Here is the Sara's Galapagos Tomato, Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme. This tomato originates from Galapagos Islands and was brought back by Amy Goldman and her daughter Sara Goldman. Carolyn Male requested that Amy bring back some of the wild tomatoes from the islands and so she did but they were not the golden varieties Carolyn was expecting. This is an interspecies cross most likely a cross between a S. pimpinellifolium x S. cheesmanii which is a stable variety according to Dr. Chatelet at the Tomato Genetics Resource Center at University of California. Solanum pimpinellifolium has been well known to have invaded the Galapagos Islands centuries ago. The fruits are a current type with a red skin and red flesh inside that gets to about .5 inches round and weighing around .25 oz. The thing about this variety is the plants can be difficult to grow and don't get as large as regular pimps! Plants can get to 5 feet tall and bushy in really good soil but plants tend to get to 3.5 feet tall. Great for salads, eating fresh and for tomato sauce! Open pollinated indeterminate regular leaf mid season 65-78 days.
Sara's Galapagos Tomato
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1) Prepare for planting. Sprout tomato seeds in small containers, preferably 4" or smaller. In-ground germination is not recommended. Use a standard potting mix that is well drained. Start seeds in containers approximately 8 weeks prior to the planned set-out date. Plants should ultimately be transplanted to the garden 1-2 weeks after the expected date of last frost.
2) Plant seeds. Plant seeds 1/4" deep in the soil. Cover with soil and water carefully. Overwatering can cause fungal growth which leads to seed rot. Excess water can also bury seeds deep in the soil where they will not be able break the surface. Water when the soil surface just begins to dry. Multiple seeds can be planted in a single starter container, but should be thinned once seedlings appear so only a single plant remains. Seeds do not require light for germination but some light source should be provided for seedlings once they emerge from the soil.
3) Germination. Soil should be kept consistently warm, from 70-85F. Cool soils, below about 60-65F, even just at night, will significantly delay or inhibit germination. Hot soils above 95F will also inhibit germination.
4) Care of seedlings. Once a few true leaves have developed, seedlings should be slowly moved outside (if sprouted indoors) to ambient light. Care should be taken not to expose seedlings to direct, scorching sun so plants may need to be hardened off via slow sun exposure. Hardening off can be done using a shaded or filtered light location, as well as protection from strong winds, rain or low humidity. Hardening off time varies, but can take 5-10 days.
5) Planting out. Plant in the ground once danger of frost has past and daytime temperatures consistently reach 65F. Plants can be spaced as close as 24" apart. Germination time: 1-3 weeks under ideal conditions.