All of us love rising tomatoes, these candy, juicy fruits of summer season. They’re slow-growing, so sow seed now if you happen to haven’t already achieved so.
There’s at all times a a lot wider selection of seeds than vegetation to purchase. However these South American vegetation are frost-tender and at all times want warmth, ideally about 20C. Though you may simply put a seed tray on a window sill, younger vegetation want the additional gentle of a greenhouse or conservatory to develop on.
So, how do you select a range from the dazzling array on provide?
The place you reside and what heat, shelter and daylight
you have got determines probably the most appropriate kind of plant. The world’s your oyster in case your backyard is in a sunny, sheltered spot. You’ll be nicely positioned to take pleasure in a gentle, summer-long succession of no matter you fancy.
There are two principal varieties of tomatoes: determinate and indeterminate. Determinate ones develop to a predetermined measurement, fruit and die again. Bush varieties do that, whereas indeterminate ones are grown as cordons and will hold going until felled by frost.
House-grown tomatoes ripen from June until October and, like their kinfolk, potatoes, mature at totally different speeds. So, with cautious planning you may have a succulent succession from seed all sown on the similar time.
One golden rule of tomato-growing is: the smaller the plant, the faster it grows to maturity. Bush tomatoes are additionally normally pretty small-fruited, so come early, whereas dwarf varieties, like Tumbling Tom, produce tiny nibble-worthy delights by early June. We’ve one within the greenhouse positioned so you may’t go and not using a surreptitious graze.
My polytunnel accommodates bigger bush varieties, poised to reap from July until late August. Residing 200m up within the Borders, the solar isn’t robust sufficient to let me develop them outdoor, however you may handle in a decrease, extra sheltered place. You may even be one of many few Scots capable of develop cordons efficiently outdoor however, like the remainder of us, will most likely get higher leads to a greenhouse. Inevitably, bigger beefsteaks like Huge Daddy ripen too slowly for me, however they’re scrumptious.
As you flick thru the seemingly countless record of sorts, you is perhaps tempted to attempt among the extra unique colors on provide, like Indigo Blue or yellow Gazy. However don’t check out a couple of new selection at a time: lots of them don’t get a excessive rating on my flavour check.
Maybe inevitably, each new catalogue selection is the tastiest ever. Tomato flavour is determined by a steadiness of acid and candy and that is solely partly dependant on the range. The way you develop them might be extra essential.
I’ve observed over time that home-made compost with its fertility topped up with pelleted or liquid comfrey produces the tastiest outcomes. [www.organiccatalogue.com]. The vegetation thrive higher in residing soil, full of micro-organisms.
In a mini trial final 12 months, I in contrast the brand new Sylvagrow compost from Melcourt with my very own compost and one other industrial natural model. Sylvagrow cropped almost in addition to mine, however flavour was poorer. New Horizons carried out appallingly. On each fronts
Even if you happen to don’t have sufficient of your individual compost for all of your tomatoes, attempt mixing some with a great peat-free industrial selection. Which? Gardening assesses industrial composts yearly, and be warned, they’ll differ from season to season.
Watering can be essential. Overwatered vegetation are sometimes much less flavoursome, however insufficient or uneven watering in pots and particularly growbags, stresses the vegetation and will trigger blossom finish rot, a situation the place a tough darkish blotch types on the blossom level of the fruit.
Plant of the week
Peach Peregrine blossom. Grown in a greenhouse, the blossom of peach Peregrine fills the house with an beautiful perfume. Hand pollinate for a great crop if there aren’t any bumble bee queens obtainable.