Sungold and sweet 100, do you let them grow crazy?

weew(Summer)April 14, 2008

I have some question would like to hear from all you who have grow many years of sungold and sweet100. Please let me know you grow on the ground or container.

1.Do you prune your cherry tomato plant like sungold and sweet 100? If let them just grow CRAZY, will its produce more fruits? less fruit? small fruit?

2. Are you growing in green house or at your garden?

3. Any fruit crack or problem you facing when you get rain for few days?

4. disease and insect problem you face.

Hope can hear from all of you.

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I'm growing Sungold's for the first time this year but I have grown Super Sweet 100's for years.
1. Once the plants start to flower, I start to prune by snipping out the growth in the V's of the stems. There have been years where I have been lazy and haven't done this. Super Sweet 100's grow like crazy regardless of doing this (or not).

2. I grow them in the garden.

3.Super Sweet 100's do crack after a few rainy days. Don't worry. You will still have cherry tomatoes - EVERYWHERE!

4. Eventually Late blight gets all of my tomatoes, but Super Sweet 100's are very disease resistant and put up a good fight. Pests? Maybe slugs but they tend to go after the bigger tomatoes first.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 9:00AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

1. Yes, I let them grow naturally because I use tall CRW cages. More fruit of the standard cherry tomato size.

2. In the garden. I can't really see them as container plants as they are simply too huge by nature but I know some grow them in containers. Maybe something the size of a 55 gal. drum would work. ;)

3. & 4. No to both.

I agree with booberry - cherry tomatoes EVERYWHERE whether you want them or not. They re-seed and create volunteers like weeds!

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 12:43PM
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I agree
1. I don't use a CRW (someday maybe) instead I have this rinky-dinky twisting green metal post that I train the 'main' stem up (oh, I have a worthless old mater cage, just for looks as then all of the branches that threaten to touch the ground I 'hoist up' and tie off to the twisty thing. Bout 1/2 way through my season, it starts to list so back to the shop for tall stakes to anchor it...Then more twine, frankly they kinda look like some kind of derainged morphidite christmas tree........Ya know now that I look (think) about what I've typed ...... I'm pitifull ...... LOL.................Disregard..........Find someone else......... ;o) .....

2/3. Moving on...........In my garden, we don't get much rain during the summer so I've never had cracking that wasn't self induced (I'm much better now, thank you)

4. never had a problem w/ my cherries, that could change @ any given moment, any given yr, but so far so good (knock on wood)

ps......LOVE sungold, I have now got 4, one plant for each of us........The blood shed was gettin' outta hand w/ 1 plant (besides, I don't want my kids too scarred up before adulthood)(I am still meaner than my 6'4" son) (all 5'0" of me) (:op

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 10:11PM
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Wow... seem like great result without pruning them, I will try out this year.

I am growing in container, and I grow sweet100 for the first time this year. In the passed I have grown sungold which i remove most of the sucker,the end, they still fruits like crazy!!! I can't imagine if I like the go wild.... The only thing I concern is the rain, it may bring early blight disease.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 11:39PM
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suze9(z8b Bastrop Co., TX)

In the garden. I can't really see them as container plants as they are simply too huge by nature but I know some grow them in containers. Maybe something the size of a 55 gal. drum would work. ;)

Dave, I've successfully grown both Sweet 100 and Sungold in 14 gallon containers before. If you can find a way to support them in the container, keep them from tipping, and mulch thickly, it is do-able (with good to great results) even in a hot climate. I threw in a handful of slow release fert every couple of weeks to keep them going.

My preferred method for cherry types is to put them at the end of a raised bed, though. Much easier to keep up with and support that way, IMO. :-)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 10:29PM
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I don't claim to have the best method for growing these but your series of questions must mean that you know there is a better way.

1. I prune to one stem as much as I can keep up with them until October and then I sort of let them go. I tend to think that I get more fruit because I plant more densely and utilize the vertical space to a fuller degree- these plants can grow 20 feet tall.

2.Here's the big difference. In my high tunnels the arch framework is my support and since my plants are clipped to a stringling I can lower the plants as they grow out of reach. I could let the plant grow to 13 foot within my larger tunnel but that would make picking a ladder chore. By just wrapping 10 extra feet of twine on the tomahook the plant can be lowered as it grows to bring it to your level. This year I have over 50 plants in each row(5 tomato rows) in my smaller 20x96 foot structure so far. Many are only 18" apart within the row. I agree with Suzy9 that the roots don't need extra room. You just got to provide for the plant support. Pots would be fine if you could stick a flagpole through them.

