19 Early Season Tomato Varieties For Your Garden

Do you want to be the first to have tomatoes this year and be the envy of all your friends and neighbors? Join gardening expert Jenna Rich as she reviews 19 early-season tomato varieties you can grow this year.

early season tomatoes


Once the fear of frost has dissipated and we are planning out our gardens for the upcoming season, the first thing on many minds is that first tomato flavor, fresh from the vine. Warm from the sun and perfectly unblemished, there is nothing like it!

Many of the best-tasting tomatoes are worth the long wait, but there are also lots of early-maturing varieties available in today’s tomato market that you can give a try.

Whether growing in a greenhouse, in your backyard, or in containers on your back deck, there is surely a type of tomato that’s a perfect fit in your garden.

Early Red Slicing Tomato Varieties

Early Girl Hybrid

Close-up of growing Early Girl Hybrid tomatoes in a sunny garden. The fruits are medium, classic round in shape with smooth skin. The fruits are firm and juicy, bright red, yellowish, and greenish in color. The plant has complex pinnate leaves consisting of oval leaflets with serrated edges, bright green in color. The stems are slightly hairy.
This hybrid is a versatile variety with early ripening, high productivity, and drought resistance.
  • Days to maturity: 50-55
  • Flavor: Balanced sweetness and acidity, not overly complex, surprisingly full-flavored for an early tomato
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Perfectly round, four-six ounces
  • Type: Indeterminate

This hybrid slicing tomato has long been praised for being one of the first to ripen in the summer and for its consistent growing patterns and productivity. It is consistently productive, quick growing, and has excellent classic tomato flavor. Early Girl is a classic red-slicing tomato, perfect for sandwiches, and salads.

Many growers have been known to plant a second succession of this variety to get a second flush in the fall before the frost arrives. It’s an indeterminate variety that can grow upwards of 4’ tall as long as it has proper support.

Did you know? You can dry-farm this variety for short periods of time because of its extreme drought resistance and resistance to blossom-end rot. You can leave town without much worry if you are growing Early Girl; she’ll be just fine when you get home.

Early Boy Bush F1

Close-up of ripe fruits of Early Boy Bush F1. Early Boy Bush F1 tomatoes are medium to large in size and bright red in color. They are round in shape with a smooth and shiny skin.
Early Boy Bush is a flavorful determinate tomato that thrives in heat and is ideal for backyard and patio growing.
  • Days to maturity: 55-60
  • Flavor: Tart, but well-balanced
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Five-ounce red globes
  • Type: Determinate

Related to Early Girl, this determinate variety is perfect for backyard and patio growers because it doesn’t need much support. Growers can be surprised by Early Boy Bush’s exceptional, juicy flavor.

This tomato variety is relatively tolerant of heat and humidity, which is perfect for people in warmer climates. However, if you are in zones 3-5, try mulching, using row covers, or growing them in a greenhouse to give these guys some extra heat as they get established in the spring.

Early Darling Hybrid

Close-up of ripe Early Darling Hybrid tomatoes on a black plate. The fruits are medium, have a bright red color. They are round in shape with a smooth and glossy skin.
Early Darling is an early-maturing, flavorful tomato with high crack resistance, perfect for small spaces.
  • Days to maturity: 55-60
  • Flavor: Complex, quite delicious for an early variety
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Brilliant, shiny red, three-four-ounce red globes
  • Type: Determinate

The Early Darling is praised for its early maturity and amazing flavor. With high crack resistance, you’ll be pleased with the look and taste.

Get your tomato sauce and salsa recipes out because this determinate variety will have you swimming in tomatoes before the plants are affected by summer diseases.

The plant is compact and bushy, so you can easily grow this variety in a smaller space or a container.

Early Cherry Tomato Varieties

Supersweet 100 Hybrid

Close-up of growing Supersweet 100 Hybrid tomatoes in the garden near the wooden fence. Supersweet 100 Hybrid tomatoes are small and cherry-sized, known for their bright red color. They grow in a long cluster arranged in pairs along a long, hairy stem. They are round in shape and have a smooth, glossy skin.
Supersweet 100 is a reliable and productive tomato variety known for its large clusters of flavorful fruit and early flowering.
  • Days to maturity: 60
  • Flavor: Very sweet
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Small red cherry, about 15-20 grams each
  • Type: Indeterminate

This is one of our longtime go-to varieties due to its consistency, large clusters of fruit, and delicious flavor. It has high productivity and great sweet flavor, and it produces reliably all through the season.

