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The Granadero Tomato

It’s no wonder that the Granadero tomato’s name means “grenade thrower.” This disease-resistant, hardy hybrid tomato packs a punch of sweet-and-spicy flavor like a bomb on your tongue. If you’re looking for a good homemade salsa or tomato paste tomato, look no further than this tomato — its few seeds and thick skin make it ideal for those kinds of recipes in particular.

Read on for the nitty-gritty of growing and harvesting this “grenade” of a tomato that will bring a burst of flavor to your table.

Closeup of red plum tomatoes on the vine similar to the Granadero tomato plant.

History of the Granadero Tomato

It’s difficult to find information about the history of the Granadero tomato. All we know is that it was developed to be a more disease-resistant plum tomato variety. It succeeded in that, and it has a delicious flavor and gorgeous, bright red color.

Characteristics of the Granadero Tomato

Granaderos are indeterminant hybrid tomatoes. This means that their vines will continue to grow and produce fruit until the first frost and that this variety is made by cross-pollinating two different types of tomatoes to make a new variety that encompasses the best traits of both parent types.

These tomatoes are often described as “plumb-shaped” and have a thick skin and bright red color.

Plum tomatoes in various stages of ripeness on the vine.

Ripening Season

Granadero tomatoes are midseason ripeners. The fruit is ready for tasting about 75 days after transplanting.

Tomato Qualities

These tomatoes are firm to the touch and have a uniquely sweet and subtly spicy flavor.

Tomato Size

Granadero tomatoes are plum-shaped like Roma tomatoes and tend to weigh 4-5 oz each.

Red plum tomatoes on a table.

Planting Zones

Planting zones 3-11 are best for growing granadero tomatoes.

Size and Spacing

Because these tomatoes are indeterminant, they will need a little extra room to keep growing. Granadero plants should be spaced 2-3 feet apart and should be staked or caged to give the vines support especially as the fruits grow heavier.

Pollination

Granadero tomatoes are hybrids made by hand pollinating two parent tomato types. The seeds you can buy are F1 seeds, which means that they are first-generation hybrids. Any second-generation seeds produced by the first generation will not develop into the same tomatoes you get with the purchased seeds. Second-generation hybrid seeds either won’t work or won’t grow or will grow into oddly shaped fruits likely with an odd flavor.

Plant Care

The following sections will provide highlights about tomato care. For a complete guide on optimal tomato plant care, from planting to harvesting and storage, please check out our article on How To Grow Tomatoes: The Complete Guide For the Best Tomatoes.

Sunlight

Full sun exposure (at least 6 or more hours per day) is required for granadero tomatoes to flourish.

Young tomato plants in the garden.

Soil

Medium-rich soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8 is ideal for granadero tomatoes.

Water

Granadero tomatoes should be watered frequently to keep the soil moist, but not saturated. Water once every day or every other day as needed to achieve this result. Adding mulch over the soil will help retain moisture in the soil and prevent evaporation, which will allow you to water less often.

Fertilizer

Avoid high nitrogen levels as this will encourage rot. Fertilize during transplanting and once every 4-6 weeks after to promote continued growth. To learn how to determine what your tomatoes need, consult our ultimate tomato fertilizer guide.

Pruning/Pinching

When transplanting shoots to their permanent home in the garden, pinch off all sprouts except for the main one or two vines. This will force the plant to put more nutrients into fewer tomatoes, which will give you bigger and tastier tomatoes as an end result.

Pruning and pinching are a tomato care technique that can help your tomato put forth its best yield. But you need to know when to do this and what tomatoes need it. To help you with this, visit our pruning tomatoes guide.

Person pinching sucker off tomato plant.

Disease

One of the great things about hybrid tomatoes is that they tend to be more disease-resistant than heirloom tomato varieties. Granadero tomatoes are unlikely to be affected by tomato diseases, but there are a couple things you can do to be on the safe side anyway.

1. Wash any tools such as trowels or pruners that have been or could have been in contact with diseased plants or soil in the past before using them on your new tomatoes or soil.

