|Genus ||Lycopersicon |
|Species ||esculentum |
|Variety ||Park's Whopper Cr Improved, VF1F2NT Hybrid |
|Item Form ||(P) Pkt of 30 seeds |
|Days to Maturity ||65 |
|Fruit Color ||Red |
|Habit ||Vining |
|Seeds Per Pack ||30 |
|Fruit Diameter ||4 in |
|Additional Characteristics ||
|Light Requirements ||
|Moisture Requirements ||
Disease Resistant, Fusarium Wilt Race 1, Fusarium Wilt Races 1 & 2, Mosaic Virus, Root-Knot Nematodes, Verticillium Wilt
|Soil Tolerance ||
Beds, Cuisine, Outdoor
The variety of tomato you decide to grow depends on where you live. If your growing season is short, as it is in the far north, you will want to choose an early variety to ensure yourself the best harvest. Early season Tomatoes ripen quickly, typically being ready to pick within 4 months of sowing the seeds.
Choosing a Variety
If you live in the deep south or another warm-climate area with humid summer nights, you'll want to grow varieties that are heat tolerant and resistant to blossom drop. Whatever your location, you'll need to grow your plants where they can receive at least 6 hours of full sunlight a day.
You will also need to consider when you want to harvest -- all at once or gradually over the season. If you enjoy canning the fruit, a determinate variety is your best choice. These plants grow as a 3- to 4-foot-tall bush and set all their fruit within a few weeks. If you want to enjoy your Tomatoes throughout the season, choose an indeterminate variety, which grows as a vine and needs staking. And for a little of both, consider the new semi-determinate varieties such as Sweet 'n' Neat Scarlet Improved and Orange Paruche. These plants stay small enough to grow in containers, yet keep bearing all season long!
When to Start
Tomatoes are best started indoors. This needs to be done 5 to 7 weeks before the last anticipated frost date. The seedlings can then be transplanted into your garden anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks after the last actual frost date. Call your County Extension Office to get frost information for your area.
How to Start
Park's Bio Dome seed starter is a great way to sow Tomato seeds, because each Bio Sponge has a pre-drilled hole you just drop one seed into -- no need to thin seedlings, no wasting of seeds! You can use either the original 60-cell Bio Dome, or our 18-cell Jumbo Bio Dome, which grows big, stocky seedlings ready to transplant right into your garden.
Place your Bio Dome in a 70- to 75-degree room, or just use a seedling heat mat to raise the temperature in the dome. You should see the first sprouts in 3 to 8 days. As soon as your sprouts are up, place the seedlings under strong light.
If you're using a potting mix, sow at a depth of 4 times the size of the seed. You can also use our convenient Jiffy Pots and Strips -- Jiffy Pots are constructed entirely of lightweight, sturdy peat moss, so as the roots develop, they eventually grow right through the Jiffy Pot wall and into the garden soil!
Fluorescent light for around 14 to 16 hours a day is ideal for fastest growth. Keep your seedlings just a few inches below the light so they don't "stretch" and get "leggy." If you don't have strong artificial light, a sunny window will work, too -- just keep the clear dome on your Bio Dome to protect your seedlings from those chilly drafts!
About 2 weeks before your transplant date work the garden soil thoroughly, adding generous amounts of compost and about 4 pounds of fertilizer (5-10-10 is ideal) for every 100 square feet. Then cover the soil with a tarp or plastic mulch to keep the weeds from sprouting until you're ready to plant.
Ten days before transplanting, you'll need to start "hardening off" your young plants by setting them outdoors in a lightly shaded area for an hour or two. The next day, give them a longer visit outside until they remain outdoors overnight, still in their pots. Naturally, if a cold spell hits, bring them indoors again to wait for the temperature to rise.
When planting, bury the stem almost up to the lowest set of leaves, even if this means covering up several extra inches. If your plants have a long, tall, spindly stem with leaves widely spaced, you can plant them horizontally in the ground right up to the first set of leaves -- the plant will root all along its stem. Just dig a long trench a few inches below the soil, lay the plant carefully into it as if you're burying it, and then gently angle the stem upwards, so that the only part showing is the very top, with at least 4 to 6 leaves aboveground. Strip the underground leaves off the plant and cover up the entire length of "leggy" stem. Be careful not to bend the stem so sharply that it breaks -- bank it with soil and pat the earth down firmly around it.
