Celebrity Tomato: Versatile, Sweeter, Commercial Fast growing plant

Celebrity Tomato: Versatile, Sweeter, Commercial Fast growing plant

The Celebrity tomato is truly one of the most popular hybrid tomatoes you can grow in your garden. With its rich, tomatoey flavor, high yields, and disease resistance, it’s easy to see why gardeners keep coming back to this modern favorite year after year.

In this detailed guide, you’ll learn all about the Celebrity tomato so you can experience the satisfaction of harvesting basketfuls of these robust, juicy fruits straight from your own backyard.

An Overview of Celebrity Tomatoes

Celebrity is a semi-determinate hybrid tomato developed by breeder Colin Wyatt for Petoseed Company in the 1970s. It was released commercially in 1983 and made available as seed to home gardeners shortly after.

These tomatoes are known for their smooth, round, red fruits weighing 4-6 ounces typically. Celebrity tomatoes tend to grow in clusters on compact vines reaching 3-4 feet tall.

When ripe, Celebrity tomatoes have a rich, tomatoey taste with low acidity. They have a meaty texture with few seeds, making them perfect for slicing. Their skin is thick, resisting cracking. The interior flesh ranges from bright to deep red.

Fast facts:

  • Type: Semi-determinate hybrid
  • Maturity: 60-72 days from transplant
  • Size: 4+ feet tall at maturity
  • Yield: Very high (typically 20+ lbs per plant)
  • Flavor: Rich, tangy, robust
  • Disease resistance: Excellent, including fusarium wilt and nematodes
  • Uses: Fresh eating, cooking, canning, juicing

Pros

  • Excellent disease resistance
  • Very high yields
  • Adapts well to various climates
  • Rich flavor perfect for slicing
  • Thick skin resists cracking
  • Versatile in the kitchen
  • Semi-determinate provides a good harvest timeframe

Cons

  • Needs staking or caging for support
  • Susceptible to blossom end rot
  • Must be grown from seed each season
  • Not an intensely sweet tomato

The Story Behind Celebrity Tomatoes

While most hybrid tomatoes lack a backstory, there are some interesting details known about the development of the Celebrity tomato.

Breeder Colin Wyatt operated a greenhouse in San Diego and focused on creating disease-resistant tomato varieties. After many rounds of selecting superior plants from field trials, Celebrity was introduced by his employer Petoseed in 1983.

Celebrity was likely a cross between two indeterminate tomato lines demonstrating resistance. It quickly became a hit in commercial greenhouse production. Within a few years, home gardeners could enjoy this winning hybrid tomato as well.

Today, Celebrity remains a reliable, robust tomato variety ideal for the home grower. Its built-in disease tolerance provides gardeners with an easy-care tomato that delivers results.

Celebrity Tomato Flavor and Texture

Celebrity tomatoes offer an excellent balance of rich tomato flavor and firm, meaty texture when ripe. The fruits have a classic tomato taste with medium sweetness and acidity. The flesh is juicy without being watery.

Most who try Celebrity tomatoes straight from the vine find their flavor and texture highly appealing. They have a satisfying “tomatoey” taste perfect for slicing for sandwiches and burgers. Their meaty interior stands up well to being cooked too.

Compared to heirlooms, Celebrity has a more subtle flavor but makes up for it with its productivity and performance. For a tasty, crack-free slicing tomato, Celebrity delivers the goods.

Why Gardeners Love Growing Celebrity Tomatoes

After just one season of growing Celebrity tomatoes, most gardeners are hooked. Celebrity is known for producing excellent yields consistently, with very heavy totals of tomatoes per plant. Gardeners can expect baskets of tomatoes every week at peak harvest time.

Another major advantage of Celebrity is its disease resistance, with genetic tolerance to fusarium, nematodes, and more. This allows the Celebrity tomato plants to stay vigorous and healthy throughout the growing season.

