Growing Tomatoes Tomatoes

Unlocking the Best Time to Plant Tomatoes in Minnesota

Welcome, dear Minnesotans, to the magical world of tomatoes! You’re here, so chances are you’ve had a hankering to get your hands dirty and face the ultimate Northern gardener’s question: “When do I plant my tomatoes in Minnesota?” Well, friends, let’s cut straight to the ketchup (pun intended). In this article, we’ll cover everything from the best time to plant, the types of tomatoes suitable for our quirky Minnesota climate, to how to ensure your juicy reds don’t turn into ice cubes! So grab your trowel, throw on your flannel, and let’s get planting!

Understanding the Tomato Growing Regions

Alrighty then, fellow Minnesota green thumbs, let’s talk tomato territories! We’ve got more than 10,000 lakes but no two tomato-growing spots are the same. So, let’s dig in, shall we?

1. Northwest Minnesota

Ah, the land of Paul Bunyan, where the winters are as stubborn as a mule and the summers are shorter than a bunny’s tail. Here, your tomato season is as brief as a Minnesota goodbye, so opt for early maturing varieties and remember, layers are not just for clothing!

  • Major Cities: Bemidji, Crookston, Moorhead
  • Major Counties: Polk County, Becker County, Clay County

2. Northeast Minnesota

Alright, Iron Rangers! Your tomato tactics need to be as tough as the iron ore beneath your feet. Short season varieties will be your best buddies. Extra points for season extenders, like hoop houses or thermal mulches.

  • Major Cities: Duluth, Hibbing, Virginia
  • Major Counties: St. Louis County, Lake County, Cook County

3. Central Minnesota

You’re the lucky ones in the middle! You get a slightly extended growing season. But don’t get too comfortable. You still have to be as quick as a mosquito bite when it comes to planting and harvesting.

  • Major Cities: St. Cloud, Brainerd, Willmar
  • Major Counties: Stearns County, Benton County, Kandiyohi County

4. Southern Minnesota

Look at you, basking in the longest growing season! But don’t let it go to your head. Minnesota weather is as unpredictable as a potluck dinner, so diversify your tomato types for best results.

  • Major Cities: Rochester, Mankato, Albert Lea
  • Major Counties: Olmsted County, Blue Earth County, Freeborn County

5. Twin Cities Metro

Urban gardeners, you’ve got it made with a unique microclimate, but beware! Your tomatoes might get distracted by all those skyscrapers and forget to grow. Keep ’em on task!

  • Major Cities: Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington
  • Major Counties: Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County

So, whether you’re planting in the shadow of Paul Bunyan or amid the bustling Twin Cities, remember growing tomatoes in Minnesota is a lot like ice fishing, you need patience, the right bait (or tomato variety), and a good sense of humor. Now let’s get out there and show these tomatoes what Minnesota Nice really means!

When to Plant Tomatoes in Minnesota

Well butter my buns and call me a biscuit, that’s a mighty list you got there! But you’re in luck, this Minnesota native is up to the challenge. Let’s take a stroll through our state’s tomato-licious micro-climates, shall we?

1. Northwest Minnesota

  • Micro-climate weather conditions: As fickle as a coon dog on a new scent, we got short summers and chilly winters.
  • USDA plant hardiness zone: Zone 3a – 4a
  • Approximate first frost date range: Mid-September to early October
  • Approximate last frost date range: Late May to early June
  • Average length of the growing season: Short, around 110-120 days
  • Start seeds indoor: Try for about 8 weeks before the last frost date
  • When to transplant: When the outdoor soil temperature consistently hits 60°F
  • Risk-free time range to transplant outdoor: Around June 7th to August 7th

2. Northeast Minnesota

  • Micro-climate weather conditions: Like finding a moose in your yard, it’s generally unpredictable, with cool temperatures and a shorter growing season.
  • USDA plant hardiness zone: Zone 3b – 4b
  • Approximate first frost date range: Mid-September to early October
  • Approximate last frost date range: Late May to early June
  • Average length of the growing season: Short, around 120-130 days
  • Start seeds indoor: About 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date
  • When to transplant: When the outdoor soil temperature is consistently 60°F
  • Risk-free time range to transplant outdoor: Around June 7th to August 10th

