The popular Celebrity strain of tomatoes has one major advantage over most others: it is almost entirely maintenance-free. There are more than one strain in this hybrid type, but the most common is Lycopersicon esculentum. Authorities are mixed on whether this variety is determinate or indeterminate. These excellent hybrids grow quickly and produce fruit at 72 days and then throughout the season until mid or even late October in most areas.
Best Soil for Growing Celebrity Tomatoes
Like most tomatoes, Celebrities prefer strong, nutrient-rich soil that is at least 8 inches deep and loose-packed for easy root spread. Side dressings of fertilizer or compost when blooms appear and again when fall begins are recommended for all tomatoes.
Proper Care of Celebrity Tomatoes
Celebrities are almost entirely maintenance-free. No trimming, clipping, or grooming is necessary and the plants will grow up to five feet high (depending on your soil depth and conditions). They do require a cage to stay upright, but some have had luck with open-sided A-frame trellises as well.
Watering should be done every week that rain has not reached 1″ in total. Soaking in the early morning is best. Fans of the Celebrity are amazed at how relatively drought-resistant this strain is, however, with very few instances of cracks, thanks in part to the fruit having no shoulder.
When to Harvest Celebrity Tomatoes
After about 60-65 days, fruits will begin to appear on your Celebrity plants. By 70 or so, they will be ripe and weigh in at about 8 ounces. Pick them as soon as they’re fully red. The sooner you remove fruits from the vine, the faster your plants will begin producing new ones, keeping the cycle going. Harvest by breaking the stem at the joint or by cutting it with sharp scissors or a knife.
Celebrity Tomato Pests and Diseases
Like most good varieties of tomato, if the Celebrity is rotated seasonally, it will remain pest and disease free.
Horn worms are a common problem with Celebrity hybrids, but are easily controlled through manually picking the grubs as they crawl or with defenses such as beneficial insects.
Again, rotation is key with these plants as they will very rarely succumb to disease unless an underlying environmental problem (over/under watering, poor nutrition, etc.) is the root cause.
How to Prepare Celebrity Tomatoes
Celebrity tomatoes are sweet and succulent, though not as tasty as some heirloom varieties known for this trait. They are an excellent table, salad, salsa and stew tomato.
Tips for Growing Celebrity Tomatoes
Because they are so easy, these tomatoes are often neglected more than they should be. Despite requiring little effort, they do need attention – as does any plant. They also have a long germination time compared to some fast growing varieties. For best results, plant seeds 5-7 weeks before expected last frost and raise seedlings indoors until they are of a good size. Transplant into the garden when the overnight temperature consistently stays above 55F.