As soon as your Tomatoes are in the ground, mulch heavily around the plants to keep weeds down and moisture in the soil. If you're growing the plants in straight rows, plastic mulch is far easier and effective than loose mulch (such as straw or pine bark).
The amount of space you need to keep between Tomato plants depends on the type you're growing:
- Determinate and compact indeterminate -- 2 feet apart
- Indeterminate grown on stakes -- 18 inches apart
- Indeterminate grown in cages -- 3 feet apart
- Container varieties -- 2-gallon pot
If you can keep from doing so, don't plant your Tomatoes where peppers, eggplants, or Tomatoes were planted the previous year. These veggies all belong to the same plant family and therefore have similar nutritional needs and are susceptible to similar diseases. Their presence one year can deplete soil of important nutrients and possibly leave remnants of diseases in leaf litter.
Do not over-fertilize your Tomatoes, as this can make the plants less likely to flower. Your best bet is to use a formulation created specifically for Tomatoes like Tomato AlgoFlash.
Use Kozy Coats to protect your plants from frost -- they use water and sunlight to keep the air around your plants a few degrees higher.
- Prepare your soil in the fall. Lay in a foot or more of bio-degradable mulch -- chopped-up leaves, grass clippings, pine bark, decayed vegetable compost, humus, and even newspaper all break down into the soil over time. This feeds the soil just what it likes so that when you approach it with a tiller or shovel in spring, it just needs to be turned over and mixed up a bit. Then top off the whole rich pile with a piece of plastic to keep the mulch "cooking" as long as possible into winter and to prevent all the good nutrients from running off in hard rains.
- If frost still threatens after you plant your Tomatoes, or if you live in a short-season climate where late frosts are just part of spring, there are ways to keep your Tomatoes going. One way is to place a tarp over the plants, weighing it down at the edges to keep it from blowing away. Be careful, however, not to lay the tarp or plastic directly on the plants. You will need to use blocks, sticks, or whatever you have available to form a tent over your tender young Tomatoes. You can uncover it during the day and re-cover it at night, or leave it in place for several days and nights without damage to the plants.
- Once the fruit sets, be sure to keep the plants evenly watered until they're nearly ripe. The rule of thumb is an inch and a half a week, but if you begin the season watering more heavily, keep up the same rate. Just before the fruit ripens, taper off a bit. This will make the flavor meatier and less watery.
- Pick your Tomatoes when they are full, red, and firm. Eat them fresh off the vine or store them at about 60 degrees F. If you find yourself frantically picking the last several dozen while they're still green (to avoid an early autumn frost, for example), wrap them loosely in newspaper or a brown paper bag and store them in a cool, dark, dry place. Or count your blessings and fry them up at once!
Pests and Problems to Watch For
Nematodes live in the soil and destroy Tomato plants from the roots. You can use chemicals to control these pests, but the easiest and most beautiful way to kill them is to plant Marigold Golden Guardian along with your Tomatoes. This lovely annual naturally eliminates these destructive parasites.
Cutworms are caterpillars that chew through the stems of Tomato plants. They can be conquered by putting a Cutworm Shield around each plant at transplant time, or you can make your own from coffee cans, plastic drink bottles with both ends cut out, or cardboard paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Sink the shield at least an inch beneath the soil as well as several inches above it.
Pests or diseases can cause holes or spots on your leaves. The most likely pest culprit is the hornworm, which you can hand pick off your plants and dispose of as you see fit.
Blossom drop occurs when you have lots of flowers but no fruit. Anything from high humidity to unseasonable cold could cause this to happen. The plants must be pollinated to set fruit -- you can help get the pollen up and moving by shaking the plant to loosen it up a bit.
