Tomato, Dester

SKU: 1552A
$3.95 to $22.58

Item Details

Winner of Seed Savers Exchange’s 2011 Tomato Tasting and runner-up in 2012. Donated to SSE by Missouri farmer Larry Pierce, who received his seeds from an Amish woman in Seymour, Missouri. She originally got her seeds from a doctor she worked for whose family had brought the seeds with them from Germany. Luscious pink beefsteaks weighing up to one pound.

  • Organic
  • Beefsteak tomato
  • Indeterminate - Fruit ripens throughout the season
  • Winner of SSE’s 2011 Tomato Tasting and runner-up in 2012
  • Pink fruits grow up to 1 pound
  • Excellent flavor

This variety works for:

  • Fresh eating
  • Sauce
  • Paste
  • Roasting
  • Canning

Store your tomatoes at room temperature. The flavor and texture of tomatoes suffer when the fruit is chilled.

Heirloom tomatoes are bred for their flavor and simple preparation best allows that intense flavor to shine through. Tomatoes can be sliced and drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper or layer slices with basil and mozzarella for a Caprese salad.

Roasted tomatoes have a richer, concentrated flavor.

There are hundreds of salsa recipes to try and most are dramatically improved with the use of heirloom tomatoes. Tomatoes are also the main ingredient in Gazpacho, a cold soup that is perfect for summer.

Growing Instructions

Instructions - You should start your tomato seeds indoors in soil trays or pots about 6 weeks before you plant them outside. Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and wait 7-14 days for them to germinate. As they grow you may need to re-pot them to give their roots space to develop. When all chance of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit you can plant your tomatoes out. Leave around 24-36 inches between the plants. Tomatoes should be grown with some form of support, such as staking, cages, or a trellis. This variety will be mature about 70-80 days after transplanting.

Ratings & Reviews

5 reviews



Very heavy fruit which broke the vines, even when staked and pruned well. Skin was very brittle and split when we had a rain. Will not purchase again. Tasty and large

Love the Size, Taste, and Uniqueness of Desters


I’ve been sooo happy with these tomatoes! They are large, beautiful, and prolific (even when I didn’t give them all the attention and water they deserve). The taste is amazing fresh and as tomato soup. They have earned a place as a new staple in my backyard garden.

One of my favorites!


Love Desters, have been growing them for 10-ish years and even in our challenging climate they reliably produce large, delicious and abundant tomatoes! No problems with splitting but am in a dry climate.

Dester is making a comeback in my garden


In 2021 I grew four varieties of tomatoes from a Seed Savers Heirloom collection, and a couple varieties found everywhere (Celebrity, Supersweet 100, etc). The Dester was my favorite for flavor and meatiness. However they split like crazy so I haven't planted them since. Over the past two years, I've learned to cut back on watering my tomatoes. So this year, I'm bringing these 3 year old Dester seeds out for another spin around the garden. I know they will taste great, and now I'll see if my watering knowledge has improved. BTW, as another reviewer said, they are big tomatoes and can damage their own vines with their weight. So plan accordingly.

Just get a Pack!


One of the best! This and Curtis Cheek may be my two favorite tomatoes I have ever grown.