Lava Flow Heirloom Tomato of the Week

Lava Flow Heirloom Tomato of the Week

March 14, 2023 1 By dzordani

It’s March in Colorado and the weather’s warming up a bit along the front range. We still have some winter-like weather ahead of us but we can still get excited about the upcoming gardening season. So, to help with the mood, I’m starting a new series this year highlighting an Heirloom tomato variety each week. Up to bat for week #1: Lava Flow.

Lava Flow comes from the big island of Hawaii, hence its name, and performs surprisingly well in Colorado’s hot, dry summers. So, if you’re looking for a great flavorful, in-between tomato, this Hawaiian beauty is a must for your backyard garden. I’ve planted Lava Flow twice now in my backyard garden and have a hard time replacing it with another variety because I absolutely love this tomato, and here’s why:

image of five yellow and orange streaked lava flow heirloom tomatoes

1. Color

The stunning red/orange bi-colored skin lives up to the name and absolutely resembles lava flowing freely down the sides of the tomato. Some fruits are more orange with red streaks, and others more red and streaked with orange. Cut it open and the interior borders on pale pink to golden yellow. Either way, the fruit is gorgeous.

2. Size

Size-wise, Lava Flow fits in somewhere between golfball and racquetball. The medium size gives it a versatility not many others can match as it makes a fantastic salad tomato, awesome salsa or snacking tomato, as well as surprisingly great sauce tomato.

image of interior of lava flow heirloom tomato with two whole lava flow tomatoes behind
Lava Flow’s beautiful marbled flesh

3. Flavor

It checks every flavor box without question. Simply put, it is delicious. Lava Flow has the perfect amount of acid and tang with the right touch of sweetness and fruitiness. I strongly suggest experimenting with it in a salsa or Pico de gallo for a bit of a twist. You will not be disappointed.

4. Production

It is a middle-season fruiting plant. Expect your first fruit around 70 days after transplanting. The 70 days is comparable to most cherry tomatoes and plenty early compared to later-season slicing tomatoes which usually arrive around the 80+ day mark. The plant is generous so have your food processor on standby, because once Lava Flow gets going, be prepared to pull tomatoes off every few days. For a non-cherry variety, it can become almost overwhelming with the amount of fruits. I’m not kidding. It’s like that.

5. Plant size

Lava Flow grows to 6 feet but never threatens to take over the garden as some varieties might. Give it room, let it do its thing, and you will be pleasantly surprised at how it remains well-mannered. For those with limited space or relegated to containers I would consider this plant as a great option.