Growing Tomato Prudens Purple
in Northeast Florida Vegetable Gardens
Don’t let the name fool you, when it comes to tomato selections, the word purple really means pink! So maybe this should be a Prudens Pink tomato, but either way it is a great garden Heirloom tomato selection. Produces loads of large 1lb or more dark pink fruits with ribbed shoulders and a wide rounded base. The flesh is dark red and delicious right off the vine. Prudens purple is a potato leaf, Heirloom tomato variety chosen for it’s high crack resistance, making it an ideal candidate for making it through Northeast Florida’s rains. Indeterminate tomato selection will grow and keep producing tomatoes till frost when planted in August. Harvest can begin at 70 days.
Origins, Foliage, Fruit and Use of Tomato Prudens Purple for Northeast Florida Vegetable Gardens:
Prudens Purple tomatoes are an Heirloom selection, passed down by seeds saved from one gardener to the next for years. A garden favorite of many growers that keep it in the garden year after year, sharing seeds and keeping this selection alive and thriving.
Large fruits, usually 1 lb or more have ribbed shoulders and a wide rounded base. Dark pink flesh and bright red meat. Great for slicing and eating fresh alone or on sandwiches. Excellent flavor and good yield on this indeterminate vine.
Planting Season for Tomato Prudens Purple in Jacksonville and St. Augustine Florida and the surrounding areas:
Prudens Purple tomatoes are considered a warm season crop, they are frost sensitive and should only be planted in frost free months in Northeast Florida vegetable gardens. However, tomato growing season is split into two seasons in Northeast Florida as tomato production will slow to nearly nothing during the hottest summer months of June and July.
Start your tomato plants in February from seed, and February straight through March and April from S & J Nursery transplants. The second growing season for tomato plants in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area garden is August and September, Prudens Purple tomatoes can be planted out again in those months and allowed to fruit up until the first killing frost.
Sun Exposure for Growing Prudens Purple Tomatoes in Northeast Florida Vegetable Gardens:
Plant your Tomato Prudens Purple in a full sun or afternoon sun location for the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area garden. Make sure they will receive a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight for best results.
Soil Preferences for Tomato Prudens Purple in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine Florida areas:
Prudens Purple tomato plants will do best in the Northeast Florida garden when grown in soils that have been generously amended with compost and cow manure. Be sure to plant into well drained soils and not in an are that will have standing water after a hard rain.
Care of Tomato Prudens Purple in the Northeast Florida Vegetable Garden:
Staking Your Prudens Purple Tomato Plant:
Prudens Purple tomato is an indeterminate variety that will continue to grow long past the bounds of a traditional store bought tomato cage if not heavily pruned. Consider planting this selection in a larger cage made of cow fence and strapping or staking your cage down so it can withstand the winds of a Northeast Florida thunderstorm.
Watering Your Prudens Purple Tomato Plants:
Newly planted tomato plants will require watering daily for the first few days to a week after being planted from seed or transplanted from an S & J Nursery container.
Once the tomato plants are established and growing, be sure to keep the soil moist by watering at least twice per week if rainfall is scarce. Container grown tomato plants will need watered 3 to 4 times per week, or every time the top two inches of soil is dry to the touch.
Mulching Your Prudens Purple Tomato plants:
For maximum growth potential, mulch plants generously, this will help conserve the moisture that is already in the soils from supplemental irrigation or rains and keep the soil moisture levels more stable between watering. Tomato plants dislike a wet / dry / wet / dry garden environment typical of planting in Northeast Florida’s sandy soils.
Fertilizing Your Prudens Purple Tomato plants:
Feed every two to three weeks with an all purpose fertilizer like 6-6-6.
Or for an organic approach, try fertilizing with a mixture of fish emulsions and seaweed (kelp) at one ounce each per gallon of water. Apply semi weekly as a foliar spray.
If your tomato plants look like they could use a boost, give them a good watering with homemade compost tea as soon as the top few inches of soil around your plant is dry to the touch!
Harvesting Your Tomato Prudens Purple Tomato in the Northeast Florida Vegetable Garden:
Prudens Purple tomatoes can be harvested when green and allowed to ripen indoors if needed but best flavor will develop when they are allowed to ripen on the plant and picked when fully dark pink.
Store at room temperature for 2-3 days once picked from the vine. For best results do not refrigerate.
Expect tomatoes to be ready to harvest from your Prudens Purple tomato plants 70 days from planting.