3.Cracking is not as much of a problem because it never rains on my plants under the high tunnel plastic cover. I will admit that I stopped growing Sungold in favor of SunSugar because the later crack far less after picked. I still grow a few dozen Sweet 100s as well as other like varieties- Favorita and Tami-G, all of which grow tall.

4. These plants are less prone to insect and disease problems than many of the larger fruited types. Sweet 100 may just seem to grow out of any problems but Sungold and SunSugar have an odor abot them that seems medicinal. I don't like to eat them right off the plant because of the objectional plant smell. I even used SunSugar as a grafting rootstock for a few other plants last year but no difference was noted.

To utlize these plants to the fullest a high tunnel allows you to fix all the things you don't like about these plants. My biggest complaint about them last year was that when I lowered the stringline so I could reach the top fruits the bottom fruits were touching the ground- they just seem to keep producing from the same area. I was picking from the same plants from early June thru Early November.

The main drawback to suckering is that it requires regular attention. I think these types can grow a few inches each day.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 11:36PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Like I said suze, I know folks do it but "successful", like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. ;) If the grower is happy with the experience and results then it is successful...for them.

But that doesn't mean it's the ideal nor should it be the recommended way to go when discussing large indeterminate variety tomatoes. Containers are perfect for any of the many container-sized bred plants and really BIG containers will work for some of the determinates. But indeterminates long to be in the ground. ;)

Don't get me wrong. I don't condemn container gardening. I do much of it myself. It has many advantages and is to be encouraged but it does have its problems and limitations. If the gardener knows and accepts those limitations then yes, they are successful. Otherwise they are bound to be disappointed.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 12:05AM
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Bmoser, perhaps it was a pic of yours, perhaps not but I saw someone doing as you suggest re: lowering the plants as they grow.

Seemed like a fine idea and it did allow me to bring some side stems back down into the WWM cages in mid to late season but the main stem was much too thick. Do yours, without wind action remain more pliable?

I was wondering about a high line w/drop string to maximise vertical (and earth) space but have doubts that I can successfully coil the main stem of an outside grown plant as I saw in those pics. I too am not interested in using a ladder or building scafforld for anything other than setting up and tearing down the support system.

This evening, I was wondering if flipping a florida weave to the horizontal at waist height might not be a worthy choice for me. It'd take more space, which means more mulch, water and posts but once made and trained, seems like everything else would be easy. A heavy gage wire or cable would be needed for the perimeter and corner posts, at least, would need to be guyed (sp?).

Hmmm, more projects ...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 12:23AM
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Sungold in container(10gal-12gal) on my Apartment's balcony, I did remove lots of sucker, they still very happy to fruit for you. :D 2 plants in 1 container! Seem like they loooooove bat guono very much.

This round I am using 20gal!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 1:50AM
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Dave, maybe I wasn't as discriptive about lowering the stringline supported plants as i should have been. You don't want to allow the plant to just collapse onto itself when lowering it. The stems have some degree of feexability but They can snap if the weight of the upper plant if forced upon the lower stem.

There are a few ways to go about lowering the plants. Some people form a coil with the lower stem. Others just let the stem lay to any side. I start at one end of the row and move the upper stringline holder(tomahook) a few feet in the same direction within the row as I lower the lines. That way the lower stem forms an "S" bending to touch the ground and curling gently back up to a vertical mid-stem. The "S" looping will typically stay within the same row fairly well but occasionally I will need to clip a few plant stems together to keep an open alleyway between my relatively narrow 28" row spacings.

Since these varieties we've been discussing grow much taller it is always a good idea to plant them at one end and I purposely wrap an extra 6 feet of twine onto the tomakooks for those varieties just because they will need to be lowered more often.

Very nice pictures, Weew. I'm getting hungry looking at them. So far most of mine are just at the third blossom cluster stage. Which reminds me I better stoke the woodburners now- last night for awhile- I hope.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 11:40PM
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How many cherry tomato can we get from single cluster of sweet 100? I saw the picture of sweet100, seem like 1 cluster can go up to 40-60 cherry tomato!!! How about yours? 10? 20 only?

For sungold, I usually get 8-12 cherry tomato per cluster, I wish to see long cluster loaded with tomato!!!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 11:30PM
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This year I'm trying Sungold and Sweet 100's in Topsy Turvy planters. Just planted a month ago so don't know how well they're going to do.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 4:27PM
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I am growing a Sweet 100s. Mine has about seven stems (I underestimated the speed at which this plant just produces stems, leaves and fruit). I was just about to go outside and give it one of those aggressive prunings which will force me to let go some pretty green pearls. While I am quite sad, I know I will eventually get over it...

