Early Girl

ronniesApril 3, 2007

Does anyone plant early girl, and how do you like them?

Thanks in advance.

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wvtomatoman(z6 WV)

I have grown Early Girl for almost 20 years now. I like it because it tastes pretty good for an early tomato. However once the longer maturing (and better tasting) tomatoes start ripening the Early Girls become expendable and are either used in salsa or given away. From what I've been able to ascertain on this forum it seems that the quality of Early Girl is highly dependent upon where you live. Good luck and I hope you like them.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 12:49PM
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Last year I grew several Early Girl seedlings. I gave most of them away, and a friend of mine grew three of them in his garden with good success.

I kept one in a 5-gallon bucket and it produced more tomatoes for me than any other full sized tomato has ever produced for me in a 5-gallon bucket. The plant loaded up early and stayed loaded up until I pulled the plant late in August.

The tomatoes were a little on the small side for Early Girls, but that is not unusual when I grow in a bucket. They tasted fresh and zingy but not nearly as good as some other full sized red indeterminate early or mid season hybrid tomatoes.

Of course you will most likely hear all sorts of recommendations for other open pollinated early tomatoes that folks will claim have better flavor. And in some cases they will be valid claims. Early Girl has stood the test of time as an early, productive, relatively problem-free hybrid.

This year I'm trying PSR-37, supposedly an open pollinated version of the previous Early Girl (not the current "Early Girl Improved"), and Peters Seed Company claims it is more fragrant and better tasting than the Early Girl Improved hybrid currently on the market.

So far, nearly 100% of the seeds planted Feb. 26 have germinated and they are very vigorous potato leaf seedlings 6 - 8 inches tall ready to go out and get hardened off for planting. Yes ... a little early for 6b, but these are among the healthiest, fastest growing seedlings I've ever raised. Thank you Peters Seed.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 12:58PM
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remuda1(7b Hood Co TX)

Due to our heat, I always plant Early Girl. Have always had good success with them as well. Last year, I took cuttings from spring set plants in July and rooted them, planted the rooted cuttings and pulled the old plants when the cuttings started showing fruit set. I had tomatoes coming out of my ears. It was the first year I had to make sauce so that they wouldn't go to waste. The fresh taste is good (from what friends and family said, I don't eat them fresh!) the sauce is really good!


    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 10:09PM
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If I could plant only one variety, it would be Early Girl. Not because it's the best tasting tomato - it's not. Don't get me wrong - it tastes a heck of a lot better than a lot of other varieties and it beats grocery store tomatoes by a mile.... No, the reason I would grow it if I had to chose only one variety is that it's so darned dependable and productive. Having said that, I live in California where Early Girl seems to do very well. If I were you, I would try to find out if it does well in your area, and if the answer is yes, then by all means set out a plant or two.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 12:35AM
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No complaints of this for an early variety. Has always performed well.

Another variety that has a similar name, Bush Early Girl, is an unrelated determinate variety with many improved attributes, disease resistance, size and flavor. I was told that this is a must try variety by a Hort specialist although I'm pretty much sticking to INDT varieties for the present.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 10:33AM
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brazosvalleygardener(TX Zone 8)

I love the collective attributes of Early Girl. As others have said, it may not be the ultimate tomato flavorwise but it's other characteristics more than make up for any other deficiencies. I love Bush Early Girl even more. Fruit production on both of these is incredible and solidly consistent.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 2:24PM
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I'am trying ULTIMATE OPENER this year to compare with EARLY GIRL. Will post my opion this fall.The EARLYGIRL is OK but the hyp on the OPENER said it's got better flavor.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 5:19PM
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Bob_B(Sunset 14, Ca.)

I agree with most of the favorable comments made about Early Girl. I live in Calif., have grown Early Girl for many years in many locations, have grown many other types of tomatoes (heirlooms and hybrids), and Early Girl continues to be the anchor in my tomato garden. It is tough, extremely productive, tolerant of different weather conditions, disease resistant, and all around best performer of any tomato I have ever grown. Faults? I can think of one. It has a very tough skin. It's taste is very perky. I generally place it near the top in most taste testings. Try it. You may like it.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 7:29PM
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I always grow it. Dependable, good producer. However,
the taste isn't the best out there. But it does produce
early, much earlier than most others.

