Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

More Tomatoes


I've a number of posts lined up, so I've been deliberating which ones to choose for today. A Comment from Barbara on yesterday's Plant Workshop post was the clincher for deciding on this one.
Grow Your Own magazine has a free packet of tomato seeds, Sub Arctic Plenty on this month's cover. It's their response to last year's miserable summer as this tomato crops better than most in cool summers. It's a Heritage Variety, used by the US Air Force many moons ago to ensure tomato crops when stationed in Greenland. Mike over at Tiny Farm Blog doesn't rate it (see our Comments conversation) and recommends Stupice instead. It's another Heritage Variety - from the Czech Republic this time, which Mike says does well for him in his cooler climes over in Canada. Kitchen Garden magazine also mentions it this month as a variety that's good for flavour.
So which one to choose? Well, I've decided to trial both to see which one does best as my future cool weather insurance crop. I'll also be growing Ferline as my blight insurance crop, plus my taste favourites Gardener's Delight and Sungold (which I've also recommended to Katie over at Gardenpunks). I always go a bit overboard with tomatoes, so no doubt I'll throw a couple of others in when I sort out my tomatoes for sowing later on this month. You may be able to influence my final choice - which are your favourite outdoor tomato varieties?

9 comments:

  1. Tried green tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe?

    Sorry - I couldn't resist that!!

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  2. Hi David,

    You're as reliable as ever with the apt pun ;)

    See you in ABC tomorrow...

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  3. I'm going to try Chiltern Seeds 'The Amateur' which they say is a tried and tested outdoor bush variety - given a typical English summer this is the strain most likely to suceed out of doors. It grows to only 15 inches high and bears good quality, medium sized fruit of worth scrumping for flavour.
    I'll let you know how I get on with it!

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  4. Hi Flighty - I like the idea of us all choosing different varieties (or even the same) and comparing notes later on. I'll keep you posted on mine too...

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  5. I'm hoping to do some comparison trials with you this summer! I have trusty old Gardener's Delight at the top of my list.

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  6. That's a great idea Threadspider :)

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  7. It should be fun seeing what's up around the world with other people's tomatoes this year! This'll be my first season where checking out garden progress on other blogs is all part of the growing.

    I've heard of Sungold before, I'd definitely give it a try, but haven't found the seed here. I buy within Canada, 'cause importing is just too costly, I wonder whether they irradiate seed, and a lot of smaller seed companies don't even ship to Canada anymore due to paperwork (which was increased fairly recently).

    Two toms I highly recommend, in addition to Stupice: Striped German (heirloom, a potentially big 1 lb+ yellow/bicolor with a really gorgeous red blush, the color is fantastic, the taste is excellent, without the tart acid kick that I also like from other toms) and Juliet a modern hybrid (saladette, smaller oblong fruit, very meaty, excellent sweet taste, prolific, small in size but versatile, if you feel like doing the work, you can use it for anything). Both these have managed to perform over 3-4 seasons, in some fairly extreme out-in-the-field conditions, so they should work anywhere!

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  8. Oh, and as a really fun novelty, Red Currant (heirloom) is great, tiny, berry-sized fruit that, at thir best, are AMAZING, little bursts of sweetness and flavor, you can hardly tell if they're toms or some sort of actual berry!

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  9. Mike - thanks for all of the suggestions, I'll certainly look into those. I've heard of Striped German and Red Currant before, so I know they're available over here.

    Tried to get Stupice a couple of days ago from the garden centre as the seed supplier has a stand there. Looks like it'll have to be mail order for this one.

    I know Katie over at GardenPunks grew Sungold last year, so it may be available in your neck of the woods too?

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