3. Central Minnesota

  • Micro-climate weather conditions: If Minnesota were a sandwich, we’d be the juicy tomato in the middle! Moderate summers, cold winters.
  • USDA plant hardiness zone: Zone 4a – 4b
  • Approximate first frost date range: Late September to early October
  • Approximate last frost date range: Mid to late May
  • Average length of the growing season: Mid-range, about 140-150 days
  • Start seeds indoor: About 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date
  • When to transplant: When the outdoor soil temperature consistently hits 60°F
  • Risk-free time range to transplant outdoor: Around May 28th to August 15th

4. Southern Minnesota

  • Micro-climate weather conditions: Toastier summers and milder winters than our northern kinfolk.
  • USDA plant hardiness zone: Zone 4b – 5a
  • Approximate first frost date range: Early to mid-October
  • Approximate last frost date range: Mid May
  • Average length of the growing season: Longer, around 160-170 days
  • Start seeds indoor: About 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date
  • When to transplant: When the outdoor soil temperature is consistently 60°F
  • Risk-free time range to transplant outdoor: Around May 28th to August 20th

5. Twin Cities Metro

  • Micro-climate weather conditions: Like a sneaky raccoon, it’s warmer and has fewer frost days than other parts.
  • USDA plant hardiness zone: Zone 4b – 5a
  • Approximate first frost date range: Mid October
  • Approximate last frost date range: Mid May
  • Average length of the growing season: Longer, around 160-170 days
  • Start seeds indoor: About 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date
  • When to transplant: When the outdoor soil temperature consistently hits 60°F
  • Risk-free time range to transplant outdoor: Around May 28th to August 25th

There you have it, folks! Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be swimming in tomatoes before you can say “Hot dish”!

Best Tips and Tricks to Prepare Tomato Seeds in Minnesota

Well now, ain’t you come to the right place, partner? As a seasoned green thumb from the Agriculture Extension Center of Minnesota, I reckon I’ve got a few sage tips for you. Now, you gotta remember, getting tomato seeds ready for planting is a bit like preparing for a good ol’ Minnesotan potluck: you want to bring the best dish to the table!

1. Starting those Seeds

We start those tomato seeds indoors around 6-8 weeks before our average last frost date. Now, that’s just about when you start daydreaming of a respite from the cold and snow! You’ll want to nestle those seeds in a seed-starting mix – not too deep, mind you, about a quarter of an inch should do it. Remember to water ’em carefully, don’t let ’em dry out or get waterlogged!

2. Temperature Tango

Tomatoes are a bit like Goldilocks – they want it just right. Keep those seeds warm, but not too warm. Somewhere in the range of 70-75°F is their sweet spot. But don’t worry if you can’t get it exactly right, tomato seeds are tougher than they look. They’re like us Minnesotans, they can handle a bit of hardship!

3. Let there be Light

Once those sprouts start to pop up, they’re going to need plenty of light, about 14-16 hours a day. A south-facing window could do the trick, but you might want to invest in some grow lights to give ’em the best start. Think of it as their own little artificial sunshine during our long winters!

4. Hardening Off

This here’s the part where we prepare our young ‘uns for the great outdoors. About a week before transplant time, start taking your plants outside for short periods each day. Keep ’em in a sheltered spot out of the wind and direct sun. It’s like teaching a kid to ride a bike – they need to start slow and build up confidence!

5. Transplant Time

When the soil temperature is consistently above 60°F, it’s time for the big move. But remember, don’t rush it! Tomatoes are warm-weather crops. They don’t take kindly to frosty nights, so keep an eye on that forecast. If a late frost threatens, be ready with some frost protection or be prepared to bring ’em indoors for the night.

Remember, growing tomatoes from seeds is a bit like fishing on one of our beautiful Minnesota lakes. You’ve got to be patient, take good care of your equipment, and remember to enjoy the process. And don’t forget, the payoff at the end is totally worth it! Happy planting!

