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How Long do Tomatoes Take to Grow? [Answered]

How long a tomato will take to grow will depend on the variety that you’re growing and the weather conditions.

Tomatoes are one of my favourite vegetables to grow every summer. Each year, I try to plant different varieties to see how well they grow and how much I enjoy the taste of each one.

Sometimes, I also find that some varieties from the previous season will self-seed and this is always a nice surprise. 

However, when planting different varieties, it’s important to understand how long each one will take to grow before I can start harvesting the delicious fruit.

This allows me to plan the best planting time to ensure that there will be plenty of fresh, tasty tomatoes to harvest.

Common tomato varieties and how long they take to grow

How long a tomato will take to grow will depend on the variety that you’re growing and the weather conditions.

In general, it will take from around 60 to 100 days to harvest your first fruits when you grow your tomatoes from seed. 

If you purchase seedlings from your local nursery or garden centre, you can often cut this time down by around 10 to 12 days.

tomato seedling | Fruit & Vegetables

Here are a few of the most common tomato varieties with their estimated growing times.

Bite Size Tomatoes

This hybrid variety produces cherry-sized fruits and is disease-resistant. It takes around 77 to 84 days to harvest mature fruits when grown from seed.

Green Zebra Tomatoes

This lovely heirloom variety has fruits that are green-striped when mature. They taste delicious and are heavy croppers. They normally take around 96 days to mature when grown from seed.

Green Zebra tomatoes | Fruit & Vegetables

Jubilee Tomatoes

This variety produces a slightly earlier fruit set with mild-flavoured fruits that are deep orange. It will take around 72 days from seed sowing to harvest your first fruits.

Super Beefsteak Tomatoes

This popular variety produces large, juicy tomatoes in around 85 days when grown from seed.

Beefsteak tomatoes | Fruit & Vegetables

Grosse Lisse Tomatoes

This popular variety produces large beefsteak tomatoes that are juicy and full of flavour. It will take around 100 days to produce mature fruits when grown from seeds.

Red Cherry Tomatoes

If you want to enjoy some homegrown tomatoes sooner rather than later, then many of the cherry varieties will produce fruit earlier than the larger varieties. This particular variety will produce harvestable fruit within 65 days of sowing the seeds.

Super Marmande Tomatoes

For an early harvest of scrumptious, oblate fruit even in cool regions, this variety will be ready for an initial harvest within 62 days if grown from seedlings.

Super Roma Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are excellent for bottling or making tomato sauce from because their initial fruit set will ripen all at once. This variety will produce a bumper crop that will be ready to harvest within around 76 days when grown from seedlings.

Roma tomatoes | Fruit & Vegetables

Tiny Tim Tomatoes

This cherry variety will provide you with lots of small fruits within around 80 days when grown from seed.

Factors that can affect how long tomatoes take to grow

There are a number of factors that can determine how long your tomatoes take to grow. Firstly, it will take longer if you grow tomatoes from seeds than if you purchase ready-grown seedlings to plant in your garden.

Many nurseries also have more mature plants for sale in pots that are often labelled as ‘Patio Tomatoes’. These varieties are usually determinate ones and are designed to be grown in their pots.

Tomatoes in nursery | Fruit & Vegetables

You might even find these as quite mature plants that have already started to flower. These are ideal if you want to get a head start and have some tomatoes ready to harvest in around 2 to 4 weeks.

Your local weather conditions will also affect how long your tomatoes take to grow. Tomatoes are warm-season crops and need plenty of sunshine.

Therefore, if you planted your tomatoes early and get a bit of cold weather, it will take longer for your tomatoes to produce their crop.

Tomatoes are also quite thirsty plants, so you need to ensure that you keep them well-watered. If they’re allowed to dry out too much early on, this may delay their harvest time.

You also want to ensure that you give your plants nutrient-rich soil to grow in that’s free-draining. Feeding your tomatoes regularly with a potassium-rich fertiliser will encourage lots of fruiting.

fertiliser in garden | Fruit & Vegetables

The last factor that will determine how long your tomatoes will take to grow is the particular variety that you’re growing. You’ll often find that the smaller varieties will crop earlier and produce fruits for a much longer period of time than the larger ones.

FAQ

How often do you water tomatoes?

Tomatoes do not like to dry out. In summer, they should be watered daily to ensure that the soil remains moist but not overly wet. On very hot days, I’ve been known to water my tomatoes twice a day to ensure that they don’t dry out.

Do tomato plants need to climb?

Tomato plants are not natural climbers but they will produce very long stems that will continue to grow. This applies mainly to indeterminate tomatoes. In order to keep the plants off the ground, you need to provide stakes or other structures to support the growing stems.

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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