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Pineapple Tomato Plant Care – A Definitive Guide

Pineapple Tomato Plant Care – A Definitive Guide

If you’re thinking Pineapple Tomatoes taste like Pineapples, then you might be on the wrong track. 

Pineapple Tomatoes share the looks of a Pineapple indeed; being a two-colored beefsteak tomato, their outer ribbed appearance resembles that of a Pineapple. 

They are an intensely sweet variety with occasional tartness. The average fruit size affords them a place in the list of large tomatoes

Pineapple Tomatoes are a wonderful mix of vibrant red and yellow colors suspended on shiny fruit flesh. 

With primarily yellow shoulders, the ribbed fruits turn red as we move down the body of the fruit. 

The transition of yellow to red sees a tinge of orange hanging around the middle of the fruit, making it really attractive to the eye. 

Prepare yourself for yet another colorful surprise when you slice into a Pineapple Tomato to see a rainbow mix of color all around the pulp. 

The insides are a combination of yellow, pink, orange, and red. 

The Pineapple Tomato might just be the tastiest of all bi-colored tomatoes with its excellent mild sweet and low acidity flavor.  

The colors also reflect in the taste as these tomatoes can seem fruity to the taste with a slight touch of citrus. 

The initial set of tomatoes you get to taste won’t be nearly as tasty as the last batches because the taste just gets better and better as the season advances. 

But the colorful beauty and delightful taste of these tomatoes are not the only factors contributing to make this variety a favorite; the fruit size is the third factor. 

 

 

Pineapple Tomato Plant Care

Pineapple tomatoes like a well-draining and organic clay or loam mix. They are heavy feeders and require high soil Phosphorous and Potassium content. This variety needs moderate but consistent water to avoid cracked fruit. The optimum growing temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) and this tomato plant will only blossom once temperatures surpass this threshold. 

 

Pineapple Tomato Plant Care Guide

The average Pineapple tomato can weigh anywhere from 1 pound to well over 2 pounds, and expert gardeners recommend using both hands to hold the tomato! 

But before you get to hold and add these large tomatoes to your salads, let me tell you about all the things you need to consider to grow 2-pounder Pineapple tomatoes.

 

Soil

Pineapple tomatoes require well-draining fertile organic soil. 

Every tomato variety is a heavy feeder and thrives when abundant soil nutrients are present. But along with nutrition, tomatoes need a consistent supply of soil moisture. 

By consistent, I mean the plants have access to an adequate amount of soil moisture at all times. 

The soil should not get overly soggy, which will inevitably lead to root rot and cause plants to die. This means you should have well-draining soil but at the same time have good water retention ability. 

This seemingly contradictory statement confuses many new gardeners, so here’s a little explanation. 

Good drainage means that the soil does not hold excess water for too long; we don’t want our plant roots to be completely immersed in water for too long. 

On the other hand, good water retention means that the soil contains an adequate proportion of water-absorbing material, which will absorb up all the excess water and slowly release it when the surrounding soil dries up. In simpler words, we need soil sponges. 

Pineapple Tomatoes will thrive in a rich clay or loam mix with ingredients such as peat moss and perlite. 

If you’re buying a commercial mix, then any well-draining organic mix will be enough. 

If you have to prepare your soil mix on your own, here are the ingredients you need:

Because the Pineapple Tomato tastes less acidic than other tomato varieties, some gardeners may tend to think they need soil pH levels that are less acidic than for growing regular tomatoes. 

It’s better to stick with convention. Typically, heirloom tomato varieties thrive in pH levels ranging from 6-6.8, so this is what should be kept in mind for growing Pineapple Tomatoes. 

 

Light

Pineapple Tomatoes need direct sunlight throughout the day. 

If you can’t find a place with direct sunlight all day to plant your Pineapple Tomatoes, then at least give them a place to grow that get a minimum of 6 hours of direct sun daily. 

The origins and parentage of the Pineapple Tomato are unknown, but experts claim it comes from Central America, or Kentucky to be more precise. 

This indicates Pineapple Tomatoes like moderate and warm sunlight, but not too much on the hotter side. 

Pineapple Tomatoes are an indeterminate variety, meaning they’re a vining type of plant. 

Hot sunlight can place these plants at risk of sunburn. So if you receive direct sunlight in your area, be sure to provide your tomatoes with a green shade as the summer gets hotter. 

 

Watering

If there is one thing that sets the Pineapple Tomato plants apart from regular tomato varieties other than its shape and taste, then it’s the water requirement. 

Unlike all tomato varieties, this heirloom variety needs a modest amount of water. 

These tomato plants are not heavy water suckers and can do well with slight moisture present in the soil at all times. 

Although young plants need a lot of water, Pineapple Tomatoes, when well-established, have really deep roots and can grow well even in drought-like conditions. 

But don’t take any chances and keep the soil adequately moist until you are sure that the plants can do well, even if the top few inches of the soil are dry. 

You don’t need to worry a lot if you think you can’t supply Pineapple Tomato plants with adequate water because low watering will encourage deep root growth. 

But if you want to have two-pounder Pineapple Tomatoes, you will need to keep the soil consistently moist at all times. 

Using advanced watering methods such as drip irrigation will save water and will definitely lead to wonderfully large fruit without all the hassle. 

This ribbed and thin-skinned variety is particularly susceptible to cracking when there is uneven watering. 