How to Transplant Tomatoes in Minnesota

Howdy there, fellow tomato tamer! So, you’ve made it through the indoor seed starting phase and are ready to plant those young’uns outdoors? Well, buckle up, because this is where the real fun begins. Like a good Minnesota hot dish, you’ve got to layer this process just right!

1. The Great Minnesota Dig Out

First, we’ve got to dig the hole. How deep, you ask? Well, remember, tomatoes ain’t like us – they don’t mind being buried up to their necks! Dig a hole deep enough so that 2/3 of the plant is underground. This’ll give your tomatoes a sturdy root system, stronger than a lumberjack from Bemidji!

2. Tuck ‘Em In Tight

Before you place that tomato plant in its new home, add a bit of compost to the hole. You could also add a bit of bone meal or slow-release fertilizer, just a sprinkle mind you. It’s like adding a pinch of salt to your wild rice soup – it brings out the flavor!

3. Thirst Quenchers

After you’ve planted your tomatoes, give ’em a good drink. Watering will help settle the soil and give those roots a good start. But don’t drown ‘em! It’s like ice fishing, you need water, but you don’t want to fall in!

4. Buddy System

Just like going on a hike in the Boundary Waters, your tomatoes will do better with a buddy. In this case, a sturdy stake or tomato cage will provide support as your plant grows. Nobody wants a tomato plant that’s fallen over like a tipsy loon!

5. Mulch Ado About Something

Now, this ain’t a Minnesota winter, but a layer of mulch around the base of your plants can do wonders. It’ll keep the soil cool, limit weed growth, and help retain moisture. A good mulch is like a good neighbor, always there when you need it!

6. Keep An Eye Out

From here on out, watch your tomatoes like a hawk watches the Mississippi river. Make sure they’re getting enough water, but not too much, and be on the lookout for any pesky bugs or signs of disease.

Remember, growing tomatoes in Minnesota is a bit like cheering for the Vikings – it takes a little patience, a bit of hard work, and a lot of hope. But when you finally get to harvest those juicy tomatoes, it’s sweeter than a state fair funnel cake! Happy gardening!

How to Prepare Soil for Planting Tomatoes in Minnesota

Greetings, Minnesota’s aspiring tomato wrangler! So you’re curious about soil preparation, eh? Well, preparing the soil is much like preparing a hearty Minnesota hotdish. You’ve got to mix in the right ingredients and give it some tender loving care. Let’s dive into this dirty business!

1. First Things First – Test Your Soil

You wouldn’t start baking without knowing what’s in your pantry, would you? So why start gardening without knowing your soil’s pH and nutrient levels? Head down to the local extension office or pick up a DIY kit to get a read on your soil. Tomatoes prefer a slightly acidic to neutral pH, around 6.0-7.0 – just like us Minnesotans, not too sweet, not too sour!

2. Break It Up – Tilling

Just like you’d churn butter, churn your soil! Break up any hard soil clods and till your garden space to about a foot deep to give those roots some room to stretch. Careful not to overdo it though, too much tilling can break up the soil structure and lead to compaction – and no one likes a tough hotdish!

3. Compost – Black Gold

Now, here’s the secret sauce – compost. Add a good layer, about 2-3 inches, and work it into the top 6 inches of soil. This not only enriches the soil with nutrients but also improves the soil structure, making it as fluffy as our world-famous Minnesota State Fair cream puffs!

4. Fertilize – Buffet for Tomatoes

Tomatoes are heavy feeders, they’re hungrier than a mosquito in July! They appreciate a balanced fertilizer (like a 10-10-10), or specifically formulated tomato fertilizers. Mix it in according to the package instructions – remember, a little goes a long way!

5. Good Drainage – No Puddles Please

Just like how we don’t fancy our socks getting wet, tomatoes don’t care much for soggy feet either. Ensure your soil drains well so water doesn’t pool. If it does, consider adding some organic matter or sand to improve drainage, or opt for raised beds – they’re like the high-seated trucks of the gardening world!

6. Warm It Up – Sunbathe Your Soil

Did I mention tomatoes love the heat? They do, almost as much as Minnesotans love a warm cabin in the dead of winter! Before transplanting, make sure the soil has warmed up to at least 60°F. If you’re in a hurry, try using black plastic or a cloche to warm it up quicker.

