Author Topic: Songolds  (Read 668 times)


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« on: June 19, 2017, 17:30:52 »
Hello. Grew Sungolds on the allotment a few years back. Never read the packet so took off all the side shoots. No longer got allotment so i'm growing in the greenhouse down bottom of garden. Read the packet this time and i've done as it says and not removed the sideshoots. They've took over can hardly get in to water them. Anyone grown them? Whats best?

ed dibbles

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Re: Songolds
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 17:54:57 »
They are an indeterminate/cordon variety so the side shoots need removing. I sometimes leave two main stems trying to increase the harvest, not always successfully as even that can congest growth.

But a really good flavour so they are well worth growing even if the seed is rather pricey. :happy7:


  • Hectare
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Re: Songolds
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 18:08:17 »
Oh yes lovely flavour. Think i'd trim a few off next time


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Re: Songolds
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 19:07:50 »
I've grown them on my allotment for a few years now, planted in open ground and just allowed to roam. No supports, no side shooting and get an amazing yield off them.
The worst bit is when it comes to harvesting, there's a lot of growth to go through!
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Re: Songolds
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 20:19:32 »
Well I do not see any reason to worry too much.

The basic reasons why we either remove side shoots on some tomatoes and leave them on others is to produce a good crop. Regardless of the official designation of cordon or bush it is better to remove them if they are just producing a lot of flower free vegetative growth. If the side shoots are carrying lots of flowers probably better to leave them.

That said, you have to strike a balance between the number and the size. Leave every side shoot and you could end up with thousands of pea sized fruits.  Also the season does not last forever, and the later flowers set the less chance of ripening before the weather deteriorates. So I remove more as the season progresses.

In short, don't worry about strict rules just trust your judgement.

Purely by coincidence, I picked my first ripe Sungold today. Just the one - but it is a start!
They really are delicious.
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Re: Songolds
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2017, 06:54:54 »
 i side shoot mine  and grow them outside as im down on the east coast  one year however i did let them run free and i can tell you they get huge a good 5ft across but there was not a lot of difference in the size of the yield so i would nip them out hope this helps
johhnyc015  may the plot be with you


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Re: Songolds
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2017, 10:52:14 »
... well worth growing even if the seed is rather pricey. :happy7:

Tomato cuttings root incredibly easily - only the Pepino melon-pear is more impressive. Try some cuttings now - it will give you confidence to dump the seed packet next year...

It's cheaper, easier and quicker (to fruit) to buy a few of the best sungold plants you can find as soon as they appear on sale in spring.  You only need to buy about 1/10 of the plants you will need that year but by all means buy 1/5 for the first try, or if you want less work (though you've already saved a huge amount of time, work, heating and propagator space by using this method).

Repot generously, keep them warm, sunny & sensibly fed - when they are over 30cm cut off 5-10cm of the top shoot (and root it as a cutting) to encourage sideshoots.

Remove these side (axil) shoots when they are 5-10cm long and treat them as cuttings (leave the new top one in place so you still get one large plant).

Cuttings larger than 10cm are best rooted in water - so once you have nearly enough new plants it's worth letting one or two of the next 'generation' of sideshoots exceed 10cm - the water method will work with shoots of any size provided you remove the lower leaves.

Any later surplus sideshoots can be dumped, so it's worth removing them as small as possible.

The key thing about this method is that the main plant will fruit only a few days later than an untouched plant (much earlier than your own seedlings unless you have really first rate heated frames).

The first generation of rooted sideshoots will fruit only a week or so later (they appear to be 'tied' to the parents' timing), even though they are smaller. The next generation only adds the same small shift  (this is why it is good to move on to fewer bigger cuttings).

BTW. The best reason for stopping the plants bushing out is that airflow reduces the risk of blight by encouraging moisture to evaporate and move out. You may see Mediterranean plots packed closely but their blight problem is tiny - using Med. spacing and watering here can be fatal - apart from the fact that ours need more of the 'wan Pom sun' to make the same amount of flavour...


PS. This method works well with any tomato type you can buy as plants - the savings are the same - the only difference is that you aren't saving the dental damage done gritting your teeth to cough up the silly price of seeds.

PPS. I can buy 5 all-female cucumber plants in April for the same or less than a packet of 5 all-female seeds. Seeds of madness.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

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Re: Songolds
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2017, 10:52:14 »