HEIRLOOM. Its flavor, both for slicing and cooking, is still unequaled.
The legendary Jersey tomato, introduced in 1934, is a cross between J.T.D. (an old New Jersey variety from the Campbell Soup Co.) and Marglobe. Its flavor, both for slicing and cooking, is still unequaled. Red fruits are slightly flattened. Tall vines, Fusarium resistance.
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Some flowers and vegetables fall into subcategories that may define how they grow (such as pole or bush), what they are used for (such as slicing tomatoes or shelling peas), flower type, or other designations that will help you select the type of a class of plant that you are looking for.
This refers to the relative season when the plant produces fruit, or if it bears continuously or just once
Days To Maturity
The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.
The average weight of the fruit produced by this product.
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.
Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
Start Indoors Fall
Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
Start Outdoors Fall
Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
First Date: Mar-07 - Last Date: Mar-21
First Date: May-02 - Last Date: May-30
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 until 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
6-8 weeks BLF
Tomato, Rutgers is rated
3.9 out of
Rated 1 out of
Cindy L from
Worst tomato at a very costly priceBought these plants from Burpee and could have got them at the farmers market for $2.99 for 6 plants. My plants got blossom rot and if they did survive they split and the skin is very tough.
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 2 out of
Not doing too well in Southern CaliforniaIt's tough to review something like seeds where there are an infinite number of variables to consider. Many people have had good luck with these plants, so they are obviously a fine variety. For me though, they are not doing great in SoCal. I started 2 each of Rutgers, Roma, San Marzano and Super Sauce Hybrids indoors, and transferred them all to the garden at the same time. I can't believe how well the other 3 varieties are doing, while the Rutgers are barely surviving. They are both on one side of my garden so I guess it's possible I didn't spread my compost evenly before planting, or there was something in the soil at that end. Since so many people have raved about them, I will try again next year in another location to see if that makes a difference. Will follow up then.
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 4 out of
Great tasteThese tomatoes were delicious, unfortunately the bugs and animals liked them as well. This was my first year growing tomatoes outside of a pot and I have a lot to learn . I didn't plan well for all the competition to eat the tomatoes
Date published: 2016-09-18
Rated 5 out of
Always great flavorThis is the 3rd year I've purchased the Rutgers tomatoes. My entire family graduated from Rutgers so I am partial to that tomato. The flavor is wonderful, the size is good-about the size of a tennis ball and the skin is not tough.
Things got off to a rocky start. The first tomatoes I picked were black inside. I learned it was internal blossom end rot(BER). This is a result of something I did wrong, not Burpee's fault at all. I'm going to add some form of nutrients to the soil before I plant them next year.
Because the plants grow tall I use square cages to support them. They worked like a charm. The cone shaped supports do not support these plants; just for added insurance I tied the cages to the downspout. They worked like a charm, the tomatoes easy to reach.
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 4 out of
Good south jersey flavor!Rutgers tomatoes have been a nj mainstay. They were hard to find at the local garden store but easy to order through the catolog.
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 2 out of
DisappointingI planted these seeds indoors according to the instructions. The plants grew very well and were very healthy but the tomatoes lacked the flavor that I was expecting. Despite the time that I had put into growing these plants from seed, the tomatoes at the local farmer's marked had a much better flavor.
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 5 out of
Great TomatoThese are great tasting tomatoes. If you had New Jersey tomatoes in the past, these taste just like what you got from roadside farm stands.
Date published: 2016-07-19
Rated 5 out of
Amazing to cook with!Growing up my family always grew Big Boy's so naturally that's what I started growing. Then I started experimenting with different types of vegetables.
This was my first year planting Rutgers. I treated it like I have every other tomato. I started them in late February(We had a very mild winter here in Zone 8 GA). I got 100% germination from all 25 seeds that I planted. I thinned them down to 10, pinched the bottom set of leaves, and replanted them to the depth of which I had just pinched. They grew wonderfully and full. Each plant grew up past 7' tall, and produced an abundance of beautiful fruit.
My only hesitation with Rutgers, and it may be of no note, is the way the fruit grows in clusters(6-8 tomatoes per vine). It seemed as though once the fruit started to reach about 1.25" accross it would sag down greatly pinching the vine. It also seemed as though this slowed the growth process of the fruit quite a bit. Once the vine would start to sag the fruit didn't get much bigger. This just may be the nature of the plant, I'm not sure. Possibly giving some kind of support to the vine may help also?
My wife says that this was the easiest tomato to handle in the kitchen. It slices like no other tomato, and has a very nice taste both raw and cooked.
I probably won't grow Rutgers on the scale I did this year. But, I will always have a couple Rutgers in my vegetable garden in the years to come.