The variety is also known for having tolerance to cracking. Unlike many slicer tomatoes, Celebrity’s thick skin resists splitting and cracking under pressure and rapid growth.

Celebrity tomatoes are highly versatile in the kitchen and can be used anywhere a home gardener would use a standard slicing tomato, for both fresh eating and cooking uses.

While not overly sweet, the Celebrity tomato does have a very pleasing tomato flavor that is perfect for sandwiches, burgers, and other uses where that tomatoey taste shines.

Finally, gardeners appreciate Celebrity’s semi-determinate habit. It provides reliable yields concentrated over a predictable timeframe, without the extreme vine growth of some indeterminate types.

For home growers wanting an easy-care, high-yielding tomato with time-tested performance, Celebrity is the obvious choice.

How to Grow Celebrity Tomatoes

Celebrity is easier to grow than many tomatoes, but good cultural practices will still provide the best results:

  • Seeds for Celebrity tomatoes should be started indoors 4-6 weeks before the expected transplanting date. Grow the seedlings under lights or a sunny window until they reach transplant size.
  • The soil should be prepared by adding ample compost and nutrients. Celebrity thrives in slightly acidic soil, with an ideal pH range of 6.0-6.5.
  • Once the danger of frost has passed, the Celebrity seedlings can be transplanted into the garden, spaced 18-24” apart in a spot that receives full sun.
  • Cages or support should be provided for the plants once they reach 1-2’ tall. Celebrity can reach heights of 3-4’ at maturity.
  • Regular watering is important, providing 1-2” per week focused at the base of plants. Avoid wetting the leaves and aim for even, consistent moisture.
  • Every 2-3 weeks, Celebrity tomatoes should be fertilized with a balanced fertilizer. This should be discontinued near the end of the growing season.
  • Gardeners should scout for typical tomato pests like hornworms and aphids, controlling them as needed. Watch for diseases as well and take preventative action.
  • Celebrity tomatoes should be harvested when they are fully colored but still firm. Pick fruits every few days once ripening starts for the heaviest yields.

How to Use Celebrity Tomatoes

With their uniformly meaty texture, Celebrity tomatoes are extremely versatile in the kitchen:

  • Slice for sandwiches, burgers, paninis, and salads
  • Dice or puree into homemade salsa and sauces
  • Skewer, grill, or roast for added richness
  • Add chunks to stews, soups, omelets, etc.
  • Use in pasta dishes like shakshuka or ratatouille
  • Can or freeze sauce, stewed tomatoes, etc.

Though best fresh, Celebrity’s meatiness also holds up well to freezing and canning. For an all-purpose tomato with disease resistance, Celebrity fits the bill.

Where to Buy Celebrity Tomato Seeds

As a popular hybrid, Celebrity tomato seeds are sold by many online seed companies and local garden centers, often as seedlings too. Some reputable sources include:

  • Burpee – Carries Celebrity seed packets and plants
  • Park Seed – Sells individual seeds or multi-packs
  • Johnny’s Selected Seeds – Offers a dwarf Celebrity variety too
  • Territorial Seed – Sells Celebrity seeds and transplants
  • Bonnie Plants – For pre-started Celebrity tomato plants

When purchasing seed, be sure it is from the current year’s stock. Celebrity is an F1 hybrid and needs new seed annually.

Conclusion

For over 40 years, the Celebrity tomato has been winning over home gardeners with its flavor, yield, and most importantly – exceptional disease resistance. Once you enjoy your first harvest of beautiful, robust Celebrity fruits, you’ll quickly realize why this tomato has achieved star status across North America.

With proper care focused on sun, nutrients, and moisture control – Celebrity will reward you with armloads of tomatoes. It’s no wonder generations of gardeners have made Celebrity their go-to tomato for an easy, bountiful backyard crop.


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Mohsin
By Mohsin

Hi, I’m Mohsin, creator of Tomato about website. I have over a two decade of gardening experience and I love helping others growing healthy tomatoes!


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