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Tomato, Bloody Butcher

Short Description

HEIRLOOM. Rich heirloom flavor and ready in only 8 weeks.

Full Description

Sensational general use fruits have a rich heirloom flavor and a deep red color, inside and out. If it's hard for you to wait for ordinary tomatoes to ripen, try these. In less than 8 weeks, they're ready to enjoy... and enjoy you will. Plants will yield five to nine 3-4 oz. fruits per cluster. Plants require staking and will produce until frost. Indeterminate.
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Item#: 54981A
Order: 1 Pkt. (40 seeds)
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Item#: 26336
Order: 3 Plants
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Tomato, Bloody Butcher
Tomato, Bloody Butcher, , large

Short Description

HEIRLOOM. Rich heirloom flavor and ready in only 8 weeks.

Item #: 26336
3 Plants

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This product is currently out of stock; please click on the "Notify Me" and we will send you an email when it is available.


Product properties

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

55 days

Fruit Weight The average weight of the fruit produced by this product.

3-4 ounces

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

18-24 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

48-54 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Indoor Sow

Plant Shipping Information

Plants ship in Spring in proper planting time (click for schedule)


Item 26336 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GA, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
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How to plant tomatoes in the garden.
For the best yields follow the tomato planting guidelines in this video.
Watch video
Tomatoes- Staking and Caging
Support your tomato plants for maximum growth and yields.
Watch video

How to Sow and Plant

  • Sow tomato seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost in spring using a seed starting kit
  • Sow seeds ¼  inch deep in seed-starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 75 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Planting in the Garden:

  • Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Make sure you did not grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes in the bed the previous year to avoid disease problems.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Tomatoes should be set 30-48 inches apart in a row with the rows spaced 3-4 feet apart. It can be tempting to space tomatoes more closely at planting time, but if you plant too closely you will increase the chance of disease, and decrease yields.
  • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball. 
  • Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development. 
  • Tomatoes can be planted deeply, with the stem buried to the first set of leaves. The more deeply they are planted the more roots will form, providing the plant with additional support and better ability to take up nutrients. Some gardeners plant tomatoes by digging a horizontal trench and laying the plant in the trench with the top 2-4 inches of the plant pointing upward.
  • Fill the planting hole with soil to the top and press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water. 
  • Use the plant tag as a location marker. This is particularly important if you are trying different varieties. It is very difficult to tell which variety is which from the foliage.  
  • Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
  • Place your plant support at this time. You can try tomato cages or staking. Unsupported plants will sprawl on the ground, require no pruning, and will probably produce a larger yield of smaller fruit than will staked plants. For larger, cleaner, more perfect fruits, support plants as they grow. Growing on stakes: Place strong stakes in the ground and set plants about 6 inches from the stakes. Growing in cages: Place a cage around a single plant; let the vines grow and enlarge within the cage, no pruning  will be necessary

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. 
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. This is especially important for tomatoes as their roots may be easily damaged when weeding, and this can lead to blossom end rot.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • If growing on stakes: As the plants grow, allow only one or two main stems to grow and pinch out any other side shoots as they form. Gently tie the one or two remaining shoots to the stake; don't pull them tightly against the stake. If growing in cages, no pruning is necessary.
  • Whether to remove the side shoots, or suckers, that grow out of the leaf axils or not depends on the support system used. Gardeners using stakes usually snap off these side shoots. They typically get earlier and larger tomatoes but overall production tends to be less. If tomatoes are grown in cages, the suckers are generally left on, although it's a good idea to pinch the tip out of them when they are 6-8 inches long. Regardless you may want to remove all the growth from the bottom 6-10 inches of the plant. This helps to improve air circulation and reduce the spread of diseases such as early blight. Wait until the plants are knee-high. In the morning when the plants have the most water in them, snap off the lower growth while it is small. Any plants that look sick with distorted foliage or have a mosaic pattern on the leaves should be removed as they may have a virus that can spread to the other plants. It is best to do this early in the season.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvesting and Preserving Tips

  • Determinate tomato plants ripen a heavy crop over a few weeks. Indeterminate varieties bear fruit continuously till frost. Remember that the days to harvest refers to the time from setting out transplants in the garden.
  • Pick tomatoes when they are as ripe as possible. They should be fully colored and firm and picked regularly to avoid overloading plants.
  • At the end of the season, when you know there will be a frost, pick all the almost-ripe tomatoes you can, and ripen them in brown bags or spread on newspapers at room temperature. Many cultivars will store for months. Store only sound fruit, at 50-60°F. Do NOT refrigerate and try to avoid having the fruit touch each other.
  • The foliage of tomatoes is toxic and should not be eaten.
  • Tomato fruits are enjoyed in many cooked dishes as a flavoring. Use them to make soups, sauces, stews, ketchup, paste, juice, quiche, and pies. Add them to curries, casseroles, and chutney.
Days To Maturity
55 days
Fruit Weight
3-4 ounces
Full Sun
18-24 inches
48-54 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Sow Time
6-8 weeks BLF
6 inches
Life Cycle
Tomato, Bloody Butcher is rated 3.5556 out of 5 by 9.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very productive; tasty early tomatoes Very good first experience with an heirloom tomato. What I love about them: - It's an early tomato. I had bloody butchers 2 weeks before I had early girls. - Tomatoes are very juicy and delicious. Not really a big slicer tomato, but still good on sandwiches and in salads. - The plants are very hardy and easy to keep healthy. - Lots and LOTS of tomatoes. What I didn't love so much: - They are very thirsty plants, they consume much more water than all my other plants. (A lot of it ends up in those juicy tomatoes.) - Higher number of tomatoes lost to BER than the other tomatoes I raised. (But the plants produced so many tomatoes, it almost didn't matter.) - Rather smallish tomatoes, 2.0-2.5oz, 2-inch diameter is typically what I got. I did have one MAMMOTH 3oz one. <grin> It would be a lot of work to can these, so I will only grow as many as I can eat on the spot. Overall, great tomato and plant, I'll be growing some more of them next year. They may supplant the early girls as my favorite early tomato.
Date published: 2014-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful plants, easy to start! I started some of these not quite two months ago and they are already huge, strong plants that are setting flowers. No leggy seedlings here! I haven't even gotten fruit yet and I already love these! I can't wait until I get tomatoes!
Date published: 2014-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Steady producer I bought this tomatoe so I could get some early maters before the heat hit. It worked. I got some early maters but when the heat hit It did slow down. It was 100 plus for 45 days and dry. It still got me a few tomatoes in the heat. They are small fruits with good flavor but not burstin with flavor. Side note I had problems getting them to emerge in a hot house controlled invirenment. Took 2 weeks longer than the other tomatoes.
Date published: 2012-09-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from 2010 lot not the variety that was shown I have grown this tomato for about 7 years, using burpee seeds. For a few years the variety disappeared from my local seed store. They reappeared in 2010. But the seed packets I bought in 2010 did not produce the same variety as previous years. The variety by this name that I have enjoyed so much was potato leafed and very early maturing with smooth small round fruits. In 2010 I got non-potato leaf medium maturing medium sized fruits a small amount of ruffling on the shoulders. I'm looking elsewhere to buy this variety this year because I'm afraid of missing out on these great tomatoes two years in a row.
Date published: 2012-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great tasting tomato I started from the seed on September 2008 in South Florida, I transferred it to a gallon container at the end of October, start harvesting end of January 2009, I get an average of 5 tomatoes a day, average size of the tomato is one inch in diameter, and the largest I got is 1.5 inches in diameter.. It is very flavorful with mild acidic consistency; the plant is about 4 feet tall now. It is a great all-around tomato. I use liquid fertilizer once a week with miracle-grow (I alternate between tomato fertilizer and bloom booster). The plants does not get the required 6 to 8 hours of direct sun, it gets about 4 hours of direct sun. It has a very good shelf life. Great for sandwich and salad
Date published: 2009-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from My earliest for 2008 In 2008 I am growing several dozen kinds of tomatoes. My Bloody Butcher was producing red, but small, fruit over a week before any other kind, including "4th of July". As another poster noted, yields are not great, and blight could end my "Bloody Butcher" season early, but for earliest, home grown tomatoes, it can't be beat. Because the yield is light on the first truss (the early fruit!!!!), you may want to plant extra plants to get all the early tomatoes that you want. The seed is cheap, and Burpee sent me far more than the promised 30 seeds, so growing extra shouldn't be a problem!
Date published: 2008-07-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from low yeild I've planted Bloody Butchers for two years in my garden. Both years had similar results. Blosom set took a lot longer than other tomato plants in the garden and yeilds were low. Two plants yielded no more than a dozen tomatos in a five month period. They were delicious but too little a yield to dedicate garden space to.
Date published: 2008-06-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Inferior to Early Girl Hybrid in my area I have two bloody butchers right next to two Burpee Early Girl hybrids. The early girls produced tomatoes within two days of the bloody butchers. The early girls produced much more and the wife preferred the early girl taste in a blind taste test. I like the early girls' taste better too. The bloody butchers were by far the plants most affected by early blight: I planted four varieties with two heirloom types. I had to resort to fungicide to prevent the bloody butchers from dying. Even before blight took, it was clear that the Early Girls were stronger plants with more produce. I think Early Girls are less affected by SW Oklahoma's high temperatures. And, since they tasted better, I wouldn't recommend this plant over Early Girls in similar environments.
Date published: 2008-06-15
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