To answer the question about cluster size, so far, the largest cluster on mine has 17 toms growing (the cluster also started out with 17 flowers). I would say this plant systematically produces twelve toms per cluster, but some have 14 of them. I think the one that has 17 is a bit nuts and of the dozens and dozens of clusters I have on my plant, this is the only one with this many toms.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 3:24PM
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Interesting discussion about the plants and the containers. I once grew sweet 100 and sungold in 5 gal containers. Sungold had so much more flavor. Both plants produced nice shaped tomatoes but sungold won the taste test. Sungold will crack if you leave on the vine too long but if you are like most of us, that isn't going to happen. We eat them or share them.

I now grow the cherry types in 10 gal pots (no sweet 100s) and I have to say that the tomatoes are so much bigger, the plants are totally amazing (over 8 feet) and the sungolds just have so much flavor that it is hard to find another interesting cherry except perhaps Sweetie. It is bit later than most but the flavor is so worth it. Sweet.

I take some of the suckers out but not all of them. Every sucker you leave, becomes another stem and will produce more tomatoes. If you have the space and don't mind constantly staking the stem and new branches, let it do it's thing. Otherwise, prune to meet your own needs - the plant will be just fine.

Not everyone has the space to grow in the ground so I hope you ground folks will be nice about it and encourage anyone who grows in containers to grow in the biggest pot they can afford - and afford the soil to go with it. It is a huge investment and we container growers do the best we can. In some cases, such as with eggplants, containers is the best way to go.

happy gardening.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 10:05PM
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I grow both in the ground and, this year, in containers too. I only cut the vines that get too high to reach (on a two step ladder!) or are in the way. Some grow out the top of my 6 ft, CRW cages and some sprawl over and back down the smaller container cages. All are prolific, average cluster about 10-20.

Because of a neighborhood quarantine (cannot give away), most are going into the dehydrator.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 2:10AM
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I grew 100's for a few years. I would not prune them unless they are too close together. I try to space them five or six feet apart and have most of the weight on wires strung between posts.

Several inches of compost on top as mulch absorbed some rainwater, but 1 or 2 inches will cause a lot of fruit to split open.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 5:20PM
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Hi I am from south africa.

I have just bought some Sweetie Cherry Tomatoes, which are maybe 10cm (4inch) tall. I got two in a big pot. What should I expect in the next few months? we are now in spring however the weather is still cool and cloudy :(

I have also got two Roma plants in seperate pots. I hear they will bush like crazy!! :D


    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 1:00PM
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My wife and I have grown these for years. They are in the ground in a well drained sandy soil. We always seem to have more then we can eat, they are very productive. We usually cut off a few suckers, but don't do much more. They are in the ground, in a large cage. We often have to put taller stakes up for the longer vines. Last year, we had perfect weather and we had some vines 10 feet or so long that were loaded with fruit, although that's not the norm. We still often have to stake as we go as they still get much bigger then the cages. Usually don't have pest issues, but they often get late blight, which doesn't seem to affect fruit production much.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 3:54PM
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This is a great thread, thanks to everyone for contributing. I have a related question.

I am growing the Sweet 100's hydroponically in my basement this winter. I probably goofed in not researching how tall the plants will get before choosing them. I've only got about 6 feet of vertical space, and I'm reading that these vines get 20 feet tall!

Anyone have suggestions on how to manage these plants when there's a low ceiling? Can they be coaxed sideways and downward?

Thanks for your suggestions!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 10:59AM
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Yes they can be trained to go sideways and downward. I had a Black Cherry tomato plant this last spring that I just let sprawl until it started setting fruit. I then gently hoisted most of the plant with Christmas tree netting and tied it to a broken hoe handle previously placed next to the base of the plant. And by the end, this plant had vines shooting up,down,sideways, and every which way. I think that the vine itself will always bend towards the light source, so that is something to keep in mind.

Take care,

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 11:56AM
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Thanks, Travis! I appreciate your advice! Looks like I'll have an interesting time wrangling my cherry tomatoes!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 9:48PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

I have sweet 100's, plus many others, in my garden. I removed the cages 3 weeks ago for the winter and plowed the garden. It was too dry, so my plow just basically ran over the top of them, cutting off a few limbs.

I got a lot of rain 2 days later. And due to my work schedule I haven't had time to plow again. The remaining limbs have popped up, started blooming, and have tiny toms on them!

They are survivors!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 1:47PM
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tomakers(SE MA Zone 5/6 or ?)

