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Tomato, Gladiator Hybrid

Short Description

A champion ‘Roma’ tomato with unbeatable vigor, flavor, aroma and yield.

Full Description

Gigantic ‘Gladiator’ is the hands-down champion in the arena of ‘Roma’ tomatoes. With an unbeatable armor of vigor, flavor, aroma and yield, it bears a bounty of oval 8 oz. fruit on the patio or in a small garden. Its dense flesh and tangy taste make ‘Gladiator’ victorious for imparting rich, robust flavor to paste, sauces, soups, salsa, or ketchup. Strong roots conquer enemies such as blossom end rot. Indeterminate.
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Item#: 51660A
Order: 1 Pkt. (25 seeds)
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$6.99
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Item#: 21906
Order: 3 Plants
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$16.99
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Product properties

Type 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.

Paste

Fruit Bearing This refers to the relative season when the plant produces fruit, or if it bears continuously or just once

Indeterminate

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

72 days

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

8 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.

60 inches

Plant Shipping Information

Plants begin shipping week of:

May 07, 2018

Click here for Spring shipping schedule

Restrictions:

Item 21906 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GA, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
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  • Tomatoes

    Tomatoes
    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors 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 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 Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors 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
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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 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.
Type
Paste
Fruit Bearing
Indeterminate
Days To Maturity
72 days
Fruit Weight
8 ounces
Sun
Full Sun
Spread
60 inches
Height
50 inches
Sow Method
indoor
Sow Time
6-8 weeks BLF
Thin
48 inches
Tomato, Gladiator Hybrid is rated 3.5 out of 5 by 48.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fat Romas!! Due to our earlier growing season that ran through most of November, I ordered seeds and started them under grow lights. Set them out the Monday before Easter, had huge tomatoes all summer, into the fall. even supplied friends with large green ones for frying. I put up 17 Quart vacuum bags of peeled chopped tomatoes in our freezer, not including ones i cooked after peeling for stew/soup. When I stripped the vines (10) I had two large bowls of green ones that I made green tomato (chow-Chow) canned 24 1/2 pint jars. still have 4 quart bags of chopped green tomatoes in the freezer for a different relish later. Once they started to turn red, they were ready to pick in about 4 days. finished out on the kitchen cabinet. made my own cages and the plants got over 5 ft tall. I am ordering more seed for this next year, and building a small green house after Christmas. The only problem I felt I had starting them under grow lights, they were tall and spindly when I first put them out.
Date published: 2017-12-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from not a success I live in zone 4. Lousy crop, never got one that really ripened. Big tomatoes, lousy interior.
Date published: 2017-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than Supersauce! We've been growing Supersauce for many years, and I decided to also try Gladiators this year. They are huge, meaty and are great as both a sauce and eating tomato. We had extreme drought and heat this summer after a cold start. Half the Supersauce plants died, and the rest were stunted & produced few tomatoes. The Gladiators were 5 foot bushes, produced abundantly, and were disease resistant. I have a new favorite!
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gladiator Hybrid a Hit during the cold summer I bought the Gladiator Hybrid in a bundle. I am thankful that I did give this tomato a try. We had a very cold, wet summer. In August we did not have one day in the 90's. It has been called the "summer that mother nature forgot" in my community. I had few tomatoes EXCEPT the Gladiator. Were most of 8 different varieties had 4-5 tomatoes, the Gladiator had 36 large full wonderfully sweet tomatoes. I would have gone hungry if I had to depend on the other varieties to fill my pantry. Thanks to Gladiator, I had extra to offer the food pantry. I will be ordering this variety again. I hope you will try it too.
Date published: 2017-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Tomato I bought seeds, and planted in my garden. The seeds germinated really well in my greenhouse. We planted around 30 plants in our garden. We have a huge supply of tomatoes, that are big in size. So nice to peel tomatoes that are 1 lb in size instead of tomatoes that are 15 to a pound. They worked perfectly for our canned salsa and spaghetti sauce.
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great overall tomato I start my own plants in a hobby greenhouse so I purchased seed. Germination was great and they grew well. I was late getting them set out as we had cool wet weather this spring. They were a little late coming on but once they did yield was great with large very meaty fruit. I am still picking heavy on Sept 19th.
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gigantic! I live in Zone 6 coastal Connecticut and it has been a pretty mild summer for us. We only had 3 dog days that we can speak of, while the rest of the growing season have been mostly 70's and mid 80's. This is the first year I grow this variety as I have always been a proponent for heirloom San Marzano tomatoes. To my surprise the Gladiator Hybrid outperforms producing very large fruits and many fruits on each plant. The fruits are firm and meaty, making them exccellent for sauce and soups. They taste good enough for slicing/salad and I love them on my pizza too. The size is about 2 to 3 times of my heirloom San Marzano, hence I only need less than half the amount to make a jar of sauce. I would describe the taste as medium in sweetness and tartness, making it fantastic for soups and sauces without much seasoning required. This year I do not have to add brown sugar when making my roasted tomato sauce. I will definitely grow more of these next year. BTW I started my plants from seeds in March and got 100% germination without a heating pad.
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't buy them I had 12 plants delivered and all grew Roma tomatoes that were so big you had to laugh at how big they got. But they never turned red and hard like a rock. You May Say I don't know what I am doing. But the rest of my plants produce 20 plus per plants and most size of a baseball. Next year I'll try another variety of them.
Date published: 2017-09-11
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