Recommendation on Early Tomato Varieties

paloaltomarkJuly 10, 2010

Hi All:

This year I grew a few containers of an ultra early tomato (65 days) called Oregon Spring. While I found it to produce nice quantities of tomatoes, I think from a taste perspective, Oregon Spring is only marginally better than what can be purchased at the supermarket. If you are pleased with a particular ultra early variety, please let me know. I'm interested in either a slicer or a cherry.

For who would like to read it, I've posted a review of Oregon Spring to my blog site and will be rating other tomatoes I'm growing this year as the season progresses.

Thanks in advance for the advice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oregon Spring Tomato Review

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Try Matina.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 2:06PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

A frequent question here. Linked just a couple of the previous discussions on it with lots of suggestions for you.


Need suggestions for good early variety

What's a good early variety tomato?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 2:21PM
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I like Legend and Silitz. They are probably earlier (~55 days) and both taste like real tomatoes. Very few seeds and gel areas.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 2:44PM
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I have grown many early tomatoes, and I agree Oregon Spring is bland, as is Siletz IMO. Matina is a little better, though not great, for me.

But 3 "early" tomatoes--Jetsetter, Moskvich and Stupice-- also happen to be on my top 5 favorites of all varieties of tomatoes, and all 3 also LOVE the heat so their flavor gets way better in the 90-100 degree range. Plus they all can power through nematodes if you have them. They are all 3 fabulous in my area (Sacramento) in all seasons, so they should do well in Palo Alto as well.

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 3:22PM
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I had good luck with Sophie's Choice and Mountain Princess. Good to tide you over until the bigger maters mature.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 5:35PM
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rwk_nova(7, Northern VA)

I can 2nd Matina (indet) and Sophie's Choice (det)and would add Bloody Butcher which tasted the same as Matina to me but was a tad smaller from my garden. Siletz was a decent sized slicer from my garden but was too tart for my taste.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 6:29PM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

Sungold is an early tomato that tastes great.

I find the flavor of tomatoes is effected by ripening in cool weather. The same tomato plant produces better tasting tomatoes when the tomatoes ripen in warm weather. Early tomatoes often get a poor flavor rep because they ripen in cool weather.

This year I was able to get tomatoes about six weeks earlier than I ever have before. I was eating tomatoes in late April.

My problem with early tomatoes is the cool nights. Tomatoes generally don't like to set in the low fifties. I can get plants to grow early but the tomatoes will not set until the night time temperatures warm up.

This year I let a few Early Girls get big in their pots. I potted them up to one gallon and let them flower and set tomatoes before I set them in the garden. These plants were producing tomatoes well before any plant that was in the garden even though many plants had been placed in the garden weeks before the Early Girls.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 8:40PM
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Bloody Butcher was the earliest tomato to ripen for me, but I gave them a lot of help. Stupice was a couple weeks behind them, but I'm getting a lot of ripe fruit off of them now. The Bloody Butcher has more full bodied taste a decent kick of tart. Stupice is milder, more tomatoey tasting. I'm also getting small numbers of Sungold and SuperSweet100. Nothing else is blushing yet.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 10:23PM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

I think the absolute earliest is Kimberly, around 39-45 days and similar to Stupice in size. I also recommend Sophie's Choice and Mountain Princess. Mountain Princess is an heirloom from the Monongahela National Forest region of WV, NOT part of the "Mountain" series from NCSU.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 11:42AM
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erlyberd(Z5 CT)

In no particular order, some of my earliest, with best taste were, numbers are seed to harvest...

Anna Russian 125 days, Kimberly 105, Extreme Bush 126, Moskvick 132, Stupice 110, Uralskiy Ranniy 110 and Tiny Tim 127 days.

These made the cut but may be dropping AR due to lack of production.

Siberia lacks flavor, could try Siberian, supposed to have better flavor but not as cold hardy.

Sub-Artic-Plenty around 110 days, is very sweet and I actually like it.

Black Prince 115 days, somehow this is 12-18oz and not the 5oz as stated in Baker Creeks Catalog? Early, tasty and its a keeper!

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 9:09AM
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Sungold is indeed the cherry tomato to grow for an early harvest - 57 days from transplant although mine were 42 days this year with a nice harvest so far. They have such a rich taste. You can't go wrong with Sungold.

erlyberd, I too have found that Black Prince is much larger than described and came in 45 days from transplant. I'm not complaining. It has good flavor and so far, of the black ones, I like it best. (I lost Black from Tula to V wilt.)

We all have our own taste buds and ideas about what a tom should look and taste like. I don't want mild and sweet - I want a balance between sweet and a bit of acid. So far this year, that is Sungold, Paul Robeson, and Black Prince.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 8:35PM
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I really like Azoychka, Early Wonder (pink), and Bloody Butcher.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 6:30AM
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My favorite early tomato is SunSugar, rated at 62 days to maturity. Out of my 18 plants, 4 are SunSugar! A few tomatoes are starting to blush, at 51 days from transplanting into the garden.

This year I am trying Azoychka, I have lots of green tomatoes at this point, but nothing ripe, yet. Can't wait to try one.

Happy Gardening,


    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:39AM
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Siletz: A lot of people say this is bland, or not as good as other varieties. I guess it wasn't the best tomato we grew, but it was still good, and the fruit are big. Determinate plants about 3ft tall or so made tons of fruit (up to 1 lb or so, ave maybe 1/2 pound, 30+ per plant, and I live a place where tomatoes don't grow especially well) and set very well in cold weather (probably because it is pathenocarpic). Even though it is a determinate, it had fruit ripen very late into the growing season.

Matina: I am growing it this year. We got our first tomato for this around July 4, but it was a couple of weeks between that one and the next ripe tomatoes, and it looks like the large trusses they have now are still at least a week off. So I guess it didn't do very well as an early starter in my growing conditions (perhaps I am doing something wrong). It has been a cool spring without enough sun here. The fruit tastes good and there are lots of them, but the fruits are also very small, so I am not sure if I would say it has big yields compared to other plants we are growing.

Anna Russian: It seems to have set fruit reasonably well compared to other plants, but I don't think I'd call it extremely early. It seems to have very good fruit set in cool weather compared to other varieties I have grown, so this probably does mean it will produce earlier overall if you are gardening in a cooler climate. We haven't had ripe fruit yet, but most descriptions of the tomato rate the taste very highly. I think this one is a good choice for a mid-season tomato in a cool climate.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 5:22PM
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I love it! erlyberd lists them as days from seed to fruit
and then another poster gives the usual count. Frankly,
I understand the seed to fruit better and hope to run across
a thread that explains the more common day count. On another
note, I find myself reading many, many threads per night and
haven't figured out a system to reference back to questions
I may have asked. The reading here sure as heck beats the
boob tube and it keeps me out of the bars. LOL Keep up them

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 11:32PM
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