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Tempting Tomatoes® 'Garden Gem' Solanum lycopersicum

  • Sun
Flower Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
Mature Size
3'6" 20" 1.1m 51cm
Height: 2'6" - 3'6"
Spread: 12" - 20"
Height: 76cm - 1.1m
Spread: 30cm - 51cm
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  • Details

    30 - 42 Inches
    24 - 30 Inches
    12 - 20 Inches
    76cm - 1.1m
    61cm - 76cm
    30cm - 51cm


    Garden to Table Goodness. This semi-determinate, snack-size tomato has been hailed as a breakthrough.  It was developed to have true heirloom taste, with modern disease resistance and high fruit yield. It has firm, juicy fruit with a smooth, balanced flavor. These plants will produce tomatoes for an extended period of time and thrives in heat and humidity. Fruit ripens in about 60-65 days from transplant. If you grow them from seed, the first mature fruit will take 81 to 93 days.

    Taxonomists recently changed the the genus and species for tomatoes.  Lycopersicon esculentum has changed to Solanum lycopersicum.

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    Long Blooming
    Heat Tolerant


    Plant Type: 
    Height Category: 
    Garden Height: 
    30 - 42 Inches 76cm - 1.1m
    24 - 30 Inches 61cm - 76cm
    12 - 20 Inches 30cm - 51cm
    Flower Colors: 
    Flower Shade: 
    Foliage Colors: 
    Foliage Shade: 
    Container Role: 

    Plant Needs

    Light Requirement: 

    The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).

    Maintenance Category: 
    Bloom Time: 
    Planting To Frost
    Hardiness Zones: 
    10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
    Water Category: 
    Soil Fertility Requirement: 
    Average Soil
    Soil Fertility Requirement: 
    Fertile Soil
    Specimen or Focal Point
    Uses Notes: 

    This is a garden tomato that will prolifically produce snack-sized tomatoes with truly fantastic taste.  They grow large in the landscape, but when grown in a container they are more contained in size.  They do need to be staked or caged to grow them successfully.  This tomato will produce fruit for an extended period of time. If you are growing this plant in a container, a 14" diameter (5 gallon volume) is the minimum necessary size. The ideal size size would be a 16" to 20" (7-10 gallon) container. Be sure to provide support by using a tomato cage or other structure in the container.

    Maintenance Notes: 

    Seeds can be started indoors 5-6 weeks before the last frost in your area. Seeds should be planted about 1/8" into the soil then transplant the seedlings outdoors after all risk of frost has passed. You can also direct sow into your garden or pots outdoors after the threat of frost has passed. However, starting seeds indoors will give you a substantial head-start for harvesting your first tomatoes.

    When germinating the seeds, be sure to keep the soil temperature at 75-90° until the seeds sprout. The temperatures can be decreased a bit once the plants are up and growing. The number of days to germination is 5-10.

    Once the seedlings are a few inches tall and growing well, you may want to thin out the number of seedlings. One plant in a cell or pot would be ideal.  If you are direct seeding into the ground, thin seedlings until they are 24 to 30 inches apart. Rows should be about 3 feet apart.

    'Garden Gem' fruit ripens in about 60-65 days from transplant. If you grow them from seed, the first mature fruit will take 81 to 93 days.

    Determinate tomatoes do not grow as large as indeterminate tomatoes.  You will need to use a tomato cage or staking of some sort to support the plants.  They will need to be kept from getting excessively dry. Consistent watering and regular fertilization will be key to keeping your plant in full production mode. They can be grown in containers, a minimum of 12 inches in diameter is suggested, but larger is better.  If grown in containers they will still need to be given support of a tomato cage or stake of some sort.  These plants are quite disease resistant and with proper care should provide fruit throughout the season.

    The basics:

    • Days to Germinate – 5-10 days
    • Transplant to Harvest – 60-65 days
    • Planting Depth – 1/8”
    • Plant Spacing After Thinning – 24-30”
    • Row Spacing – 36”
    • Exposure – Full sun (6+ hours)
    Tempting Tomatoes® 'Garden Gem' Solanum lycopersicum USPVP 201400052
  • 17 Reviews

    Browse reviews from people who have grown this plant.
    • We have grown this tomato for 3 years now and we are liking it more and more. The plant stays on the small side but we get a good proliferation of nice tomatoes. They are golf ball sized with a little point on the bottom. We yield guite an abundance of them and they are ready very EARLY! They were even earlier than our Early Girls. We will definitely grow again every year. I couldn’t give it 5 stars as I don’t think it’s terribly disease resistant. However, still very pleased.

