Gardeners in Washington face a shorter growing season than other areas of the country. This does not mean that growing tomatoes is not possible. There are a number of varieties that will produce a crop in less than 80 days, which makes them an ideal choice for Washington growers. Most of these same varieties also prefer the cooler temperatures that are typical of Washington summers.
Seattle's Best of All
Seattle's Best of All tomato is an heirloom variety, which means the seeds have not been genetically altered. This tomato grows well in all parts of Washington, especially the Puget Sound area. It is an indeterminate tomato, which means that the fruit grows on a vine and continues to grow and produce fruit throughout the season. The tomato can grow from 6 to 20 feet in height, which makes staking it a must. The fruits of this tomato are red in color and have a mild taste. They are ideal for canning.
Sweet Million is a cherry-type tomato that grows on an indeterminate vine. This is a hybrid variety, which means the seeds have been genetically altered. This variety was engineered to be resistant to cracks. Sweet Million tomatoes are also resistant to verticullum wilt and fusarium wilt, diseases which cause yellowing and spotting of the plant's leaves.These tomatoes will grow up to 6 feet high with a spread of 2 to 3 feet, so staking may be necessary. This vine will produce fruit as early as 65 days after sowing seeds. The cherry tomatoes produced by this vine are very sweet and juicy. They may be eaten fresh or used in salads.
Stupice tomatoes are known to be resistant to cold. They consistently produce abundant crops each year in Washington. This is an indeterminate tomato which will grow approximately 4 feet tall and 19 inches wide. Stupice is an open-pollinated type, which means that bees are needed to pollinate this tomato. It is also an heirloom variety. The fruit of this vine will be around 2 to 3 inches in diameter and medium to dark red in color. These tomatoes have a slightly acidic taste to them, so they are recommended for juices. They may also be stewed or eaten fresh.
The Jetsetter tomato is an early-producer which ripens approximately 70 days after planting seeds. This is an indeterminate variety which is very resistant to verticullum wilt and fusarium wilt. These tomatoes will be very large, weighing 8 to 9 oz. each and fairly uniform in shape. This variety consistently produces heavy yields, so tomatoes should be staked or caged. The fruit will be a dark red color with medium to light red flesh and very smooth skin. This tomato is very juicy yet has a mild taste. These are a good choice for sandwiches, salads and fresh eating.
- Washington State University: Gardening in Western Washington
- Federal Way Mirror: Five Secrets for Growing Tasty Tomatoes in Western Washington
- Backyard Gardener: Lycopersicon Esculentum Seattle's Best of All Tomato
- Backyard Gardener: Lycopersicon Esculentum: Sweet Million Tomato
- Backyard Gardener: Stupice Tomato