Two of the most popular orange cherry tomato hybrids are Sun Sugar (sometimes sold as Sunsugar) and Sungold (less commonly sold as Sun Gold) and for good reason. They’re both similar in size, color, and productivity, and both are prized for their sweet and tangy flavor, regularly topping lists for most delicious cherry tomatoes.
The biggest difference between the two is that Sungold tomatoes are more prone to splitting when ripe, owing to their very thin skin. Read below to know more about the differences between these two incredible varieties.
Sun Sugar vs. Sungold: The Similarities
Sun Sugar and Sungold are remarkably similar to each other, and their similarities are what makes them both equally popular in the garden.
- Flavor: Both are intensely flavored with high levels of sugar and some tartness. Some gardeners prefer the taste of Sun Sugar while others consider Sungold to be their favorite.
- Productivity and Maturity: Both varieties are renowned for their production, yielding clusters upon clusters of juicy, orange tomatoes. Like many cherry tomatoes, they are both early varieties with similar days to maturity (60 to 67 days).
- Growth Habit: Sun Sugar and Sungold grow as indeterminate (vine) tomato plants. They are both very vigorous growers and can easily take over a space if not pruned.
- Disease Resistance: Both varieties boast resistance to Verticillium wilt (V) and Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV), while Sungold has additional resistance to Fusarium wilt (F).
The biggest difference between Sun Sugar and Sungold is their resistance to splitting.
Both varieties have a thin skin, but the skin of Sungold cherry tomatoes is especially delicate, so they are very prone to splitting when fully ripe. It’s not unusual to see several Sungold tomatoes split from top to bottom after a light rain. They are still perfectly edible, but split tomatoes will spoil more quickly. In contrast, Sun Sugar is more split resistant, owing to its slightly thicker skin (which is still quite thin).
What to Do if Your Sungold (or Sun Sugar) Tomatoes Are Splitting
Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do to prevent splitting entirely when growing Sungolds. Generally, you want to keep your Sungold tomatoes evenly watered, and use mulch to avoid the soil drying out so it stays evenly moist. Going between extreme dry and wet periods will increase the chance of splitting in all tomatoes, not just Sungolds.
For notorious splitters like Sungolds, your best bet is to pick them when partially ripe and let them finish ripening on the kitchen counter. This is especially important if you are expecting heavy rain that day, as that will almost guarantee some splitting.
If your Sungold or Sun Sugar tomatoes have already split while still on the plant, pick them immediately. They are still safe to eat, but will spoil more quickly and attract pests.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, both varieties are comparable in every way, except that ripe Sungold cherry tomatoes are more prone to splitting than Sun Sugar tomatoes, which have a slightly thicker skin. The flavor of both is intensely sweet with the right level of tartness, both are extremely productive and vigorous plants that ripen early, and both have similar disease resistances.
So, if you’re already growing Sungolds and are looking for a more split-resistant variety, try growing Sun Sugar. If splitting is not an issue for you, grow both and see which one does better in your garden, and which one you prefer flavor-wise.
Get Sun Sugar and Sungold Seeds
Sun Sugar seeds:
Hoss Tools (US), UF Seeds (US), Seeds ‘n Such (US), Trade Winds Fruit (US), Tomato Growers Supply Co. (US), Totally Tomatoes (US), T&T Seeds (Canada), William Dam Seeds (Canada), Halifax Seed (Canada), JungleSeeds (UK)
Johnny’s Selected Seeds (US), Renee’s Garden (US), Burpee (US), Territorial Seed Company (US), Trade Winds Fruit (US), Veseys (Canada), West Coast Seeds (Canada), Simply Seed (UK), Premier Seeds Direct (UK), Mr. Fothergill’s (UK)