If your tomatoes have a mark or dark scar at one end, that's Blossom-end Rot, and it's probably caused by a calcium deficiency or a sudden change in temperature during fruit set. All you need to do is cut off the affected part and enjoy the rest of the tomato. If it's marked all over, that's called cat-facing, and it's probably a result of transplanting too early, insufficient water, or unusually high temperatures. Again, just cut away the scarred area.
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Best Tomatoes I have grown
I started three types of tomatoes this year, all from seed in February. In March, they all looked fine as seedlings. Throughout the summer, the Park's Whopper plants were the first to yield ripe tomatoes. I actually moved the plants in and out of my garage in 6 gallon barrels and was able to get my first ripe tomato in late May, unheard of in Ohio. Since then, the plants consistently yielded medium sized (8-12 oz.), sweet flavored fruits nearly every week. Now, in mid September, the other varieties are finished/not producing. The Whopper plants are 12 feet tall, and I continue to pick baseball sized fruits above my head. They have yielded tomatoes on 18 plus flower stems (I have limited them to 1 meristem per plant) and it seems only a frost will stop these energetic, motivated, auxin producing beasts. The lower leaves have gotten leaf blight and fallen off, but there are obviously enough leaves up high to photosynthesize amply for continued fruit production. I recently acquired several cubic yards of compost and expect to have even better plants/yields next year. Thanks to Park's hybridizers for crossing the right plants to produce this variety - it is super!
Beautiful plants, envy of the neighbors
This was my first time growing with seeds and the results were great. The plants were strong and just covered with fruit all summer. My neighbors were all commenting on how nice they were. They are great canning tomatoes and are good on sandwich, although there are other varieties that are more flavorful.
Our most productive tomato
Park's Whopper produces twice as many tomatoes as any other variety we've tried. The tomatoes are medium-large, and most are perfectly formed. The flavor is very good as well. The seedlings are more vigorous that most other varieties, and the tomatoes are some of our first to ripen. This is our best variety for canning because their perfect form and large size makes them easier to process. For fresh eating, we still prefer Cherokee Purple and Brandywine.
best all-round tomato
I bought a packet of the original Whopper seeds in 1982 and have put out one or two plants every year since then. As of 2012, germination is still close to 100%, but of course I???m getting low on seeds. In addition to the old seeds I???m going to try the newer CR version in 2013. As of December 9th. 2012 I was still picking tomatoes and the Whoppers had small good-tasting fruit long after most other plants and shriveled. In my experience, no other tomato is better tasting than the Whopper, although some varieties are a bit more productive. Perhaps the new CR version will improve on that. I suppose that after twenty years using the old seed packet, I can afford to invest in a new one.
I just won Best in Show at the First Annual Tomato Festival sponsored by the Southwest Oklahoma Growers Association in Lawton, Oklahoma on July 7, 2012 with your Park's Whopper! Thanks Parks for such a great tomato that not only looks good but tastes good too!
Very Nice Site!
Very Nice Site! Ordered from you in 2011 and reordering for 2012. Your Parks Whoppers are delicious, we got a very nice crop from the seeds we started in house and placed in garden for finish. Very impressive! We also loved the Red Wave Petunia seed we ordered, slow to start but produced the nicest flowers we ever had in a wave petunia, keep up the good work.
Simply the best!
The Parks Whopper can't be beat. Last summer was brutal. The temps reached 115 degrees in Arkansas. Even though there was a short period when nothing bloomed and my other tomato plants died, the moment the temp cooled down slightly, the Whoppers started blooming again abundantly. I had so many green tomatoes in November that I had to come up with a way to keep them. I decided to slice, flour, egg-wash and dip in Panko and freeze. I had fried green tomatoes all winter. They were really a big hit at my Christmas party! I love these tomatoes!
This is finally my favorite tomato. They are strong healthy productive plants. I have people ask what I do to have such big productive tomato plants. This year was really wet and late in warming up but they produced like a house afire when they started. I picked a grundle of green ones after the frost last fall. I have never had really green tomatoes ripen by sitting on a cabinette for as long as I did without rotting. I just kept watch and rotated them and they did their job and were wonderful. I even had a bunch in a large plastic container. This was a great treat for me. This is the tomato I thought was only in magazines, but it's for real and as close to perfect in shape and taste as I could want. I can them also. Plus NO problem with insects or disease. Thanks Parks.
