Aunt Ruby’s Tomatoes: Growing Aunt Ruby’s German Green Tomatoes in the Garden

The heirloom tomato is more popular than ever, both for gardeners and tomato lovers looking to discover a hidden, fresh variety. For something truly unique, try growing a German green tomato plant from Aunt Ruby. The large, steak-shaped tomatoes she grows are ideal for slicing and eating fresh.

What are German green tomatoes?

It is a truly unique heritage tomato that is green when ripe, although it develops a reddish colour when it becomes softer. The variety originated in Germany but was grown in the United States by Ruby Arnold in Tennessee. Her parents always called it Aunt Ruby’s Tomato, and the name has stuck.

Aunt Ruby’s tomatoes are large, reaching up to a pound (453 grams) or more. The flavour is sweet with a slight touch of spice. They are perfect for slicing and eating raw and fresh. The fruit is ready 80 to 85 days after transplanting.

Growing Aunt Ruby’s German Green Tomatoes

Aunt Ruby’s tomato seeds aren’t hard to find, but the plants are. So start sowing the seeds indoors about six weeks before the last frost.

Once outside, place your transplants in a sunny spot with rich, well-drained soil. Modify it with organic matter if necessary. Separate your tomato plants by 60 to 90 cm. (24 to 36 cm) and use stakes or cages to help them stand while growing.

Water regularly during the summer, when it is not raining, and use a mulch under your tomato plants to avoid splashing that can spread soil diseases.

Harvest your tomatoes when they are ripe, which means they will be large, green and slightly soft. Ruby’s aunts get quite soft as they ripen, so check them regularly. When they become too soft, they also turn red. Enjoy your fresh green tomatoes in sandwiches, salads and sauces. They won’t keep for long.

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