Sun Gold vs. Sunsugar

Creek-side(5)January 27, 2013

A couple of years ago I had not really thought about growing cherry or grape tomatoes. Then I received a complimentary package of Sunsugar seeds along with my seed order, and I was hooked. Now that I am getting involved in conversations with other gardeners, I keep hearing hearing about Sun Gold, and I am considering growing a few of those to see what's up.

I would be interested to see how people feel they match up on various criteria - sweetness, acidity, split resistance, "keepability", production, etc.

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I grew both sungold and sunsugar last year, allowing me to do a head to head comparison.

Tastewise, they were very similar. In fact, I did a blind tasting among friends, and most could not tell the difference. I think I had one or two people (out of twelve) who displayed a slight preference for sungold, but it was so close, probably within the margin of error.

Grow-wise, both were productive (over 500 tomatoes each), and yes, both were prone to splitting after heavy rains. That said, if you are conscious of the forecast, and pick those that are slightly under-ripe (and let them ripen on the counter), you can probably still collect 80-90% of them, blemish free.

Bottom line for me, I didnt see enough of a difference to prefer one over the other. This year, I will just grow one, probably the first healthy looking one I find at the nursery.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 11:51AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Both are F1 hybrids, both were introduced by Thompson and Morgan and both were bred in the far East, I'd have to check but I think I remember Sungold F1 was bred by Sakata and probably Sunsugar F1 as well.

I read at several message sites and all I can say is that some like one better than the other, and some like the other one better. LOL

I've grown Sungold F1 from time it was introduced, and a couple of OP versions of it as well, and I like it.

No two seasons are the same and no two folks grow their tomatoes the same, so to make a decision I think both should be grown in the same season, which eliminates all the many varaibles.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 12:43PM
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I have also grown both Sun Gold and Sun Sugar here in coastal MA. In taste, productivity, disease resistance, etc. I find them very much alike. However, for the past several years I have grown only Sun Sugar. I find that in this climate, with my conditions, Sun Gold seems to split at the slightest hint of even a heavy dew, much less a rainstorm. Sun Sugar splits only rarely and only if I have neglected my regular one inch per week watering schedule. Also, many friends that I give plants to each year are asking for "the ones that don't split". Hope this helps.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 8:41PM
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If I'm not mistaken, Sungold was developed by Tokita. Sakata developed Sweet Million.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 6:36PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Djole, could well be. I didn't take the time to double check and so many varieties were bred by both Tokita and Sakata.

Carolyn, who just Googled it and it is Tokita. (Smile)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:14PM
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I've grown both (together), and now only grow Sun Sugar. Both are delicious, but I had much less splitting with S.S. It was comical at times when growing Sun Gold -- I would gently take the fruit in my fingers to pick it, and it would immediately split. Or, split as it was put in the basket. Of course, these were dead ripe. Anyway, I don't have near the splitting with S.S.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:11PM
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I've learned to pick my Sunsugars early, and let them sit around for a week or more to turn a dark orange. No splitting worries there.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:47PM
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I decided to try Sunsugar last year because I had heard that they were nearly identical in all aspects to Sun Gold, other than they split less. And that's just what I found. For me, they do split less and might be a tad larger than the Sun Golds.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:09AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Well Dang, I wish this discussion had come up before I ordered my seeds! I would have ordered Sunsugar. Well, forewarned is fore armed or some such. I have ways of dealing with cracked cherry tomatoes.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:22AM
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To Woodcutter,
Forgot about that! You are right. I have also had Sun Gold split as I picked them. Had to eat a lot of them in the garden.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:55PM
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I had great luck growing Sun Sugar in the past, but I couldn't find seeds or plants locally last year, so I grew Sun Gold. That one plant branched off in ten different directions and grew like crazy - I had cherry tomatoes for the entire neighbourhood! I've grown SG in the past, but never as successful as last year. I had thought Sun Sugar was the more vigorous plant but now I'm not sure. Taste-wise they were similar and if I remember correctly, the SS cracked less.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 12:35PM
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habitat_gardener(z9 CA/Sunset15)

I prefer Sunsugar. To me, Sun Gold has an odd off-taste or aftertaste by midseason and I don't like them anymore. I eat Sunsugar all season and don't get tired of them. Also, in my summer-dry climate, Sun Gold splits when it's picked, and Sunsugar doesn't.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 11:43PM
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