Remember, gardening is like fishing – it requires patience and a love for the great outdoors. Now go on, get your hands dirty and let’s make your tomato plants happier than a gopher in soft soil!

How to Fertilize Tomatoes in Minnesota

Well, hello there! You’re back for more tomato talk, eh? This time you’re asking about feeding those hungry plants. Well, let me tell you, tomatoes can eat more than a lumberjack at a pancake breakfast! So, let’s dish out some Midwestern wisdom on this topic.

1. Starter Fertilizer – The First Supper

When you first plant your tomatoes in the ground, you’ll want to give them a good meal to start. Mix in a balanced, slow-release granular fertilizer (10-10-10 works great) or a specialty tomato fertilizer into your soil. Think of it like buttering your corn – you gotta make sure it’s well covered!

2. Regular Feedings – Tomato Buffet

Tomatoes are heavy feeders – they eat more than a kid at the State Fair! Feed ’em every 2-4 weeks with a balanced tomato fertilizer. Always follow the package instructions, too much fertilizer can burn your plants, just like too much sun can burn a Minnesotan!

3. Compost Tea – Grandma’s Secret Recipe

Don’t underestimate the power of good ol’ compost tea! It’s like grandma’s secret hotdish recipe – always a hit! Use compost tea every few weeks to give your plants a boost of nutrients. But remember, just like iced tea, it should be cool before you give it to your plants!

4. Keep it Even – Consistent Feeding

Consistency is key, just like cheering on the Vikings even when they’re down. Keep an even feeding schedule to make sure your plants get the nutrients they need to grow and produce fruit.

5. Pay Attention – Plant Talk

Keep an eye on your plants. Yellowing leaves could be a sign of nitrogen deficiency, while poor fruit set could mean a lack of phosphorus. It’s kind of like talking to your plants – they’ll tell you what they need if you’re willing to listen!

6. Water Wisely – Hydrate to Cultivate

Watering is crucial. Water thoroughly after each fertilizer application to help it soak in. But remember, tomatoes don’t like soggy feet – make sure your plants have good drainage.

7. Know When to Stop – The Last Supper

As the season winds down, stop fertilizing about a month before your first expected frost. This lets your plants focus on ripening those last few fruits instead of producing new growth. It’s like last call at a Minnesota supper club – you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here!

So, there you have it! Now you’re ready to feed those tomatoes like a true Minnesotan. Remember, a well-fed tomato is a happy tomato! Happy gardening, neighbor!

Tomato Plant Care Tips and Tricks in Minnesota

Howdy there, green thumb! We’re back on the topic of tomato plant care, are we? Well, caring for tomatoes in our beloved state of Minnesota is like looking after the elusive lake monster of Lake Pepin – it requires patience, dedication, and a good sense of humor. Let’s rustle up some wisdom, shall we?

1. Watering – Quenching the Thirst

First things first, tomatoes love a good drink, but not too much or they’ll end up with soggy roots. Like true Minnesotans, they like balance. Provide a deep watering a few times a week rather than a little every day. This encourages deeper root growth and a healthier plant, as sturdy as Paul Bunyan himself!

2. Mulch – A Blanket for Your Tomatoes

Spread a layer of mulch around your plants to keep the soil cool, retain moisture, and keep those pesky weeds at bay. It’s like wrapping your tomatoes in a cozy flannel blanket!

3. Support – Stand by Your Tomato

Just like any good friend would, make sure to provide support to your tomato plants. Stake or cage your tomatoes to keep them off the ground and away from pests and diseases. It’s like building a good fence – keeps the good in and the bad out!

4. Pruning – A Little Off the Top

A little trim now and then can benefit your plants. Remove the suckers – those little growths between the main stem and the branches. It’s like a haircut for your plant – keeps it neat and tidy, and more energy can go into fruiting.

5. Pest and Disease Watch – Tomato Security

Stay vigilant for pests and diseases. Spotting trouble early can save your plant! If you see leaves with spots or holes, or any creepy crawlies, take action. It’s like fishing – you have to keep a keen eye to catch anything!

