• Sun: Full sun
  • Harvest Size: 6 to 8 ounces
  • Days to Harvest: 70 to 75
  • Plant Size: 4 to 6 feet
  • Plant Type: Indeterminate

Marion tomato was developed in the South and released in 1960 to meet the challenges that heat and humidity create—plant diseases and cracked fruit. This productive heirloom tomato bears plenty of smooth red tomatoes that are delicious sliced with nothing more than salt, pepper, and a fork.

We recommend planting both hybrid and heirlooms. Hybrids generally bear more and have better disease resistance. Heirlooms have old-fashioned flavor and looks. Plant in spring (after danger of frost is passed) through early summer. If you shop early, you may keep plants in a sunny windowsill for a week or two until the weather warms. If you plant early, protect them from cold with a row cover.

Disease resistance: FSt. Plant spacing: 36 inches apart in conventional rows, 24 to 30 inches in intensive gardens. Plants per person: 2 to 3.

Secrets to Success »

Plant deeply, so that two-thirds of the plant is buried stem and all; it will sprout roots. This makes the plant more resistant to drought and other problems. Fertilize when planting and during the growing season with Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food.

Water regularly. Tomatoes need steady watering to develop to full size and to prevent cracking and blossom end rot. To keep the soil moist, mix compost into planting holes, and mulch around the plants after the soil warms. Watering with a soaker hose is best to keep leaves dry. Wet leaves encourage disease.

Support plants on stakes or a sturdy wire cage to keep fruit off the ground. This helps prevent disease.

Harvest and Use »

Pick red, vine-ripe tomatoes and slice for classic sandwiches, such as BLT, or to eat alone, with a little salt and pepper to taste. Try Marion in tomato pie or tomato soups, such as Spanish gazpacho. The red tomato is considered a “superfood” for its wealth of vitamins and antioxidants, including cancer-fighting lycopene.

Try These Garden Companions »

  • Sweet basil for tomato-and-basil salad or sandwich.
  • Parsley, rosemary, chives, and oregano for continental cuisine.
  • Bush Early Girl (determinate) or Early Girl (indeterminate) for early harvest.
  • Big Boy, Better Boy, Big Beef, Goliath, Park's Whopper, or Red Beefsteak (indeterminate types) for sandwich-sized red hybrid tomatoes.
  • German Johnson, Cherokee Purple, Red or Pink Brandywine for big heirloom tomatoes.
  • Chocolate Cherry, Husky Cherry Red, Grape, Juliet, Sun Sugar, Super Sweet 100, Yellow Pear to enjoy cherry tomatoes until frost.
  • Chocolate Cherry, Husky Cherry Red, Grape, Juliet, Sun Sugar, Super Sweet 100, Yellow Pear, or any cherry tomato, which bears all season.
  • Atkinson and Homestead for other Southern regional classics.
  • Roma for cooking and thick sauces.

From Our Library