The Best Tomatoes to Grow in Cold Climates

Who has never heard someone be disappointed with their tomato harvest or say that it absolutely takes a greenhouse to achieve a good harvest in a cold climate?

Fortunately, this is all wrong, each climate has its own tomato and you simply have to choose the right variety (cultivar) adapted to the climatic reality of your region. Yes, beautiful tomatoes, not just cherry tomatoes, it's possible in a cold climate and directly in the garden without having to resort to a greenhouse!

The best tomatoes to grow in cold climates are short to mid-season tomatoes, that is, tomatoes that ripen with the shortest number of days, around 55 to 75 days after transplanting to the garden.

These short and mid-season varieties generally require fewer hot days to ripen their fruit and are naturally adapted or have been developed for cooler temperatures.

Regions with cold climates generally have short growing seasons. The growing season is the frost-free period between the last spring frost and the first fall frost. When the growing season is short, you want to grow tomatoes that need less time (calculated in days of maturity) to come to fruition and you need varieties that will be able to perform despite colder temperatures in general during summer. Tomatoes require days at temperatures of at least 20°C for their growth and fruiting.

Tomatoes well suited to regions with cooler summer temperatures are also the best choice for people in warmer regions who want tomatoes earlier in the season or to replant in mid-summer to extend the harvest season. But this is not the case for us here in Eastern Quebec.

The healthier the tomato plants are, the better they manage to perform despite colder temperatures. Therefore, we recommend that you feed your plants every 1-2 weeks with compost tea or liquid growth fertilizer . For very windy places, we recommend that you protect your plants with a screen (a fence, a plastic film barrier) in order to reduce the wind and thus gain several degrees, which will be very favorable to the growth of your plants.

Which tomatoes to choose for cold climates?

To facilitate your choices according to your reality, here in order of days at maturity, the best varieties of open pollinated tomatoes adapted for regions with colder summer climates:

Tomato 42 days 42-60 days

Subarctic tomato 45-60 days

Tomato Glacier 55 days

Manitoba Tomato 55-60days

Tomato Moskovich 65 days

Tomato Grushovka 65 days

Siberian tomato 70 days

Principe Borghese tomato 75 days

Arbuznyi tomato 75 days

We have not listed cherry tomatoes such as the 60 Day Black Cherry Tomato or the 60 Day Igleheart Tomato because these smaller varieties naturally take fewer growing days to mature than a larger tomato. It is therefore easy to grow them in a northern climate, regardless of the variety.

Principe Borghese tomato