Holy Tomato! New Grafted Tomatoes Create “Tomato-mania”

by Kim Reiss, Manager Sugar Creek Gardens

There’s no more dedicated group of gardeners than the tomato gardener.  Some are loyal to the heirloom varieties, while others mix it up with the hybrids.  And the Sweet Cherry 100s?  They’re in a class all their own.

If you’re serious about tomatoes, I hope you’re sitting down because there’s a new twist on this classic fruit (or vegetable – let’s not fight)  – the Mighty ‘Mato grafted tomatoes. This is a game-changer, folks, so if you like your tomatoes, check them out because of:

• Extreme vigor for improved quality and TWICE the fruit.

• High resistance to soil-borne disease and pests.

• No more blossom end rot!

• Naturally strong and healthy, so no chemical pesticides are needed – the perfect organic plant.

The Mighty ‘Matoes are created by grafting the roots of vigorous, disease-resistant varieties with the top of the plant of varieties with phenomenal flavor and excellent fruit quality.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your grafted tomato experience:

• The graft must stay above soil level.

• Prune lateral suckers for best fruiting.

• Full sun, please!  At least 8 hours.

• Once the ground warms, mulch those maters to conserve water and prevent weeds.

• Establish a regular watering schedule, but within reason; if we have an extremely wet summer, then you’re sprinkler duty is on hiatus.

The Mighty ‘Mato line-up includes 12 heirloom and 4 hybrid varieties – the best of both worlds. Heirlooms include: Amish Paste, Beefsteak, Black Cherry, Black Krim, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Mortgage Lifter, Green Zebra, Pineapple, San Marzano, and Yellow Pear — all the classics.

Hybrid varieties include: Sun Sugar, Sweet Million, Big Beef (NEW), and Early Girl.

An interesting side note – San Marzano is the only determinate tomato out of the group; the rest of the Mighty ‘Matoes are indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes, or bush tomatoes, are bred to grow to a compact height, about 4-feet-tall. They stop growing when fruit sets on the top bud, and most of the crop ripens at about the same time.

Indeterminate tomatoes are also called vining tomatoes and grow as tall as 10 feet, although 6-feet-tall is probably more reasonable. They will grow and produce fruit until killed by frost. They will bloom, set new fruit and ripen fruit all at the same time throughout the growing season.


To learn more about growing tomatoes and getting your garden growing, visit online at www.sugarcreekgardens.com, stop by Sugar Creek Gardens at 1011 N. Woodlawn, Kirkwood, MO 63122 or give them a call at 314-965-3070.