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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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$7.29
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Item#: 21906
Order: 3 Plants
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$18.99
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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 13, 2019

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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Video

Quick Start Gardening Guide: Determinate vs Indeterminate Tomatoes
Quick Start Gardening Guide: Determinate vs Indeterminate Tomatoes
There are two types of growing habits for tomatoes- Determinate and Indeterminate. Learn the differences of each type and why each might be best for your garden.
Watch video
Quick Start Gardening Guide: Planting Tomatoes
Quick Start Gardening Guide: Planting Tomatoes
Learn the basics of planting tomatoes including staking and caging. Supporting your tomato plants will give your garden maximum growth and yields.
Watch video
  • 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 54.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing tomato First year with this, and all the seeds germinated. Did 2 seeds per cell, cut one off when transplanted to 3 inch cow manure pots. Gave the discarded cut offs to a friend in some water. He planted them directly into his garden, and they all grew. I did the final plant into Earthboxes because too many gophers in garden. All 6 of these grew very well. Very large beautiful fruit. Am testing to see how they taste best depending on harvesting color and feel. Seems the more red they are the better and juicier the tomato is. Have used San Marzano for sauce in past, and this year, but will see how the sauce compares with these when sauced. In addition to reg non organic granular fertilizer, I use Spray and Grow foliar fertilizer sprays, and had to use BT. for septoria once it showed up.
Date published: 2018-09-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Splitting issue I know the weather is probably a factor. We went from no rain for over a month to a week with several downpours. The yield was fine, but all of the biggest tomatoes split so bad, they could not be used. Out of my seven plants, I discarded at least 20 of the biggest tomatoes. I have planted Big Mama since it came out. I will stick with Big Mama. They did not have a similar splitting issue and are always extremely productive.
Date published: 2018-08-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazingly Productive Variety Gladiator is definitely the most productive sauce tomato I've grown. The tomatoes are large, abundant and durable. I could leave ripe Gladiators on the vine for weeks without worrying about them going bad, unlike many softer varieties. The flavor is moderate and sweet, and fleshy instead of juicy, which makes for good sauce. I will consider Gladiator to be my main sauce tomato until something better comes along.
Date published: 2018-04-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from First year excellent Tried these first time last year and all of my tomato plants needed fences for cages. This was one of my favorites for yield and holding. Will grow again.
Date published: 2018-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Huge! I live in Zone 4 and started these inside in the spring. I bought a pkt of 25 seeds and all of them germinated. I do Straw bale gardening and the Gladiator loved the environment! Very prolific, meaty and huge tomatoes.
Date published: 2018-02-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from large an meaty Very large, needs some xtra staking. Excellent color an flavor, will grow them again this year here in Maryland Highlands.
Date published: 2018-01-02
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
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