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Varieties of Early Tomatoes

How To Grow Fast Tomatoes in a Container
Part 1 & Part 2

2009 Growing Journal: Early Girl Tomato vs. Jetsetter Tomato

2010 Growing Journal Start Page:

- Siberian Tomato vs Stupice Tomato

- Bloody Butcher vs Gregori's Altai Tomato


  Different Cultivars (Varieties) of Early Tomatoes

Slicing Tomatoes
Grape & Cherry Tomatoes
Paste & Roma Tomatoes
Heat Tolerant & Early Season
All Time Fastest Growing Tomatoes

Slicing Tomatoes: (Most Popular)

Early Girl: Probably the most famous variety of early season tomatoes. It's history dates back to the 1970s, when it was developed for PetoSeed by a French company, all under the urging of seed executive Joe Howland who wanted an early tomato for his garden in Reno, Nevada, where temps can get kooky. The first Early Girls were then licensed to Burpee who couldn't keep up with the orders when they put them on their catalog cover in 1975.

Americans then experimented with the variety to produce a disease resistant, tastier strain. While tomato varieties go in and out of favor with gardeners, the Early Girl has endured and remained popular. "It's a remarkable tomato," Joe Howland told a Sacramento Bee reporter in 1998.  "It's a good size (about 4 to 6 ounces), a nice shape, a good-looking red outside and very red inside, and dependable."

Besides their early maturity, Early Girls, are known for the taste, compact but useful size, abundant producing plants, and disease resistance. Indeterminate, 52 to 62 days.

Bloody Butcher: A well known early season tomato that produces 2-3 inch red fruit in the 3-4 ounce range in clusters of 5 to 9. Compact indeteriminate plant that offers mature fruit in 55+ days. Some growers at DavesGarden report it to be tasty and delicious, while others disagreed. We are growing this tomato for our 2010 Growing Journal. We'll put it to our taste test this year with my wife, the tomato connosieur.

Early Wonder: Unlike the Early Girl, the Early Wonder is a determinate variety with a very short plant. This compact tomato is a good producer of pinkish-red tomatoes, 2-3 ounces. Approx. 55 days.

Glacier Heirloom: From Sweden, so you know it's tolerant to cold weather, making it ideal for Northern gardeners. Semi-determinate, 2-3 oz fruits, 55-65 days. Great variety for container growing.

Gregori's Altai Tomato: An early season tomato that can resist the high temperatures of the Oklahoma Summer (Hot weather resistant tomato) and is a good producer of pinkish-red beefsteak style fruit in the heavier range of 8+ ounces in 65-70 days on indeteriminate vines. Reported to be very delicious with great crop production. Online seed sellers report this variety comes from Siberia that originated in the Altai Mountains on the Chinese border and West Siberia, and also near the Kazakhstan border. Subject of our 2010 Growing Journal

Jetsetter: From our experience, the Jetsetter is a fast growing tomato. Produces larger fruit than the Early Girl, average 6 to 8 ounces, but takes a bit longer, 64 days. This hybrid is an improvement of the popular Jet Star as it produces earlier and is more disease resistant.

Manitoba: Besides being Dale Dribble's favorite brand of cigarettes (King of the Hill tv show), the Manitoba is also an early season tomato that matures 58 to 66 days after transplanting. This determinate, heirloom bush variety was developed on the prairie lands of Manitoba, Canada, to produce a tomato that would mature within their short summer season. The Manitoba is perfect for Northern or colder climates and is an abundant producer of 4 to 6 ounce fruit, 3 to 4 inches in diameter.

Oregon Spring: Developed at Oregon State University, the Oregon Spring was developed for the cool nights and short summers of the Pacific Northwest. According to an OSU Extension service website, this tomato was released in 1984 and produces 5 ounce fruits that ripen in early August. Oregon Spring fruit are not very firm but are useful for the local market (being firm is more for commercial growers). The Oregon Spring is well known for having great flavor, very few seeds (making them ideal for ketchup and sauces). Determinate, 58-60 days.

Pilgrim: Another tomato suited for Northern & colder climates, the Pilgrim is a determinate, hybrid tomato that is compact in size and crack resistant. At an average of 7 ounces, the Pilgrim's fruit are a bit larger than most other early season tomatoes but it also matures a few days later. Are those few extra days worth the wait? You be the judge when you grow these tomatoes. Matures in 68 days. Popular in Canada.

Polar - - - : Polar Baby, Polar Beauty and Polar Star. A trifecta of 3 cold season cultivars grown on short, bushy determinate plants capable of producing fruit in the 2 to 4 oz range in 60 to 65 days.

Praire Fire: A cross between a Sub-Arctic and a beefsteak, this determinate tomato produces 3 to 5 ounce fruits in 55 days on bushy, compact plants.

New Yorker: A bush size determinate that is ideal for Northern climates and seasons with short summers. Produces small to medium size fruit in 66 days.

Siberia and Siberian: There seems to be a lot of confusion out there about these two tomatoes since their names are so similar. Since these are 2 different cultivars, let's try to clear up some of that confusion.

Siberia: From Russia, this famous cold weather variety can produce fruit in temperatures as low as 38 degrees, and in 48 to 55 days. A compact, bush variety that only grows 2 to 3 feet, it is wind resistant, cold resistant, and produces 2 to 3 ounce red fruit in clusters. Pleasant tasting, but reportedly not as delicious as the Siberian. Only requires a small growing area. Ideal for growing in containers or pots.

Siberian: The Siberian is also from Russia, and also tolerates the cold well, but not as well as the Siberia Tomato above. This compact, bush determinate produces slightly larger, better tasting, 3 to 5 ounce red fruits in 55 to 60 days. Can also be grown in containers or large pots.