6. Rotation – Keep ‘Em Guessing

Rotate your crops each year to prevent the buildup of soil-borne diseases. It’s like changing fishing spots, sometimes it’s just what you need to land the big one!

7. Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor – Tomato Time

Finally, the best part of tomato care is the harvest! When your tomatoes are a deep, vibrant color and slightly soft to the touch, it’s time to pluck them from the vine. Celebrate the fruit of your labor, because nothing beats the taste of home-grown Minnesota tomatoes!

Remember, every day is a good day when you’re growing tomatoes. Or as we say here in Minnesota, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!” Happy gardening, friend!

How to Water Tomato Plants in Minnesota

Well hello there, Minnesota gardener! You’re wondering about the art of watering tomatoes? We’ve got this! Watering tomatoes in our great North Star State is a bit like ice fishing – it requires patience, the right timing, and most importantly, balance. Let’s dive into this lake of knowledge, shall we?

1. The Goldilocks Rule – Not too Little, Not too Much

Tomatoes need the “just right” amount of water. Over-watering can lead to root rot and under-watering can stress the plant. Your tomato plants need about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week, but remember, in Minnesota, if it ain’t broke, we still fix it! Adjust according to rainfall and heat.

2. Morning Watering – Rise and Shine

The best time to water your tomatoes is in the early morning. This gives the plants a good supply of water to face the heat of the day. It’s like fueling up with a hearty Minnesota breakfast before a day of exploring the great outdoors.

3. Soaker Hoses and Drip Irrigation – Modern Farming

Consider using soaker hoses or a drip irrigation system. They deliver water directly to the root zone, reducing evaporation and water waste. It’s like delivering a juicy burger right to your doorstep – efficient and effective!

4. Deep Watering – Go Big or Go Home

When you water, do it deeply. This encourages roots to grow deeper into the soil, making the plants more stable and able to access water during dry spells. Think of it as training for the big Minnesota freeze – the deeper the roots, the better they can survive the tough times.

5. Avoid Wet Leaves – Keep it Clean

Avoid getting water on the leaves to prevent fungal diseases. It’s like avoiding slush in the winter – it might seem fun at first, but it’s just going to lead to cold, wet feet.

6. Monitor the Moisture – Trust but Verify

Before watering, check the soil moisture. Stick your finger about an inch into the soil. If it’s dry, it’s time to water. If it’s still damp, hold off. It’s like checking the ice before a game of pond hockey – better safe than sorry!

7. Mulch – A Tomato’s Best Friend

Don’t forget to mulch your tomatoes to conserve soil moisture and keep weeds at bay. It’s like having a loyal retriever by your side – always helpful, always there when you need it!

In the end, remember to listen to your plants, just like you’d listen to a good Garrison Keillor story – attentively and with care. Your tomatoes will tell you what they need if you pay attention. Happy watering, fellow Minnesotan!

Common Tomato Diseases in Minnesota

Oh, hey there! Got some tomato troubles, huh? Well, we Minnesotans know a thing or two about weathering storms – whether that’s a blizzard or a bout of tomato blight. So let’s dive in and check out these unwanted tomato tourists.

1. Early Blight

Early blight is like that uninvited guest that always arrives too soon to the party. It starts with dark spots on lower leaves, which soon get rings like a target. To avoid this fungus, try to keep those leaves dry and rotate your crops every year, just like swapping out your snow boots for rain boots.

2. Late Blight

Late blight is early blight’s rude cousin who shows up unannounced at the end of the party. It spreads fast, turning leaves, stems, and fruit into a wet, rotted mess. Like catching the fish before it jumps, catching it early and removing infected plants can save your crop.

3. Septoria Leaf Spot

This one’s like a slew of mosquitoes – little spots all over the lower leaves. It’s a fungus that loves wet weather. Stake and prune your plants to improve air circulation, just like you’d swat away those pesky mosquitoes.

4. Fusarium Wilt

Fusarium wilt is the silent killer, causing wilting and yellowing leaves. It’s a soil-borne disease, so crop rotation and resistant varieties are your best defense – it’s like changing fishing spots when they aren’t biting.

