Introduction

Stop me if you've heard this one before: If tomatoes are a technically a fruit, then why don't they go in a fruit salad?

The scientific answer is that tomatoes are indeed a fruit, and also a vegetable. Fruits are defined as a seed-bearing structure produced by a flowering plant. So, yep - tomatoes qualify as a fruit! However, the definition of vegetables is much more open to interpretation, and few would deny that in culinary terms, tomatoes should be classed as a vegetable.

Are you planning to grow your own tomatoes?  We would highly recommend it! One of the first questions to ask is whether you want a determinate or indeterminate variety.  On our farm, most tomato plants for sale are indeterminate varieties - what this means is that the plant's vine will keep growing until it reaches the end of its life cycle. For the home gardener, it is thus important to plan how you're going to train the vines (decide where they will grow) and prune (keep the plant healthy and productive). If you decide on a determinate variety instead (Ace 55 or Sunrise Sauce), you don't have to pay as much attention to the training and pruning, because the bush produced will be a fixed and predictable size.

We made two short videos to help explain the most important concepts and skills to practice. We highly recommend watching them in order to best care for your tomato plants.

Detailed Care Instructions

Indeterminate varieties should be staked, trellised, or caged, and pruned for best results; fruit ripens over an extended period.


CULTURE: Grow tomatoes in rich, slightly acidic soil. If you use fertilizer, pay close attention to the chemistry, because too much nitrogen can cause rot.


TRANSPLANTING: Don't start too early—leggy, root-bound, or flowering transplants can cause stunting and reduce early production. For earliest crop, plant under row cover around last frost date. Avoid exposing unprotected plants to consecutive nightly temperatures below 45°F (7°C).

 

In rows 4–6' apart, space determinates 12–24" and indeterminates 24–36". Plant deeply to encourage adventitious rooting. Water seedlings with a high-phosphate fertilizer solution at planting to help boost early yields.


TRELLISING: Basket-weave by pounding 5–6' stakes every 2–3 plants, using heavier t-posts intermittently and at ends of beds. For tall indeterminates, consider short extensions or pruning once they outgrow a manageable size for easy harvest.


PRUNING: Indeterminates likely benefit by removing all suckers under the first strong branch directly below the first flower cluster. The lower bottom suckers often miss trellis supports, set fruit closer to soil, take energy from upper parts, and encourage spread of disease from soil. If needed later in season, consider thinning out leaves to increase airflow or topping plants to help finish ripening last fruits.


DISEASES & INSECT PESTS: Learn your common pests and options for control, including resistant cultivars and pesticides. Avoid wet leaves and handling when wet or using tobacco products.  Don't allow plant debris to accumulate near the plants.


HARVEST: Fruits ripen gradually from the blossom end to shoulders and from the base of clusters to the tips. Harvest softer fruit unstacked into shallow, padded trays. Fully ripe fruit should be eaten immediately. Do not refrigerate. Any fruit breaking color will still ripen post-harvest. Calyx can be removed or kept to prove freshness. If staking larger fruit with calyx on, consider trimming below shoulders when harvesting.

Adapted from:  Johnny's Selected Seeds

Our Varieties

Tomatoes

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Abigail

Nearly perfect pink heirloom-type.

Bred For

Disease and Blight Resistance

Texture

Ribbed shoulders, meaty taste

Yield

10-16oz fruit

Days to Maturity

75 Days from Transplant

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Ace 55

Large, deep red fruit with low acid content. Determinate variety.

Bred For

Wilt Resistance

Crack Resistance

Texture

Firm

Yield

10-12oz fruit

Days to Maturity

76 Days from Transplant

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Beefsteak

An old time favorite that has been popular since the mid 1800’s due to its excellent productivity and wonderful taste.

Bred For

High Productivity

Texture

Ribbed, meaty

Yield

12-16oz fruit

Days to Maturity

90 Days from Transplant

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BHN 871

High yields of attractive golden-orange tomatoes. Determinate variety.

Bred For

High Yield

Disease Resistance

Texture

Low Acidity

Yield

10-12oz fruit

Days to Maturity

74 Days from Transplant

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Black Krim

Russian heirloom, indeterminate

Bred For

N/A - Heirloom

Texture

Bold, smoky

flavor

Yield

8-16 oz fruit

Days to Maturity

80 Days from Transplant

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Celebrity

Long-popular determinate variety with good flavor.

Bred For

Disease Resistance

Texture

Firm, flavorful,

globe-shaped

Yield

7-8 oz fruit

Days to Maturity

72 Days from Transplant

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Cherokee Purple

Unusual variety with full flavor.

Bred For

N/A - Heirloom

Texture

Rich, full

flavor.

Yield

8-12oz fruit

Days to Maturity

72 Days from Transplant

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Golden Jubilee

Favorite heirloom tomato plant with good tomato size and yields.

Bred For

N/A - Heirloom

Texture

Sweet and mild

Yield

8-12oz fruit

Days to Maturity

72 Days from Transplant

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Large Cherry

Red fruit, heavy yields.

Bred For

Wilt Resistance

Crack Resistamce

Texture

Sweet flavor

Yield

0.8oz fruit

Days to Maturity

75 Days from Transplant

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Mortgage Lifter

A cross of German Johnson, Beefsteak, Italian, and English varieties, from the 1930s.

Bred For

N/A - Heirloom

Texture

Large and pink

Yield

16oz fruit

Days to Maturity

79 Days from Transplant

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Mr. Stripey

Large, deep red fruit with low acid content. Determinate variety.

Bred For

N/A - Heirloom

Texture

Soft and juicy, with a mild, low-acid flavor

Yield

9-12oz fruit

Days to Maturity

80 Days from Transplant

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New Girl

First early, great flavor.

Bred For

Disease resistance

Texture

Firm

Yield

4-6 oz fruit

Days to Maturity

62 Days from Transplant

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Oaxacan Jewel

A pre-Columbian Mexican heirloom tomato.

Bred For

N/A - Heirloom

Texture

Yellow, rich, acidic

Yield

16-32oz fruit

Days to Maturity

78 Days from Transplant

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Pink Ponderosa

First introduced in 1891 by Peter Henderson & Company, who claimed it to be their most popular tomato ever

Bred For

N/A - Heirloom

Texture

Rich and meaty

Yield

16-32oz fruit

Days to Maturity

80 Days from Transplant

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Striped German

Bicolor red-and-yellow fruit.

Bred For

N/A - Heirloom

Texture

Smooth

Yield

12+oz fruit

Days to Maturity

78 Days from Transplant

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Sun Gold

Intense fruity flavor.

Bred For

Sweetness

Texture

Firm

Yield

0.6oz fruit

Days to Maturity

57 Days from Transplant

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Sunpeach

Delicious pink cherry tomato with leaf mold resistance.

Bred For

Productivity, crack resistance, flavor

Texture

Deep-pink and shiny

Yield

0.6oz fruit

Days to Maturity

60 Days from Transplant

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Sunrise Sauce

Low-maintenance orange paste tomato.

Bred For

Disease resistance

Texture

Sweet taste, squat shape

Yield

4-6oz fruit

Days to Maturity

57 Days from Transplant

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Supersweet 1000

The classic, sweet, red cherry tomato.

Bred For

Productivity, disease resistance

Texture

Sweet and red

Yield

0.6oz fruit

Days to Maturity

60 Days from Transplant