      Melissa Gallinaro
      , Massachusetts
      , United States
      , 34 weeks ago
    • Professor Klee knows tomatoes, and we are incredibly lucky to have access to the fruits of his labors. These are the sweetest, most disease-resistant tomatoes I’ve ever grown. I live in a very hot, humid climate in northern Florida, where tomatoes come to die, but these are truly garden gems. I donate to his lab every year and encourage you to make a donation as well.

      , Florida
      , United States
      , 46 weeks ago
    • Zone 9b Northern California. Awesome flavor! So much better than generic store bought tomatoes. Started from seed and easily had 6-7 full grown plants. Still have tomatoes at end of November! Planning on growing more for next year too!

      , California
      , United States
      , 1 year ago
    • We've been growing Gems and Treasures from seed for a few years and recently added the UFL W tomato to the mix. We start indoors but we got two Gem seedlings last year to compare (they actually spent some time indoors because because they arrived a bit early). The PW seedlings look great as you would expect , the plants were fine and the tomatoes are excellent. The Gem was our favorite tomato overall until we got Ws but it's still our favorite plum sized tomato.

      Paul G
      , New York
      , United States
      , 3 years ago
    • This has become my favorite tomato plant. While I only planted 1 this year. This tomato is very prolific and The taste is really great. So far this year with my harvest from the 1 plant I have made homemade Salas, Chicken bruschetta ( I used the Amazel Basil in this recipe also) and I have canned at least a dozen Jars of Marinara Sauce. And its still producing. I will definately grow this tomato again!

      Kim Weimer
      , California
      , United States
      , 3 years ago
    • BEST tomato plant that I've EVER grown and I've been growing for 30 years! Everyone that I've given them to are raving about them! Just delicious. Sweet, no blemishes and come to fruition early. Love them!

      , 4 years ago
    • Prolific and delicious!

      Patricia Boley
      , Ohio
      , United States
      , 5 years ago
    • These were recommended by a friend whose kids heard about them. Last year, I received seeds for the Garden Gem and Garden Treasure. So many seeds germinated, I gave 15 plants to friends! This year, I received GG, GT and a new one called "W." I only tried to germinate 7 seeds of each. Ended up still giving away 6 plants. It's now the first of October and they are still producing. They're overcrowded but haven't fallen victim to disease. No other tomatoes for me!

      Kathy C.
      , Virginia
      , United States
      , 5 years ago
    • I have grown this plant and the Garden Treasure from University of Florida. Amazing plants that can be good eating or sauce tomatoes. Incredible flavor. Very productive. They tolerate SC heat quite well and were very disease resistant. Mine were semi-determinate however. ........ This year, I did not get seedlings started and am so disappointed after growing these! I am growing other varieties available as plants only and am very disappointed after growing this and the GT before. I will always have a heirloom Cherokee Purple and a Black Cherry plant but these will be the bulk of my plantings! I am so glad they will be commercially available and that you will continue to make them available as SEEDS for those of us who don't want to break the bank buying plants.

      Nancy Jocoy
      , South Carolina
      , United States
      , 5 years ago
    • Best tomato I have ever tasted! This is the second year that I am growing them. I have gotten the seeds by donating to th University of Florida. I am glad to see that the plants will soon be available. It is fun growing from seed, but I am always glad to get rid of the plant lights in the powder room when the weather is finally warm enough for the tomatoes to go outdoors. The tomatoes are firm, and taste more like a fruit than a vegetable. (Of course, they are a fruit, but most tomatoes don’t have a lovely peach like aroma.) The tomato flesh is firm with relatively few seeds. Makes outstanding salsa, but requires more lime juice than normal because the acid level is low. Also makes flavorful tomato soup.

      , Maryland
      , United States
      , 5 years ago
  • 10 Awards

    Award Year Award Plant Trial
    2018 Top Performer Oklahoma State University Botanical Gardens
    2018 Top Performer Michigan State University
    2018 Leader of the Pack - All Season North Carolina State, JC Raulston Arboretum
    2018 Leader of the Pack - Early Season North Carolina State, JC Raulston Arboretum
    2018 Leader of the Pack - Late Season North Carolina State, JC Raulston Arboretum
    2018 Highlight Plant Mississippi State University - Poplarville
    2018 Top Performer University of Georgia
    2018 Top Performer Penn State
    2018 Top Showy Ornamental Foliage and Edible Crops Mississippi State University - Poplarville
    2018 Top Performer University of Guelph
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