5. Verticillium Wilt

Verticillium wilt is Fusarium wilt’s sneaky brother, causing similar symptoms. This fungus can live in the soil for years. Again, rotating your crops and choosing resistant varieties is key, just like always having a back-up plan when you’re out exploring our beautiful state parks.

6. Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV)

TSWV is like a bad rumor, it causes spotting and wilting, and it’s spread by thrips. Keep a tidy garden to reduce hiding spots for these pests – it’s like keeping your cabin clean to avoid uninvited furry guests.

7. Bacterial Spot

Bacterial spot is like a summer hailstorm, causing black-edged spots on leaves and fruit. Copper-based sprays can help, but remember to use them sparingly, like how you’d sparingly use your secret barbecue sauce.

8. Blossom End Rot

Blossom end rot turns the bottom of your tomatoes black. It’s caused by calcium deficiency and irregular watering. To avoid this, maintain consistent watering and consider a calcium-rich fertilizer. It’s like making sure your hotdish has just the right amount of cream of mushroom soup.

9. Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl:

Tomato yellow leaf curl virus makes your plant’s leaves curl and yellow. It’s like a permanent bad hair day for your tomatoes! It’s spread by whiteflies, so keep those pests in check.

10. Anthracnose:

Anthracnose is like that last-minute hiccup that spoils the party. It causes dark, sunken spots on ripe fruit. To control this fungus, avoid overhead watering and pick fruits regularly.

Remember, the best defense is a good offense. Keeping a clean, well-tended garden will help your tomatoes avoid any nasty business. It’s like my Grandma used to say: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” Happy growing, fellow Minnesotan!

How to Harvest Tomatoes in Minnesota

Howdy there, tomato wrangler! You’re asking about harvesting tomatoes in our beautiful Minnesota? Well, that’s like asking a loon how to swim – it’s my bread and butter! So let’s roll up our flannel sleeves and dive into this tomato harvest hoe-down!

1. Timing is Everything – The Waiting Game

Patience is a virtue, and boy, it applies to harvesting tomatoes. Wait until your tomatoes are fully colored and slightly soft to the touch. It’s like waiting for the leaves to change in fall – when it’s time, you’ll know!

2. Twist and Shout – The Harvest Dance

To harvest, hold the fruit firmly, and then give it a gentle twist and pull. Think of it as a dance move, the “Tomato Twist.” If the fruit doesn’t come off easily, you can use garden shears or a sharp knife to help it along.

3. Morning Harvest – Early Bird Gets the Tomato

Harvest your tomatoes in the morning after the dew has dried. They’ll be at their best flavor and it’ll keep you from working in the afternoon heat. It’s just like waking up for a Minnesota sunrise – early, but worth it.

4. Handle with Care – Tomato TLC

Handle your tomatoes gently to avoid bruising. It’s like holding a newborn fawn – soft and gentle is the name of the game.

5. Ripen Indoors – Minnesota Weather Insurance

If frost threatens, you can pick your tomatoes green and let them ripen indoors. Place them in a paper bag with an apple or banana to speed up the process. It’s like bringing in your lawn furniture before a storm – better safe than sorry!

6. Don’t Store in the Fridge – Keep it Cozy

Never store your tomatoes in the fridge. It makes them mealy and dulls the flavor. Keep them on the kitchen counter instead, as cozy as a casserole on a winter’s day.

7. Don’t Forget to Taste – The Tomato Test

The final, and arguably most important tip – don’t forget to taste your tomatoes! Make sure they’re as delicious as you hoped. It’s the Minnesotan way – always quality check your work (and maybe make a tomato sandwich while you’re at it).

So, there you have it, folks! Harvesting tomatoes isn’t all too different from fishing on one of our ten thousand lakes – it requires patience, the right technique, and a love for the great outdoors. Happy harvesting, friend!

