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
Tigerella has never been in my tomato lineup, but it sounds like perhaps it should be given a chance. Too late this year, all the seeds are sown and growing up quickly. Last year, and again this year, I’m growing Jaune Flamme, a small orange French heirloom tomato that is utterly delicious. Apricot sized and colored, and fruity tasting also. It wasn’t really all that productive, but it is so good tasting that it earned its space in the garden.
I will have to seek out Jaune Flamme – I like the sound of a nice orange coloured tomato.
I’ve heard many good things about Tigerella so it is definitely on my list for tomatoes to grow next summer. I’m a big fan of Garden Peach which is about golf ball size, a lovely peachy-yellow colour, delicious and productive.
Sold – I will definitely give it a try.
I have grown Tigerella before and they were great. Then I went off growing them in fruit fly Sydney…. but now I am fruit fly free I will give them another gow. I too have heard of Jaune Flamme and admired its fab orangeness – its one I might add to the list of seeds to purchase. Thanks for your summary of them.
Orange is good – I think its my favourite colour at the moment. I’m thinking this year I might try a range of apricot sized fruit with a view to eating a lot of salad (my parents usually have more than enough tomatoes for preserving).
Tigerella sounds good, but I already have way more tomato plants than I need this year… maybe next year. My favourite tomatoes to grow tend to be those bred to do well in cool, grey climates (probably not something you’re looking for in Melbourne) – ‘Alaskan Fancy’ has worked well, and tastes good too.
Do you know I’m still trying to work out which varieties are best suited to Melbourne’s slightly humid yet very varied summer weather. One day I will crack it though, until then I’m enjoying trying them all.
I often grow Tigerella. It is a good, tasty productive tomato. I also grew Jaune Flamme this year and much preferred Tigrella in taste. But my stand out favourite is the Green Zebra. Mine came to nothing this year. Luckily for me though the guy selling tomatoes at my farmers markets had better success and he kept me stocked all summer.
I was planning on growing Green Zebra this year although my understanding is that they might prefer a warmer climate than mine. I like the flavour of them too so it think its worth giving them a go.
Thanks for introducing me to Tigerella! I’ve never even heard of it before, but it seems as though it’s worth trying 🙂
I like it very much.
Yes, I grow Tigerella quite frequently – I have a couple of plants on the go this year. I have found all the “-gella” tomatoes to be pretty good. For instance Sungella, which is like a larger Sungold, though yellow rather than gold – very much like apricots, in fact! It would take a lot to wean me away from “Maskotka” now. It is a variety particularly suited to growing in containers – a rather unruly bush type. The plant is not huge, but it produces large crops of very tasty red fruits, which are bigger than the cherry types, but not not as big as the average “salad” type. I imagine they would be ideal for kids’ lunchboxes. My granddaughter certainly adores them.
Maskotka sounds interesting I will have to see if I can get seeds here.
I sowed some tigerella seeds before I went off to Borneo Island. Luckily when I returned it was just a few variety type of seeds that stayed alive with neglect. Just transplanted it to a permanent batch. Tigerella used to self-seeded at my old garden and it fruits much earlier than other tomato varieties that we were growing. We usually enjoyed tigerella first before the other tomato starts to form fruits.
I sowed my plant a little late last year so my fruits weren’t any earlier than the other varieties. I will be interested to see how much difference it makes sowing them with the other varieties.
Oh forgot to inform you, that we like to join in next Saturday Spotlight.
I had grown Tigerella last year, and it was indeed sweet and productive!
Great isn’t it – I’m just in the process of putting together my list for this year and it was the first one I wrote down.
I am also growing Tigerella for the first time this year. I am also trying Bloody Butcher, Wapsipinicon Peach and Black Zebra. They are all apricot size tomatoes. In the past I have grown Jaune Flamme, Red Lightning and Red Zebra. I love Jaune Flamme, I now grow it every year.
I am also growing Tigerella this year. Some others I am growing for the first time are Wapsipinicon Peach, Bloody Butcher, Black Zebra, and Green Zebra. They are all apricot size. My favorite apricot size tomato is Jaune Flamme.
Sorry I reposted I didn’t think my first post went through.
I just sowed some Jaune Flamme seeds today and am really looking forward to seeing how it does for me.
I grew Tigerella for the first time last year here in Geelong and became an instant convert. Although I only had the one plant, it was my most successful one in terms of length of harvest – picked the first ripe fruit just prior to Christmas and continued to produce fruit through to April, and in terms of yield overall. Yes there are other tomatoes which I think are tastier – Rouge De Marmande and Hillbilly are my favourites but Tigerella seems to be a reliable good performer and on current form will have a place in my patch for the years to come.
Glad it did well for you too Todd. I too really enjoy eating Rouge de Marmande but having said that I do like the truly tomato flavour of tigerella. I have some seedlings coming along nicely on my daughters window sill. I keep looking at them longingly. I do miss nice tomatoes at this time of the year.