Every spring we get excited to let you know what the Rodeo Tomato of the year is. This year is no different. The 2021 Rodeo Tomato is not a new variety, but it is still a tomato that is worthy of the title. Without further adieu, Ruby Crush is the 2021 Rodeo Tomato.

2021 Rodeo Tomato Ruby Crush

Ruby Crush is a determinate, grape hybrid type of tomato. Determinate tomato plants tend to grow in a bush-like habit and stop vegetative growth when they reach a specific height. They put all their fruit out at once during a short period of time. Once the fruit has ripened and has been harvested, the plant will not produce anymore.

Indeterminate tomato plants sprawl and vine, putting out fruit a little at a time, over a longer period of time. They will continue to do so until weather or disease shuts the plant down.

Ruby Crush is a specialty tomato that has great vigor, and produces early-maturing (about 60 days maturity from transplant), red, grape tomatoes. This variety is known for offering a high-yield of uniform, firm fruits at harvest time.

Although this is a more compact plant, you should still get a 2’ – 3’ tomato cage, or some stakes to support it. Once the fruit is produced, limbs will become heavy and need help staying up. Wind tends to damage or break the limbs of tomato plants that aren’t properly supported.

Smaller tomatoes, like the 2021 rodeo tomato, Ruby Crush tend to do better in fall
Harvesting Ruby Crush, 2021 Rodeo tomato.

Grape tomatoes are fabulous for eating fresh right of the plant, sliced up and pan sautéed with garlic and fresh basil, or whole roasted in the oven. Mmmmm… I’m getting very excited about these Ruby Crush tomatoes now.

Besides a plentiful harvest, what we love most about Ruby Crush is its low maintenance. Offer this plant all the basic elements that tomatoes need, and there is not much more to it. There is little to no pruning needed for Ruby Crush. You don’t even have to worry about pinching out suckers if you don’t want to, and no need to top it off at any point.

The variety Ruby Crush has a high resistance to the following: Fusarium crown and root rot 1 & 2, Fusarium wilt, Tomato mosaic virus 0-2, and a medium resistance to Gray leaf spot. You should always be on the look out for tomato varieties that have a good amount of resistance codes. These codes are usually printed on the tags of transplants in the nursery.

Tomatoes bought in February should be potted up to the next size container and kept protected from the cold. On warm days you can let them enjoy the sunshine for awhile to get use to the weather they’ll receive all day in spring.

The early bird gets the tomato!

~The Happy Gardener, Lisa Mulroy