25 Fastest Growing Tomato Varieties for Short Seasons

25 Fastest Growing Tomato Varieties for Short Seasons

Waiting endlessly for your lovingly nurtured tomato plants to bear ripe, juicy fruit can feel like watching paint dry. But when old Jack Frost comes knocking early, those slow-poke tomatoes never get a chance to reach their full flavor potential.

Luckily, tomato lovers in shorter summer climates need not despair. By picking the right speedy varieties, you can outsmart fickle weather and be rewarded with armloads of tomatoes before your neighbors.

Keep reading to discover 30 sprinter tomatoes that laugh in the face of cold snaps and abbreviated growing seasons. With these early birds, you’ll be enjoying fresh tomato sandwiches and salsas while others are still waiting on green fruits.

1. Sub-Arctic (42-50 days)

Hailing from the frost-prone boreal climate of Siberia, Sub-Arctic scoffs at chilly weather. In as little as 42 days, these compact 18-inch plants start setting sweet, tennis ball-sized tomatoes. While not a big yielder, Sub-Arctic gives cool climate gardeners juicy 4-12 ounce fruits weeks ahead of other varieties.

2. Tomato Patio Choice Yellow (45-50 days)

Think you don’t have space for tomatoes just because you lack a yard? This dwarf variety proves you wrong. Tomato Patio Choice grows an adorably compact 10-18 inches in containers, yet rewards you with gobs of sunshine-yellow cherry tomatoes just 45 days from transplanting. Expect clusters of 15-20 fruits, each under an inch wide with a tropical fruit-like sweetness. It’s an overachiever for patio and urban gardens.

3. Fourth of July (49-55 days)

Celebrate summer’s star-spangled holiday with a harvest of these all-American slicers. Like the fireworks finale, you can count on Fourth of July to produce an abundant display of 4-6 ounce red fruits that consistently start ripening around Independence Day. With a nice balance of sweet and tart, these popsicle-shaped tomatoes are perfect for BLT sandwiches and fresh eating.

4. Stupice (50-60 days)

Originally from the former Czechoslovakia, this obscure heirloom wins fans for cold hardiness and early yields. Starting just 50 days after transplanting, Stupice rewards your faith with clusters of 2-3 inch, tangy tomatoes. The medium-sized plants keep pumping out smooth, red fruits even in cool conditions unfavorable to other varieties. Organic gardeners will also appreciate its disease resistance.

5. Tumbler Tomato (50-60 days)

With its cascading habit, Tumbler was designed specifically for hanging baskets and containers. But besides being pint-sized at 12-18 inches tall, it also ripens fast. Just 50 days from transplanting, Tumbler starts dishing out oodles of sweet, red cherry tomatoes. The compact plants require no staking or pruning, making for an easy and early tomato suited to small spaces.

6. Gardener’s Delight (50-65 days)

Once sold as Sugar Lump, this centuries-old heirloom from Germany charms gardeners with its candy-like sugary sweetness. True to its name, Gardener’s Delight rewards your patience with loads of 1-2 ounce fruits that arrive in abundance just 50 days after transplanting. Expect clusters of 6-12 cherries, ripening over an extended period for the impatient gardener. To prevent splitting, be sure to harvest frequently.

7. Whippersnapper (52-60 days)

Bred specifically for container gardening, Whippersnapper is ultra-compact at 10-16 inches tall. But besides its petite size suited to courtyards and patios, Whippersnapper also ripens fast. These vigorous, disease-resistant plants reward your patience just 52 days from transplanting, bearing clusters of 7-14 classic cherry tomatoes. Weighing in at 1-2 ounces each, the rich red fruits are perfect for popping straight into your mouth.

8. Early Doll (52-60 days)

Among the earliest slicing-size tomatoes, Early Doll is a garden hero where summers are short. Unlike many early varieties, these fruits attain a respectable 4 ounces, ripening to a lovely shade of pinkish-red. Expect a classic tomatoey zing with each bite. Early Doll is an indeterminate variety, so the harvest keeps coming once it starts around 52 days from transplanting. With an open, wispy growth habit, it thrives in garden beds or large containers.

9. Bloody Butcher (54 days)

Despite its gory name, Bloody Butcher is actually a beloved heirloom tomato with a cult following. These plump, slightly-flattened fruits reliably ripen in just 54 days, allowing you to enjoy sandwiches and fresh salsa weeks before other varieties. The smooth, deep red tomatoes grow 4-6 ounces apiece, with a juicy texture and robust flavor. Bloody Butcher shows good disease resistance, even in warm humid climates.

10. Tigerella (55 days)

Here’s a tomato sure to draw attention in any garden with its flashy striped appearance. A rainbow of yellow, orange, and red, the 1-2 ounce fruits almost resemble tiny persimmons. Tigerella wins fans not just for beauty, but also its early harvest starting about 55 days after transplanting. The sweet fruits hold reasonably well on compact indeterminate vines. They have thin skins and refreshing flavor that really shines when enjoyed fresh in salads or salsa.

11. Sophie’s Choice (55 days)

Breeders from Canada developed this compact variety specifically for shorter northern growing seasons. Sophie’s Choice forms tidy 2-3 foot plants that churn out gobs of 2-4 ounce tomatoes without taking up much garden space. The round, bright red fruits are deliciously juicy and bursting with rich tomato flavor. Sophie also grows well in large containers. Once harvest starts 55 days after transplanting, be prepared for more ripe tomatoes than you know what to do with!

12. Early Wonder (55 days)

As its name hints, Early Wonder satisfies impatient gardeners who want sizable slicers faster. Expect to harvest tender-skinned 4-6 ounce pink fruits just 55 days from transplanting. With a time-tested old-fashioned tomato taste, Early Wonder shines in sandwiches and salads. The 2-3 foot tall plants show an open, wispy growth habit. It happily gives its abundant crop in garden beds or large containers.

