Are you ready to make a fast start with tomatoes in the vegetable garden in 2023 despite our less than successful plantings over the last few years? If so, check with your favorite retail nursery or the Master Gardeners to get access to the new Rodeo Tomato that has been selected for 2023, Thunderbird.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension team, which makes each year’s Rodeo Tomato selection from a large number of competitors, describes the Thunderbird as producing a large fruit with a slightly flattened shape that ripens to a deep red color.

Thunderbird is a determinate plant, meaning it quickly reaches production size and concentrates on producing fruit. It produces a firm tomato that is well covered by its foliage while it is maturing. 

We talk about a fast start because the new Rodeo Tomato is available from retail and Master Gardener sources in limited numbers now even though it is too cold to plant it in the garden. The usual procedure for gardeners who want early access to the new tomato is to purchase them and “pot them up.”

Thunderbird, the 2023 Rodeo Tomato is on sale at Milberger’s Nursery while plant stock lasts.

Written by Calvin Finch
Dr. Calvin Finch is the retired Urban Water Program Director for the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources.You can ask Calvin question and hear his answers on the air as he co-hosts the Gardening South Texas on the air at KLUP (AM 930) Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 to 2:00pm.