Early Ripening Tomatoes
These varieties have an average ripening time of less than 75 days, many from only 50 to 68 days from plant out to mature fruit.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Tomatoes are a hot weather crop.
To get ripe tomatoes early from these varieties, you must be growing them in ideal tomato-growing temperatures of above 50º at night and 70º or above in the daytime.
Cooler weather will delay ripening for about 3 weeks.
Do you LOVE Sun Gold? You'll love Amish Gold.
Amish Gold ($6.50) 58 days
This magnificent cross of Sun Gold and Amish Paste produces loads stunning golden tomatoes, about 2" to 3” long and 1” wide with the spectacular sweetness and huge production of Sun Gold along with the meatiness of Amish Paste.
Fabulous for fresh eating and makes a lovely sauce!
It has become a hands-down favorite in our garden and they get 'stolen' by maniacal family members and friends the moment they ripen.
Here's how it happened: Sun Gold was crossed with Amish Paste and..... tah-dah! Amish Gold!
Amy's Sugar Gem ($6.25) (VE) 65 days. This huge, sprawling plant produces heavy clusters of golf ball sized, incredibly delicious, deep red ambrosial fruit with golden jewel-like sparkles within the red skin. Very sweet! It was one of my absolute favorite tomatoes at TomatoFest in September--just knocked me out. Candy-on-the-vine, not to be missed.
Developed by Jeff McCormack, it is a cross of Red Cherry and Tappy's Finest. Named for Amy Boor Hereford whose Grandma Tappy introduced Jeff to heirloom tomatoes more than 20 years ago.
Anna Russian ($6.25) (VE)
65 days. This was the very first heirloom tomato I ever tasted.
Many years ago my mom brought me some perfect heart-shaped Anna Russians from her garden. I swooned. From 8 to 16 ounces, the fruits she brought had grown in beautiful clusters of 2 or 3.
Still in my top 5 favorites after all these years, Anna Russian is always among the first few plants I set out in my home garden every spring in a little Tomato Love ceremony.
Anna Russian seeds came from Brenda Hillenius of Oregon, who got the seeds from her grandfather, Kenneth Wilcox. Years earlier he had been given the original seeds from a Russian immigrant friend--a genuine example of the intriguing history these grand old tomatoes carry with them.
This plant has very delicate, wistful foliage as do many of the Russian varieties. Don't let that fool you! Anna is easy to grow and bear heavily during hot and cool weather.
I wouldn't be without it.
New for 2016
Anna Banana Russian ($6.95) (VE)
I've been waiting a long time for this one so to me this is tomato heaven.
I've told anyone who'll listen that Anna Russian was the first heirloom tomato I ever tasted -- and ultimately the reason I'm in this business. To be able to offer this spectacular accidental cross with its dazzling lemon yellow skin and flesh is beyond thrilling for me. And it is sweet sweet sweet with just a little tang in the background and grows on wispy vines just like the original red Anna Russian. Reaching 8 to 12 ounces and producing abundantly in all climates, this lady is a radiant winner.
I am blown away by
this yellow heart-shaped tomato.
This variety was grown out and stabilized by Michael Walker of Ellensburg Washington. Yay, Michael!
Black Cherry ($6.25) (Ch) (VE) 65 days. A perfectly round cherry tomato with classic black tomato flavor, sweet, yet rich, smoky and complex. Fruit picks easily from the stem and is produced in abundance on vigorous, tall plants. These cherries are irresistibly delicious: look like a black cherry, taste like a sweet cherry-- a unique addition to the color and flavor spectrum of cherry tomatoes for your garden, along with , Sungold, Green Grape, Snow White and Reisentraube, it makes an arresting display for any table. Just outstanding.
Bloody Butcher ($6.25) (EE) 58-60 days. This marvelous early ripening fruit has an unmatched, spectacular deep red hue--juicy with an intense lingering flavor. The 2-4 ounce round red 2 to 3" fruits have a rich silky texture and grow in great abundance on potato leafed vines. With its bountiful harvest month after month, the strong depth of flavor in Bloody Butcher has made it a favorite among tomato gourmands worldwide.
New for 2019
Cosmic Eclipse ($6.50)
To quote Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms who developed Cosmic Eclipse: "This very unusual variety is amazing! Smooth, 2 to 3 ounce fruits start off green with dark green stripes and striking indigo colored splashes.
Fruits ripen to spangled brick-red with green stripes, complemented by of indigo streaks -- a striking multi-colored finish. Very good, sweet rich and juicy flavor. Great ability to hang on the vine ripe and stay edible better than most. Good post-harvest shelf life, maintaining superb eating quality for weeks. Very productive, too."
Looks like Hubble photographs of nebulas. Dark red flesh inside contrasts beautifully with the dark beautiful skin.
This gorgeous photograph is the property of Brad Gates/Wild Boar Farms www.wildboarfarms.com
Photo courtesy of Restoration Seeds.
