The Gold Medal Tomato: A Sweet, Tangy Delight for Your Garden

The Gold Medal Tomato is a true gem in the world of heirloom tomatoes. This exceptional variety boasts a rich history, captivating appearance, and unparalleled flavor that will leave you craving for more. Whether you’re an avid gardener or a culinary enthusiast, growing and savoring these golden beauties is an experience you won’t want to miss.

What Is the Gold Medal Tomato?

The Gold Medal Tomato, also known as the “Living Toma-Hawke’s” or “Livingston’s Golden Queen,” is an heirloom variety that dates back to the late 19th century. Developed by a renowned horticulturist named Alexander W. Livingston, this tomato quickly gained popularity for its exceptional taste and stunning appearance.

Unlike the typical red tomatoes, the Gold Medal Tomato showcases a beautiful golden-orange hue that truly sets it apart. Its color is reminiscent of a sunset, with shades ranging from deep amber to brilliant saffron. When ripe, these tomatoes can weigh between 1 and 2 pounds, making them a substantial addition to any dish.

Golden Medal Tomato: Quick facts

  • Color: Rich golden-orange when fully ripe
  • Size: Large beefsteak type, 1-2 lbs
  • Shape: Round with slight ribbing
  • Taste: Perfectly balanced sweet-tart flavor, tangy brightness
  • Texture: Firm and meaty with juicy flesh
  • Plant Type: Indeterminate vines, 6-8 feet tall
  • Days to Maturity: 75-90 days from transplant
  • Yield: High yields of large tomatoes
  • Disease Resistance: Good overall disease resistance
  • Hardiness Zone: Grows well in zones 3-9

Pros

  • Exceptional rich, complex flavor
  • Beautiful golden-orange heirloom coloring
  • Meaty texture ideal for slicing
  • Generous yields on vigorous vines
  • Performs well in heat
  • Long harvest window until frost

Cons

  • Requires staking or caging for vine support
  • Not ideal for small spaces due to large plant size
  • Cracks if overripe or after heavy rains
  • Needs consistent moisture for the best flavor

Flavor Profile of the Golden Medal Tomato

The Golden Medal tomato is a true flavor revelation, offering a remarkably rich and complex taste profile that sets it apart from ordinary tomato varieties. With each bite, your taste buds are treated to a harmonious blend of sweetness and tangy brightness, punctuated by subtle earthy undertones that linger deliciously on the palate.

This heirloom gem boasts a depth of flavor reminiscent of sun-ripened tomatoes plucked straight from a lovingly tended garden, evoking nostalgia for the robust flavors of yesteryear. The juicy flesh bursts with an intensity of tomato essence that has been carefully cultivated and preserved over generations.

Beyond its exceptional taste, the Golden Medal tomato also impresses with its texture. The flesh is firm yet tender, offering a satisfying bite without being mealy or tough. This versatile quality allows the tomato to shine in a wide range of culinary applications, whether sliced for sandwiches, diced for salsas, or simply enjoyed on its own with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

Characteristics of the Golden Medal Tomato

The Golden Medal tomato is an indeterminate heirloom variety with vigorous vines that can reach heights of 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 meters). This robust plant is known for its resilience and ability to thrive in various growing conditions, making it a versatile choice for gardeners across different regions.

It is described as a prolific producer, yielding an abundance of large, beefsteak-style tomatoes that can weigh between 1-2 pounds (0.45-0.9 kg) each. These stunning fruits showcase a captivating golden-orange hue reminiscent of a sunset, with shades ranging from deep amber to brilliant saffron as they ripen.

Ripening Season

The Golden Medal tomato is a mid to late-season variety, typically reaching maturity around 75-90 days after transplanting, depending on growing conditions.

Tomato Qualities

The Golden Medal tomato is a round, beefsteak-style tomato with a firm, meaty texture and slightly thicker skin than some other varieties. Its exceptional flavor is often described as sweet and tangy, with a perfect balance of acidity and earthiness.

Planting Zones

The Golden Medal tomato is well-suited for cultivation in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9, flourishing in warm to hot climates with ample sunlight. However, it can also be grown in cooler regions with proper care and protection, such as using greenhouses or row covers.

Size and Spacing

When planting Golden Medal tomato seeds or transplants, it is recommended to space them 24-36 inches (60-90 cm) apart, allowing ample room for the plants to spread and develop their extensive root systems.

Pollination

Like most tomato varieties, the Golden Medal tomato is self-pollinating, but it can benefit from the assistance of natural pollinators like honeybees, bumblebees, and wind to ensure optimal fruit set.

Plant Care

Sunlight

The Golden Medal tomato requires a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day to ensure optimal growth and fruit production.

Soil

This tomato variety prefers well-draining, nutrient-rich soil with a slightly acidic pH range of 6.0-6.8. Amending the soil with compost and decomposed manure can help provide the necessary nutrients for healthy plant growth.

Water

Regular watering is essential for the Golden Medal tomato, with a recommended schedule of twice a week, early in the day to allow the foliage to dry by evening. Mulching can help retain moisture in the soil.

Fertilizer

Like most tomato varieties, the Golden Medal tomato requires specific nutrients, such as calcium, to produce its best crops of fruit. Consult a tomato fertilizer guide to determine the appropriate fertilizer and application schedule for your plants.