13. Gold Nugget (56 days)

Imagine crunching into little golden nuggets of tomato sweetness. That’s the experience you’ll enjoy with petite Gold Nugget. These yellow cherries offer a delectable sugar-charged pop of flavor, ripening in just 56 days on compact plants. At about an inch across, they’re perfect for tossing whole into salads or munching by the handful. Gold Nugget keeps pumping out pint-sized tomatoes on fast-growing vines till frost ends the harvest.

14. Sasha’s Altai (57 days)

Sasha’s Altai comes from tomato breeders in Siberia, so you can trust it to thrive in colder conditions. The plants stay remarkably compact at 12-24 inches tall with a determinate habit. But they produce heavily, setting 3-4 ounce wide, juicy tomatoes by 57 days after transplanting. With a healthy yield on petite plants, it’s ideal for containers. The richly complex flavor really shines when enjoyed fresh in sandwiches and salads.

15. Glacier (56-63 days)

Withstanding unexpectedly cold weather, Glacier is a garden hero in fickle northern zones. These meaty 4-5 ounce fruits tolerate even chilly conditions that cause other varieties to fail. Glacier delivers all the flavor and texture of a good old-fashioned slicer. With a smooth, blemish-free exterior, thick walls, and few seeds, the scarlet-red tomatoes resist cracking so you can leave them on the vine longer. Determinate vines reach 3-4 feet tall.

16. Silvery Fir Tree (58 days)

Besides winning points for visual intrigue, Silvery Fir Tree’s tricolored foliage resembles Christmas. But you’ll appreciate this tomato just as much for its early harvest of succulent fruits, just 58 days from transplanting. The abundant 3-4 ounce tomatoes have thin skins and firmer flesh. With lower acidity than other early varieties, they make a refreshing addition to salads and sandwiches.

17. Bush Early Girl (59 days)

The classic Early Girl tomato shines in this determinate, compact package that skips the staking and tying required by standard vines. Bush Early Girl reliably pumps out the traditional Early Girl flavor in 6-8 ounce fruits that start ripening just 59 days from transplanting. The self-supporting 2-3 foot plants are perfect for large containers.

18. Sweet Olive (less than 60 days)

Also sold as Sweet ‘n Neat, Sweet Olive was bred specifically as a container tomato. This Early Girl type stays petite enough for hanging baskets at just 12-24 inches tall. But don’t let its stature fool you – Sweet Olive churns out slews of outstanding flavored fruits starting in under 2 months. Expect abundant clusters of 1-2 inch, oblong grapes with a complex sweetness and tropical fruit overtones.

19. Juliet (60 days)

If you desire an early cherry tomato with excellent flavor, it’s love at first bite with Juliet. Be prepared to fall hard for its super-sweet 2-ounce grapes that hold well on indeterminate vines. Starting just 60 days from transplanting, Juliet seduces your taste buds with a sublime balance of sugars and acids. The elongated fruits resist cracking better than most other cherries, keeping their quality longer.

20. Moskvich (60 days)

From the cold climes of Russia, this heirloom was bred to thrive in chilly conditions. That makes Moskvich a great choice for northern regions with shorter seasons. The tomatoes have a classic flavor with an extra zing, devoid of any hollowness or blandness. Expect prolific amounts of slightly flattened, 4-6 ounce fruits. With a juicy texture and rich taste, they’re delicious for fresh eating. The compact vines don’t require staking.

21. Betalux (60 days)

Plump and meaty, Betalux is an early tomato from Poland that’s ideal for slicing, sauce, and canning. These bright red, 4-6 ounce fruits have few seeds, thick walls, and excellent old-fashioned tomato flavor. The sturdy 18-24 inch vines won’t need staking to support abundant yields. Betalux is also highly resistant to disease, even in warm climates.

22. Manitoba (60 days)

Developed by the University of Manitoba, this mid-sized tomato was bred specifically for the harsh conditions of the Canadian prairies. But gardeners everywhere will appreciate its early harvest. Glossy 4-8 ounce fruits start ripening just 60 days after transplanting, resisting cracking so they keep better on compact vines. With a refined balance of sweetness and acidity, Manitoba is delicious for fresh eating and preserving.

23. Sungold (60 days)

Like sunny flowers you can pop in your mouth, Sungold cherry tomatoes burst with tropical fruit sweetness. In blind taste tests, these sugary orange gems rate as one of the all-time favorites. Sungold rewards your patience just 2 months from planting with clusters of 1-inch cherries. Once the cascade begins on fast-growing vines, be prepared for a delicious deluge of fruit.

24. Siberian (62 days)

Withstanding freezing nights and short seasons, Siberian was made for northern gardens. These stocky determinate plants reach 2-3 feet tall while churning out copious harvests of 4-6 ounce tomatoes. With meaty interiors and a rich, tangy taste, Siberian is delicious for both fresh eating and cooking into the sauce. Plus it holds up well on the vine and in storage.

25. Berkeley Tie Dye (65-75 days)

While most beefsteak types take at least 80 days to mature, Berkeley Tie Dye is a standout for its early harvest. At over a pound apiece, these enormous tomatoes ripen weeks ahead of other extra-large varieties. Beyond impressive size, their marbled pink and olive-green skin is sure to elicit oohs and ahhs. The knock-out flavor is just as astonishing.

Wrapping up

With so many outstanding early tomato varieties available today, there’s no reason to wait through a long growing season for ripe tomatoes. By selecting quick-maturing types suited to your climate along with proper growing techniques, you can enjoy summer’s vine-ripened bounty even in areas with shorter springs and summers. Any of the tomatoes in this list are sure to reward you with an early harvest of delicious flavors.


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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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