(Dwarf) Tasmanian Chocolate ($6.25)
Big tomato, little plant. Tasmanian Chocolate is a beautiful variety that produces huge tomatoes on very compact plants. Large, beefsteak style fruits can grow to almost a pound and ripen to a deep chocolate-red. What really makes it unique is the dwarf growing habit, with small plants only growing to 2-3 feet, but still loaded with fruits! Great for small spaces and containers.
New for 2019!
Dragon's Eye ($6.50) 70 days.
Gorgeous, fruity, juicy and sweet, Dragons' Eye tomatoes average about 3 to 5 ounces, grow in incredible delicious bountiful clusters. Perfect for fresh eating and roasting--make the best salsa, too! Beautiful pink-rose fruits have green streaking that turns gold at full ripeness. They appear shimmery and luminescent as they ripen on the vine --inside , the flesh is deep dark red. A real workhorse of a tomato, huge production! This strong plant does beautifully in containers.
Fireworks ($6.25) 50 days (EE)
Ripe in only 50 to 55 days, this lovely bright red tomato, very large for a quick maturing variety, has splendid rich, sweet juicy flavor which runs deep for a super-early tomato. Fruits are 3", 6-9 oz., round, with a very distinctive slightly pointed tip, are heat resistant, cold tolerant and delicious.
Green Giant ($6.25) (E)
60-70 days. Occasionally a tomato comes along which deserves very special attention. This big, up to 2 lb., green when ripe tomato resoundingly stole the show August 27th at
Cincinnati's famous CHOPTAG Tomato Taste Fest last year taking Best Of Show. We had the immense pleasure of tasting it at TomatoFest in Carmel, California where it captured the hearts of tasters and garnered a great deal of attention. I have not been this impressed by a tomato since discovering Goose Creek in the summer of 2004. On a flavor scale of 1 to 100, Green Giant is a resounding 100. Incredible. Unforgettable.
It arose originally in the garden of Reinhard Kraft of Germany in 2000 when he planted 30 seeds called 'Green Giant' from a friend in Canada. 29 of them grew out regular leafed except for one which had big potato leafed foliage. Reinhard cultivated that one, selecting the best fruit for several seasons, and continued to save seeds. Yay, Reinhard. Seeds are not available commercially but I have managed to secure some for the 2006 season from my buddy Cynthia Geske, owner of Love Apple Farm in
Ben Lomond, CA. www.loveapplefarm.biz Cynthia grew the magnificent Green Giant fruits we tasted at TomatoFest and graciously let me use her photograph here.
Jaune Flamme AKA Flamme ($6.25) (E) 70 days. Very prolific and stunningly beautiful, Flamme is an unforgettable tomato. Intensely orange with a reddish blush on the blossom end, these flame-colored 2 ounce globes have a rich, tangy and exciting flavor that literally bursts in your mouth. Cut open to reveal a reddish interior; this fruit reminds me of a blood orange with its spectacular contrasting colors. At certain times of day, the fruits of Flamme seem to glow on the vine against the deep green foliage. Just marvelous.
New for 2019!
Jim Dandy ($6.50) 72 days
Jim Dandy is a beautiful orange beefsteak tomato that sets fruit early, and lots of it! Gorgeous tangerine color with yellow shades and sweet meaty flesh that will blow your mind.
Some history: Dean Slater grew out some Jumbo Jim plants a few years ago and noticed one was potato leafed rather than regular leafed. He grew it out, loved it and declared 'that's a real Jim Dandy!'
Laurel's new favorite!
(E)70 days. (Pronounced
Yoot-lahn)This is my new 'go to' variety for the best dang tomato for BLT's and any fresh eating. A perfect 3 to 5 ounce, thin-skinned, plum shaped, brilliant red tomato, some smooth, some with a pointed tip and the most sublime flavor we've found in a tomato this season. I keep saying " Where have you been all my life?"
It appears in several different shapes on the same plant -- some very elongated, some short and plump, and, a
s with many tomatoes of this shape, the foliage is rather wispy.
Sliced into 'coins' it is my new favorite for salads, sandwiches and cooking. True story.
Juicy, sweet, tangy, delicious, thin tender skin and old-fashioned tomato flavor make Jutland a must-grow for the most dedicated and adventuresome heirloom tomato fans.
Stephanie Madziak contacted me in 2014 about this fabulous tomato, hoping to share it with other heirloom tomato gardeners. She's been growing Jutland for about 15 years since she collected a few seeds at a local tomato-tasting festival and fell in love with this sublime fruit. She tells us: "The seeds were first collected at Howell Living History Farm in New Jersey. For a couple of years, they had a small tomato festival where you could bring your best tomatoes and compete for best flavor, etc. I collected them there, after sampling a sliver that I loved! It was labeled 'Jutland tomato from Harbourton' NJ."
Can be used for sauce, yes. I'd recommend this one for fresh eating.
Lime Green Salad ($6.25) (VSM) (D) (E) 52 days. This tomato has become one of my passions. I grew only one Lime Green Salad plant the first season and wish I'd grown10.
