Rutgers Tomato is an heirloom, open-pollinated tomato variety that was developed in 1934 at Rutgers University in New Jersey. This is a determinate variety that produces a large initial crop, followed by several subsequent harvests during the production window. This variety was once the most popular tomato variety in the United States and accounted for a significant amount of the total tomato production in the country.
Rutgers Tomato produces fruits that average 6-12 ounces. The first fruits will be slightly smaller than the later harvests which will produce larger tomatoes. Plants are vigorous and have an excellent disease-resistance package for an heirloom tomato variety. Rutgers makes a great slicing tomato, but is also great for canning and making sauces.
Tomatoes are in the nightshade family along with peppers and eggplant. Plants in the nightshade family are susceptible to blossom end rot, which is a result of a calcium deficiency. To prevent or alleviate this problem, apply pelleted gypsum at the base of the plant at bloom set. Tomatoes do best when transplanted, as the germination time can be longer than most vegetable seed. They grow very well in our heavy-duty seed starting trays. Plants should be started 4-6 weeks before the intended outdoor planting date.
If conditions outside are favorable, transplants may be planted directly from our 162 cell trays. If conditions are still too cold for planting tomatoes, transplants may be “stepped-up” to 4″ pots to allow more room to grow. Tomatoes can produce heavy fruits and will require some form of support to keep the plant upright. This ensures that plants and fruits stay off the ground, reducing the possibility of disease and keeping fruits clean.
Rutgers Tomato Planting Information
Planting Method: transplant
When to Plant: after last frost
Planting Depth: 1/4″
Seed Spacing: 2′
Row Spacing: 3-4′
Days to Maturity: 75
Disease Resistance: Fusarium Wilt, Verticillium Wilt, Alternaria Stem Canker