The world-renowned Celebrity tomato is a hybrid variety that’s also the 1984 All-American Selection winner (AAS) in the edible category. Its outstanding yields, vigor, adaptability, and disease resistance are popular. These attributes make Celebrity tomatoes a great plant for beginners since they are fairly low-maintenance compared to other varieties. Not to mention their deep red fruits are very flavorful.
Let’s take a closer look at the Celebrity tomato.
History of the Celebrity Tomato
Colen Wyatt was the first to hybridize and produce Celebrity tomatoes. The seed was then commercially distributed by Petoseed Co. starting in the late 1980s and today by Seminis Vegetable Seeds.
Characteristics of the Celebrity Tomato
Celebrity tomatoes are semi-determinate hybrid tomato plants that typically grow between 3-4 feet tall and mature 65 days after planting. They produce large fruits that are deep and meaty.
Celebrity tomatoes are early-season tomatoes that ripen between 65 and 75 days. Starting from seed, it will take 25 days longer.
Celebrity tomatoes have a deep red color, a firm and meaty texture, and a smooth globe shape.
The fruits on a Celebrity tomato plant can weigh between 7 and 10 ounces.
Celebrity tomatoes produce the best results in USDA zones 3 to 9. These plants are best started indoors and transplanted in early spring. You can also plant them mid-summer for a fall harvest. However, pests and common diseases may impact your plant’s production. Like most tomato varieties, Celebrity tomatoes don’t thrive in cooler temperatures.
Size and Spacing
When transplanting your tomatoes plant, you need to plant it deeply to show only the top leaves. Ensure that your soil is nice and moist before planting. If planting multiple plants, make sure you give between 24 and 36 inches of space between them.
Tomato plants are self-pollinating. This means you can begin one plant from a single seed, and it will bear fruit. Thanks to the wind, bees, and birds, these plants also naturally pollinate. Tomatoes grown in a greenhouse must be artificially pollinated to produce fruit.
A strong and sturdy tomatoes cage is absolutely a must for a Celebrity tomato plant as they tend to bear lots of heavy fruit. Bu, there are a few other factors pertaining to care to consider as well.
Tomatoes thrive in sunlight. They typically need at least 6 to 10 hours of direct sunlight daily.
The best soil for your tomato plant will be loose, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-6.8. Compost materials such as wheat and golden straw are excellent choices, but avoid using feed hay as they have a lot of weed seeds. Tomato plants love sandy loam and loam soils but can grow well in just about any soil type except for clay. If you have a lot of clay soil, you can prepare it for your plants by tilling and incorporating sawdust, sand, peat moss, and other amendments before transplanting.
It’s vital that you not allow the soil around your tomatoes plants to dry out. If this happens, the fruit can split or crack. This not only ruins your crop but can also provide an opportunity for diseases to infect your fruits.
It’s best to spread 2-3 inches of mulch around your plants, but make sure you leave at least a 3-inch mulch-free circle around the base. You always want to water your plants right at their base and never directly onto the plant and foliage. Tomato plants need 2-3 inches of water per week. Those grown in containers require more than those grown in-ground. Water your plants at least once and twice on days with hotter temperatures.
For Celebrity tomatoes, you want to consider a fertilizer nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio (N-P-K). The ideal ratio should be 6-24-24, 8-32-16, or 5-10-10.
The best ratio will depend on your soil. For example, a soil test can tell you if you already have enough of one element present in your soil and need more of another to compensate for its lack. Here’s an article with more on soil tests.
Now, when it comes to tomato plants, you don’t want them getting too bushy. Too many leaves take away from the nutrients your fruits need to develop. This is why it’s necessary to prune and pinch them aggressively. You can learn more about proper pruning in this short video.
Celebrity tomatoes are a resilient variety resistant to diseases such as verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, root nematodes, and tobacco mosaic. However, it’s still important to use best practices for preventing diseases. You can learn more about preventing damage to celebrity tomato plants from diseases click here.
While your Celebrity tomato plants fight off many diseases naturally, that doesn’t protect them from hungry little pests. The most common are aphids, cutworms, and hornworms. You can learn more about these and other crop-destroying pests and how to combat them in this guide.
When to Harvest Celebrity Tomatoes
Generally, once your tomatoes start showing a deep red color but have a firm texture when squeezed. You can pick these off the vine, and they will continue to ripen a bit more, becoming softer. To harvest, gently take hold and twist until the fruit pulls free, or use a pair of garden clippers and cut close to the fruit. It usually takes about 70 days or so before your fruits will be ready to harvest.
Common Uses For Celebrity Tomatoes
Celebrity tomatoes are one of the most popular varieties as they are very versatile. Here are just a few ways you can enjoy them.
What Does This Tomato Taste Like?
Celebrity tomatoes have a nice balance between acidity and sweetness. In other words, they have an “average” tomato flavor.
Celebrity tomatoes taste amazing in many cooked recipes such as stews, soups, baked dishes, and you can even grill and stir-fry.
These tomatoes are wonderful in salads, on burgers and sandwiches, or just eaten with a pinch of salt.
Tomatoes are very easy to can. You can learn more about canning tomatoes in this article.
Frozen tomatoes are best used for cooked recipes like soups and stews. They are not very good when eaten raw as they become watery and mushy.
You can also dry tomatoes to make an excellent seasoning. This process is often called “sun-drying.” Here’s a helpful guide that can get you started.
Health Benefits of Celebrity Tomatoes
Tomatoes are rich, natural sources of folate, potassium, vitamins K and C. They are also an excellent dietary source of lycopene. A potent antioxidant is believed to help reduce cancer and heart disease risks.
Where to Buy Celebrity Tomato Plants or Seeds
Celebrity tomato seeds are straightforward to find. You can find them both online and at many retail outlets. Here’s a link to an Amazon seller.
Where to Buy Celebrity Tomatoes
It can be tough to find celebrity tomatoes at your local grocery store, you may have to visit farmer’s markets, and fruit stands to find them. Farmer’s markets are likely going to be your best bet.
If you’ve never grown tomatoes before, then the Celebrity tomato is a great variety to get started with. Its low-maintenance care and the classic tomato flavor of your harvest will inspire you to try your hand at growing other tomatoes.
Have a tip about growing or making delicious recipes with Celebrity tomatoes? Let us know in the comments section below!
For more reading about tomatoes, click here for our other tomato-related blog posts.