Tomato, Sunchocola Hybrid
Sweet, smoky flavored cherry tomato. Very productive.
Days To Maturity
6-8 weeks BLF
Plant Shipping Information
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How to Sow and Plant
- Sow tomato seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost in spring using a seed starting kit
- Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed-starting formula
- Keep the soil moist at 75 degrees F
- Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Planting in the Garden:
- Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Make sure you did not grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes in the bed the previous year to avoid disease problems.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Tomatoes should be set 30-48 inches apart in a row with the rows spaced 3-4 feet apart. It can be tempting to space tomatoes more closely at planting time, but if you plant too closely you will increase the chance of disease, and decrease yields.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development.
- Tomatoes can be planted deeply, with the stem buried to the first set of leaves. The more deeply they are planted the more roots will form, providing the plant with additional support and better ability to take up nutrients. Some gardeners plant tomatoes by digging a horizontal trench and laying the plant in the trench with the top 2-4 inches of the plant pointing upward.
- Fill the planting hole with soil to the top and press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker. This is particularly important if you are trying different varieties. It is very difficult to tell which variety is which from the foliage.
- Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
- Place your plant support at this time. You can try tomato cages or staking. Unsupported plants will sprawl on the ground, require no pruning, and will probably produce a larger yield of smaller fruit than will staked plants. For larger, cleaner, more perfect fruits, support plants as they grow. Growing on stakes: Place strong stakes in the ground and set plants about 6 inches from the stakes. Growing in cages: Place a cage around a single plant; let the vines grow and enlarge within the cage, no pruning will be necessary
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. This is especially important for tomatoes as their roots may be easily damaged when weeding, and this can lead to blossom end rot.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- If growing on stakes: As the plants grow, allow only one or two main stems to grow and pinch out any other side shoots as they form. Gently tie the one or two remaining shoots to the stake; don't pull them tightly against the stake. If growing in cages, no pruning is necessary.
- Whether to remove the side shoots, or suckers, that grow out of the leaf axils or not depends on the support system used. Gardeners using stakes usually snap off these side shoots. They typically get earlier and larger tomatoes but overall production tends to be less. If tomatoes are grown in cages, the suckers are generally left on, although it's a good idea to pinch the tip out of them when they are 6-8 inches long. Regardless you may want to remove all the growth from the bottom 6-10 inches of the plant. This helps to improve air circulation and reduce the spread of diseases such as early blight. Wait until the plants are knee-high. In the morning when the plants have the most water in them, snap off the lower growth while it is small. Any plants that look sick with distorted foliage or have a mosaic pattern on the leaves should be removed as they may have a virus that can spread to the other plants. It is best to do this early in the season.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
Harvesting and Preserving Tips
- Determinate tomato plants ripen a heavy crop over a few weeks. Indeterminate varieties bear fruit continuously till frost. Remember that the days to harvest refers to the time from setting out transplants in the garden.
- Pick tomatoes when they are as ripe as possible. They should be fully colored and firm and picked regularly to avoid overloading plants.
- At the end of the season, when you know there will be a frost, pick all the almost-ripe tomatoes you can, and ripen them in brown bags or spread on newspapers at room temperature. Many cultivars will store for months. Store only sound fruit, at 50-60°F. Do NOT refrigerate and try to avoid having the fruit touch each other.
- The foliage of tomatoes is toxic and should not be eaten.
- Tomato fruits are enjoyed in many cooked dishes as a flavoring. Use them to make soups, sauces, stews, ketchup, paste, juice, quiche, and pies. Add them to curries, casseroles, and chutney.
