Fans of cherry tomatoes known for a prolifically sweet flavor straight from the vine tend to seek out the Sungold variety. For decades, the mature 1-inch fruit has attracted growers with its taste, as well as its deep-yellow to bright-orange color in the garden as it matures. Sungold is a hybrid cherry tomato with a profuse growing habit that will produce a reliable crop for fresh summer consumption.
Pick a sunny spot in your garden. Tomatoes are warm-weather and sun lovers.
Test your existing soil. A soil-test kit geared to use by home gardeners may be purchased at your local garden center. Your local agricultural extension office may be able to perform the test for you if you prefer to take a small soil sample to them.
Make any needed amendments to your soil. Tomatoes prefer a pH level of 6 to 6.5 according to Clemson University’s Agricultural Extension. The plants thrive on friable soil, rich with organic matter such as cow manure, humus, compost and peat. Combine all these ingredients into a loose mix of garden soil.
Dig your hole at least as deep as your plant's original container and at least 2 inches wider on each side. Tomatoes do well when their main stem is buried almost to the bottom set of leaves. Center the plant in the hole.
Backfill the displaced soil and tamp down lightly to remove any air pockets. Mound the dirt slightly higher at the stem to deter water standing at the base of the plant. Sprinkle with a balanced fertilizer to the outside rim of the planting area or sprinkle a timed-release fertilizer through the garden before backfilling.
Stake the tomato plant with a tomato cage or a piece of 1x2-inch untreated lumber approximately 6 feet tall. At various intervals, loosely attach the stem of the plant to the stake with garden twine or bands of cotton or nylon cut from discarded hosiery or T-shirt sleeves.
Water the plant thoroughly to help settle into its new home, and then add at least an inch of water a week. In hot climates, you may have to water daily to combat heat stress. Water at the base of the plant as opposed to on the leaves.
Things You Will Need
- Home soil test kit
- Organic matter
- Sungold tomato plant
- Water source
- Tomato stake
- Check for green hornworms, which are large green caterpillars that can wipe out a tomato plant and its fruit. If one of these pests is encountered, pluck the bug from the plant with a pair of needle nose pliers or strong tweezers--they hold on tight to the plant's stem.
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