Here is your opportunity to grow
something very different and worthwhile.
Forget conventional ways of growing tomatoes
with this species that is exclusive to ourselves.
Unlike ordinary tomatoes you can use the fruit
not only like tomato but like plums in desserts
and pies. It makes delicious jam too.
Although it looks much like a medium-sized tomato,
the tree tomato is not a true tomato.
Tasting somewhat like a tomato,
it is usually eaten with sugar or boiled
to make a popular and refreshing drink.
An extremely fast growing shrub to 2-3m.
Flowers are self-pollinating, and tree tomatoes
may bear from seed in just over a year.
Although it does better in climates where
the temperature stays above 50F,
the tree tomato is subtropical and will bear fruit
in cooler climates. Hardy to 25F.
Requires lots of water and good drainage-
-standing water will kill the plant in just a few days.
Makes an excellent container plant in cold climates.
Propagating Cyphomandra Betacea from seed is quite
straight forward. Surface sow the seeds
on sterile compost. If germinated in cool conditions,
the initial growth rate is a bit slow.
For this reason it is better to wait until
early spring before sowing seeds. Water the newly
germinated tree tomato seedlings sparingly at first.
The stems are prone to rot if over watered.
This can also happen to more mature plants
growing in the ground. If watering is withheld
the plant will usually recover. Cyphomandra Betacea
is equally happy in shade (not gloom) or sun,
but will grow larger in sunnier conditions.
As with most plants grown for the tropical effect,
mix plenty of home-made compost and
composted manure into the planting hole
for best performance.
Here you go folks, yet another
suggestion from an Old Fart
of a practical fruit for your
garden….I have also planted
2 seeds of the yellow variety
on 2 large pots.
Let’s see how I go ??