Supersweet 100 is typically one of the first tomatoes to flower in spring and is always full of trusses by the end of June. Bonus: Supersweet 100 is highly resistant to Fusarium wilt and Verticillium wilt.

Pro tip: Try grafting this variety and you will be blown away by its prolific production.


Close-up of ripe Sungold tomatoes in a sunny garden. Sungold tomatoes are small and the size of cherries, known for their stunning golden-orange color. They are round in shape and have a smooth, thin skin.
Sungold cherry tomatoes, known as nature’s candy, are best enjoyed fresh off the vine but prone to cracking.
  • Days to maturity: 57
  • Flavor: Bright and very sweet
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Small golden orange cherry, about 15-20 grams each
  • Type: Indeterminate

Known at our farm as nature’s candy, Sungold cherry tomatoes are the perfect snack to eat right off the vine, still warm from the sun. The skins are unfortunately known for cracking, so pick them often and enjoy them fresh, as they won’t travel well or keep long.

Sungolds don’t give up, so if you plant them in a greenhouse with ample support, they will continue to reach and produce until the frost arrives. Try the lower-and-lean trellis method to maximize your space and increase production.

This golden cherry tomato is known to brighten up a pint, so if you are selling at a farmers’ market or making a cheery pasta salad, these will delight the tastebuds as well as the eyes.

Washington Cherry

Close-up of ripe Washington Cherry tomatoes in a sunny garden. The fruits are small, rounded, bright red. They have smooth, shiny skin.
This is an early determinate cherry tomato with great flavor, high yields, and compact growth.
  • Days to maturity: 60
  • Flavor: Sweet, meaty, and juicy
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Red, round, 20-30 gram cherry
  • Type: Determinate

Washington Cherry will always be one of the earliest determinate cherry tomatoes. Developed at Washington State University, this tomato is known for its great flavor, consistently high yields, and flavorful nature.

This is the perfect variety for patio growing due to its compact bush, although it will perform well in a covered area as well. The fruits resist cracking well, which is great if you are trying to sell these tomatoes.

Pro tip: Allow them to ripen a few days longer than you think after turning red for peak flavor.

Black Cherry

Close-up of ripening Black Cherry tomato fruits in a sunny garden. The plant has upright stems covered with fine hairs and pinnately compound leaves. The fruits are small, rounded, deep dark purple. They have a smooth, slightly shiny skin. The fruits grow in clusters.
This is a perfect colored cherry tomato for markets, adding a vibrant hue to dishes and robust flavor.
  • Days to maturity: 64
  • Flavor: Robust for a cherry, sweet and juicy
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Round 20-gram cherry, a pretty brownish purple
  • Type: Indeterminate

Black Cherry is the perfect colored cherry tomato to round out a trio if you are selling at a farmers’ market. It also adds the perfect hue to a pasta salad or grilled kabobs.

Their flavor is robust, almost a bit smoky, and they are not overly acidic, similar in taste to the larger Black Krim

Did you know? Cherry tomatoes are a great source of vitamin A and pack a real punch of lycopene. Lycopenes help us fight free radicals in the body. Black and purple tomatoes specifically contain high levels of antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory.

Gold Nugget

Close-up of ripening Gold Nugget tomatoes in the garden. The fruits are small and round, similar to cherry tomatoes. They have a bright golden yellow color.
Gold Nugget is a compact, early-maturing cherry tomato, providing an early harvest for snacking or salads.
  • Days to maturity: 56
  • Flavor: Balanced and very delicious well-balanced sweetness
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Golden yellow cherry, about 15-20 grams each, slightly oval-shaped
  • Type: Determinate

This variety is a great option for folks who patio grow or have smaller gardens, as the plants are very compact. It will give you a very early flush of fruits, perfect for snacking or tossing on a salad.

