First ripe large tomato

– Posted in: Vegetables
12 comments

Image of ripe tomato showing a bit of green on topDoes this qualify as a ripe tomato? If it does, I think the vegetable gardeners at Purdyville have beat out Carol of May Dreams Gardens for the first tomato. My 23-year-old daughter started the seeds indoors and potted the seedlings on until they were in gallon size pots, maybe larger. Then my husband planted them out in the garden sometime after June 3rd and has been tending them. He brought this one in last night.

In all fairness I must concede that he had to harvest it because it had a crack on the bottom:
Image of cracked bottom of ripe red tomatoWe have no problem cutting out the crack and eating the rest, especially when it’s the very first one, but does this disqualify it as a first tomato? I demand a jury of my peers, my fellow garden bloggers. Let the people speak!

This is a Pruden’s Purple. Not sure why it is called purple, when it is described as yielding pink fruit. Three weeks earlier than Brandywine pink fruit.

I just think it’s kind of sad that she lives in such a supposedly wonderful climate, and she can’t harvest a tomato sooner than we do in a colder climate, where we can’t even plant our tomatoes in the ground until June for fear of frost.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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Dee/reddirtramblings August 10, 2008, 3:35 pm

Yum. Love the tomatoes. I’m about a month behind because I planted my tomatoes late this year. I’m doing a staggered planting next year I think.~~Dee

Peter August 8, 2008, 2:43 pm

I picked my first cherry tomatoes back on the 5th of July, and my first cordon tomatoes a couple of weeks ago. I am in Woburn MA. I did plant my seeds on valentines day and grew them in a side porch until they went into the garden on late May.

Mary Schier August 7, 2008, 6:12 pm

Congratulations! I picked my first tomatoes (in Minnesota) earlier this week, but they were small, yellow pear tomatoes, so maybe that does not count.

Kathy Purdy August 6, 2008, 9:52 pm

Yes, I knew it wouldn’t be long. That’s why I hurried to get my post up. I figured you’d find a ripe tomato when you got home from work. Oh, well. For less than 24 hours I had a ripe tomato before you did. It will probably never happen again.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens August 6, 2008, 9:33 pm

Not so fast! I harvested two tonight, so I’m ahead. Two beats one! And no splits!

Kathy Purdy August 6, 2008, 6:38 pm

I’m glad you aren’t taking it too hard, Carol. I was pretty surprised that we got a ripe one so early.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens August 6, 2008, 6:22 pm

Well, it is a tomato, and it is fairly ripe, and it is edible, so I guess, sigh, it counts. However, this year’s “contest” is not for the earliest tomato, but for the ugliest, and I will win that one!

(Heading out now to see if maybe one of my tomatoes is ripe enough to pick and eat!0

Daisy August 6, 2008, 6:19 pm

Hear, hear! Huzzah! Hooray!

I say it counts.

We’ve had a couple of cherries turn red, but none of the bigguns have colored themselves red yet.

Jim August 6, 2008, 4:13 pm

I’ll be picking my first one (or two) today too. It’s a balancing act of letting them ripen on the vine long enough to turn red but not too long that the squirrels get to them first and take one bite from each one. I think today is the day. Oh my god! I have to buy bacon for BLTs!

Genie August 6, 2008, 3:12 pm

Kathy, I definitely think it qualifies. Congrats on hitting the mark!

Norman Eoff August 6, 2008, 1:36 pm

Of course that qualifies as a ripe tomato! Yours looks quite similar to my first ripe one, also picked today, here on the coast of Maine, except mine is a Brandywine.

Kathy Purdy August 6, 2008, 2:52 pm

Thank you, Norm. According to Fedco, Pruden’s Purple is very similar to Brandywine, except it ripens up to 3 weeks earlier. Although Maine has a reputation for being cold, the coast of Maine is in a warmer zone than we are because of the moderating influence of the ocean. I’m sure you already knew that, but other readers might not.