The Irresistible Sungold Tomato: A Delight for Every Gardener

Are you a passionate gardener looking to add a touch of color to your garden? Look no further than the Sungold Tomato. This immensely popular tomato variety has won the hearts of gardeners in the UK and beyond. Known for its vibrant orange hue and delectable taste, Sungold tomatoes are a must-have for any tomato enthusiast. Let’s dive into the world of Sungold tomatoes and discover why they are a favorite among gardeners.

Sungold tomatoes on the vine with distinct orange hue

A Hybrid Marvel

Developed by the esteemed Japanese breeder, Tokita Seed Company, Sungold tomatoes made their debut in UK gardens in the early 1990s. As an F1 hybrid variety, they have quickly gained popularity due to their exceptional taste and versatility. While the parent plants remain a closely guarded secret, some speculate that the renowned Brandywine heirloom tomato may have played a role in creating this delightful variety.

The Sweetness of Sungold

Without a doubt, the irresistible taste is the primary reason why gardeners choose to grow Sungold tomatoes. These tomatoes boast a remarkable sweetness, making them a culinary delight. With a high Brix (sweetness) rating of 9.3, they are considered one of the sweetest tomatoes available. Whether added to salads or enjoyed straight from the vine, Sungold tomatoes are a favorite among all age groups. Their alluring flavor has even earned them the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.

Abundant Yield and Captivating Beauty

In addition to their delectable taste, Sungold tomatoes offer excellent yields. Each truss can produce approximately 20-25 fruits, and a single plant can yield 100-120 tomatoes. Whether grown outdoors, in a greenhouse, or a polytunnel, these plants not only deliver a bountiful harvest but also add a touch of beauty to your garden. The bright golden, orange-yellow fruits are a sight to behold.

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F1 Hybrid Considerations

While Sungold tomatoes are truly exceptional, it’s essential to be aware of a few factors before planting them. As an F1 hybrid, Sungold tomatoes will not grow true to type from seed. If you plan on saving seeds for future use, heirloom or heritage varieties may be a better choice. Additionally, the thin skins of Sungold tomatoes can split easily, although this is rarely an issue as they are often eaten fresh from the vine. Like other tomato varieties, Sungold tomatoes are susceptible to pests and diseases. Proper care and attention are crucial to ensure a healthy harvest.

Seed packet that reads Sungold Tomato

Cultivating Sungold Tomatoes

Sourcing Sungold tomato seeds or plants is relatively easy, as they are widely available at garden centers and online. However, it’s important to purchase them from reputable and certified sources to ensure quality and avoid introducing pests or diseases to your garden.

When selecting a location for your Sungold tomatoes, consider their growth habit. Being a cordon variety, they require support, such as wires or strings, to grow upright with a single leader. Choosing a sunny spot with fertile, well-draining soil will promote healthy growth and optimum fruit production. Alternatively, you can experiment with growing them in containers or even upside-down hanging containers.

Hand holding Sungold tomato seeds

To start your Sungold tomatoes from seed, begin indoors before the last frost date in your area. Sow the seeds in seed trays, and once they have developed into strong seedlings, transplant them into the garden. Planting them slightly deeper than their original pot level encourages the development of new roots along the stem, leading to healthier plants and better yields.

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Nurturing Your Sungold Plants

Proper care is essential for the success of your Sungold tomato plants. Water them regularly, ensuring the soil at the base of the plant receives moisture rather than the foliage. Damp foliage may increase the risk of fungal infections and damage to the plants. Organic fertilizers are highly recommended to achieve the best results. Mulching around the plants with organic materials, such as comfrey leaves, helps maintain soil moisture and provides nutrients.

Sungold tomatoes in various stages of ripeness

Consider companion planting to enhance the growth and productivity of your Sungold tomatoes. Basil is an excellent companion plant, and other aromatic herbs like marigolds and borage can attract pollinators and aid in pest control. If you are growing your tomatoes under cover, ensure pollinators have access to the plants or consider manual pollination.

The Reward: Harvesting Sungold Tomatoes

After nurturing your Sungold tomato plants, the long-awaited harvest will soon arrive. From August onward, you can expect to enjoy an abundance of ripe tomatoes. Unlike some varieties that can ripen indoors, Sungold tomatoes are best left to mature on the vine. With proper care and attention, you and your family will savor the delightful flavor of Sungold tomatoes throughout the season.

Cordon growing Sungold tomato plant

While growing Sungold tomatoes may present some challenges, their rich taste and vibrant beauty make them worth the effort. So, unleash your inner gardener and embark on a journey to cultivate this remarkable tomato variety. With Sungold tomatoes gracing your garden, you’ll experience the joy of growing your own delicious and visually stunning tomatoes.

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References:

  1. Tokita
  2. RHS top 10 cherry tomatoes with AGM status for your garden
  3. Tomatoes: RHS Award of Garden Merit