Days To Maturity67 daysFruit Weight1-2 ouncesSunFull SunSpread48 inchesHeight70 inchesSow MethodIndoor SowPlanting TimeSpringSow Time6-8 weeks BLFThin6 inchesLife CycleAnnual
Tomato, Sunchocola Hybrid is rated out of 5 by 9.Rated 5 out of 5 by JSFarms from Definite repeat I have another order for these Sunchocola Hybrids sitting in my shopping cart as I type! They were a hit in my container garden: The plants grew to be huge, with tons of tomatoes that were both beautiful and delicious (and still producing in late September). The tomatoes themselves were larger in size than I was expecting, and I worried that maybe they'd have a blander flavor than the smaller Sweetheart of the Patios I was growing, but in fact, their taste has a sweet little kick to it. We love them! Due to the slightly stripy almost greenish tint near the top, it's a little tricky to tell when they're ready to pick, but I just gently tug on them, and if they're ready to go, they come off easily. If they don't come off easily, I give them more time.Date published: 2015-09-28Rated 5 out of 5 by GarnkirkGardener from My Favorite Tomato I tried growing chocolate cherry tomatoes a few years ago.They were delicious, but I only got a few tomatoes...so disappointing. After reading that Sunchocola was very similar and a good producer, I decided to order three plants. They were the best tasting tomatoes I have ever grown and one of the most prolific. I will definitely order these next year from Burpee.Date published: 2015-08-28Rated 5 out of 5 by SaffronKitty from Wow--great tomato! I grew several different kinds of tomatoes this year and this one was definitely one of the better ones. As far as ease of growing goes, it was easily the fastest and strongest growing of all of my tomatoes. It seems like it doesn't have any problems so far with disease, whereas some of my other tomatoes look yellowing or having spots. While this wasn't the first plant to give me ripe tomatoes this year, it was still quick to produce mature fruit, and the fruit themselves were delicious. They are sweet and not too acidic, and very flavorful. I highly recommend this tomato!Date published: 2015-07-06Rated 5 out of 5 by SteveS from My top tomato this year As always I grow several varieties of tomatoes in my garden. This year I added Sunchoco for the first time, and I am so glad I did. This one of the largest and best tasting of the cherry tomatoes I have ever grown. It has outgrown every plant in my garden. This plant is a very heavy producer, easily outperforming all the others in my garden. Lastly, this year has been an exceptionally hot and all my tomato plants are struggling. The Sunchoco is holding up the best.Date published: 2015-06-28Rated 5 out of 5 by Robyn from OMG!!!!!!!!! These are the best tomatoes These are the best tomatoes I have ever eaten in my life!! Its funny, I give them to my neighbors and I wait for the text....."What kind of tomatoes are those little brownish ones" hahaha I take them to work and gave some to my boss and he comes rushing to my office bright eyed saying "Those tomatoes are exceptional" I will probably be planting on these tomatoes for the rest of my life!! All my other varieties are going to waste. I get about 30 new ripe tomatoes every day AND they were VERY early to get ripe in the Spring...3-4 weeks before my other tomatoes. I really hope Burpee continues to sell these seeds. You will NOT be disappointed with these tomatoes. Very nice size too.Date published: 2014-07-29Rated 5 out of 5 by Kona14 from One of Our Favorites We have grown this variety for two years straight and love them! Last year we planted only one plant in a very small plot and had more tomatoes than we could consume (2 people). Very prolific plant that will need your attention in not spreading all over the place. However, the production of tomatoes lasted from early July through mid-October. Great flavor and size.Date published: 2014-03-10Rated 5 out of 5 by PackersBabe04 from Very Plentiful & Delicious It didn't take long for these goodies to sprout. Once, they start growing, weekly watering and Miracle Gro (every now and again) will give you tons. Delicious and nutritious right off the vine.Date published: 2014-01-27Rated 5 out of 5 by HammerCoach from Amazing find This is the first cherry tomato I have enjoyed. My husband loves them, but I always have found them sweet, but lacking in flavor; not this one. Truth in advertising, though, it is not a plant that tops out at 70 inches. I have mine in an 8 foot mesh cage, and the vines have come over the top and back down the sides all the way to the soil. Amazing growth and thousands of tomatoes off three plants. We have enough for the entire block!Date published: 2013-09-30