When is a peach not a peach? When you’re growing Garden Peach tomatoes (Solanum sessiliflorum), of course. What’s a Garden Peach tomato? The following article contains Garden Peach tomato facts such as info on how to grow a Garden Peach tomato and all about Garden Peach tomato care.
What is a Garden Peach Tomato?
These little beauties really do look much like a peach right down to the downy fuzz. They produce small fruit with the aforementioned yellow peach-like fuzz often tinged oh so lightly with the barest blush of pink. They have a fresh, slightly fruity flavor that’s sure to please the adventurous tomato grower.
Garden Peach Tomato Facts
Native to the tropical Amazon region, Garden Peach tomatoes, also known as cocona fruit, were domesticated in the South American mountains and subsequently introduced to the United States in 1862.
Garden Peach tomatoes are indeterminate; this means that they produce fruit over an extended period of time which is good for tomato lovers. Not only are they rather adorable additions to the tomato garden, but they’re also highly split resistant and prolific bearers.
How to Grow a Garden Peach Tomato
To start growing Garden Peach tomatoes, sow the seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost for your area. Sow seeds ¼ inch (0.6 cm.) deep and 1 inch (2.5 cm.) apart. Seeds germinate best when temperatures are 70-75 F. (21-24 C.). Keep the seedlings in a bright window or under a grow light.
When the seedlings get their second set of leaves, transplant them into individual pots, making sure to bury the stems up to the first set of leaves to encourage stronger stems and roots. Be sure to use a light, well-draining soil. A week before transplanting them outside, gradually harden them off outdoors by slowly increasing their time outside.
In the spring when soil temps are 70 F. (21 C.), transplant the seedlings into the garden, making sure to bury the stem as before up to the first set of leaves. Plant the seedlings in a sunny area and space them 2 inches (5 cm.) apart. At this time, set up some type of trellis or support system. This will protect the fruit and foliage from insects and disease.
Garden Peach Tomato Care
To help retain water and discourage weeds, apply a thick layer of mulch around the plants. If fertilizing, apply a 4-6-8 fertilizer.
Protect the plants if temperatures dip below 55 F. (13 C.). Water the plants once a week with an inch of water depending upon weather conditions. To improve production and strength of the plant, prune out suckers or shoots that grow between the main stem and branches.
The tomatoes will be ready to harvest in 70-83 days.