Everglades Cherry Tomato (solanum pimpinellifolium) 30 seeds
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Everglades cherry tomatoes are a cult favorite down here in South Florida, and for good reason. Legend has it that these were found "growing wild" throughout the everglades, and after their discovery the seeds were saved and distributed by local gardeners who were looking for a tomato that could stand the extreme heat and humidity of a South Florida summer. Nowadays they're a staple in summer and winter gardens throughout the area. Their tiny size makes them adorable for use in salads, as garnish, and as snacks, and their sweet tase make them irresistible. These wild cherry tomatoes make large highly branched plants that are best grown in a wild and non-trellised fashion. If allowed to grow like a groundcover, left to sprawl and crawl along the ground they can make enormous plants with hundreds of fruit clusters on one plant!
Allow a few clusters of Everglades cherry tomatoes to stay on the plant and they will happily reseed themselves year after year. If you'd like to save the seeds instead just choose a few very ripe fruits, squeeze the insides out into a jar with water, allow it to ferment for a few days (this simulated the digestive system of an animal and will break down the mucilaginous coating around the seed) and then dry on a towel.
Despite its tolerance of the tropical heat Everglades cherry tomatoes can be grown anywhere where all other tomato varieties are. A tip for harvesting the tiny sweet fruits: instead of picking fruit by fruit, cut the entire cluster off the vine when all the fruit is most of the way ripe. Alternatively, break the fruit off of the vine one by one with their little green hat on (the technical term is "peduncle") since the fruits skin tends to rip when its removed hastily.
Planting and growing tips: plant seeds 1/4 inch deep in premoistened potting mix in a small pot or seedling tray. Keep cells moist in partial shade until germination, when they can be moved to full sun exposure. Seeds take 5-10 days to germinate. Our tomato seeds have just about 100% germination and aren't finnicky so if none of them sprout you may have a technical issue at hand. Make sure your pot or seedling trays arent too wet or you will rot the soft sided seeds before they have a chance to germinate. Everglades cherry tomatoes do best in full sun not just for the energy it needs for photosynthesis but also to help combat fungal issues caused by humidity and damp shady environments. Everglades tomatoes also get very large and have sprawling growth habits so we recommend using them like a groundcover (think pumpkin or sweet potato growth pattern) instead of trying to manage and trellis them.
All seeds were harvested from our urban farm and plant nursery in 2022. Seed packages are hand silkscreened by Gold Teeth Brooklyn, a handmade stationery company based in Los Angeles.
Seeds have been tested for reliable germination in our nursery at 80 degree daytime temperatures. We recommend using them within 1 year of date of purchase.