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Growing Sungold Tomatoes – What You Need To Know

Think of a tomato that has been blushed by the sun and Sungold cherry tomatoes come to mind. These aptly named golden yellow explosions of flavor and a popular choice for their distinctive tangy and yet sweet taste.

The Sungold vine is known to be a prolific producer of bite-sized tomatoes ready for harvest in just 55 days and a good supplier throughout the summer.

Fast Facts

  • Origin: Japan
  • Type: Indeterminate
  • Size: 8-12 feet
  • Days To Harvest: 55-65 days

Sungold Origins & History

Developed in Japan by Plant breeder Tsutomu Tokita, chairman of the Tokita Seed Company, Sungold tomatoes are the result of a desire for a sweet cherry-type tomato to eat fresh.

The company – based in Saitama, Japan – has over a century of expertise in creating new and exciting vegetable and flower seed. They share their passion for seasonal ingredients with the Oishii Nippon Project (which means ‘delicious Japanese’) all over the world. Their mission is to enhance a global food culture by promoting seasonal fresh, healthy vegetables and the Japanese culinary traditions of presenting them as works of art.

The parentage of the Sungold tomato is a carefully guarded secret. But, it is an F1 tomato which means it is the result of cross-pollination between just two parent plants.

In 1992, the seed was introduced into America and Britain. Since then, it has become a popular choice, receiving wide acclaim for taste and flavor.

Flavor Profile

Many yellow tomatoes have more of a fruity, sweet taste. Sungold is no exception. The fruit flavor changes as it ripens and at its peak perfection is sweet, with an acidic balance and citrusy notes.

It has been described as one of the sweetest tomatoes ever. They have a distinctive taste that separates them from other tomatoes, even though the color is not the standard red.

Best Uses For Sungold Tomatoes

Fresh is best for these golden orange orbs. Add handfuls to cold platters with cheese and meat, chop into salads and make a sweet tangy salsa. The sweetness pairs well with summer fruits and they make a good sweet jam. Or with a bit of spice and hot chili, you can make an excellent savory tomato chili jam.

They make good roasted whole tomatoes as a side dish too, or work well when baked into tarts and added to pasta dishes.

What Are Sungold Tomatoes Best Known For?

Sungold tomatoes are known for their superior taste. The vines are prolific, forming clusters of cherry tomatoes in sets of 10 to 20. No matter how long they are on the vine, they remain a sunny yellow to orange color and will not turn red. The more they ripen on the vine, the sweeter they get.

They also have a high resistance to Tobacco Mosaic Virus and Fusarium Wilt diseases, ideal for growing at home. These plants are early-yielding and produce fruit right through the season.

Where To Buy Sungold Tomato Seeds

Sungold tomatoes have evolved into various types including Sungold Select, Sungold select II, Big Sungold and Sungold X Moms. Some of the most popular seed suppliers for Sungold online include:

How To Grow Sungold Tomatoes

This variety of tomato is fairly easy to grow with the right environment and care. They are great in the garden as long as they have enough space (at least 3 feet apart). Any closer and you will invite pests and diseases. They also do well in hanging baskets and containers, but these tend to dry out quickly and will require constant monitoring for water needs.

Start the seed indoors 5-7 weeks before the last frost date before planting outdoors after hardening off. They must be given at least 6 hours of sunlight a day to thrive, planted in rich soil that is well-draining. At planting time, add plenty of compost to the soil before the seedlings.

These types of tomatoes are heavy feeders and will need feeding with a fertilizer high in phosphorous and potassium for better flowers and fruit. Avoid nitrogen-rich fertilizers that will produce healthy leaves and not much else.

Consistent watering is essential to avoid stress. Water every week with at least an inch of water at the roots and increase in warmer weather. Containers and hanging baskets should be watered daily or at least every second day.

With this constant care, Sungold tomatoes will yield excellent harvests. With these particular tomatoes, leave them on the vines in the early stages of ripening to get the best taste out of them. Towards the end of the season, they may start showing signs of skin cracking. In this case, harvest these earlier to avoid cracking problems.