Heirloom. Developed by Auburn University back in 1966, this is a popular tomato in the Deep South, where it performs well in the humid climate. Produces firm, smooth, meaty red fruits all season long. Plants in our test garden, which is 40 miles from Auburn University, yield about 50 pounds of tomatoes each in about two months! The meaty fruit makes a great sandwich tomato. Strong vines. Atkinson, which was developed in 1966, is similar to another old favorite, Marion. Resistant to fusarium wilt (F) and nematodes (N).

Only available in the following states, in limited quantities: AL, AR, GA, FL, LA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX

  • Light Full sun
  • Fruit size 8 oz
  • Matures 70 days after planting
  • Spacing36 inches apart
  • Plant size4 to 6 feet
  • Plant type Indeterminate

Some Bonnie Plants varieties may not be available in your local area, due to different variables in certain regions. Also, if any variety is a limited, regional variety it will be noted on the pertinent variety page.

At a glance
Nutrition Information

Light requirements: Full sun.

Planting: Space 18 to 36 inches apart, depending on type. (Read the stick tag that comes with the plant for specific spacing recommendations.) Plant deeply, burying 2/3 of the stem.

Soil requirements: Tomatoes need well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Amend soil with compost or other organic matter prior to planting. Soil pH should be 6.2 to 6.8.

Water requirements: Keep soil consistently moist throughout the growing season. Moisture is critical to prevent cracked fruits and blossom end rot. Mulch soil to reduce water evaporation.

Frost-fighting plan: Tomato is a warm-weather crop—even a light frost will damage plants (28º F to 32º F). Protect newly planted seedlings by covering plants with a frost blanket.

Common issues: Pest-wise, watch out for tomato hornworms (big green caterpillars), slugs, pill bugs, rodents. In addition, humid weather invites fungal diseases like early blight and late blight. Plants may stop setting fruit when temperatures dip below 55˚ F or climb above 90˚ F. Blossom end rot can be a problem, as can misshapen fruit.

Harvesting: In general, perfectly ripe tomatoes show deep color but still feel firm when gently squeezed. Look up your specific variety for more details. Tomatoes do continue to ripen after being picked. Gently grab and twist until the tomato pulls free from the stem, or use a pair of clippers. Cut stems close to fruits.

Storage: Store picked tomatoes at room temperature indoors, or in a shady place outside. Never refrigerate tomatoes, because temperatures below 55° F cause flavor compounds to break down. Tomatoes will store longer if you allow stems and caps to remain in place until you’re ready to eat them. For peak flavor and nutrition, use within a week, although keeping time depends on how ripe fruit is when you pick it.

For more information, visit the Tomatoes page in our How to Grow section.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup sliced raw red tomatoes:
  • Calories: 32
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Dietary fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 5g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Vitamin A: 30% DV
  • Vitamin C: 38%
  • Vitamin K: 18%
  • Vitamin B6: 7%
  • Folate: 7%
  • Potassium: 12%
  • Manganese: 10%

Nutritional Information

The red tomato is listed on most nutritional lists as a superfood. It is packed with the antioxidant vitamins A and C, potassium and the B vitamins for heart health, and above all a powerful carotenoid called lycopene. This phytonutrient, which is responsible for the bright red color of tomatoes, has been studied for its role in fighting various cancers, and its ability to lower cholesterol. When tomatoes are cooked, even more lycopene is made available. Lycopene has been shown to be especially effective when eaten with fat-rich foods such as avocado, olive oil, or nuts. There are the ingredients for a powerhouse salad!