Short-Season Tomato Varieties

Live in a cool climate or have a short growing season? Try these tasty, super-productive, early-maturing tomatoes.
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©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Leslie Kuss

Photo By: Image courtesy of Burpee

Photo By: Image courtesy of All-America Selections

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of National Garden Bureau

Photo By: Image courtesy of Burpee

Photo By: Image courtesy of National Garden Bureau

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange

'Early Bush' Cherry Tomato

'Early Bush' produces heavy yields of red cherry tomatoes. This variety produces tomatoes 7 to 10 days earlier than other varieties and does well under adverse weather conditions. Plants do not require staking or caging, making them easy to grow in pots.

'Early Girl' Tomato

Bearing fruit 50 days after planting makes 'Early Girl' a favorite hybrid tomato for those racing to get their fruit first. It's also an indeterminate variety so 'Early Girl' will continue to produce fruit throughout the growing season.

'Orange Roma'

Dating back to around 1955, the early-yielding orange tomatoes 'Orange Roma' have very few seeds and a sweet, fruity flavor. The thick, meaty flesh cooks down nicely for making pastes and sauces. The indeterminate vines bear prolifically.

Tomato 'Juliet'

Sweet, meaty 'Juliet' tomatoes are ready to harvest in about 60 days. These grape-shaped fruits resist cracking and are a great choice for gardeners whose growing seasons are short or whose climates are cool.

'Shirley' Tomato

'Shirley' tomatoes produce medium-sized, red fruits with a firm skin and sweet taste. It is a cordon variety that requires pinching out, but crops early and heavily over a long period of time.

Tomato 'Rubia'

'Rubia' paste tomatoes are ready for picking in 69 to 80 days from harvest, so if you live where the growing season is short, look for an early-fruiting variety. These medium-sized, elongated tomatoes have a rich flavor and smooth, red skins.

'Jaune Flamme' Tomato

This French heirloom’s name 'Juane Flamme' means “yellow flame.” The apricot-colored fruits have a sweet flavor with a hint of tartness and are ready to harvest early in the season. Tomatoes hang in clusters on indeterminate vines; each fruit weighs about 3 to 4 ounces.

Tomato 'Early Doll'

'Early Doll' tomatoes mature in about 52 days. These bright red, globe-shaped fruits are delicious when eaten fresh or chopped for salsas.

'Summer Sweet' Tomato

Tomato 'Summer Sweet' is a baby plum with very high sugar content and fruits that mature in 75 days from transplanting. It's a great early tomato for a sunny spot outside or for a greenhouse.

'Sweet Olive' Tomato

'Sweet Olive' is a cordon, easy-to-grow variety that can mature in just under 60 days. It will produce a heavy crop in a pot or growing bag, even if you don't remove all the sideshoots.

'Black Cherry' Tomato

'Black Cherry' is a cherry tomato with a rich flavor. These are a round, true cherry type with fruits that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter and make great garden snacks. 'Black Cherry' matures in 65 to 70 days on large, bushy plants that grow up to 8 feet tall.

'Gold Medal' Tomato

First listed as ‘Ruby Gold’ in a 1921 seed catalog, this sweet tomato was renamed ‘Gold Medal’ around 1976. The yellow skins have reddish-pink markings, and the yellow meat inside shows a faint blush. Ready in about 75 days, this tomato has a low acid content that gives it a mild taste.

'Jet Star' Tomato

If you like your tomatoes on the sweet side, plant 'Jet Star', one of the earliest hybrid tomatoes originally from Harris Seeds. This tomato has tremendous disease resistance, so it's a great indeterminate tomato in the home garden. If you like to preserve your crop of 'Jet Star' tomatoes by canning, add lemon juice to the jars before sealing.

Tomato 'Sungold'

A premier variety of cherry tomatoes,'Sungold' ripens to a golden orange with a very sweet flavor. This tomato is popular in all climates, as it produces in warm and cold conditions. Fruit matures quickly and crops heavily throughout summer.