How Long To Grow Tomatoes (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 60 – 80 Days

The taste of tomato right off the vine is incomparable to a typical grocery store-bought tomato. Hence, tomatoes are even called the number one home garden vegetable. Tomato plants require optimal growing conditions to produce tomatoes in the appropriate amount of time. Conducive growing conditions include bright sunlight. sufficient water, and regular fertilization to the plant.

In general, tomatoes are warm-season plants and do not produce fruits when the night-time temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Tomato plants need the air temperature in their environment to be ranging between 65 degrees to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tomatoes take 20 to 30 days to reach maturity. It begins producing fruits 50 – 60 days after they are planted in the ground. Many varieties of tomatoes take 70 to 80 days from the time that the plants are placed in the ground to the time that its fruits are ready to harvest. Thus, provided that the tomatoes are well-tendered, the amount of time it will take for the tomato plant to produce a harvest depends on what type of tomato plant one is growing.

How Long To Grow Tomatoes?

Type of plantTime
Early-season50 – 60 days
Mid-season60 – 80 days
Late-season80 days or more

The exact days to harvest depends on the cultivated variety of tomato plants which can range anywhere from 60 days to more than 80 days. In addition, they cannot be planted too early in the ground as they are tender warm-season crops that cannot bear frost.

Some tomatoes are bred to produce plants early in the season. In moderate coastal climates which lack a full growing season of heat and sunshine, only this type variety of tomato plants reliably produce fruits. In certain early-season varieties of tomato plants, tomatoes ripen in approximately 54 days. On the other hand, indeterminate tomato plants produce the first harvest within 80 days of planting.

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Depending on the circumstances and conditions, some young tomato plants may start producing blossoms or even tomatoes while still being in the nursery. Later, tomato plants will grow and rely on its strong branches to hold tomatoes and foliage to shade fruit when the sun is most intense. Thus, in the initial days after planting, the tomato plants are in their early stages of development wherein they need to focus their energy on growth.

The tomato plants will feature blossoms and fruits in various stages of development throughout the growing season, producing continuous yields after the first tomatoes have ripened.

Why Do Tomatoes Take So Long To Grow?

Tomatoes are one of the most versatile varieties of vegetables used almost routinely on most cuisines around the world including salads, sandwiches, juices, sauces, or for salsas, ketchup, and authentic Indian recipes. Tomatoes are commonly grown from the seedlings started indoors that are later transplanted into the garden.

Some of the popular varieties of tomato plants are San Marzano, Paste or Plum Tomato, Cherry Tomato, and many others. All these varieties can be further be divided into determinate and interminate types of tomatoes. The determinate varieties will produce shoots until flowers have blossomed on the wine while the indeterminate varieties will form flowers along with the shoot and continue to grow until the weather conditions are no longer favorable.

The ideal temperature required for germination of tomato seeds ranges between 70 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. For best germination results, tomato plants should be kept in warm and dark places. When planted in pots, the seedling should ideally appear in about 10 – 14 days. In northern regions, tomato plants need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily, 8 – 10 hours are preferred. In southern regions, light afternoon shade helps tomatoes to survive and thrive.

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Tomatoes are the best-enjoyed right off the vine for their taste and flavors. After transplanting, one can see the fruit appearing on the plant within 60 – 70 days. A fully ripe tomato will be softer than the unripe ones. Ripeness also varies with each variety of tomato but most tomatoes are ready for harvest by late summer if planted in early spring.

Conclusion

Growing tomatoes is an easy way to get going on home gardening and get fresh ingredients for soups, salads, sandwiches, and more. Tomatoes are warm-weather vegetables and sun worshippers.

Generally, tomato seeds take up to 10 – 15 days to germinate. The seedling then can take anywhere between 2 – 3 months i.e around 60 – 80 days to produce fruits from the first day of transplanting. However, one must remember that this can change depending on environmental conditions and the gardener’s expertise.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14620316.1989.11516015
  2. https://www.canr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/tomatoes.pdf
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