Garden Pearl has been bred specifically for use in hanging baskets and containers. It has a cascading habit and produces a substantial crop of sweet red cherry tomatoes. Appetising in salads with dips and all other summer dishes.
Each plant yields around 2 to 3kg (4.5 to 6.5lb) per tomato plant. The fruits weigh around 12 to 16 grams.
Very easy to grow. Use in large pots, tubs, window boxes, even baskets or garden borders.
Garden Pearl thrives in a sunny position in rich well drained soil or in large pots or grow bags.
As they cannot tolerate any degree of frost the timing for sowing and planting outside is key to successfully growing tomatoes. Where the seeds are sown under cover or indoors, aim to sow the seeds so that they reach the stage to be transplanted outside three weeks after the last frost date. Tomato plants take roughly seven weeks from sowing to reach the transplanting stage. For example, if your last frost date is early May, the seeds should be planted in early April to allow transplanting at the end of May.
Tomatoes require a full sun position. Two or three weeks before planting, dig the soil over and incorporate as much organic matter as possible.
The best soil used for containers is half potting compost and half a soil-based type loam: this gives some weight to the soil.
Plant about 3mm (1/8in) deep, in small pots using seed starting compost. Water lightly and keep consistently moist until germination occurs. Tomato seeds usually germinate within 5 to 10 days when kept in the optimum temperature range of 21 to 27°C (70 to 80°F). As soon as they emerge, place them in a location that receives a lot of light and a cooler temperature (60 to 70°F); a south-facing window should work.
When the plants develop their first true leaves, and before they become root bound, they should be transplanted into larger into 20cm (4in) pots.
Young plants are very tender and susceptible to frost damage, as well as sunburn. I protect my young plants by placing a large plastic milk jug, with the bottom removed, to form a miniature greenhouse.
Depending on the components of your compost, you may need to begin fertilising. If you do fertilise, do it very, very sparingly with a weak dilution.
Transplant into their final positions when they are about 15cm (6in) high. Two to three weeks prior to this, the plants should be hardened off.
Just before transplanting the tomato plants to their final position drive a strong stake into the ground 5cm (2in) from the planting position. The stake should be at least 30cm (1ft) deep in the ground and 1.2m (4ft) above ground level - the further into the ground the better the support. As the plant grows, tie in the main stem to the support stake - check previous ties to ensure that they do not cut into the stem as the plant grows.
Dig a hole 45cm (18in) apart in the bed to the same depth as the pot and water if conditions are at all dry. Ease the plant out of the pot, keeping the root ball as undisturbed as far as possible. Place it in the hole and fill around the plant with soil. The soil should be a little higher than it was in the pot. Loosely tie the plant's stem to the support stake using soft garden twine –allow some slack for future growth.
A constant supply of moisture is essential, dry periods significantly increase the risk of the fruit splitting. Feed with a liquid tomato fertiliser (high in potash) starting when the first fruits start to form, and every two or three weeks up to the end of August. In September, feed with a general fertiliser (higher in nitrogen) in order to help the plant support it's foliage.
Over watering may help to produce larger fruit, but flavour may be reduced. Additionally, splitting and cracking can result from uneven and excessive watering.
When the first fruits begin to form, pinch out the side shoots between the main stem. Also remove lower leaves which show any signs of yellowing to avoid infection.
Pick as soon as the fruits are ripe, this also encourages the production of more fruit. Harvest all the fruit as soon as frost threatens and ripen on a window sill.
Most people have never actually tried a juicy, vine ripened, full flavoured tomato and thus have never experienced the true taste of a tomato. Sadly, many people don’t like tomatoes and they cannot understand what all the fuss is about. Try a home grown, vine ripened tomato and you will understand why they taste so great.
Selecting the right tomato to grow depends on your taste and timing. With about 8,000 varieties of tomatoes worldwide to choose from, the task may seem impossible, but it need not be. They can usually be divided into four groups:
These types of tomato are generally considered a true salad tomato because of their high juice content. If sliced in half, as in lopping the head off, one can find “pockets” of seed and juicy pulp. Varieties of these include: Alicante and Ailsa Craig.
Plum, Saucing or Paste Tomatoes
While this family of tomatoes can be eaten fresh or in salads, they are most renowned for preserving due to the thick wall, few to no seeds, and flavoursome, dense pulp. They are often small to medium in size and oval shaped. Varieties of these include: San Marzano and Roma are the most well known varieties
Biggest family and biggest sized tomatoes around. Great for slicing in sandwiches, stuffing, stews, roasting and in salads. The name beefsteak comes from the marbled appearance of this type of tomato when sliced. While there are differences from variety to variety of beefsteak tomatoes, they are nearly always thick on pulp, low on seed content and usually quite large. They hold their shape well once sliced and do not easily become soggy. A firm tomato that can become soft and tender if allowed to over-ripen.
Varieties of Beefsteak include: Super Marmande and Mortgage Lifter.
The higher sugar levels in these tiny tomatoes make them a favourite with children and breeze when preparing a quick salad. Many are suitable for container growing. Every year the family of this type of tomato is growing both in popularity and variety. Some of the most popular include: Gardeners Delight, Tiny Tim, Sungold and Garden Pearl.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 30 Seeds Common Name Cherry Tomato, aka 'Gartenperle'
Cascading Bush (Determinate)
Family Solanaceae Genus Lycopersicon Species esculentum Cultivar Garden Pearl Hardiness Half Hardy Annual Fruit Red cherry variety, weighing around 12 to 16 grams Foliage Cascading for Container growing Height 60cm (24in) Spacing 60cm (24in) Season Mid-Season Time to Sow Late March to end May Time to Harvest 14 weeks - August to October