Only other one I've had that I think has better taste and
produces early is Dona. Couldn't find her this year though.

There are other early producers, but I like Early Girl the
best (except for Dona).

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 7:43PM
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Normally I've planted it here, but last year it didn't work that well for me. Poor yield of golfball-sized tomatoes. Flavor's never that hot.

Who knows why? Could be anything. Last year was strange anyway with weird weather. The tomatoes were awful in spite of getting better feeding and care. Nothing worked out except for a single pepper plant. Gardening is mysterious.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 8:15PM
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foose4string(z7 MD)

Golodkin said:

***Normally I've planted it here, but last year it didn't work that well for me. Poor yield of golfball-sized tomatoes. Flavor's never that hot.***

That's the same results I got from Bloody Butcher last year, and that's a variety that most folks claim is a good early. I didn't find that claim to be true.

I think much has to do with growing conditions, as to which variety will do best for you. My Early Girls were VERY productive, had good size and flavor. Early Girl is a clear winner around here for an early tomato, maybe not the greatest tomato ever to come down the pike, but very good. Like someone else mentioned, they often get neglected once the bigger, tastier, beefsteaks come on. Either way, they'll always have a place in my garden.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 12:04PM
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There's also something called "First Lady" that's supposed to be a "replacement" for EG. Didn't work out for me either. I think it produced two or three edible tomatoes.

I'm utterly mystified by gardening results. Get six apparently healthy seedlings in a pack from the store, one or two will produce well and the other four just sit there. A reliable variety that's worked reasonably well for years in the same garden will completely bomb one year. One variety will give astounding results one year, yet never work well in the same garden again, ever.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 3:22PM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

We like Early Girl, too. As was mentioned, it does have thick skin but that makes it easier to peel for salads if you have a little one who likes to make a big production of "gagging" (need I mention that one was a MALE child?! LOL) In the latter part of summer there are more flavorful tomatoes, but you can't beat something that can come in almost a month earlier than the rest so you can get some relief from Pale Pink Cardboard.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 4:32PM
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We usually grow a few Early Girls. I'm in agreement with just about everything said here about 'em.

I don't know if there is any "perfect" tomato. There are those that fit with our growing conditions, have the taste we appreciate, and don't go beyond our tolerances. I appreciate many qualities in many varieties.

I have an expectation of consistency in the garden and that's probably the best reason for me to grow EG. But, finding another "winner" is a big part of the fun I have in gardening so, like Yopper, I'm trying Ulitimate Opener this year. Bush Early Girl was nearly a total flop for me - it had one time to do good, failed miserably, I've gone on. There are too many varieties that I haven't yet tried for me to give a failed variety a 2nd chance. There have also been those I grew for years and yet we finally came to a parting of the ways. I have given up none of them up easily.

The most important quality for me is that my plants are healthy. A close #2 is taste but health and taste tend to go together. I'm not in the best place for growing tomato plants (cool nights) so they don't grow large. And, I pay for my gardening (and veggies :o) by selling produce at a farmers' market. That means production rates near the top of attributes. Earliness is critical since our growing season is short.

There's well over a dozen varieties in my greenhouse right now (fewest in recent years) but, as far as I can see, I'd be foolish to not grow at least a few Early Girls.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 8:10AM
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I am growing the Early Girl again this year. It was a good producer all season long. It wasn't much earlier than any of the others though. I wanted to try Fireworks this year, but couldn't get the seed. I didn't start the Early Girl, but will buy a transplant in May.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Square Foot Gardening Website

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 12:33AM
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> The most important quality for me is that
> my plants are healthy.

It's probably worth pointing out that Early Girl foliage is simply less green and less abundant than that of most other tomatoes. It's not sick, that's just the way the variety normally seems to be.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 2:57AM
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marial1214(Z 6 PA)

I grow early girls every year. They're supposed to come before the Better Boys (or Big boys) but I only seem to get them about a week or two before the fatties can be picked. I like the early girls because of the size, they are easy to cut into wedges and are the perfect size for salads. I have had tremendous success with them. So far I have never had any tomato diseases or pests except the green horned worms that showed up last year. I disposed of them immediately and was able to save all 8 tomato plants from destruction.

Of course I buy the plants direct from the shop. I have never tried seeds but as I get further into my hobby, I know trying seeds is only a year or two away, considering how many people are so successful with them here on GW.