This petite plant, about 18 to 20" tall--great for small containers like 2 to 5 gallons, or in your main garden, produces early abundant harvests of luscious tangy-sweet 3 to 4 oz. round lime-green tomatoes which literally burst with intricate, sweet refreshing citrusy flavors when you bite into them. The flesh inside is a gorgeous chartreuse, juicy...the flavor lingers. Unforgettable.
($6.95) (H) (VE)
62 days. (HG) This very popular early-ripening hybrid variety, (and Dolly Parton's favorite tomato), is being offered due to hundreds of requests from my customers who have found Momotaro fruits at Farmer's Markets. It is exceptionally sweet, low-acid, juicy and just beautiful with a very long shelf life. The 6 ounce fruits are a stunning shade of pink, full flavored, luscious and bountiful on the vine, with superb disease resistance.
I smuggled one into an heirloom tasting party, and the folks loved it. The revelation that it was a hybrid was a splendid surprise to the gathered heirloom aficionados and motley crew of tomato gourmets and gourmands.
Named for an ancient legend of Momotaro, or Peach Boy, Momotaro was a baby boy found inside a giant peach by childless peasant farmers who had longed for a child of their own. He grew to be a famous warrior for peace. Among his many achievements: conquering, and then encouraging the ogres of Ogre Island to stop pillaging and be nice ogres. Each year the Momotaro festival in Japan celebrates the legend of this brave and wondrous child.
Northern Lights ($6.25) (VE) 60 days. An absolutely striking tomato. This big, heavy 4-5", 10 oz. gorgeous yellow-orange beefsteak, with a red blush on the blossom end and spectacular red patterning in the center, is reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, for which it is named. The flavor is sweet, intense, tangy and luscious. This marvelous tomato, only about 60 to 65 days from plant out until ripe fruit, bears beautiful tomatoes right through the cold weather up until the first frost.
Paul Robeson ($6.25) (VE) (HG)
65-70 days. This is my all-time favorite tomato and our top seller. It is a gorgeous, dark and dusky-hued fruit with intensely sweet earthy taste with a hint of tanginess, a luscious velvety smooth texture, beautiful skin, rich with juice. The seed was made available by Marina Danilenko, a Moscow seedswoman.
This luxurious tomato is named for Paul Robeson (1898-1976), the elegant, renowned and charismatic operatic singer, law school graduate, champion athlete, film star, stage actor, and boundlessly brave champion of civil and personal rights throughout the world. This marvelous plant will give you its perfect 3"- 4" fruit in only 65 days from planting. Incredible; a symphony. I do believe this is the finest tomato in existence.
© Photograph property of rareseeds.com
Purple Bumblebee ($6.50) 65 days.
Look at these dark, dusky beauties! Purple Bumble Bee is a new delightful 1" cherry tomato with all the deeply complex smoky flavors of the black tomatoes. With dramatic grey-green stripes
, this little treasure
and stunning purple flesh inside
Crack resistant, disease resistant and a high producer all season long! You will have basketsful to share. Bred by Fred Hempel of Baia Nicchia Farm in Sunol, CA. Way to go, Fred!
will be a favorite treat in your garden.
Super Snow White ($6.25) 70 days. (E) A gourmet's delight. I can't say enough about this exquisite white cherry tomato which ripens from white to ivory to palest yellow with a bright, rich and sweet juicy flavor. Very prolific, easy to grow, pretty as starlight and a top seller. An improved version of Snow White.
Stupice ($6.25) (EE) (Stoo-PEETS) 52 days. A great tomato! For me, this is the absolute very best tasting super-early cold-or-hot weather variety and among the first I plant each season. Huge flavor, sweet and luscious.
Not a cherry tomato, it's a bigger than a golf ball, smaller than a handball, a 3 to 4 oz. red round fruit, first to ripen and very high yielding. Produces quickly, heavily, reliably early and continuously throughout the season. Even when fruits are smaller as the season wanes, they maintain their marvelous flavor becoming even sweeter with colder weather. A garden staple.
(EE) (H) 55 days. This is the one of the best cherry tomatoes I've ever tasted, rivaling Isis Candy, and ready to pick in only 55-60 days. It has the big, rich flavor of a full-size tomato, in a beautiful little deep-golden fruit growing in bountiful clusters on a huge plant. Sweet, rich, so beautiful...just left of center in top photo. Most of them won't make it into your house from the garden. If you send someone to pick them for you, keep your binoculars trained upon the picker.
New for 2016
Sunrise Bumblebee ($6.25)
What can I say? I've never seen anything prettier in the cherry tomato world. This a very special cherry tomato, an astounding artisan variety. Please put this plant into your garden -- but remember -- it will make you way too popular. Sunrise Bumblebee is plump and bountiful, crammed full of old- time sweet-honey, juicy, pop-in-your-mouth tomato flavors and just as cute as it can be. This is the tomato you would steal from your neighbors in the middle of the night. But don't. Just leave an empty bowl at their door with note....they will understand.
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