Gold Nugget’s unique color complements red and orange cherry tomatoes well in a trio, so if you are growing for market, this might be the cherry tomato you have been looking for. It’s suitable for cooler climates, so while it can be grown just about anywhere, it’s especially safe in zones 3-5.

If you are looking for a bright, early cherry tomato, give this one a shot!


Close-up of ripe Sakura tomatoes in the garden, against a blurred green background. Sakura tomato fruits are small and round, resembling cherry tomatoes. They have a bright red color and a thin, shiny skin. The fruits are juicy and have a firm texture.
Sakura exceeded our expectations with its healthy plants, early-ripening fruits, and impressive disease resistance.
  • Days to maturity: 55
  • Flavor: Perfectly sweet and bright
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Shiny red cherry, about 20-22 grams each
  • Type: Indeterminate

After years of wondering about this variety and hearing how great it was, we finally added some to our lineup, and we were not disappointed. The plants are healthy and strong, the fruits are one of the first to ripen, and Sakura has an impressive disease-resistance package.

Sakura has some resistance to nematodes and high resistance to Fusarium Wilt races 1 and 2, leaf mold, and tomato mosaic virus, allowing them to be prolific all season long. It’s also rare that Sakura fruits crack.

When growing in containers, Sakura is a great option as it’s compact and provides lots of trellises full of fruit.

Bonus: Sakura performs great in both cooler and warmer climates!

Sweetie Pole Cherry Tomato

Close-up of a growing Sweetie Pole cherry tomato plant. The plant has lush pinnately compound foliage. The leaves consist of oval green leaflets with serrated edges. The fruits are small, round, similar to traditional cherry tomatoes. They are bright red in color and firm in texture.
Sweetie Pole tomato is sweet and perfect for snacking directly from the garden.
  • Days to maturity: 65
  • Flavor: Sweet, low acidity
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Bright red, ¾ – 1-inch cherry
  • Type: Indeterminate

Just like the name suggests, this tomato is known for its sweetness. You’ll likely be popping these straight into your mouth from the garden after you have the first taste.

Sweetie Pole is ready for harvest in just 65 days and grows in grape-like clusters. This variety will grow vigorously and tall, so provide ample support and prune regularly.

Early Plum/Cocktail Tomato Varieties

Cherry Roma

Close-up of ripening Cherry Roma tomatoes in the garden. The fruits of Cherry Roma tomatoes are small and elongated, resembling a miniature plum or Roma tomato. They are bright red. The fruits are fleshy and firm. The leaves are large, pinnately compound, bright green, composed of oval leaflets with serrated edges.
Cherry Roma tomatoes are quick to germinate, resistant to splitting, and highly abundant.
  • Days to maturity: 75
  • Flavor: Sweet and fresh
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Bright red, one-ounce fruits, grape tomato shape
  • Type: Indeterminate

These powerful little tomatoes germinate quickly, don’t split on the vine, and you’ll have plenty to give away to friends and neighbors.

The Cherry Roma packs a punch of flavor and is ridiculously productive. Be sure to provide a trellis system that will allow your plants to grow tall because they can, and they will!

This is the perfect snacking tomato because they are meaty with little gel; they are great to throw in kids’ lunchboxes, pack for a hike, or toss in a summer salad.


Close-up of ripe bunches of Clementine tomato on a wooden board indoors. The fruits are small, rounded, with a smooth, bright tangerine-colored skin.
Clementine tomatoes are eye-catching, tangerine-colored cocktail tomatoes that hold their shape when grilled or roasted.
  • Days to maturity: 68
  • Flavor: Sweet, tart, bright
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Beautiful bright orange cocktail, two-ounce globes
  • Type: Indeterminate

This tangerine-colored cocktail tomato will catch your attention on and off the vine. It’s perfect for grilling or roasting as it holds its shape when cooked.

Fruits are very crack-resistant, and plants have a high resistance to Fusarium wilt race 1 and Verticillium wilt, so they will remain healthy all season long.

Pro tip: Fertilize your tomatoes upon transplant, when you see the first fruit forming, and then for the last time when you are harvesting your first tomato for best success.

Early Beefsteak Tomato Varieties

Bush Beefsteak

Close-up of ripe Bush Beefsteak tomatoes in the garden, against a blurred green background. Tomato fruits are large, round and fleshy, reminiscent of traditional steak tomatoes. The fruits are bright red-orange in color with a smooth, shiny skin.
Bush Beefsteak is a compact and productive tomato variety for small spaces and containers.
  • Days to maturity: 62
  • Flavor: Mild but flavorful
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Red, smooth beefsteak, eight-ten ounces each
  • Type: Determinate

With a compact plant that maxes out at just about 3 feet tall, the Bush Beefsteak is ideal for the patio or small space growers. You’ll be pleased with the productive clusters this variety provides in a short period.

Bush Beefsteak is round, sweet, and juicy, making it the perfect tomato for all your summer sandwiches and barbequed burgers.

This variety tends to perform well in containers.

Early Heirloom Tomato Varieties

Pruden’s Purple

Close-up of ripe Pruden's Purple tomatoes on a green plate, on a table covered with a wicker napkin. The fruits are large, slightly flattened, with slightly prominent ribs. The skin is smooth, shiny, pinkish-purple in color with a greenish tinge on top.
Pruden is an early, organic Brandywine-type tomato with potato-like leaves, maturing quickly.
  • Days to maturity: 67
  • Flavor: Classic heirloom flavor with a silky texture
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Flattened on top, primarily smooth, but can be wrinkled on shoulders. Dark blush with red flesh, 12-16 ounces
  • Type: Indeterminate

If you haven’t grown a Brandywine-type tomato before, you might think it’s a potato plant in the early stages because they have potato-type leaves. But fear not, Pruden is an early and organic Brandywine tomato, maturing in a short amount of time, given the size of the fruits.

These fruits are typically crack-resistant and do not feature a hard center like some Brandywine varieties.

If you have grown Brandywine tomatoes in the past and haven’t been super impressed by their flavor or performance, I urge you to give Pruden a try; it might change your mind.


Close-up of ripe Moskvich tomato fruits in the garden. The plant has upright green hairy stems covered with pinnately compound leaves. Two fruits of round shape, medium size, bright red color. The skin is thin, shiny, smooth.
Moskvich is an early-harvest tomato variety with cold-tolerant plants, crack resistance, and continued productivity.
  • Days to maturity: 75-80
  • Flavor: Rich and acidic with balanced sweetness
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Deep red, meaty four-six ounce globes
  • Type: Indeterminate

Named to pay homage to the St. Petersburg, Russia area it was bred in the 1970s, Moskvich will be one of the first tomatoes to harvest in the summer. With fairly cold-tolerant plants, you can transplant these sooner in the spring than some others without negative effects.

Moskvich is crack resistant and will continue to be productive even after the temperatures cool down in the fall.

Try freezing these in the fall for wintertime soups. Simply thaw them on your countertop the morning you plan to use them. They’ll be soft by lunchtime, and the skins will easily peel off. You won’t be able to tell they weren’t just picked fresh off the vine.


Close-up of ripe Thessaloniki tomato fruits. Fruits of medium size, classic shape of tomatoes with a smooth shiny skin of bright red color.
Thessaloniki is a robust heirloom tomato with excellent resistance and cluster size, ideal for selling.
  • Days to maturity: 75
  • Flavor: Almost berry-like flavor with some tartness
  • Average size fruit and appearance: True red six-eight-ounce firm globes
  • Type: Indeterminate

The Thessaloniki seeds are believed to have originally come from the Ministry of Agriculture Farm in Greece, and this vigorous heirloom does not mess around. They are sunscald, spot, and crack resistant and offer the perfect size cluster for selling on-the-vine tomatoes.

These fruits will kindly keep for a while on the vine after ripening, so if you don’t get to them right away, they’ll wait for you.

In terms of heirloom varieties, this is definitely one that could end up in your annual lineup due to its high performance, productivity, and out-of-this-world flavor.

