Livingston's Paragon Tomato
- Bright red fruits grow to over 1 pound
- Extremely productive
- Fruit ripens throughout the season
- Heritage Farm Collection Variety in 2017
Large, red, globe tomato, midseason maturing, indeterminate growth habit. Paragon has good flavor, but is not as sweet as today’s gardeners often expect.
Alexander W. Livingston (1821-1898), probably did more to popularize the tomato in America than any other individual. His company bred and released 35 tomato varieties between 1870 and 1941. His breeding program and vigorous promotion transformed Americans’ perception of tomatoes. His first tomato introduction in 1870, “The Paragon Tomato,” was described by Livingston as the first “perfectly and uniformly smooth tomato ever introduced.”
Mike Dunton’s Livingston Project
Our Paragon strain comes from longtime SSE member Mike Dunton’s Victory Seed Company. By the late 1990s, the Livingston tomatoes had all but disappeared from the seed trade. Those few being sold were often not true to type for their historic descriptions. Mike Dunton has spent the last twenty years researching and locating authentic Livingston tomatoes.
In recognition of the strong historic value of Livingston’s contributions, SSE has been working for the past two years to assess the Livingston tomatoes in our Collection for purity and historic authenticity. Mike Dunton has provided invaluable consultation, and in several cases, we are acquiring his strains. Our goal is to preserve historically accurate strains of all the remaining Livingston tomatoes.
For a complete biography of Alexander W. Livingston, we recommend the book, Livingston and the Tomato.
Learn to Grow Livingston's Paragon Tomato
Start Indoors: 6 weeks before last frost
Germination: 7-14 Days
Plant Outdoors: 24-36” Apart
Support: Cage, stake, or trellis
Instructions - Sow seeds indoors ¼" deep. Tomatoes are sensitive to freezing temperatures, so wait to transplant outdoors until the soil is warm. Plant in full sun.