First Tomato of the Season

'Whippersnapper' tomatoes

A little red and sort-of white for Canada Day courtesy of my rooftop garden. We were hoping the ‘Whippersnapper’ would be ripe and ready for eating by today’s national holiday — some celebrate with a two-four of beer, over-sized sparklers, and things that explode, we get excited about ripening tomatoes — but it looks like the first almost-there tomato could use a day or two more. Based on when I started the seeds and planted out this still qualifies it as the fastest growing heirloom determinate I have ever grown.

I am growing three ‘Whippersnapper’ plants this year: one in an upside-down container (seen in photo), one in an upright container, and one in-ground at my community garden plot. Based only on growing experience and without a taste or texture test, this variety is poised to knock ‘Sunrise III’ out as the reigning cherry-sized, medium-small (the plants are bushing but seem to need a container that is about 1 ft-1.5 ft deep) determinate champion. And it’s not a hybrid which means I can save the seeds!

I’ll let you know how it makes out in the categories of flavor and texture when the time comes.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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7 thoughts on “First Tomato of the Season

  1. How wonderful! There is nothing like your first few tomatoes is there? Those supermarket lemmings don’t know what they’re missing, do they?

  2. I’ve been on the hunt for a really good determinate heirloom tomato… Looking forward to the final taste review on Whippersnapper!

  3. Nice, upside down tomatoes! They look beautiful. When did you start them? I would love to grow a tomato variety that starts ripening at the beginning of July!

  4. I planted them out in late May. This was one of the first tomatoes planted. And my deck is very hot and sunny so things grow a little bit faster out there. I don’t know what I did with my chart where I write my start dates. Probably in late March/early April. I did two tomato seed batches so I’d have to find that chart although I think it was the early batch.

  5. Ooh! I’m so jealous. My tomatoes aren’t showing any signs of color yet. Maybe I’ll have to plant some Whippersnappers next year…

  6. I am SO jealous. I’ve got 1 grape tomato COVERED in tomatoes, but they’re all green. My other tomatoes weren’t getting enough sun for a while, and are woefully behind schedule.

    I’m down in Jersey city, but went to college in Canada (McGill). Haven’t heard the expression “two-four” in almost 15 years. sigh.

    While I will be tomato-less.. I do have the beer thing covered…

    (she types, pausing to sip from her Stella Artois mid sentence…)

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