Common Tomato Varieties in Minnesota

Howdy, fellow Minnesotans! Seeking tomatoes as hearty as our state fair cheese curds and as durable as our Vikings? You betcha, we got you covered! Here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, we have tomato varieties as diverse as our lakes and as resilient as us folks enduring those long winter months. Whether you want tomatoes quicker than a snow melt in spring or a variety that’s as reliable as hotdish at a potluck, we got it. So grab your flannel, pull on those gardening gloves, and let’s explore Minnesota’s top 25 tomato varieties:

  1. Early Girl: Hybrid, Indeterminate, 50-60 days, VF. She’s more punctual than a Minnesotan arriving to a potluck!
  2. Celebrity: Hybrid, Determinate, 70 days, VFFNT. As well-rounded as our state’s culture!
  3. Roma: Heirloom, Determinate, 75-80 days, VF. Perfect for turning into homemade tomato soup for those chilly winter days.
  4. Super Fantastic: Hybrid, Indeterminate, 70 days, VF. As super fantastic as catching the perfect walleye!
  5. Better Boy: Hybrid, Indeterminate, 70-75 days, VFN. Better than Paul Bunyan himself!
  6. Big Beef: Hybrid, Indeterminate, 73 days, VFFNT. Sturdy and reliable, just like a Minnesotan.
  7. Mountain Fresh: Hybrid, Determinate, 77 days, FFN. As refreshing as a dip in Lake Itasca.
  8. Jet Star: Hybrid, Indeterminate, 70 days, VF. As popular as hotdish at a church social.
  9. Sun Gold: Hybrid, Indeterminate, 55-65 days, Fusarium Wilt. These little gems are sweeter than Sweet Martha’s cookies at the State Fair!
  10. Brandywine: Heirloom, Indeterminate, 80-100 days. Old-fashioned and beloved, just like our historic Split Rock Lighthouse.
  11. Cherokee Purple: Heirloom, Indeterminate, 80-90 days. Just like a Minnesota sunset, it’s beautiful and unique.
  12. Supersonic: Hybrid, Indeterminate, 79 days, VF. Faster than a snowbird fleeing to Florida in November.
  13. Green Zebra: Heirloom, Indeterminate, 75-80 days. As fascinating as the Mystery Spot in St. Ignace.
  14. Beefsteak: Heirloom, Indeterminate, 85-90 days. As hearty as a meal at Mickey’s Diner.
  15. Black Krim: Heirloom, Indeterminate, 80-90 days. This tomato has a taste as deep as Lake Superior.
  16. Sweet Million: Hybrid, Indeterminate, 65 days, FNT. Sweeter than our state fair cotton candy!
  17. Pink Girl: Hybrid, Indeterminate, 76 days, VF. As charming as our cherry blossoms in Rochester.
  18. Cherry Bomb: Hybrid, Indeterminate, 64 days, FNTMV. Packed with a flavor punch, like a Juicy Lucy burger!
  19. Golden Jubilee: Heirloom, Indeterminate, 80 days, VF. Golden like our Gophers’ spirit!
  20. Bush Early Girl: Hybrid, Determinate, 54 days, VFFNT. The early bird catches the worm, and this girl catches the Minnesota sun.
  21. Grape Tomato: Hybrid, Indeterminate, 65-70 days, VF. Small, but punches above their weight, just like our Mall of America.
  22. Heatmaster: Hybrid, Determinate, 75 days, VFFFNSt. Not that we have much heat, but it’s good to be prepared!
  23. Mountain Spring: Hybrid, Determinate, 70 days, VF. As fresh as spring in the Boundary Waters.
  24. Lemon Boy: Hybrid, Indeterminate, 72 days, VFNASt. A little ray of sunshine for those overcast Minnesota days.
  25. Candyland Red: Hybrid, Indeterminate, 55 days. Sweet as candy – but don’t worry, no sugar rush!

Well, there ya have it! Now let’s grow those tomatoes that’ll make even the Jolly Green Giant green with envy!


Well, there you have it, fellow Minnesotan, a veritable voyage through the land of tomato cultivation in our glorious state! We’ve weathered the storms of hardiness zones, navigated the lakes of watering, and even danced with the deer in the garden of disease prevention. But remember, patience and vigilance, just like waiting for that walleye to bite, are key in our tomato journey. From choosing the right variety and timing the planting just right, to giving your plants the TLC they deserve, every step is an essential part of this tomato-growing hoedown. Now go on, get out there and give it your Minnesota best!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *