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Tomato, Burpees Early Pick VF Hybrid

Short Description

Fine flavor, gorgeous color, solid flesh! Bears fruits early; delivers bumper crops all summer.

Full Description

Fine flavor, gorgeous color, solid flesh! Bears fruits early, bumper crops all summer. Resists Verticillium and Fusarium wilts. Burpee bred.
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Item#: 50500A
Order: 1 Pkt. (30 seeds)
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$3.95
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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.

62 days

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

5-6 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.

36-48 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

48-60 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

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Tomatoes- Staking and Caging
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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
62 days
Fruit Weight
5-6 ounces
Sun
Full Sun
Spread
36-48 inches
Height
48-60 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Spring
Sow Time
6-8 weeks BLF
Thin
36 inches
Life Cycle
Annual
Tomato, Burpees Early Pick VF Hybrid is rated 3.0 out of 5 by 6.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Best Flavor This tomato is the best tasting tomato I have ever eaten. I peel and slice them and they are so juicy that I tell every one I feel like I'm drinking. them. I was buying them from a local farmer at the Farmers market and would have to get there when he did (6am) because people would be lined up waiting for him and he would sell out in less than an hour. Unfortunately he doesn't grow extra ones anymore so I tried raising my own. Last year was pretty good in my earth boxes but this year the seeds would not grow. Tried everything. I went ahead and planted 3 plants I bought and then discovered Early pick had come up volunteer in the forth slot. Its way behind the others but I am babying it along and keeping my fingers crossed.
Date published: 2013-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Tomato Disregard the negative reviews for this tomato. I grow this commercially in my hoophouses, and have for years. With the right fertility, care, and attention, this is a great tomato that produces a ton of great tasting fruit. I have consistently received unsolicited feedback at my markets from customers that say this is the best tomato at the market. I doesn't have all the disease resistance of newer, modern hybrids, but its early (June 10th, Zone 7, 4" transplants planted April 1st in Hoophouses), and tastes great. Responds well to lots of compost, and organic fertilizers. No Blossom end rot if irrigated properly and adequate calcium (try crab shell meal, works great). Overall, this is a keeper that Burpee should not drop, rather they should feature it or work on modernizing the disease resistance. We get lots of nice 8oz fruit, nearly 10lbs/plant. See photo.
Date published: 2013-01-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poor rating Plants started out well indoors after transplanting they did good but then the heavy rain came again and almost all plants came down with blight. Trying something new this year
Date published: 2011-01-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not a keeper The plants are vigorous, heavy production. But I have to throw away 1/3 of the harvest due to slug infestation. The fruit is huge but malformed. Blossom end isn't rotten, per se, but deep, pithy brown crevices mar the blossom end of most of the fruit, esp. the larger ones. So another 1/3 of the harvest is un-sharable -- too ugly. Every plant was so heavily laden it toppeled over, even though in a tomato cage. I will not try this variety again.
Date published: 2008-09-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from It's an early bloomer BUT very susceptible to blossom end rot. I planted 4 varieties in the same raised bed, and this particular cutivar is the only one that suffered blossom end rot. Every tomato of this early hybrid has some degree of blossom end rot, not just the first ripeners. None of the other plants had any. Also the taste is very sharp and tends to the bitter. Definitely a variety to avoid.
Date published: 2008-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delicious Neighbors are always astonished at the size of the plants and how early I get tomatoes. Even though they don't get full sun untill late morning and that sun fades in the early evening because of tall trees in the west, the first tomato was picked around July 4th last year. (I do start my own plants from seed and give them a head start in a cold frame). I am always asked to give some away and the response I get back from people is that they were the best tasting and meaty tomatoes they ever had. I am asked what's my secret and I tell them it's not me but the tomato.
Date published: 2006-02-03
  • 2016-09-26T06:18CST
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