Tomato 'Green Zebra'
Photo by Cliff Hutson (CC BY 2.0).
Scientific Name: Solanum lycopersicum
Common Name: Tomato 'Green Zebra'
Green Zebra is a relatively modern heirloom tomato cultivar, it was bred by Tom Wagner in Everett, Washington USA and first offered in his Tater-Mater seed catalog in 1983.
The flesh of Green Zebra tomato is sweet with a pleasant bite. It can be used in anyway you would use a normal tomato but my favourite way of using them is to dice them and make a green tomato, coriander and lime salsa. Green tomatoes can be tricky to tell when they are ripe, ripe green tomatoes will feel softer and the lighter green stripes with turn more yellow as the tomatoes ripen.
Green Zebra is an indeterminate tomato, meaning it's a climber that'll need staking or caging to help support the weight of the fruits and keep them off the ground. Choose a growing site that receives full sun or very light shade. Dig lots of fertiliser through the soil prior to planting, organic fertiliser, worm juice and castings, compost and well rotted manure are all ideal. Tomatoes grown in punnets that have become too leggy can be planted deep into the ground, they'll root all the way along the buried stem resulting in stronger tomato plants. Water tomato plants regularly and evenly to prevent fruits from cracking and rotting. Avoid watering leaves, prune off the lower leaves to prevent fungal issues from water splashes. If your tomato vines grow large without setting fruit you can pinch off the tip of the leading shoot to force it to flower. Hand pollinate flowers if fruit set is poor, an electric toothbrush is useful as the vibrations simulate the buzz pollination that tomato flowers need to release pollen. European bees don't buzz when they collect pollen however our native blue banded bees on the other hand are great buzz pollinators, planting lots of salvia plants around your tomato patch can help to attract these blue banded bees to your garden.
When To Sow:
In temperate regions sow Green Zebra tomatoes from September to November. In subtropical regions sow Green Zebra tomatoes from March to September, avoiding planting during Winter if your area receives damaging frosts. In tropical regions of Australia sow during the dry season from May to July for best results.
How To Sow:
Sow Green Zebra tomato seeds 6mm deep spacing tomato plants about 60cm apart to allow room for growth.
Green Zebra tomato seeds take between 7 and 13 days to germinate after sowing.
Time To Harvest:
You first Green Zebra tomatoes will be ripe and ready to pick 13 to 15 weeks after sowing, depending on growing conditions.