Sunday, 27 October 2013



I try to grow a few new tomato varieties each year in order to see a) if I like them and b) how they cope with the Cumbrian climate. I also grow a few 'standards' like Alicante, Gardeners Delight and Tumbler but these are too well known to need comment.

The results for this year are shown below.

Bloody Butcher
The earliest to crop. Nice looking golf ball sized fruit with moderate flavour but nothing special. Seemed to run out of steam quite early.

Black Russian
Large fruit and good flavour with nice acidity. Some people don’t like the sharpness of the taste but I found it refreshingly different.

Vintage Wine
Large fruit, nice looking but flavour a bit disappointing, in fact it hardly tasted of tomato at all. That was on first picking, though. Later in the year I left the last of the crop hanging in the greenhouse to ripen and, like real vintage wine, the flavour improved enormously. Certainly not the write-off I originally thought.

Golden Sunrise
Potentially heavy cropper with 8/9 good sized fruit per truss and closely spaced trusses. Flavour is superb so this is a must for future years. I had two plants, one in the greenhouse and one outside and the outside performed as well as that under glass. Of course, the good warm summer obviously helped there.

Pink Oxheart
Has potential to produce huge fruit. Picked one which weighed 612g but was actually two grown together. Flavour is nothing special although they look nice!

Gave a plant to a neighbour and it died so I’d say this is certainly one I probably won’t grow again.

Patio Orange
Good cropper with 16/18 cherry fruit per truss and good flavour. I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of the very small tomatoes and, weight for weight, this variety is nowhere near as productive as tumbler.

Ananas Noire
Large fruit which tasted good but not many of them. Largest weighed in at 410g. Also prone to splitting and BER.

Dense, compact bushy plant producing a good crop of billiard ball size fruit with good taste. Perfect for small spaces.
As a general observation I found that all the ribbed fruit were more prone to BER than any of the smooth varieties.

No pictures this post... we all know what a tomato looks like.