I grow Sweet 100's and Sungold in the ground in CRW cages and do NO pruning. If we have torrential rains they tend to crack, otherwise they are OK. I use larger cages for my cherry tomatoes, approx. 24" diameter.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 5:10AM
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I've let mine grow naturally, except for training it through some hog wire. I have my first tomato now, I thought they were supposed to be yellow, but this one looks reddish-orange. Did I maybe not get true Sungold seeds?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 12:54PM
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I have grown Sungold up a wood trellis. I did not prune or remove suckers, except to be able to walk by in the later months. The plant grew up the trellis with the assistance of some runner beans. (I did not attach it in any way. The beans did all the work for me.) The first picture (roughly) has the plant outlined in red. That trellis is 6 ft tall above the raised bed, and that is not the end of the season growth. The sungold produced fruit on the entire plant continuously, it seemed. This one plant is enough for my whole neighborhood; it was a huge producer. The last picture shows some of the Sungolds harvested in the upper right. I wouldn't call them yellow or red.... they are a stronge orange when fully ripe and more yellow/yellow-green/orange when not quite ripe.

Edited to add: I have no disease or cracking issues. We are in the desert, so my veggies are on a drip system that has to be watered daily in our heat.

This post was edited by lolauren on Fri, May 17, 13 at 15:40

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Cool thanks. I left them a bit longer and they turned bright red. I bought Sungold's and Big Zacs from this company and they both seem to be just regular cherry tomatoes. I'm a bit disappointed to say the least. Especially since I trying something new. Oh well, live and learn I guess.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 12:14PM
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loomis(Z6a Western MA)

Sungold grows so tall that I finally commandeered a tall bird feeder stake to hold it up. I sucker it a little and top it off near the end of the growing season.

This plant just doesn't quit, so I'm glad my neighbors love them as much as we do. A really good tasting, productive variety, to say the least!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 7:04PM
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How do you fertilize them? What kind of organic fert. When you plant them what is your concoction on the root ball?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 2:17AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I will be growing Sungold for the first time this year. From the descriptions I gather I should ready myself for taming and trimming it down to manageable size.

I had sweet 100 last year. It grows mostly very small fruits on big trusses. And lots of cracks .. So I have scratched it out. Instead I will be growing a bigger - fruited cherries

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 3:28AM
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I grow sungold and sweet 100 in a greenhouse about 400 plants on a string trellis with twisting and clips and a drop-down method .they get about '16 to '20 tall.
I don't really have a problem with disease and insects just a little powdery mildew and late blight. I take the time to strip the suckers and most of the foliage so I don't have that problem.
P.S. in the pic there are a few larger tomato types old pics going on 4 years with this house.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 7:06AM
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another pic

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 7:09AM
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and another pic

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 7:10AM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

I love all have been my main go to for many years now. Life events prevented me from starting my own see this year, as I expected to be too busy to garden. But as the season got into full swing, I couldn't resist grabbing a couple of pots of hybrid tomatoes*, SunGold (which I thought could be containerized like Golden Nugget) and a Sweet 100 that I thought was a Thompson and Morgan bred basket plant. Big WOOPS on that logic.

In the interest of quick work, I'm just going to put them both in a 40 gallon pot. and let them go at it. If they get too big, I'll remove the squirrel netting and they'll get pruned down quickly.

thank you for keeping this thread going!


*Okay, well, as the season wore further one, a couple of eggplant starts. and Al Khuffa tomato, because I always wanted to see how they transition from their desert to mine. And one little Italian pepper. A couple of six packs of annuals, a rose or two, a handful of new perennials, some seeds here and there. But beyond that, I am absolutely NOT gardening this year. LOL

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 1:59PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Another vintage thread with interesting topic.

I grew sweet 100 last season. I didn't like it because the fruits were TOO small and the vine was growing like crazy that I hardly could keep up with pruning.

I plant my tomatoes in tight spacing ( about 18" apart, 2.5 sqr-ft per plant ). This way I plant 3 in place of 2. Therefor I do prune systematically.

I am growing Sungold for the first time this year. I will definitely prune to 2 stems, max 3. Also, at the near end of season ( early September) start topping all new growth and flowers. Because I know that the new growth and flowers will not produce any ripe fruits .

In short , there are different gardening styles. As a gardener I believe in being in charge rather than letting plants do as they naturally do.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 5:37PM
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Sweet 100 is our all time favorite - very hardy plant with good sized fruit - not many splits and very tasty. We grow in a GH out of necessity. I let them grow crazy but train largest branches laterally as well as vertically because they are so vigorous and prolific - we give them plenty of space. Last year we tried Sweet Baby Girl which we thought was a good variety but we switched back to Sweet 100 this year. Sungold did not do as well for us and seemed to have lots of splits and early on - so for now - Sweet 100 it is!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 10:15PM
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