Early Paste/Canning Tomato Varieties


Close-up of ripe Tiren fruits in the garden. The fruits are medium in size, elongated, with slight irregularities. The fruits are covered with a thin smooth shiny skin of bright red color. The leaves are oval, green, with serrated edges. Some leaves are dry and brown.
Tiren is an early San Marzano-type tomato with improved disease resistance, offering flexibility in harvest stages.
  • Days to maturity: 75
  • Flavor: Meaty, great for sauce making
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Classic elongated oval-shaped San Marzano, five-six ounce fruits
  • Type: Indeterminate

This may not be early in the season to mature, but it is certainly earlier than most other paste varieties. Tiren is a San Marzano-type tomato with improved resistance to Fusarium Wilt, tomato mosaic virus, and Verticillium wilt.

One of the best features of Tiren is that you can harvest the fruits while they are still a bit under-ripened or leave them on the vine until they are fully ripened. This is a nice feature if you are growing for a farmers’ market or bringing them to a friend.

Ensure you provide this variety with plenty of support, as the large clusters tend to weigh it down.


Close-up of ripe Pozzano fruits covered with water drops, in the garden. Tomatoes are elongated, with irregular dents. Ripe fruits are bright red, unripe fruits are green.
Pozzano is a disease-resistant San Marzano-type tomato ideal for protected growing and preventing blossom-end rot.
  • Days to maturity: 72
  • Flavor: Old-fashioned tomato flavor, perfect for sauce or ketchup
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Classic elongated oval-shaped San Marzano, four-six ounce fruits, very uniform
  • Type: Indeterminate

If you are a greenhouse or hoop house grower, this is the San Marzano-type tomato for you, as Pozzano thrives in a protected space. Plants will continue to produce and stay healthy for a long season due to their high resistance to Fusarium wilt races 1, 2, tomato mosaic virus, and Verticillium wilt.

Sturdy bottoms make this tomato resist blossom-end rot.

Pozzano is great for sauce making as it cooks quickly and improves in flavor after cooking.

Bloody Butcher

Close-up of ripening Bloody Butcher tomatoes in the garden. The fruits are large, rounded, dark red in color, slightly flattened. The fruits have a smooth, shiny skin.
Bloody Butcher, an early-maturing tomato, is perfect for satisfying that longing for homegrown tomatoes.
  • Days to maturity: 60
  • Flavor: Classic bright tomato flavor
  • Average size fruit and appearance: Deep red, two-four-ounce fruits
  • Type: Indeterminate

It’s been a long winter and all you can think about is the first bite of homegrown tomatoes. We’ve all been there! Bloody Butcher will be among the first to mature each season, even in cooler regions, so this is a great one to add to your lineup.

With five-nine evenly sized tomatoes per cluster, this would make a great tomato for on-the-vine clusters to sell at a farmers’ market.

Try using this variety to make a homemade Bloody Mary mix or your grandma’s tomato sauce to freeze or can; it features the perfect red tomato flavor.

Final Thoughts

There are some great options for early-season tomatoes, whether growing on an acre in greenhouses, just on your patio in containers, or in raised beds in your urban backyard.

Remember, the days to maturity listed are simply a guide, and the amount of time before harvest depends on your growing climate, soil health, and other environmental factors. Your best bet is to start experimenting with smaller varieties, which will almost certainly mature the earliest.

tomatoes with radishes


Can You Grow Tomatoes With Radishes?

Are you thinking about planting tomatoes and radishes in your garden this year, and wonder whether these two plants can be planted together? Saving space in the vegetable garden is always a plus. Here, gardening expert Melissa Strauss will explore the ability of these two plants to cohabitate in the garden.

tomatoes and squash


Can You Grow Tomatoes With Squash in Your Garden?

Tomatoes and squash are garden staples. But do they perform well as companion plants? In this article, gardening expert Melissa Strauss looks at if these two popular vegetables should be planted near one another in your garden, or if there are better options.

tomatoes with corn


Can You Grow Tomatoes With Corn?

Are you thinking about planting corn and tomatoes in the garden this season? Have you wondered whether these two plants make good neighbors, or are better off with some space between them? Here, gardening expert Melissa Strauss explores the relationship between corn and tomatoes to determine whether they make good companions or not.