One of the most delectable, dependable and disease-resistant tomatoes we’ve ever experienced, Summer Sweetheart ripens long and luscious trusses of ten succulent fruits and often more. We love these large saladette-style tomatoes on salads, kabobs, roasted and stuffed with mozzarella as well as sun-dried. Intriguingly, Summer Sweetheart has beautifully diverse expressions: some plants will be slightly earlier than others, some plants will have slightly smaller fruits than others, and some plants will have more smooth or more ribbed fruits than others. Why? Here’s more of the story:
Whether you hope to harvest ten or ten thousand tomatoes, diseases like Late Blight, Early Blight and Septoria Leaf Spot are affecting your abundance every season here in the Northeast. Though many cultural practices can reduce the spread of disease (like growing under plastic and watering soil rather than leaves), sowing seeds with natural genetic resistance to these diseases is the single greatest thing you can do to increase your success, whether you are an organic or conventional grower. Martha Mutschler-Chu developed such tomatoes at Cornell University.
Fruition Seeds asked to play with one of Martha’s triple-resistant lines (CU-79) and fell in love with a cross with Will Bonsall’s Gardener’s Sweetheart, an exceptionally sweet and creamy heart-shaped red cherry. Most F1 Hybrid varieties are the result of two inbred parent lines crossed and since Organic Summer Sweetheart Cherry Tomato is a cross of one inbred parent line (CU-79) and Gardener’s Sweetheart (a more genetically diverse open-pollinated variety), there is more delicious diversity and variation in sizes in Summer Sweetheart than most F1 Hybrid varieties.
Planting Method: Transplant Only
When to sow: 6-8 weeks before last frost
Seed Depth: 1/8 inch Days to Germination: 7-10 at 80°F (27°C)
Sowing and seedling care: Don’t start too early! Sow indoors 2 seeds/cell or soil block, & thin to 1. We recommend sowing on a heat mat at 80°F to emergence, 75°F after. Good light is essential: Younger, less stressed seedlings are healthier and more abundant than older, more stressed seedlings. Pot up to 3-4” pots when first true leaves, submerging 3/4 of the stem below soil.
When to transplant: Harden off & transplant outdoors after frost, again burying stem.
Strong 3′ trellis optional but helpful. Water soil, not leaves. Prune lowest stem “suckers” as they emerge.
Transplant Spacing: 2.5 feet Sun Needs: Full
Days to Harvest: 75