Be careful of seed companies that confuse these two tomatoes from Russia. However, there aren't too many Siberia Tomato seeds being sold.

About this popular heirloom early season tomato, Seed Savers Exchange writes: "Dwarf sprawling plants with early sets of fruits. From the late Edward Lowden collection, seedsman from Ontario. Egg-shaped 2-3" fruits, good strong flavor. Not to be confused with Siberia, Siberian is superior in all qualities. Determinate, 57-60 days." Subject of our 2010 Growing Journal

Stupice: A Czechoslavakian tomato, the Stupice is a gardener favorite for it's delcious taste and early production. This potato leaf tomato produces 2 to 3 inch red fruits on a compact but indeterminate vine in 55 to 68 days. Pronounced Stoo-Peech-kah. Subject of our 2010 Growing Journal

Sub Arctic: Another famous, early season cold tolerant variety that has become the basis for a number of OTHER new hybrid tomatoes. There are different cultivars of the sub arctic which include: Sub-Arctic Early, Sub-Arctic Plenty, and the Sub-Arctic Maxi. All 3 produce small but delicious red tomatoes on compact, determinate vines in 49 to 62 days, depending on which cultivar you grow.






Grape & Cherry Tomatoes:

Although most cherry & grape tomatoes are NOT considered Early Season tomatoes (most mature in the early season range, some don't), our list is sorted by the most popular and fastest growing cherry and grape tomatoes. Grape and Cherry tomatoes are usually classified as - Grape and Cherry tomatoes, not Early Season tomates. However, since many of them mature during the Early Season, I am throwing the classification system into total and complete chaos with my list below.

Red Grape Tomato: Produces small, super sweet, glossy red fruit in bunches of 24 on indeterminate vines in 60 days. VERY disease resistant. Smaller size fruit than other grape tomatoes. Easy to grow.

Juliet Hybrid: The Juliet Hybrid was an All American Selections Winner in 1999. Elongated, red "grape" tomatoes grow in clusters with a sweet flavor and weigh about 1 ounce each. Crack resistant, and tolerant to late blight and leaf spot.

Rosalita: Possibly the only pink grape tomato out there. Fruit grows in clusters. Indeterminate, 60 days.

Sprite: Productive plants on compacty, bushy vines. Red grape tomatoes are sweet and ready to harvest 60 days after transplanting. Determinate.

Sugary: Tasting like it's name, these tomatoes are oval shaped and cherry sized with a pointed end. Compact plant by semi-determinate = producing fruits all summer. Matures in 60 days.

Sun Cherry FT Hybrid: Red, sweet, and cherry sized fruit on productive indeterminate vines. 58 days.

Sweet 100 Hybrid: One of the more popular cherry tomatoes, it produces 1/2 inch size fruit that are high in vitamin c. Indeterminate, 65 days.

Tiny Tim: Compact sized plants that are perfect for containers or pots. Round, red cherry size tomatoes on determinate plants, 60 days.

Wild Cherry: Like the name says, this cherry tomato can grow wild in Mexico where it's from. Small red fruit are very flavorful. Indeterminate, 60 days.


Plum, Paste & Roma Tomatoes:

Paste & Plum tomatoes generally produce fruit mid-season. However, there are a few that produce faster then other romas and paste tomatoes. [For more information about Roma Tomatoes, please see our sister website Roma-Tomato.com]. Early Season tomatoes are those generally considered 65 days and under. However, we have included the earliest versions of this mid-season varities for those who want to grow the "fastest" paste tomatoes.

Baller: Red, pear shaped, averages 3 oz fruits, indeterminate, 71 days. (OP)

Bellstar: Red, plum shaped, averages 4-5 oz fruits, determinate, 70 days. (OP)

Golden Roma: Yellow to yellowish-gold, plum shape, averages 2-3 oz fruits, determinate, 70 days. (OP)

Orange Roma: Yellowish-orange, plum/oval shape, averages 2 oz fruits, indeterminate, 65-69 days. (OP)

Macero Roma: Red fruits, tubular/cylindrical shape, averages 2-4 oz fruits, determinate, 68-76 days. (OP)

Window Box Roma VFN Hybrid: Bred to be grown in pots or containers. Produces 2-3 ounce red fruits for salads, snacking or saucing. Compact, determinate plants, 70 days.

Hot Weather and Early Tomatoes

Gregori's Altai Tomato: This one was recommended to us by Darrel Jones of SelectedPlants.com who said it would resist the high temperatures (Hot weather resistant tomato) and is a good producer of pinkish-red beefsteak style fruit in the heavier range of 8+ ounces in 65-70 days on indeteriminate vines. Reported to be very delicious with great crop production. Online seed sellers report this variety comes from Siberia that originated in the Altai Mountains on the Chinese border. A subject of our 2010 Growing Journal

Porter: If you live in a hot climate or Southern state, and want an early season varitiey, the Porter might be tomato for you. Expect deep red colored fruit in the 4 ounce size range this resistant to cracking and sunburn and matures in 65 to 75 days. Developed by the Texas based Porter & Son seed company for drought prone, hot climate areas like Southern Texas.

Super Sioux: Expect 4 oz fruits in 70 days (after transplanting) on productive, indeterminate vines in 70 days. Thick walled with acidic flavor. Good for canning or eating fresh.

5 Fastest Growing Tomatoes

  1. Siberia = 48 to 55 days
  2. Sub Arctic = 49 to 62 days
  3. Early Girl = 52 to 62 days
  4. Early Wonder = 55 days
  5. Prairie Fire = 55 days

Honorable Mention: Siberian 55 to 60 days, Glacier Heirloom 55 to 65 days, and Stupice 55 to 68 days.

If you know of any tomatoes that are faster than 60 days or 50 days and should be on this list, let me know.


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