Celebrating its 20th birthday is the sungold tomato.
GARDENINGGOOGLE 'Brix’ and you will find some surprises.
It’s not a word I had previously heard but I discovered it’s an operating system and programming language. In Vancouver, it’s a restaurant boasting creative cuisine in Yaletown’s Homer Street.
Brix also makes chocolate.
But the definition we want is: "Brix — A measure of the sugar content in fruit and veg."
A tomato I have previously grown for its sweetness is Sungold, without knowing that its Brix rating is ten — more than double the average tomato.
Sungold seems a modern variety to me and it came as a big surprise when I received a press release from Thompson and Morgan telling me it was organising a special promotion to celebrate Sungold’s 20th birthday — small packs of seed for just 20p.
And what a sensible idea. All gardeners realise they will waste a large proportion of seeds they buy and who, really, needs more than ten tomato seeds in a pack?
But, back to Sungold. It only seems like yesterday that it was a new tom on the block and people were saying a gold tomato would never catch on — and so small too…
But today Sungold is one of T&M’s best sellers because it is a tomato that can be just as well grown indoors as out and has good resistance to tobacco mosaic virus, which can be a real pain, and fusarium wilt too.
It is also so sweet and mighty vigorous too, as a recent article illustrated.
Most gardeners 'stop’ tomatoes at five trusses, which makes for a manageable plant but in Kitchen Garden magazine a couple of months ago, Joe Maiden described how he accidentally started on the road to creating a 60-truss monster.
He accidentally snapped off the growing point and decided to train the side-shoots as cordons, creating a highly productive multi-stemmed plant in the process.
On the strength of that, perhaps T&M should produce packets containing just one F1 seed and price it at tuppence, or two for 4p, just to be on the safe side. Sadly life doesn’t work out like that.