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26 Fastest-Growing Tomato Varieties for Short Seasons

Time slows to a crawl when you’re waiting for your garden harvest to ripen. There’s nothing worse than nurturing a tomato plant for months, only to have it killed off by an early frost before you can enjoy the bounty.

The average tomato takes about 70 days to go from transplant to ripe fruit, and many growers don’t have two months of hot summer weather to wait through. This leaves them with little more than unripe green tomatoes for their gardening efforts—still delicious, but far from their goal at the start of the growing season.  

Thankfully, you have options for growing tomatoes if summer weather isn’t in your favor. For those who suffer through a short growing season, the solution is to seek out faster-growing tomato varieties.

26 Best Fast-Growing Tomato Varieties

Below is a compilation of some of the earliest tomato varieties available today. Most will ripen with sixty days of transplanting, and they boast well-flavored fruit that’s delicious eaten fresh or preserved as salsas, sauces, and so much more.

So whether you’re dealing with a short growing season or simply want to enjoy garden-fresh tomatoes faster, these 26 varieties are the ones worth your consideration.             

Sub-Arctic: This “world’s earliest tomato” takes just six weeks to ripen and will set fruit in colder temperatures than other varieties. It’s not a heavy producer, but you’ll get plenty of tangy tomatoes that are perfect for fresh eating.

Days to maturity: 42-50 

Tomato Patio Choice: Those who love yellow cherry tomatoes will appreciate how early in the season the Tomato Patio Choice variety lets you enjoy them. This tiny plant grows just 18 inches tall but makes up for its small stature with impressive fruit production.

Days to maturity: 45-50

Fourth of July: As the name implies, this tomato can be trusted to ripen around mid-summer for one of the first slicers of the season. It’s a reliable indeterminate variety with excellent flavor.

Days to maturity:  49-55

Stupice: This prolific plant produces 3-6 oz tomatoes throughout the growing season. Expect them to be tangy. Its dwarf size makes it great for container growing.

Days to maturity: 50-60

Tumbler Tomato: Another early cherry tomato, the Tumber Tomato is a determinate variety that grows well in containers for easy harvesting.

Days to maturity: 50-60

Gardener’s Delight: Previously called Sugar Lump, this German heirloom is considered one of the best tasting cherry tomatoes available. You’ll get clusters of six to twelve tomatoes throughout the growing season. Harvest often, as the fruit is prone to cracking.

Days to maturity: 50-80

Whippersnapper: Perfect for container gardens, this dark pink cherry tomato produces lots of fruit from a compact plant.

Days to maturity: 52-60

Early Doll: These ruby-red, spherical tomatoes are one of the first to ripen in the garden and hold up great in salsas and other fresh dishes.

Days to maturity: 52-60

Bloody Butcher: A tasty, ultra-early tomato variety that produces two-inch fruits in clusters up to ten. Fruits will ripen until the first frost, and they are great for canning.

Days to maturity: 54

Tigerella: Famous for its orange-striped skin, this cherry tomato ripens within 55 days after planting and produces all season.

Days to maturity: 55

Sophie’s Choice: This Canadian variety consistently beats out others for early ripening and produces larger, more flavorful fruits than other types. Best of all, this compact plant is the perfect size for container growing.

Days to maturity: 55

Early Wonder: This dark pink beauty grows up to six ounces and offers lots of flavor with every fruit.

Days to maturity: 55

Gold Nugget: Bright orange and well-balanced flavors make this early season cherry tomato a winner for anyone who loves to snack on them straight from the garden.

Days to maturity: 56

Sasha’s Altai: This squat, well-sized tomato boasts a complex flavor best enjoyed fresh in salads.

Days to maturity: 57

Glacier Tomato: As the name suggests, Glacier tomatoes ripen early and withstand chilly temperatures well. These three-inch fruits are best enjoyed fresh. It’s semi-determinate, which means the plant is tall but not sprawling, and it does best grown within a tomato cage.

Days to maturity: 56-63

Silvery Fir Tree: Gorgeous foliage makes this tomato stand out, and it’s a great container producer. The fruits have lots of gel proportional to their size, making them better for fresh eating than making paste.

Days to maturity: 58

Bush Early Girl: This medium-sized, indeterminate tomato is a reliable producer for anyone with a short growing season. Each tennis-ball shaped tomato is filled with flavor and versatile for cooking or fresh eating.

Days to maturity: 59

Sweet Olive: This upright (cordon) tomato grows well in small spaces, so long as you give it some support. Many people have success using growing bags for this variety.

Days to maturity: <60

Juliet: Long and meaty, these grape tomatoes ripen within two months and resist cracking. An excellent early choice for paste making.

Days to maturity: 60

Moskvich: This Russian heirloom produces 4-6-oz fruits over several months that are crack resistant and have a complex flavor.   

Days to maturity: 60

Betalux: This thick-stemmed beauty is a Polish heirloom that doesn’t require any staking. You’ll get lovely red fruits great for canning and paste-making.

Days to maturity: 60

Manitoba: Designed to withstand the chilly conditions of the Canadian tundra, Manitoba tomatoes are a vigorous determinate that will produce juicy four-inch fruits.

Days to maturity: 60

Sungold: This cherry tomato’s candy-sweet taste means it’s many people’s favorite to begin in, but factor in the early ripening time, and you have a real winner. Each plant is a prolific producer of crack-resistant, bright yellow fruit.

Days to maturity: 60

Siberian: This Russian heirloom is an early producer of relatively large fruits. A determinate ripening habit makes it excellent for food preservation.

Days to maturity: 62

Berkeley Tie-Dye Tomato: Though it takes longer to mature than many on this list, the Berkeley wins points for its large size, gorgeous coloring, and complex flavor, making it comparable to many beefsteaks.

Days to maturity: 65-75

Orange Roma: If you prefer low-acid tomatoes, the Orange Roma packs in lots of tomato flavor in its meaty flesh without many seeds. It’s a perfect early variety for making sauces and pastes.

Days to maturity: 69

By following these tips and choosing the best tomato varieties for your climate, you can ensure that you enjoy some of the earliest home-grown tomatoes in the neighborhood. After one taste of the season’s first fruit, you’ll agree that every step taken to coax your plants into early production was well worth the effort.