Last year I was counting the days until I could make my first gaspacho (cold tomato soup) and was collecting the toms everyday. I didnt quite have enough to load into the puree machine. Low and behold I found out that my neighbor was helping himself to my toms and that really got me mad cuz I had to wait longer for my first substantial harvest for the gaspacho. Grrr. This year I told him to stay out of my garden because it is my personal space & "my toms are not public property."

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 10:49AM
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Near the top of this thread I made a comment that I anticipated recommendations for open pollinated tomatoes that would produce earlier and taste better than Early Girl.

In fact, I thought we'd see several messages bashing Early Girl either simply for being a hybrid, being a produced by a company that falls under an international conglomerate involved in genetic manipulation, or just generally being grouped into a class of cultivar that some folks scorn as 'not heirloom.'

Seems I was dead wrong as the comments are all running either neutral to strongly favorable. This would not have been the case a year ago ... and I think it indicates more positive outlook in tomato gardeners this spring in general and in this forum in particular.

Now ... if this drat cold snap would just abate! Good growing, and enjoy your gardens this summer.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 11:09AM
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Marial, quite a while ago, I had a garden with a very "public" location. I was surprised at how many people were willing to step over MY fence and help themselves to the garden - it happened almost daily. I even had people tell me that it was all God's gift - I couldn't argue with that but I did put a lot of work into, what I thought was, earning that gift.

Hoosiercherokee, don't you think the threadÂs simple title may be one of the reasons the curmudgeons haven't made negative comments (watch me jinx it) or even bother to read it? If it had been named "Early Girl Variety problem" "Improved Early Girl or wishful thinking?" or "does this Early Girl look right to you?" (all taken from last year) maybe the title would have invited responses from those interested in Defending Stern Notions of Suitability and Rightness in Tomato Growing.

An intellectual rivaled only by garden tools.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 12:43PM
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Are Early Girl the expensive tomatoes sold in grocery stores under the name 'tomatoes on the vine' ? From the pictures they look similar - medium-sized tomatoes without wrinkles. I like the taste and the texture of the 'tomatoes on the vine'.

At home I'm growing some cherry tomatoes (very good), a plant of 'better boy' (they start to give fruits, they are good but too sweet and mushy for my taste), and 'celebrity hybrid' (this was pretty much the only choice of seeds from Osh when I was looking for tomato seeds - will see, these are still green). Friends say 'in California everything grows' - now I believe them...

Some people seem to say that there is better than early girl in terms of taste. What would you recommend ?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 3:49PM
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naturalstuff(Z6 / CT)

Early Girls are very popular here. I like them and try to make an effort having them in the garden every year. Size, yields, and first ripe ones are perfect. They're usually ready by 4th of July here.

As far as taste - I didn't know they weren't that great until trying others.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 5:53AM
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duajones(z9 TX)

I have grown Bush Early Girl the past 2 seasons, last year I had 1 plant in a container, this year I had 4 plants in the ground. The single plant last year yielded somewhere around 50 tomatoes. This year, the average from the 4 plants was 60+ per plant. Not the greatest tomato but definitely better than anything you can buy in the store, and since its so prolific, you have plenty to give to friends who will love them

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 2:04PM
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timmy1(6a ri)

If you folks like Bush early girl, you should try Sunshine or Sunstart.

Here is a link that might be useful: sunshine

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 9:47PM
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"It's probably worth pointing out that Early Girl foliage is simply less green and less abundant than that of most other tomatoes. It's not sick, that's just the way the variety normally seems to be."

Thanks much for pointing that out. I have some early girls in containers and the plants have up to 10 maters already up here in Ma and many more blossoms but they look very pale green. This is my first yr of organic gardening so I thought there was a nitrogen deficiency but after reading your post I feel better.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 5:40PM
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Hey hoosiercherokee, I was involved in many of those knock-down drag-out threads a year or so ago. Some of those discussions were way, way out there.

Be that as it may, it is very nice to see EG getting the respect they deserve on this fine forum. EGs have been solid performers for me, year in and year out. Thanks to Juliets (another commonly bashed variety), EG and Silvery Fir Tree, I've been bringing in a steady supply of wonderful, and yummy tomatoes since May.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 8:34PM
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