Gardens - Fruit & Vegetable Gardening

Plant the tastiest home-grown tomatoes

Discover bigger, better and tastier tomatoes for your veggie garden


Cherry tomatoes
‘Gardeners Delight' and ‘Sweet Chelsea' were my staple cherry tomatoes for several years, never disappointing and always ready to provide at least a pint or two of round, red fruit to pop into the mouth. However, my cherry-sized favourite is ‘Sungold' (F, T), a vine of manageable height and girth that produces round, tangerine-orange fruit with an intensely sweet, rich taste with hints of apricot. The dwarf, 45-centimetre-tall ‘Orange Pixie' also has these qualities and can be grown in a container. ‘Sungold' has 11 to 14 brix units (sweetness in fruits and vegetables is measured by sugar brix units) in each fruit. Most sweet cherry-type tomatoes measure 8 to 10 brix, keeping them slightly ahead of full-sized tomatoes, which are in the range of 6 to 8.

Plant the rainbow
It's no wonder tomatoes were grown as ornamental plants long before their fruits were considered edible. Well-tended tomato plants are beautiful specimens in a mixed border and can surprise you with unpredictable colours in the ripening season. Standard market tomatoes have yellow skin over red flesh, making a deep shade of scarlet comparable only to fire engines. Heirloom varieties offer a rainbow of colours, such as the pastel pink ‘Watermelon Beefsteak' and ‘Arkansas Traveler', the result of clear skin over red flesh. When yellow-skinned, red-fleshed tomatoes retain green pigment, the ripe fruit takes on maroon-purple and brown tones as seen in ‘Black Krim' and ‘Cherokee Purple'. Garden visitors find it hard to ignore ‘Taxi' (C), an amazing, caution-sign yellow, and striped beauties such as tangy ‘Green Zebra' (green streaked with yellow) and tropical-flavoured ‘Mr. Stripey' (red streaked with yellow). Next summer I might try some of the white tomatoes-‘White Wonder' (with fruit weighing up to one kilogram), ‘Great White' (with pineapple, melon and guava flavours) and the adorable cherry types, ‘Snow White' and ‘Ghost Cherry'.

 

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