OUTDOOR GIRL TOMATOES
By David Marks
For some reason this variety is often overlooked by amateur gardeners who want to grow their tomatoes outside and still have early crop.
It is well suited to variable, colder UK conditions. When grown outside in average ground the flavour is full with a good sweet / acidic flavour.
The RHS have been giving this variety an AGM ever since 1993 and it is well deserved. The leaves can have a slightly unusual shape so don’t be surprised if this happens when you grow them.
BUSH OR CORDON?
Outdoor Girl is a cordon variety (indeterminate) of tomato and therefore grows best if it is pruned. Often also grown as a bush tomato without pruning although the foliage becomes crowded and this method of growth can encourage problems with fungal diseases.
APPEARANCE AND TASTE OF OUTDOOR GIRL TOMATO
A very under-rated variety for growing outside in the open. Will produce a crop in those conditions where most other varieties fail. The tomatoes are coloured a rich red and have a variable shape. Sometimes they are slightly elongated but some are round, even on the same truss.
They grow to size of small billiard ball, so somewhere between a large and a small tomato.
Average taste, average amount of juice, they slice extremely well and their rich red colour looks great in a salad or topping a beef burger. Tomatoes are produced three weeks earlier than average and grow well in most parts of the UK.
Our advice is to let them ripen slightly longer then you might expect, then the tomatoes become more juicy.
BUYING OUTDOOR GIRL IN THE UK
Widely available from specialist seed merchants online but not often sold in garden centres.
WHEN TO SOW OUTDOOR GIRL TOMATO SEED
The key dates for sowing and planting out Outdoor Girl tomato seeds are given below.
The dates displayed below are correct for the UK average. If you want them to be even more accurate and adjusted for your area of the UK click here. It only takes a minute and the adjustment affects every date in this site and lasts for six months.We do not recommend sowing seed of this variety directly in the ground.
- Sow seeds in pots indoorsSecond week of March
- Pot up young plantsSecond week of April
- Harden off young plantsFirst week of May
- Plant out young plantsThird week of May
WHEN TO HARVEST OUTDOOR GIRL TOMATOES
Outdoor Girl produces tomatoes a couple of weeks earlier than most other varieties. This variety is a cordon type tomato and if they are pruned in that way you can expect to be picking your first tomatoes in the third week of July
If you need any more information on growing this variety, click here to go to our main tomato page.
For other tomato varieties which we have fully reviewed, click the drop down box below, select a variety and then click the More Information Button.
SUMMARY CHARACTERISTICS OF OUTDOOR GIRL
F1 OR OPEN POLLINATED?: Open pollinated and will grow true from saved seed. Click here for clear instructions and even clearer pictures on how to save seeds from Outdoor Girl tomatoes.
GROWTH TYPE: Cordon, best pruned but can be grown successfully as a bush type
WHERE TO GROW: Grows very well outdoors, can also be grown under cover. Will not withstand prolonged high temperatures so keep greenhouses well-ventilated when growing this variety under cover. High temperatures will result in the tops of the tomatoes being yellow or green.
USE: Salads, sandwiches, sauces and by itself
SKIN COLOUR / TEXTURE: Deep red, medium thick skin
FLESH COLOUR: Red
TASTE AND TEXTURE: Only average flavour, good texture. Retains shape well when sliced.
STORAGE: Average storage life of a week or two
TOMATO SIZE: Billiard ball size
REGULARITY OF CROPPING: Regularly produces a good yield
AWARDS: RHS AGM
SPECIAL FEATURES: Early crops of outdoor tomatoes.
Other varieties which may also be of interest include:
COMMENTS / QUESTIONS LEFT BY OUR READERS
Sometimes our readers ask specific questions which are not covered in the main article above. Our
Outdoor Tomatoes comment / question and answer page
lists their comments, questions and answers. At the end of that page there is also a form for you to submit any new question or comment you have.