Best in the North Central and Rockies: Early Girl and Yellow Pear Tomatoes

Early Girl is a popular variety in the North Central and Rockies region, but Yellow Pear tomatoes with their fast maturing fruit are also recommended as a hedge against temperature swings.
By Barbara Pleasant
February/March 2010
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Variable summers make quick maturing varieties such as Yellow Pear tomatoes a good match for the North Central and Rockies gardening region.
ILLUSTRATION: NATE SKOW


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Short summers that quickly change from cold to hot and back again call for resilient cherry tomatoes and at least one ‘Early Girl,’ which was often first on the list of many experienced tomato gardeners in this region. Several folks suggested skipping really big tomatoes in favor of smaller-fruited varieties that mature faster, such as ‘Stupice,’ ‘Juliet,' and 'Yellow Pear' tomatoes.


Slicer Tomatoes

1. ‘Beefsteak’
2. ‘Early Girl’
3. ‘Brandywine’

Also: ‘Celebrity,’ ‘Cherokee Purple,’ ‘Better Boy’

Cherry Tomatoes

1. ‘Super Sweet 100’
2. ‘Sungold’
3. ‘Black Cherry’

Also: ‘Gardener’s Delight’

Paste/Canning

1. ‘Roma’
2. ‘Amish Paste’
3. ‘San Marzano’

Also: ‘Opalka,’ ‘Viva Italia’

Really Big Ones

1. ‘Brandywine’
2. ‘Beefsteak’
3. ‘Big Boy’

Also: ‘Beefmaster,’ ‘Caspian Pink,’ ‘Mortgage Lifter’

Saladette/Pear

1. ‘Yellow Pear’
2. ‘Stupice’
3. ‘Red Fig’

Also: ‘Juliet,’ ‘Roma’

Non-Reds

1. ‘Cherokee Purple’
2. ‘Green Zebra’
3. ‘Taxi’

Also: ‘Black Krim,’ ‘Yellow Pear’


Neighborly Advice

“Be mindful of frost dates and look out for hailstorms.”

Catherine Albert
Arvada, Colorado

“Paint gallon milk jugs black and fill them with water. Use the jugs to surround your transplants. The sun will warm the water in the jugs, which will give off heat at night.” 

Scott Giles
McGill, Nevada

“Our soil is short of calcium, so I put dried eggshells under each plant as they’re put in the ground: no blossom end rot anymore.” 

Karen Dykstra
Thompson Falls, Montana


Read The Best Tomatoes to Grow Where You Live to find the best varieties for other U.S. gardening regions.


Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant gardens in southwest Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and a few lucky chickens. Contact Barbara by visiting her website or finding her on .








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