Katinka Tomato

Katinka Tomato
Katinka Tomato
Solanum lycopersicum
Grown in 2010
January 2013 germination 95%
Packet = around 40 seeds

Grown in 2010
January 2013 germination 95%
Packet = around 40 seeds

This orange-gold cherry tomato produces early, even in cool weather, but needs some heat to develop its fullest tart/sweet flavor. The plants are almost as pretty as Sweet Baby Girl—perfect for the back of a container on a sunny deck, fronted by peppers perhaps. The flavor just gets better as the season progresses, right up until hard frost.

We tried Katinka in the search for an open-pollinated orange cherry tomato with a flavor to match the “gold” standard of the hybrid Sungold. Early in an exceptionally cool summer, Katinka disappointed – not much flavor and a slightly tough skin. I was ready to write this one off, until the weather heated up and so did Katinka, with a bright tart sweetness that made me no longer notice the skin. Into the fall, Katinka kept producing intensely flavorful fruit, right up until a hard frost browned all the leaves and I dragged the plants into the chicken yard so the hens could feast on the remaining golden fruits.

Culture: Start seeds indoors six weeks before last frost. They’ll need to be caged or staked or grown where they can trail over a tall container. Good soil, full sun, a warm spot if grown in cooler climates.

Saving seed: You’ll need to separate this variety from other heirloom tomatoes by 150 feet. One hundred feet will do if there are significant barriers like buildings or dense tall plants in between. Save seeds from a minimum of 10 plants.

You can eat your tomatoes and save seeds too. Just wait until they are very ripe (over-ripe is fine for seed-saving too). Scoop seeds and the gelatinous goop around them into a container and set the mess aside until the top is covered with mold (2-7 days, depending on temperatures). Then rinse well and dry the seeds on a screen or wax paper. The seeds have a protective coating that keeps them from germinating while still inside the juicy fruit; enzymes in the mold dissolve that coating.