Photo by Manfred Sause (CC BY-SA 3.0).
Scientific Name: Solanum lycopersicum
Common Names: Tomato 'Tigerella', Tomato 'Tiger Tom'
Exactly when and by whom the heirloom tigerella tomato variety was first developed is contested, but it's likely an English variety bred sometime between 1930 and 1959.
This variety yields high quantities of small to medium-sized fruits, each up to about 100g in weight. It's a decorative, striped, red and yellow-skinned variety that can add colour when used raw in various dishes. Ideal chopped in half and added to salads. Tigerella tomatoes have a rich, sweet but also somewhat tangy flavour. The flesh of this variety is juicy with a tender, thin skin.
For optimum fruit production and quick ripening choose a growing location that receives full sunlight. Gardeners in warmer climates may instead prefer to grow tomatoes in a lightly shaded location to reduce heat stress on plants. If your soil is lacking in organic matter place down a layer of compost or well-rotted manure over the soil prior to sowing or planting starts. Tomato plants have what is known as adventitious roots, meaning they can be planted deeply in the soil and new roots will form from any of the buried hairs along the stem. So if planting starts be sure to plant them deeply, up to the level of the seed leaves (cotyledons), for a better developed root system that will help stabilise the plants and be better able to uptake nutrients from the surrounding soil. Apply a top dressing of a complete organic fertiliser if growth is slow or at the first sign of any nutrient deficiencies. Tigerella is an indeterminate climbing heirloom tomato variety so be sure to weave it through a sturdy trellis to provide support and keep any fruit off the ground. Avoid watering the leaves to reduce fungal diseases such as tomato leaf blight. Mulch around plants and remove any of the lower leaves and suckers as your tomato plants grow to reduce splash-back of fungal spores from the soil during watering. Tigerella tomatoes ripen well even when grown in cooler climates. This variety has good disease resistance and the fruit are unlikely to split if watering is kept consistent as they are ripening.
When to Sow:
In temperate areas of Australia sow tigerella tomato seeds anytime during Spring, as soon as any chance of frost has past. In frost-free, subtropical areas of Australia sow tigerella tomato seeds from early Autumn to early Spring. In tropical areas of Australia sow tigerella tomato seeds during the dry season, from late Autumn to mid Winter is best.
How to Sow:
Sow tigerella tomato seeds 6mm deep. Space seeds or plant starts about 60cm apart to give the tomato vines enough room to spread. For maximum plant vigour sow a couple of tomato seeds per hole and thin to the healthiest seedlings after a few weeks growth.
Tigerella tomato seeds will take between 7 and 13 days to germinate.
Time to Harvest:
Tigerella is an early variety producing ripe tomatoes 12 to 15 weeks after sowing.