Pruning/Pinching

Pruning and pinching techniques can help improve tomato yield and plant health, but proper guidance on when and how to perform these practices for the Golden Medal tomato variety is recommended.

Disease

While the Golden Medal tomato is known for its resilience, it is still susceptible to common tomato diseases like blight, fusarium wilt, septoria leaf spot, verticillium wilt, and bacterial wilt. Keeping the foliage dry by watering at the base and following proper disease management practices is crucial.

Pests

Common pests that can affect the Golden Medal tomato include aphids, whiteflies, tomato hornworms, slugs, pill bugs, and rodents. Implementing companion planting with herbs like marigolds, catnip, fennel, dill, basil, and cilantro can help repel pests, while netting can exclude larger pests without interfering with pollinators.

For comprehensive guidance on detecting, treating, and preventing tomato diseases and pests specific to the Golden Medal variety, refer to detailed pest and disease management guides.

With its exceptional flavor, stunning appearance, and resilient nature, the Golden Medal tomato is a true treasure for any tomato enthusiast’s garden. Embrace the opportunity to cultivate and savor this heirloom delight, and experience the epitome of tomato perfection.

Harvesting Your Golden Medal Tomatoes

Ripening Season

One of the joys of growing the Golden Medal tomato is its extended ripening season. As a mid to late-season variety, you can expect your first ripe tomatoes to appear around 75-90 days after transplanting. This typically places the first harvest in late summer or early fall, depending on your planting date.

However, the bounty doesn’t stop there. Thanks to its indeterminate growth habit, the Golden Medal tomato will continue producing a steady supply of fruit right up until the first frost. In many regions, this means you’ll be relishing fresh-picked Golden Medal tomatoes from late August through October – providing a remarkably long harvest window.

How to Tell When They’re Ripe

Knowing precisely when to pick your Golden Medal tomatoes is an art, but this variety makes it relatively straightforward. These tomatoes are ripe and ready for harvesting when they’ve developed a rich, uniform golden-orange hue and yield slightly to gentle pressure. They should detach from the vine easily with a simple twist.

Resist the temptation to pick them up too early. While some tomato varieties can ripen off the vine, Golden Medal tomatoes develop their full, complex flavor when allowed to ripen fully on the plant in the warm sunshine. However, if an early frost threatens, you can harvest mature green tomatoes and let them continue ripening indoors.

Preserving Your Golden Medal Tomato Bounty

With their exceptional flavor and generous yields, you’ll likely want to preserve some of your Golden Medal tomato harvest to enjoy beyond the growing season. Three great preservation methods are canning, freezing, and drying.

Canning

Wash, quarter, or halve the tomatoes, and pack them into sterilized jars with lemon juice. Process in a boiling water bath for 45-55 minutes.

Freezing

Wash, stem, and quarter or slice the tomatoes. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer to freezer bags or containers for up to 6 months.

Drying

Wash, slice into 1/4-inch pieces, and dry at 135-145°F for 8-12 hours in a dehydrator or 200°F for 6-8 hours in the oven until leathery. Store dried tomatoes in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Savoring the Golden Medal: Tomato Recipe Ideas

With their sweet, tangy flavor and beautiful golden-orange hue, Golden Medal tomatoes make a stunning addition to any dish. Here are some delicious recipe ideas to help you savor this heirloom delight:

Golden Medal Tomato Bruschetta

Toss diced Golden Medal tomatoes with garlic, basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Spoon the vibrant mixture over grilled bread slices for a simple yet flavor-packed appetizer.

Golden Gazpacho

Blend ripe Golden Medal tomatoes with cucumber, bell pepper, sherry vinegar, and seasonings for a refreshing chilled soup that showcases the tomatoes’ tangy essence.

Golden Medal Tomato Tart

Arrange sliced Golden Medal tomatoes over a buttery pastry crust and top with shredded cheese, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake until golden brown for a stunning savory tart.

Golden Medal Tomato Jam

Simmer diced Golden Medal tomatoes with sugar, lemon juice, and warm spices like cinnamon and cloves. This sweet-tart jam is perfect for slathering over biscuits or using as a glaze for meats.

Golden Medal Caprese Salad

Layer thick slices of fresh mozzarella with sliced Golden Medal tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a vibrant twist on the classic Caprese salad.

Where to Find Golden Medal Tomato Seeds

If you’re ready to add the delightful Golden Medal tomato to your garden, you can find seeds from several trusted seed suppliers:

  • Seed Savers Exchange – Heirloom seeds: $3.75 per packet
  • Territorial Seed Company – Organic seeds: $3.99 per packet
  • Johnny’s Selected Seeds – Untreated seeds: $4.55 per packet
  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – Heirloom seeds: $2.99 per packet

Wrapping up!

The Golden Medal tomato is a true gem that deserves a place in every tomato lover’s garden. With its exceptional sweet-tart flavor, stunning sunset hues, and bountiful yields, this heirloom variety promises to delight your senses from summer through fall.

So don’t hesitate – secure your Golden Medal tomato seeds today and get ready to cultivate sunshine on a vine. Visit our website for comprehensive growing guides, delicious recipes, and expert tips to ensure a successful tomato season


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Mohsin
By Mohsin

Hi, I’m Mohsin, creator of Tomato about website. I have over a two decade of gardening experience and I love helping others growing healthy tomatoes!


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