I was looking at my spreadsheet with all my produce weights on it the other day and I noticed that Tigerella tomatoes were one of my better performers this year. I suspect that this due, at least in part, to other varieties being preferred by the resident rodents but given I like their flavour I still think they are worthy of a spotlight.
Tigerella is an indeterminate tomato variety which, in my garden, grows to about 1.5 metres although I suspect it could get even bigger. I grew my plant in a part of the garden that I only decided to use at the last minute. It had previously been home to a large jade plant but as I’m not really a fan of jades I decided to make the area productive rather than decorative. As a result the soil was pretty depleted. I added a bit of compost and manure but not really enough and then planted out at the beginning of November (from seed sowed in August – thank you to Diana from Kebun Malay-Kadazan Girls). I planted my main tomato bed in October but I think the November planting worked in Tigerella’s favour as the rats ate the tomatoes from the plants which set fruit earlier and by the time Tigerella did have ripe fruit (31st January) the rodents had heaps of other food sources locally and so left them alone.
In the end the plant produced about 1.2kg of Tomatoes which doesn’t sound like a great deal but given the quality of the soil, the rodent issues and the fact that all my tomato plants suffered from a lack of water when we went away during a particularly hot week in January I was relatively happy with it. (Oh for a garden like my parents where if a plant produces under 5kg it is regarded as a dud….).
The tomatoes themselves are apricot size with a snazzy green stripy pattern on their, mainly red, skin. The ones pictured below were picked early to avoid rodents so aren’t quite as red as they get when fully ripe but the photo should still give you a general idea.
Tigerella have a nice firm texture, are moist and, in my experience, never floury. Flavour wise they have a traditional tomato flavour, mildly acidic, without the sweetness of some varieties and frankly just delicious. I love sweet tomatoes like the black varieties but I also love these more acidic and savoury tomatoes, especially in a salad mixed with the sweet ones. Just delicious.
I will definitely be growing them again next year, not just for salads, but also because they are a great size for my kids lunchboxes.
Do you grow Tigerella? Or another apricot sized tomato that you would recommend?
Saturday Spotlight is a series of posts highlighting particular varieties of edible plants. If you have a favourite, or even a less than successful variety of a plant and would like to include it in the series then please leave a comment with a link below. I have created a page (above, just below the header) with an Index of all the Spotlights to date. I will add links to any new posts below and in next weeks post as well as ensuring they appear in the Index.
New Spotlights last week were:
Red Kuri or Potimaron Squash – My Little Garden Project
Melons – Bek’s Backyard
and from this week:
Summer Perfection Spinach – From Seed to Table
Red Ursa Kale – Our Happy Acres