Harrowsmith Gen XYZ – Emma’s Edible Yard – The Secret to Harvesting the First Ripe Tomato on the Block

Emma Biggs Emma Biggs is a 13-year-old gardener and garden communicator. Emma raised over 130 tomato varieties in her Toronto garden in 2018—gardening in containers, in straw bales on a driveway, in a neighbour’s yard, in wicking beds under a walnut tree, and on the garage roof. Her garden is the source of many of […]

I usually start planting tomato seeds indoors in mid-March. I don’t get to eat the fruits of my labour until mid-summer. The long wait is totally worth it to me, and I love every minute of taking care of my tomato plants. (OK, almost every minute!) I accept that tomato plants take a long time to grow.

But I’m still anxious for my first tomato. Everyone is.

There are ways to have that first tomato earlier.

You can start your seeds earlier, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to move your tomato plants outside earlier…so your plants might become root-bound and unhappy. Artificial light isn’t the same as natural light.

The solution? Grow tomato varieties with an earlier DTM (days to maturity).  

When you see something like “85 days” on the back of a seed packet, it refers to the DTM. The DTM gives you an idea of how many days it takes from transplanting your tomato plant outside until you have ripe tomatoes.

The mid-season maturity mark for tomatoes is 75 days. Anyone interested in a variety that matures in only 55 days?

Well, that magical tomato variety is Stupice.

Stupice gives you the first ripe tomato in your garden. This productive variety grows clusters of round, red tomatoes.

 

In the Kitchen

Stupice tomatoes are packed with a great, tangy flavour.

Since it has always been this first ripe tomato in my garden, I like to pick it and eat it like an apple right in the garden.

Sharing? No sharing it with anyone. No adding it to any salads or sandwiches. I just sit there and enjoy four months of work and love!

 

Grow Your Own

Start Stupice seeds as you would any other tomato.

Stupice is an indeterminate variety, so if you have a limited amount of growing space like me, I recommend training and pruning it so that the plant takes up less space.

Training your tomato plants also keeps them away from the soil, which can transfer disease, cause fruits to rot, and is the home to lots of pests who want to munch on your tomatoes.

 

Where to get Stupice Tomatoes

Stupice tomato seed is widely available. Find it at:

West Coast Seeds https://www.westcoastseeds.com/products/stupice-organic

Urban Harvest [https://uharvest.ca/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=21_47&products_id=591

Matchbox Garden & Seed Co.

https://matchboxgarden.ca/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_256_282&products_id=432

Renee’s Garden

https://www.reneesgarden.com/products/tomato-earlycontainer-organic-heirloom-stupice

Victory Seeds

https://www.victoryseeds.com/tomato_stupice.html

Emma Biggs
Emma Biggs

Emma Biggs is a 13-year-old gardener and garden communicator. Emma raised over 130 tomato varieties in her Toronto garden in 2018—gardening in containers, in straw bales on a driveway, in a neighbour’s yard, in wicking beds under a walnut tree, and on the garage roof. Her garden is the source of many of her stories—and the source of produce that she sells in her neighborhood. In 2015, at the age of nine, Emma co-authored of Grow Gardeners, Kid-Tested Gardening with Children with her father and started helping him at garden talks and workshops. For the past couple of years, Emma has been giving her own talks at libraries, seed exchanges, garden clubs, and garden shows. Emma is the co-host of The Garage Gardeners Radio Show. She hosts kids gardening videos on the From Dirt to Dishes gardening channel on YouTube. Her latest book, Gardening with Emma, helps kids find the fun in gardening (and helps adults remember how much fun gardening is!)

www.emmabiggs.ca

Posted on Thursday, June 18th, 2020

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