Rio Grande Tomato Seeds produces high yields of large red pear-shaped tomatoes. They are thick and meaty, with a flavor that is mildly sweet with a little of that old fashioned tart tomato flavor. One of the best paste tomatoes to grow in hot climates and will withstand extremes in temperature, both hot and cold. An excellent choice for beginner gardeners. Highly disease resistant.
Tomato seeds can be started indoors.
Start seeds inside 8 weeks before the last frost date.
Plant seeds 1/2″ deep in pots with growing mix and place on a warm seedling mat or in a warm area that is 70 to 85 degrees with bright light. Tomato seeds prefer relatively warm temperatures to germinate and grow quickly. Seedlings should emerge from the soil in 5-10 days. After 8 weeks, when the outdoor garden soil has warmed, harden off the seedlings and transplant them 24″ apart in rich soil and full sun.
When watering soak the soil to a depth of at least 6″ so the soil stays moist but never soggy. Mulching can help to provide uniform moisture, conserve water, and reduce weeds. Feed plants often with fertilizer that is low in nitrogen.
Rio Grande tomato plants are determinate and grow 4′-6′ tall and tomatoes weigh 6 ounces.
The definition of a determinate tomato.
Determinate tomatoes grow to a compact height of about 3-6′ tall. Determinates stop growing taller when fruit sets on the top bud. All the tomatoes from the plant will ripen at approximately the same time over a period of 1- 2 weeks. The plants may require staking for support.
Tomatoes are delicious.
Any tomato can be used for making a sauce but starting with paste tomatoes will mean less time reducing them down on the stove. Paste tomatoes like the Rio Grande have a denser, drier flesh and fewer seeds, making them meaty, thick, and ready to turn into a rich sauce. Rio Grande tomatoes are flavorful enough to do double duty as fresh eating tomatoes.
Heirloom Rio Grande tomatoes are large pear-shaped fruits that work well for making BBQ sauces, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and purees. They make great dehydrated or sun-dried tomatoes. They are always delicious freshly sliced for salads and sandwiches, too.
Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Eating of tomatoes and tomato-based products has been linked to improved skin health too.