Tomato, Bush Early Girl Hybrid
Extra-large, extra-early tomatoes grow on a true bush.
Days To Maturity
6-8 weeks BLF
Plant Shipping Information
Item 24968 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GA, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state
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 Maturity65 daysFruit Weight6 ouncesSunFull SunSpread24-36 inchesHeight18 inchesSow MethodIndoor SowPlanting TimeSpringSow Time6-8 weeks BLFThin36 inchesLife CycleAnnual
Tomato, Bush Early Girl Hybrid is rated out of 5 by 16.Rated 5 out of 5 by Jnyangel from A + FAVORITE OF MINE This is a fantastic Tomato. I container garden on my rear deck. This is the second year I've planted Bush Early Girl and it will be a regular from now on. It produces an abundance of fruit over a long season. I've never had an insect problem. One tiume I had End Rot and I applied one Spray of 'Tomato End Rot' and never had any trouble again. The fruit are small (6 ounces) but abundant - great for salads or on a sandwich. They're always sweet and delicious. Between this and the later blooming but exceedingly sweet and delicious Sweet Tangerine - what more can you ask for.Date published: 2014-08-16Rated 5 out of 5 by TerryMcK from A great early tomato If like me, you wish your tomatoes were ready in July instead of September, this is a good variety to try. The fruits are of good shape, big enough but not unwieldy. And we have lots of 'em. I am a tomato veteran, have done seeds and plants. (but at 63, i think I will stick to plants. these were from plants. i picked my first (zone 5-6) on July 20. I love heirlooms - black krim a favorite. but... these taste pretty good.Date published: 2014-07-30Rated 1 out of 5 by DeenwaldGriswold from Waste of money I purchased this variety as a garden ready plant rather than buying seeds. Perhaps that was my mistake. I grew this plant in a container. It produced not a single fruit and looked diseased and unhappy from the beginning. I will not be purchasing plants from Burpee again.Date published: 2013-11-21Rated 5 out of 5 by Mike1954 from Good tomato Got an early and a late crop from these, prolific with good taste, good for salsa as not many seed, with grow this one again for sure this year.Date published: 2012-10-14Rated 4 out of 5 by MassGardner from Prolific producer I planted this in a large container and it really produced. Not the most flavorful tomatoes but better than anything you could find in a local grocery store.Date published: 2012-08-30Rated 4 out of 5 by Silvaqueen from Impressed by this tomato! Used very large pots on my deck, planted in garden soil and cow manure...amended pots monthly with additional manure...planted in May and had rippened fruit by mid July..cut off new flowers 7/30 which increased the size of the fruit...good size fruit, very red, and pretty shape, wonderful sweet flavor....black rot on bottom if left on plant too long...will plant Bush Early Girl again!Date published: 2012-08-28Rated 1 out of 5 by Lowendbob from Worst Tomato Ever!!! There are a couple of bad reviews of this tomato, but I shook them off when I read the other mostly positive reviews and ordered the seeds anyway. I should have listen to negative reviews, and chose another vararity. I am growing this tomato in a 15 gallon smart bag, with MiracleGrow potting soil. While my other tomatoes are doing just fine in the same conditions, this tomato looks just plain bad. One reviewer couldn't have said it better. Quote: "Where are the 4 in. tomatoes described. I planted 3 plants and got a lot of tomatoes none of which is more than 1 1/2 to 2 in. Have yet to get ripe one. As they get to that stage they rot from the bottom. Seems these plants carry that tomatoe blight. What a waste of money. Would have been better off with the supermarket." I am having the exact same problems. I can't blame the soil, and growing conditions when my other tomato plants are thriving in the same conditions. Don't waist your money, and valuable time growing this tomato!!!Date published: 2012-07-28Rated 5 out of 5 by nancy1 from Perfect Tomato for Upside/Down Planter It has been 3 years of trial and error...finally found the perfect tomato for upside/down planters. First and foremost...the taste is awesome...sweet and slightly acid...just the way I like it. Second...the plant doesn't grow to the ground and travel around. Third...the fruit is a medium size and though the tomatoes mass together...they do not break. We have a long growing season here on the coast and with fertilizing every 6 weeks...the plants continued to produce. One plant per container produced 100 tomatoes. With 3 containers and 300 tomatoes produced...I had plenty of tomatoes for salads and sharing with neighbors and friends.Date published: 2012-02-21