By Kathy Widenhouse, award-winning writer and owner of Tomato Dirt, a leading online source of for growing tomatoes in the home garden.
Sweet 100 Tomato is a hybrid cherry variety that produces incredibly tasty fruit. Some aficionados are so enamored with the taste that they call Sweet 100s “vine candy” and eat cherries straight off the plant.
They're often used for snacking and salads but are suitable for cooking, freezing, and even pickling, too.
But the “100” part of the name is a misnomer in the sense that it’s too modest. Most plants of this variety produce not one hundred, but rather hundreds of fruit. If you’re looking for large volume from one or two plants to last you all season, look no further. Long clusters produce up to one hundred cherry tomatoes on that stalk alone.
Bottom line: Sweet 100 has become a staple in the home garden because fruit are tasty and plants produce large quantities for a long time throughout the season.
The variety has a reputation for being overwhelmingly prolific – and versatile, too. Plants produce in a wide variety of climates, which is especially good news for gardeners in hot areas as Sweet 100 is overwhelmingly drought- and heat-tolerant. Garden centers and online suppliers also distribute an improved version of Sweet 100, aptly named Super Sweet 100.
Few complaints dog the Sweet 100. Of them, cracking is the most common – as is the case with most cherry tomatoes – especially after heavy rain. You can stave off cracking by watering evenly and by picking fruit before it is over-red or over-ripe.
Sweet 100 was developed by Northrup-King Seed Company in MN, now a division of Syngenta. Because the tomato seed business is very competitive, hybrid tomato parentage (especially for varieties developed during the most recent few decades) is carefully guarded. Having said that, speculation is strong that among Sweet 100’s parents is heirloom tomato Gardener’s Delight.
Plant seedlings where they will have plenty of room. The plant can get to be very, very large – up to four feet across and 10 feet high.
It’s probably a good idea to cage or stake Sweet 100 to prevent sprawling and to let light into interior clusters. (Check out different tomato cages to find the right ones for you and your garden - or make your own.)
This is not the best variety to grow in containers even though it will produce. It simply gets too big. If containers are your only option, make sure yours is a minimum of 10 gallons, preferably larger.
Sweet 100’s strong traits have been replicated in other tomato varieties. The variety has been used to breed:
Peacevine Cherry Tomato: an open-pollinated (OP) version of the hybrid Sweet 100, Peacevine was developed in the 1980s by famed breeder and first Research Director of Seeds of Change Alan Kapuler. In tests analyzed by Rutgers University among 30 cherry tomatoes, Peacevine demonstrated the highest vitamin C content and an unusually high presence of gamma-amino butyric acid, a body sedative that calms jitters.
Rideau Sweet: stabilized from an OP Sweet 100 F1 hybrid by Ken Allan of Kingston, ON in the early 1990s.
Super Sweet 100: Sweet 100’s cousin, bred by Northrup, King for even stronger disease resistance (VFN) than its older relative. It largely replaces the original Sweet 100 in the home garden marketplace.
|Sweet 100 Tomato|
|Days to maturity: 68-70 days|
|Foliage/habit: Regular leaf|
|Fruit color: scarlet|
|Fruit shape/size: cherry, ½ - 1 inch|
|Taste: very sweet|
|Other notes: High in vitamin C. Produces large volumes of fruit until frost.|
Tomato Disease Resistance Codes
V Verticillium Wilt
F Fusarium Wilt
FF Fusarium, races 1 and 2
FFF Fusarium, races 1, 2, and 3
T Tobacco Mosaic Virus
St Stemphylium (Gray Leaf Spot)
TSWV Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus
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