This Year’s Tomatoes

I’m taking a chance this year and not growing my usual Ferline F1 tomato. My allotment site is very susceptible to blight, and I’ve previously favoured a crop of anything, however ordinary it tastes over a crop of nothing even if the label’s fancy.

Thing is, that though Ferline is excellent for blight resistance and crops heavily with large, blemish-free fruits, it just doesn’t taste that good.

So this year, I’m going to take every blight-precaution I can think of, and try a few others, to see if I can get a crop that tastes decent. I appear to have grown nine different varieties. One of them has to taste delicious, surely?

I am trialling one blight-resistant tomato, Crimson Crush, recommended by James Wong, who reckons it has a great taste and the only reason he didn’t include it in Grow For Flavour was because he hadn’t finished trialling it when it went to press. We’ll see. I’ve been sent three grafted plants and I have high hopes. Perhaps too high…

I’m also trying Sweet & Neat, a teeny, compact bush that looks as though it will end up the size of a pot plant. It had better be good – you only get four seeds in a pack.

Staying with window-box, trailing cherry toms, I’m going for Tumbling Tom, both Red and Yellow. It’s a bit of a stalwart but I’ve never grown it before. I’m planning to put it in hanging baskets and window boxes, on the high sides of the raised beds. There are advantages to being on a steep hill…

I wanted a beefsteak and Red Bodyguard came free on the front of Grow Your Own magazine, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s supposed to have some blight resistance, and be ‘tasty’ but they all claim that. We’ll see.

Red Pear is another front-of-a-magazine job. It’s an heirloom cherry, pear-shaped (naturally) and supposedly plentiful.

Sweet Million is an F1 that’s supposed to crop over a long period, and have, as the name suggest, a lot of babies.

I like sun-dried tomatoes, so I was intrigued to find Principe Borghese. You can eat the cherries from this determinate bush as vine-ripened or pull up the whole plant when the cherries are ripe, hang it upside down and enjoy air-dried (we don’t dare hope for enough sun for the real thing…) tomatoes in the autumn.

I’m also trialling the Top Secret Variety TomTato®

Finally, Gardener’s Delight. If I can bring it to term, this will, at least, be a tomato I can rely on, even if the others don’t turn out to be that interesting.

This seems like a lot of tomatoes. It is. I have vastly overgrown seedlings (they all took very well) but I can give the spares away and you can never have too many tomatoes. They cook down into so many soups, sauces, dishes – it’s impossible to have a glut.


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