Large perfect tomatoes
These tomatoes stopped traffic! Large, bright, perfectly shaped tomatoes! Everyone wanted to know where I got those seeds! Parks of course! No disease problems, even rebounded from a hail storm. Will definately grow these big beauties again!
Tomato Germination Information How to Sow Tomato:
How to Grow Tomato: Transplanting:
- Best sown indoors, 5-7 weeks before last frost, at alternating temperatures of 68 to 86°
- Sow at a depth of 4X the size of the seed
- Expect germination in 7-14 days
- Seeds can also be sown outdoors after all danger of frost is past in the spring and in a warm soil
- Outdoors, sow at the same depth as indoors
Transplant when there are at least two sets of true leaves and when nights are above 55° Spacing:
When planting out, plant the seedlings 2 inches deeper than the soil line. Space 11/2- 2 feet apart if
staked and 4-5 feet apart if allowed to sprawl on the ground Lighting:
Site in full sun Soil:
Site in in a rich, fertile, deep, moist, well-drained garden soil. Additional Care:
For the best quality fruit: keep plants well watered and
mulched, grow on a support system (stake or trellis), and fertilize prior to planting and again lightly every month. Appearance and Use:
Grown for its red, orange, or yellow, rounded, oblong, or pear-shaped
fruits that come in a variety of sizes. The plant is a frost-tender perennial that is grown as an annual.
The determinate types are compact and bushier, from 12-24 inches tall. They stop growing and
producing fruit when they reach their inherent size. The indeterminate types are vines that will
keep growing and producing fruit until they are killed by frost. The fruit is best picked when red
and juicy, however, they may be picked green and allowed to ripen indoors. Harvest regularly to
keep the vine producing fruit
About Tomato: Botanical name:
Lycopersicon esculentum Pronunciation:
li-ko-per’si-kon es-ku-len’tum Lifecycle:
Solanaceae; native to South America
Superior Germination Through Superior Science
Park Seed offers some of the highest-quality vegetable and flower seeds available in the industry, and there are a number of reasons for this.
First of all, we have humidity- and temperature-controlled storage, and we never treat any of our seeds with chemicals or pesticides. Nor do we ever sell GMO's (genetically modified seeds), so you always know the products you're buying from us are natural as well as safe for you and the environment.
Superior Standards - University Inspected
To make sure we are providing the best seed product possible and that our customers will get the highest number of seedlings from every packet, we conduct our own germination testing and have quality-control measures in every stage of our seed-handling operation. We hold ourselves to standards that are at or above federal and state standards, including testing specific crops more frequently than recommended by federal guidelines. And in order to maintain our organic certification, we welcome Clemson University to inspect us annually to make sure our organic seeds, which are stored and processed separately, are being handled properly.
Hand Packed By Experienced Technicians
Park Seed has been handling and packing vegetable and flower seeds for 145 years, a history that has given us a great understanding of how each variety should be cared for and maintained throughout every step of theprocess, from collection to shipping.
When packing our seeds, the majority are actually done by hand (with extreme care!), and we often over-pack them, so you're receiving more than the stated quantity.
The Park Seed Gold Standard
And many of our seeds are packed in our exclusive Fresh-Pak gold foil packets, which are lined to keep moisture out, so the seeds stay fresher for longer. We carefully pack very tiny or fragile seeds in crush-proof vials to ensure safe delivery to your home. Some of the small seeds are also offered as "pellets" (have a clay coating) to make sowing and growing easier.
When it comes to the kinds of seeds we offer, we are constantly seeking something new and provide many unique and hard-to-find varieties from all around the world. Our on-staff horticulturists are ready and available to share their expertise to help you with the success of these seeds, so you can grow a beautiful and productive garden!
Does Park sell GMO's or treated seeds?
It is important for our customers to know that Park Seed does not sell GMO or treated seed. We do buy a small amount of traditional hybrid seed from Seminis, a division of Monsanto Co., but that is all we purchase from them.
What are the differences between organic, heirloom, and hybrid seed?
