Friday, September 03, 2021

Fenton Friday: Sun Gold Tomatoes

These next few weeks, I'm letting the summer interns take over the community garden plot reports to share what they grew and how that went.

By Jackie DiBartolomeo

At the start of the summer, all the way back in early June, we planted a 'Sun Gold' tomato plant in our community garden plot. It was a modest plant to start with, and we had high hopes for it. 'Sun Gold' tomatoes are sweet, tangy, and rich, perfect to grow in the summer. You know they’re ready for harvest when they take on their signature red-orange, “sun-kissed” look. 

Over the weeks since the 'Sun Gold' tomato plant first went in the ground, the plant has proven to be a bit of a challenge. Though it started off small, the plant demonstrated its mighty growing potential when it began growing upward and outward rapidly, even trying to overtake some of the other plants in the plot! It especially targeted the 'Shishito' peppers right next to it, so we took care to tie parts of the plant back that were sticking out beyond their trellis. 

Little tomatoes appeared on the plant a few weeks after we planted it, as we continued to give the plant fertilizer every few weeks, along with regular watering and weeding. The tomatoes were taking a while to turn from green to orange, but when we saw that first spot of orange, it was a beautiful sight. For a few weeks at the end of July and into August, it seemed that the tomatoes were so close to ripening, but just weren’t there yet. But on August 10, the 'Sun Gold' tomatoes were ready to be harvested. They finally had that perfect sun-kissed look.

I picked off a few 'Sun Gold' tomatoes for myself, and I’m currently brainstorming on what recipe I should put them to the test with. Their flavor would taste great with a campanelle recipe. This tomato plant wasn’t the easiest to grow this summer, but the rewarding feeling of growing it ourselves makes it all worth it. 

What is growing in your kitchen garden?

About the Author
Jackie DiBartolomeo is a journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park, and was an intern this summer with Washington Gardener. She is also a staff reporter with The Campus Trainer.

About Fenton Friday: Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the Fenton Street Community Garden just across the street from my house in zone 7 Mid-Atlantic MD/DC border. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 8th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above.

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