Here we’re discussing Celebrity tomato plants as opposed to recipes that utilize Celebrity tomatoes.
The ‘Celebrity’ tomato plant should not be confused with the ‘Bush Celebrity’ tomato plant…
‘Bush Celebrity’ is particularly compact, and only reaches a height of around 15 inches. (Can you imagine how small the fruit is? Perhaps not as small as you would think: 8-9oz/227-255g. That’s much heavier than the average-sized cherry, grape, or plum tomato).
The ‘Celebrity’ tomato plant, on the other hand, reaches approximately 5 feet though it can get taller.
Are Celebrity tomatoes good?
This seems a somewhat unusual question. But it is a question that is asked. So here’s the answer, at least in some respects.
As an All-American Selection winner (1998), ‘Celebrity’ tomato plants continue to be a gardener’s staple choice to this day.
So yeah, you could say ‘Celebrity’ tomatoes are good. Or at least the plant is good. And, actually, the fruit is good – very good – as well.
As is the case with most tomato varieties, ‘Celebrity’ is a perennial which, for most folks, is grown as an annual.
Is the Celebrity tomato determinate or indeterminate?
‘Celebrity’ is classed as a determinate plant, though sometimes it is classed as semi-determinate due to its relatively vigorous growing habit.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, the ‘Celebrity’ tomato plant is hardy from zone 10 through 11. I do know that many gardeners successfully grow ‘Celebrity’ in zones 8 and 9.
Is Celebrity tomato good for canning?
Yes, they certainly are good for canning. ‘Celebrity’ tomatoes are not only good for canning. They are also really excellent for slicing and for sauces.
Are Celebrity tomatoes heirloom?
No, ‘Celebrity’ is not an heirloom tomato. And, to be honest, ‘Celebrity’ tomatoes are not quite as tasty as some heirlooms. Not surprising, really. Heirloom tomatoes are the best when it comes to taste.
Nevertheless, ‘Celebrity’ tomatoes are ideal for stewing, salads, salsa, and, as mentioned, also for canning.
How to grow Celebrity tomato – further growing tips
- The fruits are excellent for eating fresh and for adding to salads. Can also be used for juicing, canning, cooking, slicing, and salsas.
- Plants have high resistance to disease, inclusive of fusarium wilts, verticillium wilt, as well as tobacco mosaic virus. Also resistant to nematodes.
- Typically grows to a height of around 5 feet (1.5m), though they can, depending on climatic conditions, etc. grow to 10 feet (3m).
- ‘Bush Celebrity’, on the other hand, is more compact and only reaches 15 inches (38cm) in height.
- ‘Celebrity’ fruits reach maturity and are ready for harvesting within around 70 to 75 days.
How to prepare your soil for Celebrity tomato plants
- There’s a necessity for all tomato plants to have full sunshine – or, at least, as much sunshine as possible – in order to thrive and ‘perform’ at their best.
- The soil ought to be well-drained but moist, and have a rich organic matter content.
- You can, of course, amend your current soil to fit in with the needs of your tomato crop.
- To do so, simply incorporate well-composted organic matter into your soil, to a depth of around 6 to 8 inches. If your compost is manure-based, add a 1-inch layer; if your compost is plant-based, add a 2-to-3 inch layer.
How to plant Celebrity tomatoes
You can plant your ‘Celebrity’ tomato plants outside once all frosts have passed.
The daytime temperature, for best results, should be above 60 degrees F (15C).
If the daytime temperature consistently falls below 55 degrees F (13C), you’ll find that the growth of your tomato plants will become stunted.
Space your ‘Celebrity’ tomato plants at approximately 24-36 inches apart to provide enough room for the branches to develop and for the leaves to enjoy plenty of light.
Space your rows (if you have enough plants to make rows) at 4 or 5 feet apart if space permits.
If your plants are already relatively bushy prior to planting outside, avoid planting the stem into the soil – simply plant the root ball.
On the other hand, if your plants are leggier and devoid of leaves, you can bury part of the stem to encourage root development. If you do this, allow the top 6 inches of each plant to remain above soil level.
How to water and stake/ cage Celebrity tomato plants
Just after planting, water your tomato plants thoroughly.
Don’t water overhead – rather, water the root area. Watering overhead encourages disease.
The best time to water tomato plants is in the morning. This allows the soil to dry before the cooler evening time temperatures arrive.
How often to water ‘Celebrity’ tomatoes?
More mature tomato plants enjoy a couple of inches of water each week, though that is more dependent on ambient temperatures than anything else.
For staking/ caging purposes, wire cages are more than adequate.
The cages should be around 2 feet in diameter by 4 or 5 feet tall.
You can cage the plants soon after planting.
Gardener’s Supply Heavy Gauge Square tomato cages are a good option:
Heavy Duty Tomato Plant Cages (53 inches high when installed)
How to fertilize Celebrity tomato plants
Just after planting (transplanting your Celebrity tomato plant seedlings outdoors), make an application of a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen.
A high-nitrogen fertilizer simply encourages vegetative growth at the cost of fruit growth (and also possibly at the cost of continual root growth if the fertilizer is low in phosphorus).
Ideally, the fertilizer’s N-P-K (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) ratio should be something like 6-24-24 or 8-32-16.
Or indeed, 5-10-10 like Lilly Miller Morcrop Tomato and Veg Food:
Note that phosphorus is helpful to root growth, while potassium encourages strong fruit growth.
One signal that your tomato plants are low in nitrogen is that the leaves will begin to yellow.
The first leaves to yellow will be the ones around the base of the plants.
If that does occur, it’s good policy to start using a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
Otherwise, typically within 70-75 days of transplanting your ‘Celebrity’ tomato plants, you should be enjoying your first tomato harvest!
Pruning Celebrity tomato – Do you prune Celebrity tomatoes? How to prune Celebrity tomatoes?
Some tomato growers would recommend that you never prune determinate tomatoes.
And the fact is that if you do decide to prune (or snip out) suckers on ‘Celebrity’ tomato plants it can cause the plants to produce a lesser yield of fruit.
So, here’s my advice on this…
Prune out the bottom suckers. So prune out suckers until you reach the first flower cluster.
The sucker that is just beneath the first flower cluster on your plants should be left unpruned.
Because this particular sucker tends to produce a copious supply of fruit.
So you should aim to prune every sucker that is below this point and leave the remaining suckers that grow above.