2. Plant Granadero tomatoes in a different part of the garden than where tomato plants usually go. Since it takes multiple years for some diseases that can live in the soil to die out, using a different area for tomatoes each year can help decrease risk of exposure of new plants to old diseases.

To learn how to detect, treat, and take steps to prevent diseases, read our tomato diseases guide. 

Pests

Aphids

These sneaky little pests like to live in tiny swarms on the undersides of your tomato plant leaves. If you notice the leaves suddenly disappearing, flip one over and you’ll probably find a horde of tiny insects feasting away.

Loss of leaves means tomato plants won’t be able to perform photosynthesis as effectively and the delicate tomato fruits will lose their shade from the sun. But you can’t just squish these nearly microscopic pests. The good news is, they have a natural enemy who likes to eat them and doesn’t like to eat tomato plants. Meet the ladybug, arch-enemy of aphids and salvation of tomato plant leaves. You can actually purchase ladybugs from Amazon by the dozens or hundreds. Simply release them around your garden and let them do the rest.

Aphids and a ladybug on a plant's leaves.

Tomato Hornworms

A much bigger beast, the tomato hornworm devours tomato plant leaves, stems, and fruits alike. They grow incredibly fast, but they are much easier to pick off and dispose of. If you have chickens, you can toss these caterpillars over to them and they’ll enjoy the tasty treat. If you have any insectivorous or omnivorous pets such as a bearded dragon, you can also supplement their usual diet with tomato hornworms. Otherwise, you can drop them in some soapy water to finish them off after removing them from your plant.

For information to help you spot, eliminate, and deter 15 different pests, visit our guide on common tomato pests.

When to Harvest Granadero Tomatoes

Granadero tomatoes are ready to harvest approximately 75 days after transplanting.

Picked red plum tomatoes in a basket.

Common Uses For Granadero Tomatoes

What Does This Tomato Taste Like?

The Granadero tomato has a unique sweet-and-spicy taste. This flavor will add a new twist to your recipes when you use this tomato as one of your ingredients.

Cooking

The Granadero is an especially good tomato for making tomato paste. It makes an excellent addition in many other recipes as well.

Eating Raw

A Granadero tomato is safe and tasty to eat raw right off the vine. It’s also great in salsas and a delicious dash of flavor in a salad.

Bowl of cut red plum tomatoes.

Canning / Freezing / Drying

Each of these preservation methods works well for Granadero tomatoes.

Recipe Ideas

Pico De Gallo

Homemade Tomato Paste

Mushroom and Tomato Bruschetta

Mozzarella Carrozza with tomato sauce.

Health Benefits of Granadero Tomatoes

Tomatoes are mostly water, which makes them a low-calorie choice for healthy snacking. Granadero tomatoes are also high in antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

Where to Buy Granadero Tomato Plants or Seeds

You can grab as many packs of Granadero tomato seeds from Amazon as you’d like. The tomato plants are a bit harder to come by, however. Check with your local garden store or farmer’s market to see if they have Granadero starter plants available. If not, they’ll probably be able to point you in the right direction for another place you can try.

Where to Buy Granadero Tomatoes

Granadero tomatoes are more likely to be found in stores than many heirloom tomato varieties because hybrid tomatoes are easier to mass-produce for the grocery store market. Granadero tomatoes are closely related to Roma tomatoes, so look closely at your grocery store’s Roma tomato area for fine print specifying that they are granaderos.

If you can’t find them there, check with your local garden store or farmer’s market for fresh granadero tomatoes available for sale.

Wrapping Up the Granadero Tomato

Closeup of red plum tomatoes on the vine.

The sweet-and-spicy Granadero tomato is one of the best for making homemade tomato paste and salsa. Its firm, thick skin helps lock in freshness longer and protects it well from tomato plant disease pathogens. With its hybrid nature, it’s extra disease-resistant, making it a great choice for any gardener who’s had difficulty with tomato plant disease in recent years.

Have you grown Granadero tomatoes in your garden? We’d love for you to share your experiences with this tomato in our comments section below! To read about other tomatoes you might want to add to your garden this spring, click here for our tomato blog posts.