Early Tomatoes

One of the things my customers always asks me, is if a certain tomato will really ripen in 45 days. I have to be honest with them and say I have no definitive answer. There are so many variables involved in growing a garden. Weather, soil temps, watering, fertilizing, garden location, and the variety.

We have no control over the weather. Some years it is cold and rainy. Plants sit there,  just waiting for warmer weather. (The only good thing is that the plant is working on root development, giving  it a good foundation to grow with). I've also seen light frost in early June.

Living in a cooler part of the US means we want tomatoes that will ripen earlier. Subarctic Plenty was developed for the troops in Greenland so they could have fresh tomatoes. Stupice is a nice tomato with good flavor and it comes from the Czech Republic. Siletz and Jetsetter are both good sized tomatoes for an early variety. Then there’s the Early Girl. It’s ok but there are some I like so much better. Ultimate Opener is earlier and was created by the same people who developed the Early Girl.

Remember that  ripening times are  from the time of transplanting into the garden. Most of the early tomatoes are determinate and do well in a LARGE container.


The famous old canning tomato that was introduced in 1908 by Bonnie Plant Farm in Union Spring, Alabama. Medium-sized fruit are round, red, meaty and loaded with flavor. A good producer that makes a fine slicer too. Becoming hard to find. Indeterminate


The perfect slicer for sandwiches. An improvement on the popular Champion, with much better disease resistance, while maintaining its distinctive sweet taste, earliness and large, 6 to 8-oz. fruits that are smooth and meaty.


Introduced in 1900, this old time early variety was very popular in the Eastern part of the U.S. The open spreading, vigorous vines produce clusters of red, 4-5 oz. Fruits with solid, firm flesh. Very productive. Indeterminate


Plant produces high yields of flavorful 4 oz bright red tomatoes. It is one of the best eating saladette varieties on the market. Excellent for salads and sandwiches. Very productive until first frost. VFA. Indeterminate


A black variety with flattened, round, 5 to 6 oz eye-catching tomatoes that grow in clusters. Fruits have a combination of attractive maroon flesh and green gel. Flavor is delicious with the perfect acid to sugar balance


This is the highly popular early tomato that most folks are familiar with. Bears heavy crops extremely early, continues longer than most varieties. Large clusters of 5 oz. fruits. Bright red and meaty with a lot of flavor and aroma. Indeterminate


It has a rich old-fashioned tomato flavor. Perfect for sandwiches, salads, and slicing. This variety is able to set fruit in a wide range of temperatures. The plant produces well with low night temperatures and West Coast weather. Fine flavor, beautiful color, solid flesh! Bears fruits early, bumper crops all summer.


Continuous production. Luscious flavor and broad disease resistance all add up to an early tomato that will give Early Girl a run for her money. Extra large harvests of big, 8 oz. red sweet fruits. Do your own comparison test at home in your garden. Indeterminate


The first tomato to ripen by Independence Day! Be the first on your block to have vine ripened red, luscious tomatoes by the Fourth of July. Enjoy the plentiful harvest about 49 days after setting plants in the garden. Indeterminate


Extremely early, cold-tolerant, it begins flowering when only 4" high and bears tasty tomatoes only 45 days from flowering. Good for large containers. You can expect higher-than-average yields of 2 to 3 oz. fruits with outstanding flavor for such an early tomato.  Excellent in a large container. Determinate


Short season gardeners are especially happy with this variety that doesn't sacrifice size or flavor for early maturity as many early varieties do. Tomatoes are at least 8 oz., sometimes larger. Yields are good and plants have good disease resistance. Indeterminate


An extremely early variety developed by the Morden Experiment Farm in Manitoba. Particularly well suited for extreme northern areas. Fruits are bright red, slightly flattened, good-flavored, and weigh about 6 oz. each. Easily grown in a small area. Determinate


It was the first to set and ripen fruits in my garden last year. A bushy variety, especially bred for growing in baskets and containers, where stems and fruits fall gently over the sides. Plants produce a heavy crop of sweet, red fruits. Yummy. Determinate