Cracked tomatoes are not always the grower’s fault. This problem can appear automatically after heavy rains or wet weather when tomatoes rapidly grow in size. 

The key to avoiding cracked tomatoes is to keep the watering practice consistent. 

 

Temperature

Pineapple Tomatoes like it warm and only start fruiting when the weather is hot enough. 

Although the temperature range in which Pineapple Tomatoes can grow is 50-95 degrees Fahrenheit (10-35 degrees Celsius), temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) are needed for these plants to start blossoming and producing fruit. 

Along with the atmospheric temperature, the soil temperature also needs to be high enough for these plants to survive. 

The minimum soil temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), below which the plant will not be able to grow and might be at the risk of suffering permanent damage. 

The recommended USDA Hardiness zones for this plant are zones 3-11. 

 

Staking

Pineapple Tomatoes are an indeterminate variety that grows as a vine as long as the growing season lasts. 

So you will have to stake these plants or provide some sort of support so that they grow upright. 

This heirloom variety is one of the taller tomato varieties and can go as tall as 8 feet. You will need stakes that are a minimum of 6 feet tall from the ground to support these plants. 

Alternatively, you can use high tomato cages or a trellis if you’re growing them beside a wall. 

 

Mulching

Watering every time the soil is about to dry is not the answer to healthy Pineapple tomatoes. 

As discussed earlier, this variety needs moderate water, just slight moisture. An excellent soil moisture conservation method is to mulch the soil. 

You can cover the soil with mulch material to retain the humidity and soil moisture under the mulch cover. This will improve plant growth and fruit yield in many ways. 

 

Fertilizing

Pineapply Tomato plants are heavy feeders and need frequent fertilization along with the organic nutrient-rich medium to grow in. 

Phosphorus, Potassium, and Nitrogen are the 3 most essential elements that these tomatoes need to grow well. 

Nitrogen is needed for healthy foliage growth but only for as long as the plants do not start blossoming. 

Once the first flowers appear, reduce the nitrogen applications and increase Potassium and Phosphorous doses. 

Bear in mind that Pineapple tomatoes need high Potassium and moderate Phosphorous in the soil for well-ripened and colorful fruit. 

Pineapple Tomato roots go really deep into the ground, and one may assume that these plants can obtain the required nutrients from the soil itself. 

But although these tomato plants have deep roots indeed, those roots are for water absorption. Feeder roots are usually found in the top 2 feet of the soil surface. 

 

Propagation

If you don’t live in a hot climate, then you will most probably have to start your Pineapple Tomatoes from seed in a protected environment indoors. 

Pineapple Tomatoes are late bloomers and will only start producing fruit at least 90 days after germination, so make sure you start them early indoors to get ripened fruit before it’s too late in the growing season. 

Plant the seeds in a soil-less germination mix for best results. Sow each seed about a quarter-inch deep, and each seed one inch apart from the other. 

You will need to maintain a temperature between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit (21-23 degrees Celsius) to get your seeds to germinate. 

As spring approaches, start hardening off the baby plants by placing them in sunlight for a few hours every day. Also, drop the watering a little to help the plants adapt well when they are transplanted. 

Pineapple Tomatoes absolutely cannot survive frost or too low temperatures. 

So bring them outside only when you’re absolutely sure the last frost has passed and soil and atmospheric temperatures are high enough. 

Bury the young plants deep with their lowest pair of leaves under the soil level. Do this to promote strong root growth. 

 

Growth

Pineapple tomatoes are indeterminates and will grow throughout the season, with one plant growing as tall as 8 feet. They like hot conditions and will start blooming only when it’s hot enough.

With a long growing season, they usually take 80-95 days to produce the first fruit, so you will have to be patient with this variety. 

 

Common Problems with Pineapple Tomatoes

 

Cutworms

Cutworms are just caterpillars that will chew off the stems of your Pineapple Tomato plants and make them drop fruit or foliage. 

Cutworms can be dealt with by using the coffee can method. 

 

Nematodes

Nematodes can make it really difficult for gardeners because it lives beneath the soil and munches on plant roots. 

A Nematode attack is likely in mulched soil. You can use chemicals to deal with Nematodes because natural remedies are not particularly efficient against this pest. 

 

Gray Mold

You may notice gray or brown mold patches appearing over your Pineapple Tomato plant foliage. 

This happens when you water tomatoes improperly, and the foliage gets wet. You can avoid this by watering your tomatoes from their base. The fungus can also be eliminated by using fungicides. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Pineapple Tomato Plant Care

 

When to harvest Pineapple Tomatoes?

Pineapple tomatoes ripen when the color of the fruits is bright yellow and red. Touch the fruit gently, and if it seems slightly soft, it’s ready to pick. 

 

How long do Pineapple Tomatoes fruit for?

These plants have a relatively growing season and will fruit quite late into the autumn. If you planted them late, you might still be getting fruit as winter approaches. 

 

Can Pineapple Tomatoes be brought indoors?

Pineapple Tomatoes are supposed to be grown outdoors where they get plenty of sunlight. They grow to be tall plants and cannot be grown indoors. 

 

Conclusion

Pineapple tomatoes are a unique variety of tomatoes. With its large size, the fruity taste differentiates it from all other tomatoes. 

You will not be able to obtain these tomatoes from any standard supermarket, so better yet, grow them at home and enjoy this rare bounty.