If you’re a tomato enthusiast, you might already know and love the Mountain Fresh tomato.
If you aren’t familiar, these tomatoes are massive, delicious, and have excellent disease resistance. What more could you need for low-maintenance gardening?
Keep reading to learn all about the Mountain Fresh tomato and why it should be a new addition to your garden!
Characteristics of the Mountain Fresh Tomato
The fruit of the Mountain Fresh tomato plant is large, ranging from eight to sixteen ounces, and bright red in color. Thanks to is resistance to cracking, the tomato’s skin is smooth and firm.
The plant itself is leafy, shading the fruit and protecting them from scalding. Mountain Fresh tomatoes are meaty with a tasty, slightly sweet flavor.
Determinate vs. Indeterminate
Mountain Fresh tomato plants are determinate, meaning they stop growing once the plant starts to flower. Determinate tomato plants can be smaller and appear more like a tomato bush than a tomato vine.
They also tend to produce their fruit all at once rather than gradually over the season, so be ready to harvest lots of tomatoes in a day or two.
Check out our post about the differences between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes and how to care for them if you want to learn more!
Enjoying your Mountain Fresh Tomatoes
Best Ways to Eat
Because of their size and firmness, Mountain Fresh tomatoes are perfect for slicing! They make a perfect addition to any sandwich or summer salad that may need an upgrade.
But, if you want to try your hand at some different ways to use your tomato harvest, these recipes for salsa and marinara sauce are versatile and easy to make. It’s especially rewarding to bite into a slice of pizza or dip a chip into some salsa made with the tomatoes you grew!
Overall, tomatoes are a low-carb food with a high water content, leaving you feeling refreshed and hydrated after snacking on one. They are also a great source of fiber and vitamins! You can learn more from our blog post, The Health Benefits of Tomatoes.
Growing and Care
For best results, sow seeds in the spring about a quarter of an inch in the ground with roughly two feet between each plant. For more tips on planting your tomato seeds, our How To Plant Tomatoes guide will tell you all you need to know.
Since it hails from North Carolina, the Mountain Fresh tomato loves humidity and full sun. But this sturdy, adaptable tomato plant can withstand cool and wet conditions, too. Though it grows well without help, it does benefit from caging, trellising, or staking. You can find more advice on growing tomatoes in our guide, How to Grow Tomatoes.
If you want to start your plants inside and move them to your outdoor garden, the tomatoes are ready to transplant between five and six weeks indoors.
Soil conditions are very important for growing healthy tomatoes. The plant prefers warm, consistently moist, well-drained, and slightly acidic soil. For more help in deciding which soil is right for you and your garden, check out our recommendations for the Best Soil for Tomatoes.
Some great companion plants for your tomatoes include root vegetables, chives, parsley, and marigold flowers.
Mountain Fresh tomatoes are easy-to-grow, but they are heavy producers, and the fruits ripen all at once. Keep your eye out and be ready to harvest lots of fruit mid-season! The plants mature in 75 to 80 days.
The Mountain Fresh tomato is one of the most widely-grown varieties on the market. But don’t fret, it makes a great addition to any home garden, too!
Mountain Fresh tomatoes have a high tolerance for the typical diseases that can plague your tomato harvest and can flourish in different planting environments where some of these diseases may crop up (find out more in our blog post on Common Tomato Diseases). These durable plants resist Verticillium Wilt, Fusarium Wilt, Gray Wall, Blossom End Rot, cracking, and even nematodes!
Once you’ve fallen in love with growing tomatoes, you’ll want them in your garden year after year. One easy way to prepare for the next tomato season is to collect and store your seeds for future use. For a step-by-step guide on how to properly harvest, prep, and store your tomato seeds, check out our blog post on Harvesting Tomato Seeds.
Starting Your Tomato Garden
Getting the Best From Your Plants
Many varieties of tomato plants, Mountain Fresh tomatoes included, do well with some support from a cage or trellis, like the one we found on Amazon.
Feed your plants a fertilizer explicitly made with tomatoes in mind to add some extra nutrients into your soil to encourage big, healthy fruits. We recommend the all-in-one 10-10-10 fertilizer sold by one of our favorite garden supply retailers, Hoss Tools.
Different Ways to Grow Your Tomatoes
There are so many ways to start your tomato garden! Did you know you can even grow tomatoes upside down?
If you don’t have an outdoor space or access to a garden, determinate tomato plants like the Mountain Fresh tomato are great for starting an indoor garden. Planting your tomatoes, or any other suitable plants, in pots indoors allows you to control the climate and keep your fruit safe from any dry spells or cold snaps. Just make sure you put your plants near a window with full sun!
Because of the versatility of tomato plants, there are many more creative Tomato Garden Ideas. Depending on budget, space, and access, you can enjoy tomato gardening using hydroponic systems, fabric plant bags, or even recycled soda bottles.
For more information, read this blog post on Starting a Tomato Garden in 9 Steps.
Where to Buy Mountain Fresh Tomatoes
Mountain Fresh tomatoes can be bought online in seed and starter plant form.
We recommend the seeds we found on Amazon. Order yours to get a headstart on tomato season this year!
Though this specific variety of tomato can be hard to find in grocery stores, Mountain Fresh tomatoes are one of the most widely grown market tomatoes in the eastern part of the United States. If you’ve spent much time in that part of the country, there’s a good chance you’ve already tasted one without even knowing it.
Ready to Get Growing?
If you feel inspired to start growing some delicious tomatoes, don’t forget about the Mountain Fresh. Maybe even try growing some upside down!
For more on all things tomato, visit the Tomato Plants page on our website for a plethora of blog posts and helpful guides.