An wonderful, extra-early tomato. This heirloom yields an abundance of deep red, 4-6 oz., smooth, cold-tolerant, round and slightly flattened fruits with a luscious, rich taste. Determinate


Fruits average 4-6 oz. and are better tasting and more disease resistant than Early Girl. Plus bigger yields. Good taste for an early tomato. Widely adapted. Indeterminate


Consistently 10 days earlier than Early Girl, Oregon Spring is a compact plant bearing fine flavored, nearly seedless,tomatoes. This is one of our favorites. Great for cooler climates & container planting. Determinate


An Idaho-bred tomato! Of all the varieties bred by the U of ID in the 1960s, Shoshone tied for the earliest ripening. Great taste, compact plant size, and productivity. Excellent for containers and small spaces. Fruits vary in size from cherry to large salad tomato. DETERMINATE


This might be one of the earliest tomato ever - only 7 weeks from transplanting to table. Capable of setting fruits at 38 F on sturdy dark green plants. The fruits are bright red, 3 to 5 oz. and bunch in clusters.

Good for large containers.



Very large (especially for an early tomato) and early maturing, it produces flavorful deep red, round fruits. Fruit size is 10 - 12 oz. Produces even during cooler weather. Named after a river on the West Coast. Determinate


A native of Czechoslovakia, where it's extreme earliness, tolerance to cold, and high yields have earned it worldwide attention. Fruits are sugary sweet, bright red, weighing 1 to 2 oz. This tomato has earned it's place in my garden. Indeterminate


This is a really sweet tomato. Allegedly developed in the 1940's by the U.S. Military to provide fresh tomatoes to their troops in Greenland. If your weather turns cold after you set out plants, try this variety. Hardier than virtually any other variety. Great for a large pot. Determinate


This is one of the largest, earliest red slicing tomatoes available, and it has excellent flavor. Fireworks is an exceptional variety. Its bright red fruit are 6 to 8 ozs., round with a pointed tip, and borne quite heavily on vigorous plants. Indeterminate


This new tomato developed by the same breeder of Early Girl and Better Boy Hybrids. Strong, vigorous plants are capable of tremendous yields. According to some folks, they are better tasting and larger than the Early Girl. Strong disease resistance. Indeterminate


This is a new red tomato that has been grown and tested for cool summer temps with a short growing season. This meaty, medium sized fruit is good for home processing. The flavor is a good mixture of sugar and low acid. Determinate,


Becoming a Northwest heirloom, Willamette was developed at Oregon State University by the late Dr. William "Tex" Frazier in the 1950's. This very dependable ripener is one of OSU's first early determinate tomatoes. It's medium in size with a mild, low acid, sweet flavor. Tasty for a early tomato. This one does well in a large container. Determinate


Early, productive, and yummy variety bred by University of Idaho - perfect for containers! Latah is well suited to cooler nights and relatively short growing season. A prolific producer of 2-3 oz, delicious well balanced, red fruits with good texture. Determinate


Extremely compact, early-ripening tomato for cold mountain gardens. Bred by the University of Idaho in the 1960s. This variety is nice looking and compact, bearing loads of early 2" fruits on a compact plant. this one beats the storeboughts, and works great in pots! One of the most reliable producers for high mountain gardeners. Determinate


"42-Days" is the world's earliest tomato plant. Be the first to harvest tomatoes with excellent flavor. Small fruits are bright red with very few seeds. While most early tomatoes originate from cooler climates, this one is believed to have come from the southern Mexico. Perfect for container growing. Determinate


Typically, when we debut a new Goliath™ variety, it's a big bold stand-alone beauty, but this superior cluster-type with all the wow factors of its famous namesake caught our eye. Bright red, flavorful, 4 to 5 oz. fruits present themselves for select picking or cluster harvest, holding their fine form and flavor for up to 2 weeks. Indeterminate.