Do you want a change in your tomato variety for next season? You could try Momotaro, an extremely sweet, juicy, and slightly acidic tomato. Additionally, it has a tangy flavor, attractive color, and average fruit size. For that reason, it has become increasingly popular in the market.
So, how do you grow Momotaro tomato?
You grow Momotaro tomatoes outdoors by transplanting them with a height of around 6 inches and having at least three leaves. Like any other tomato, you need to plant them in suitable soil and provide the necessary care. Also, you should space your plants well and in a well-lit area.
Go through our in-depth Momotaro review as we shed more light on this fantastic tomato variety. Let’s get started.
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What Is A Momotaro Tomato?
A Momotaro tomato is a hybrid and popular variety in the Japanese market. It’s a development of Takii Seed Company in Japan. The indeterminate type of tomato produces an attractive red-pink color and has good mid-size fruit. You can expect 6-8 ounces of fruit weight.
Moreover, this tomato has a well-balanced sweetness and tanginess, making it a leader in most tomato tasting contests.
Tracing its origin in Japan, it’s the most grown tomato variety in this region. The farmers named it after the tough, famous Japanese folklore-born boy, Momotaro, adding to its popularity. Thus, Tough Boy is the other name given to this tomato.
What Are The Features Of A Momotaro Tomato?
Several features single out Momotaro tomato from the other hybrid tomatoes besides its unforgettable taste. These include:
- Momotaro grows throughout its growing season due to its indeterminate nature. It can go up to 6 feet tall.
- It’s a sturdy tomato variety, highly resistant to diseases such as tomato mosaic virus, nematodes, stemphylium and verticillium, and fusarium race 1.
- It has a shorter maturity period of about 70 days. Other hybrids go up to 80 days.
- Momotaro produces 7- fruit clusters, with each fruit weighing 8 ounces.
- This variety has thick-skinned tomatoes that are crack resistant.
After knowing what makes Momotaro tomato win the farmers’ hearts, I’m sure your want to have a share of this incredible experience. Unfortunately, this variety is scarce outside the Japanese territories. Even so, its seeds are available, and you can plant some in your vegetable garden.
How Do You Grow Momotaro Tomato?
You grow Momotaro tomatoes by planting them in the correct soil type and providing the necessary maintenance. Although all tomatoes require proper care, the hybrid variety needs more attention, and Momotaro is one of them.
Fortunately, we’re here to show you how to go about it!
Growing Momotaro The Right Way
To harvest good quality Momotaro tomatoes at the end of your growing season, consider the following tips.
- Planting time
- Seed germination
- Seed transplanting
- Light and temperature
- Soil and spacing
- Plant support
- Watering and fertilizing
- Pruning and maintenance
- Maturity period
Read on to know what you should do with the above growing conditions in relation to the Momotaro tomato.
1. Planting Time
Like other tomatoes, Momotaro thrives in warm climatic conditions. Hence, you should plant your tomatoes in late spring to early summer when the soil is warm enough. This period is between March and April, with temperatures slightly above 60 °F (15 °C) all day. It’s advisable to germinate your seeds indoors before this time to avoid late planting.
2. Seed Germination
Put nutrients balanced soil mix in compostable seed pots and place a single seed in each. Mix the soil gently and ensure a temperature range of 70 °F – 80 °F (21 °C to 27 °C). Leave them to germinate indoors, and the seedlings should be out in 7-10 days.
Transfer your seedlings to a larger pot without removing them from the compostable pot to prevent root damage. Simply dig a hole at the center and place your seedling; the small pot will eventually decompose. Transfer your seeds outdoor once they’re ready.
3. Seedling Transplanting
You should transfer your seedlings when they’re about 6 inches and with at least three leaves. Observe the temperature pattern for at least one week before transplanting to ensure it’s constantly above 60 °F (15 °C).
Additionally, you need to exercise extra care when transferring your seedlings. The young Momotaro plants are very fragile. They also suffer motion stress that can lead to bushy plants with only a few fruits.
4. Light And Temperature
Momotaro is a full sun tomato variety. Therefore, you should plant them so they can get at least 6 hours of sun exposure every day. Nonetheless, this plant won’t do well in extremely high temperatures beyond 86 °F (30 °C). Even worse is when temperatures exceed 95 °F (35 °C). Why? Your plants bear no fruit as the heat destroys all the pollen.
