If you are planning on growing exotic Green Zebra tomatoes in your garden this year, you might be wondering how big the plants and fruit will get. That way, you can plan the number of plants and the amount of space you will need for your crop of Green Zebra tomatoes.
So, how big do Green Zebra tomatoes get? Green Zebra tomato plants grow to a height of 5 to 7 feet (1.5 to 2.1 meters) tall and 18 to 36 inches (46 to 92 centimeters) wide, and produce fruit that weighs 2 to 4 ounces (57 to 113 grams).
Of course, the quality of your fruit (if you get any at all!) depends on the care that you give your tomato plants. Let’s take a closer look at Green Zebra tomatoes, including size, growing conditions, and time to maturity.
How Big Do Green Zebra Tomatoes Get?
The fruit of a Green Zebra tomato plant will grow small and round, with a diameter of 1.5 to 2.5 inches (4 to 6 centimeters). When ripe, the fruit has green and yellow stripes and weighs 2 to 4 ounces (57 to 113 grams). The Green Zebra tomato is considered a “slicer” tomato, making it perfect for cutting up for salads or snacking.
For more information, check out this information on Green Zebra tomatoes from the Burpee website.
A Green Zebra tomato plant is indeterminate, meaning that it will continue to grow and produce throughout the season until it dies from frost or a lack of nutrients and water. A Green Zebra tomato plant will grow to a height of 5 to 7 feet (1.5 to 2.1 meters) tall, with a width of 18 to 36 inches (46 to 92 centimeters).
The height of Green Zebra and other indeterminate tomato varieties makes it essential to support them with stakes or trellises. For more information, check out my article on supporting tomato plants and my article on trellises.
Are Green Zebra Tomatoes Determinate Or Indeterminate?
Green Zebra tomatoes are indeterminate, meaning that their maximum height is not predetermined by their genetics. They will continue to grow taller throughout the season until something kills them, such as a frost or a lack of water and nutrients.
Compare this to determinate tomato varieties, which achieve a certain predetermined height and then stop growing and producing. If you are looking to grow tomatoes in a container indoors, Green Zebra and other indeterminate varieties will grow too tall for your purposes.
You can learn more if you check out this article on Green Zebra tomatoes from Wikipedia.
How Do I Know When Green Zebra Tomatoes Are Ripe?
After transplanting into your garden, a Green Zebra tomato plant will take between 75 and 80 days to ripen. If you start a Green Zebra tomato from seed, it will take about 25 days longer to see mature, ripe fruit on the vine (for a total of 100 to 105 days from seed to ripe fruit).
The fruit itself will be dark green with yellow stripes when it is ripe.You can confirm ripeness by feeling the fruit – if it is a little soft, then it is ready to pick.
Green Zebra tomatoes are more tart than other varieties. If you wait too long, the fruit will be mealy.
For more information, check out my article on when tomato plants produce fruit.
Green Zebra tomatoes are extremely prolific. Being indeterminate, they will keep producing fruit throughout the season. As a result, you can end up with dozens of tomatoes per plant in a growing season!
There is some controversy surrounding the question of whether Green Zebra tomatoes are an heirloom or hybrid tomato variety.
For more information about heirloom tomatoes, check out this article on heirloom tomatoes from the Iowa State University extension.
Are Green Zebra Tomatoes Hard to Grow?
Green Zebra tomatoes are not too difficult to grow, since they have reasonably fast growth. They do require full sun, so a shady location will not work for Zebra tomatoes.
Also, the fruit matures in 75 to 80 days after transplanting, which is in the middle of the road as far as time to maturity for tomato plants.
Remember that every day on the vine is another chance for diseases, such as blight, to infect your tomato plants. So, a faster time to maturity means that your plants are not exposed to these problems as long as other tomato varieties.
For more information, check out my article on tomato blight.
Of course, there are other factors to consider when deciding whether to grow Green Zebra tomato plants. The quality of care that you give your tomato plants will help to determine how much fruit you get each year. Some of the most important factors are temperature, watering, fertilizing, and pruning.
Temperature For Green Zebra Tomatoes
Early fall frosts or late spring frosts can spell death for your Green Zebra tomato plants. The threat is increased if you live in an area with a short growing season.
Green Zebra tomato plants may stop producing if temperatures drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius). If temperatures drop to 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) or lower, your Green Zebra tomato plants may die.
If nothing else, cold temperatures can make the fruit mushy and flavorless, which is why it is recommended that you not store tomatoes in the refrigerator!
There are some ways to protect your plants from frost, including the use of row covers. For more information, check out my article on protecting your tomato plants from cold and frost.
On the other extreme, your tomato plants may stop producing fruit if daytime temperatures are over 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). In addition, the hot, sticky days of summer can prevent proper pollination due to excessive humidity.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about high temperatures or humidity levels. Just be sure to insulate your tomato plants by putting a layer of mulch or compost over the topsoil around them.
If you encounter problems with pollination, check out my article on how to pollinate tomato plants by hand.
Watering For Green Zebra Tomatoes
Avoid letting the soil stay dry for too long, since uneven watering can lead to blossom end rot in tomatoes. If you find that you have a problem with dry soil, check out my article on how to treat dry soil.
On the other hand, over watering your Green Zebra tomato plants (or any plants for that matter) can lead to root rot and eventual death. The best way to decide when to water is to feel the soil with your fingers.
If the soil feels dry 2 or 3 inches below the surface, then go ahead and water. For more information, check out my article on over watering your plants.
Try to water early in the morning, rather than at night, to allow water to soak into the soil. Avoid getting the leaves wet to prevent rot, mold, and diseases.
Fertilizing for Green Zebra Tomatoes
Before you plant tomato seeds or transplants in your garden, add some compost to your soil. It will provide organic material and nutrients for your plants as they grow. The best part is that you can make compost yourself from ordinary yard and kitchen waste!
For more information, check out my article on how to make your own compost.
It may be necessary to use fertilizers as a supplement to compost, in order to provide extra nutrients if your soil is lacking. The best way to tell if you need fertilizer is with a soil test.
For more information, check out my article on soil testing.
The soil pH should be between 6.2 and 6.8 – a soil test will also indicate the pH of your soil.
Finally, remember that it is possible to harm or kill your tomato plants by over fertilizing them. For example, too much nitrogen can prevent your tomato plant from producing any fruit.
Pruning For Green Zebra Tomatoes
Many gardeners choose to prune off the suckers, or side shoots, of tomato plants as they grow. The result is fewer, but larger, fruits on the vine.
Pruning away the lower leaves and branches of the tomato plant can also help to prevent the spread of disease in your garden. When you remove the lower leaves and branches, there is less chance of dirt splashing up onto leaves due to rain or watering.
Green Zebra tomato plants are already large, and tend to produce more fruit than other tomato varieties. For this reason, you may want to prune carefully. This will avoid branches that are overloaded with fruit, which can lead to breakage.
For more information, check out this article on pruning tomatoes from the University of New Hampshire Extension.
By now, you have a much better idea of how big Green Zebra tomatoes get, in terms of both the fruit on the vine and the plant itself. You also know a bit more about the care that is necessary to ensure a healthy crop of Green Zebra tomatoes in this year’s garden.
I hope you found this article helpful – if so, please share it with someone else who can use the information. If you have any questions or advice about Green Zebra tomatoes, please leave a comment below.
If you want to grow the best tomatoes every year, check out my article on common mistakes to avoid when growing tomatoes.