in some fruits.

      This is just open-minded ideas to try and troubleshoot the possible problems. Being agriculture, there is a good chance we’ll never work out what’s going on! I’d be extremely interested in seeing some pictures and in your continued observations, to see if later fruit mature more normally. We’ll also check with our tomato farmer to see if they have any experience with this.

  2. 2 out of 5


    I experienced the same problem! Started 6 plants and got 1 Opalka. The other 5 were “cherry” tomatoes. This put a major crimp in my plans for canning tomatoes. Ripped out the other 5 and had to replace with Bonnie plants 🙁

    • :

      Hi Debra, I’m really sorry to hear this. We thought it was an isolated incident because we had only heard from the previous reviewer. With your second experience we have gone ahead and pulled the entire lot of that seed. I know this doesn’t help with your tomato canning plans for this year and I’m really sorry about that. I’m going to send you an email so I can send you a selection of replacement seeds for next year. Thank you so much for letting us know about the issue with the seeds. We are now going to source a new lot for the 2018 season and investigate what happened with the last batch of seeds.

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