Basically, organic seeds are seeds that are produced without the use and exposure to artificial/chemical fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and other chemicals. They have to be grown, harvested, stored, and handled under very strict organic rules and procedures. All of our organic seeds are USDA 100% certified organic through Clemson University and the certificate has to be renewed yearly.
Heirloom Seeds are open-pollinated -- they are not hybrids. You can gather and save heirloom seed from year to year and they will grow true to type every year, so they can be passed down through generations. To be considered an heirloom, a variety would have to be at least from the 1940's and 3 generations old (many varieties are much older -- some 100 years or more!).
Hybrid seed are the product of cross-pollination between 2 different parent plants, resulting in a new plant/seed that is different from the parents. Unlike Heirloom seed, hybrid seed need to be re-purchased new every year (and not saved). They usually will not grow true to type if you save them, but will revert to one of the parents they were crossed with and most likely look/taste different in some way.
What are pelleted seeds? Why do you use them? How do I handle/sow them?
Extremely small seed such as Petunias and Pentas are shipped as pelleted seed to make them easier to handle and sow. Pelleted seed are coated, usually with clay, to make them larger in size. After sowing, the coating will dissolve when wet and the seed will germinate. Pelleted seeds are shipped in vials placed inside seed packets, which protects them from being crushed. When sowing, be certain to use thoroughly moistened soil, to be sure that the clay coating absorbs enough moisture to dissolve. For sowing pelleted Petunia seeds, place the seeds directly on the soil surface and do not cover with soil, as light aids in the germination.
What is ideal temperature to germinate most seeds?
The ideal temperature to germinate most seeds is approximately 70 degrees F; give or take 1-2 degrees either way. This would be a good germination temperature for most flower and vegetable seeds and would be the most practical and feasible temperatures achieved for gardeners starting seeds in the home. You will notice for some seeds that it is recommended to use alternating day (warmer), night (cooler), temperatures, which is fine if one can provide such conditions. But most people are unable to provide those temperatures in a home setting, so just use the overall 70 degree F recommendation and the seeds should germinate well.
How long should grow lights be kept on per day and how close to the plants should the light be kept?
For germination and seedling/plant growth, you want to simulate the natural day-night cycles, and as a general rule, grow lights should be on 8-12 hours per day and off at night. You can vary this timing, as some seeds such as tomato, pepper, petunia, impatiens, and others, benefit from 14-17 hours of light per day (and the remainder of the 24 hour period in darkness). The most common grow lights used are fluorescent; using cool white, warm white, and wide-spectrum fluorescent tubes. These lights work well for germination and for growing plants up to a transplantable size. Fluorescent lights should be kept close though, 3-6 inches above the soil or the growing plants, adjusting the height as the plants grow.
How long will seeds keep in storage?
Park Seed stores seed in a special temperature- and humidity-controlled storage facility, which keeps seeds in excellent condition. Our seeds should be good for at least 1-2 years on average. Seed viability and storage time will vary depending on the seed item; some will keep a shorter time and some will keep longer. Seeds should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place. A basement will do (if not too humid), or a cool, dark room or closet. We recommend the best way to extend seed storage life is to store them in something air tight, such as a plastic zipper storage bag or canning jar, and place it in the refrigerator. This will extend the life of seeds for many years.
What is the best way to store seeds over a longer time period?
We recommend the best way to extend seed storage life is to store seeds in something air tight, such as a plastic zipper storage bag or canning jar, and place it in the refrigerator. This will extend the life of seeds for many years.
What depth should I sow various seeds?
When sowing seed outdoors, we recommend a maximum planting depth of 4X the width of the seed. When sowing seed indoors, the planting depth can be less, depending on the seed being sown, so it is always best to check specific directions. Here are some general guidelines concerning planting depth in relation to seed size: Tiny, dust-like seeds need to be sown on the surface of the growing medium or soil, uncovered, as they need light to germinate. The planting depth for small seed can be anywhere from barely covering, to 1/8-inch deep, to possibly 1/4-inch deep, depending on the recommendation. Medium seed should be planted at 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep, depending on the recommendation. Larger seeds can be planted 1-inch or deeper, depending on the recommendation.