5. Soil And Spacing
This tomato’s soil requirements don’t differ from other tomatoes. It does excellent in well-drained soil with balanced nutrients.
Its PH should range from 6.0 to 7.0. Moreover, you should dig out a 1-foot depth of your garden soil and well-rotted manure or compost for strong and healthy growth of your plants.
Also, your plants need enough spreading area and adequate air circulation. Hence you need to space them 18 inches apart, and their rows should be 48 inches distant.
5. Plant Support
Since Momotaro is an indeterminate plant, it requires support to achieve maximum productivity. This tomato grows continuously throughout the growing season and can go up to 8 feet tall. Therefore, using a climbing trellis to support it boosts its health by preventing bending or breaking.
Be sure to put your support system in place before transplanting to avoid plant disturbance in the future.
6. Watering And Fertilizing
Water your tomatoes early in the morning, once a week in cool temperatures, and once in three days during summer. Also, water directly at the plants’ base without wetting the foliage to avoid attracting fungi infections. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
The ideal fertilizer is in liquid form, and you should apply it once per month. It’s also advisable to use tomato fertilizers, rich in phosphorus and potassium, with a low nitrogen ratio. High nitrogen content in the soil causes nonproductivity by producing excessively leafy plants with little yield.
7. Pruning And Maintenance
Momotaro tomato plants grow very fast after being established. For that reason, you need to prune them regularly to keep their health in check. When you remove the unnecessary vines and leaves, there is minimal competition for the available nutrients.
Also, you should start trimming your plants once they get to a 3 feet height. Momotaro tomatoes are indeterminate, and trimming is necessary. Remove the old bottom leaves as the plant continues to grow to prevent pests’ attacks and provide sufficient air circulation. That keeps fungi infections at bay.
8. Maturity Period
This tomato variety matures earlier than most tomato types. You can expect to have your harvest 70 to 80 days after planting the seeds. It has a cluster form of fruit-bearing where one has 6-7 tomatoes, and each fruit is about 8 ounces. It has a light red-pink color, when fully ripe.
Since it’s an indeterminate tomato, it yields fruits continuously, the entire growing season. And Momotaro plant can supply fresh tomatoes for up to three months if you live in a warm area. If you wish to store them, they can go up to 2 weeks in your fridge’s vegetable drawer.
Furthermore, the Momotaro tomato is an annual plant, and you can rid of the vines at the end of the growing season. If it still has some unripe tomatoes, leave them on the cut vine, and they’ll eventually ripen.
Is Momotaro Tomato Heirloom?
No, the Momotaro tomato isn’t an heirloom variety. It’s the Japanese favorite and the most grown hybrid tomato in the region. Tough Boy is an indeterminate tomato, growing up to 8 feet tall. Additionally, its fruits are beefsteak and have a thick skin, rose pink in color.
Why Are My Momotaro Tomatoes Not Blossoming Properly?
Your Momotaro tomatoes aren’t blossoming properly due to poor climatic conditions and lack of proper care. These include excess heat or cold, inadequate light, poor pollination, a soggy state of the soil, and low nutrient levels in the soil.
It could also be that nitrogen levels are too high in the soil, causing more leaves to grow while only a few fruits yield.
What Is The Best-Tasting Tomato?
The best-tasting tomato is Brandywine. It’s well-balanced in sweetness and acidity, and in combination with its superb natural tomato taste, it makes up a great flavor. However, the growing conditions determine the excellence of this taste.
There’s no doubt that Momotaro is among the most delicious tomato varieties! The Japanese hybrid is super sweet and tangy and leaves an unforgettable taste in your mouth.
Since it’s indeterminate, this tomato grows continuously, offering a good and bountiful harvest. You’ll enjoy fresh tomatoes straight from your garden throughout the growing season. However, you need to accord it the necessary care to produce healthy fruits.
Use the right soil type and keep it moist, allow enough sun exposure, prune, and space your plants appropriately.
Obtaining the ‘tough boy’ name from its disease and pests resistance capability, the Momotaro tomato is a great variety. Plant it today.