Tomatoes are one of the most popular and easy-growing plants in the whole world.
They are beloved by many gardeners for the versatility of their fruits, and many see them as a staple summer crop.
In fact, they are even the official state vegetable of both Ohio and New Jersey!
If you’re looking to start growing tomatoes yourself, you might be wondering how long it will take for your plant to bear these delicious fruits.
In this article, we’ll tell you what you need to know, so read on to find out!
How long does it take for a tomato plant to bear fruit?
The amount of time it takes for a tomato plant to bear fruit is all dependent on the variety you are growing. For some varieties, it can take as little as 20 days, but for others, it can take as long as 50 days. On average, you can expect your tomato plant to take around a month for it to bear fruit.
The growth cycle of a tomato fruit
Some varieties of tomato plants take very little time to bear fruit. One example of this is the “Bloody Butcher” tomato.
This plant produces a tomato that is a little larger than the size of a cherry and takes a total of about 55 days to harvest, from growth to ripening stage.
Other varieties can take much longer. For example, the “Brandy Wine” tomato can take as long as 90 days to mature.
When you start to see bright yellow blossoms on your tomato plant, that means that it is nearing the time for your plant to start bearing fruit.
After your flowers have been pollinated either naturally or by hand, they should turn into small green fruits within 2 to 3 weeks.
Read further for information on pollinating tomato flowers by hand.
Following this, they will become bigger, riper, and eventually start to change color.
It can take about 20 to 30 days for the tomato to ripen from the vine.
Some chose to pick their tomatoes just as they start to change color and to ripen them off the plant instead.
In many cases, this can make your tomatoes ripen quicker, especially if you store them in a paper bag or with other ripening fruits.
Top tip – make sure to give your plants plenty of tomato food fertilizer during their fruit-bearing stages.
They especially need a balance of phosphorus and potassium to aid in the ripening and growing process.
Encouraging your tomato plant to grow fruit faster
Choose the right variety
There are multiple ways to encourage your tomato to bear fruit faster. Mostly, it all depends on choosing the right variety for the location that you live in.
For example, you could choose an early ripening variety such as the “Early Girl” tomato if you live in an area that experiences cooler summer months.
This will mean you won’t need to wait long for you to start enjoying the fruits of your tomato plant.
Similarly, if you live in a warmer climate you could choose a variety suited to that, such as the “Cherry” tomato plant.
Providing your tomato plant with proper care and maintenance will also encourage it to grow faster, meaning that it could result in it bearing fruits earlier.
This means ensuring that your tomato plant is getting enough sunlight, creating a sufficient watering schedule, and adjusting it as your plant’s needs change.
Tomatoes typically need 1 to 2 inches of water a week, but this can be altered depending on the temperate of your environment.
The soil should be slightly moist to touch, but not totally dry or saturated.
In the height of summer, your tomato plant may need to be watered as frequently as twice a day, but if the days are cooler it may be as little as twice a week.
Many gardeners even add mulch or peat moss to the soil of their tomato plants to ensure that moisture is retained for longer.
Tomato plants also need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, but your plant will thrive best with 8 hours or more.
If your plant does not receive an adequate amount of sunlight, it is likely that it won’t flower or produce fruits.
You may need to move your tomato plant around your garden to ensure it’s getting the most light it can.
Aside from the getting the light levels right, don’t forget to properly space your tomato plants to avoid competition among them.
Aiding with the pollination of your tomato plant may also help to encourage the fruits to grow faster.
Although tomato plants are self-pollinating, the process can sometimes take longer if your garden isn’t often visited by bumblebees and other insects.
The wait can especially be lengthened if you live in an area with little wind to circulate the pollen on your plant.
This process can be helped along by simply shaking the branches of your tomato plant a few times a day, which will naturally increase the pollen circulation.
Additionally, some gardeners choose to cross-pollinate their tomato plants by hand. You can do this by using a fine brush or even just a popsicle stick.
Place the brush or stick inside a blossom on your plant, and use that stick to touch a blossom on another plant.
Pollinating by hand is extremely useful if you grow your tomatoes in a greenhouse, where the movement of the air is relatively low.
It can also be much more successful than letting your tomato plant self-pollinate and can result in you yielding more than 3 times your usual tomato crop.
Frequently Asked Questions Related To How Long It Takes For Tomatoes To Bear Fruit
How much fruit does a tomato plant produce?
On average, each tomato plant produces around 5 to 10 fruits. However, this is dependant on variety, as some may produce more.
How long is the typical lifespan of a tomato plant?
The lifespan of a tomato plant is around 6 months, although some newer varieties have been bred to last even longer.
Why don’t I see my tomato plants bearing fruit?
If your tomato plant isn’t producing fruit it is likely that it isn’t getting the care it needs. Make sure that your plant is getting the right amount of water, and at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
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Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.