Tomato 'Gardeners Delight'
Solanum lycopersicum 'Gardeners Delight'
Photo by AliceRoseWood (All rights reserved)
75 days to reach maturity
Roughly 45-90 days until maturity. Ripe tomatoes are firm but slightly soft and a deep ripe colour and varying sizes. Fruit bruises easily so only "palm" the tomatoes, don't squeeze. Gently pick them off the stem once ripe or remove a branch and allow to dry while picking the fruit as they ripen.
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Tomato 'Gardeners Delight' Overview
Solanum lycopersicum 'Gardeners Delight', known as Tomato 'Gardeners Delight' is a popular choice for home growers for its high yields of cherry-sized red tomatoes with an excellent flavour. 'Gardeners Delight is a cordon (indeterminate) tender perennial that you grow as single-stemmed plants, removing side shoots to improve fruit production. They can grow very tall and will require support. If they are being grown inside a greenhouse, they will need to be placed on the floor. However, this cultivar is excellent for the outdoors and is more capable to deal with the cold. Tomatoes are fruits but are used as a culinary vegetable. Growing tomatoes can be tricky but is very rewarding if done right. Grow more than one variety, as some will suit your area better than others. It is noted for its flavour and productivity and so has been given an RHS award of garden merit.
Common problems with Tomato 'Gardeners Delight'
Pests include cutworms, hornworms and bollworm, aphids, cabbage loopers, whiteflies, tomato fruitworms, red spider mite, slugs, and Colorado potato beetles. Diseases include the tobacco mosaic virus, blight and various forms of mildew.
Tomato 'Gardeners Delight' Companion Plants
Interplanting your tomatoes with other strong scented plants can help to mask the tomato plant from unwanted pests. Examples of these are the onion family (Chives, Garlic) and the mints (Spearmint, Oregano and Basil). The best known and most commonly used is Tagetes patula (French marigold), although some believe it can subtly change the flavour of the fruit. Grow Borage, Queens Anne Lace, Parsley and Dill to protect against Tomato Hornworm. These flowers will attract adult parasitic wasps and other predatory flies that feed on their umbellifer flowers. The larvae of these wasps feed on the Tomato hornworm, while the flies will feed ob various tomato pests. Asparagus produces Asparagus acid. When grown near tomato plants, this acid will repel nematodes that are known to attack. Tomato plants also protect Asparagus as they contain Solanine, a type of poison that kills the Asparagus beetle. Ground cover plants, including mints, stabilize moisture loss round tomato plants and other Solanaceae, which come from very humid climates, these can help prevent moisture-related problems like blossom end rot.
How to propagate Tomato 'Gardeners Delight'
Cutting root easily if placed in a glass of water.
Sow seeds in spring and early summer. Germination takes 7-14 days. Transplant when seedlings gain first 2 true (mature) leaves, and bury at least two-thirds of the stem to encourage root growth and a stronger plant. Space 60cm apart, ripen in 75-80 days after sowing.
Special features of Tomato 'Gardeners Delight'
Tomatoes are heavy feeders and require well-fertilized soil. Rotate annually to prevent nutrient depletion of the soil.
Can be grown in a container provided it is at least 60 cm wide and deep.
Attracts useful insects
Insects such as bees.
Other uses of Tomato 'Gardeners Delight'
The fruit is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks made into juices, dried or preserved.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant. It contains Vit A, B, C and K as well as minerals like potassium and Calcium.