Charting the progress on my allotment in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Saturday, 20 August 2011
My Favourite Tomato
Ever since I've been growing tomatoes, I've tried a new variety every year. I was so pleased with the tomatoes I grew last year that I decided to grow exactly the same varieties again this year, so this is the first year that I don't have a new variety to try out. A friend on one of the forums I read sent me some Tangella seeds last year and I tried them for the first time. I loved them, but because they're a heirloom variety, it's not easy to find anywhere which sells the seeds so I had a go at saving seed for the first time myself. I'm pleased to report that I had 100% germination with them, so I've got fruit again this year, and they're just as delicious as I remember. They've got a very fruity taste and are extremely juicy. They give a very good yield, in fact I can't think of anything bad to say about them. I'll be saving seed again this year for sure, they're my favourite tomato.
Unfortunately, the other two varieties I've grown again this year aren't doing so well. San Marzano is a plum variety and I enjoyed them cooked last year. This year they've developed a bad case of blossom end rot. This is where the bottom of the tomato develops a black patch, probably due to erratic watering or lack of calcium, but as I was away for a fortnight and relied on my dad popping round every couple of days, I'm going with the watering. Hopefully, now that they're getting a consistent amount of water, they'll recover. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
The third variety I'm growing is Gardener's Delight. I've grown these for many years and they've never let me down, until this year. I knew I was in for trouble when the plants grew very leggy at the start of the season. They were grown exactly the same way as the other two varieties, started off indoors then moved in to the greenhouse which wasn't heated. They had plenty of light and very little heat so I don't know what caused them to grow this way. This is a cherry variety of tomato, but a cherry would look huge in comparison to most of the tomatoes being produced on my plants. There's plenty of tomatoes on the trusses, they just don't seem to be growing.
I'm considering having a go at growing some tomatoes outdoors next year. I did grow tomatoes in containers outdoors before I had my greenhouse, so I don't know whether to go down this route again, or have a go at growing some at the allotment. I'll still grow some in the greenhouse as I do now, but as my greenhouse is only 4X6 I don't grow many plants. There's only me who eats tomatoes in our house, but I'd like a few more than I'm getting at the moment, and would ideally like enough to have a go at making some sauces and soups.
I've been meaning to mention in my last couple of posts that Bilbo Waggins from The View From Bag End has very kindly offered to send some of Ollie's Sunflower seeds to any of my readers who would like to grow some. If you look back a few posts, you will see my post about Ollie's Sunflowers. Ollie was Bilbo's Bearded Collie and he sadly passed away in August 2009. You can read about the connection with the sunflowers in my post of 25th July 2011. If you would like some seeds to grow this sunflower, you can contact Bilbo through an email link on her profile.
I'm a forty eight year old mum of two and I live on the outskirts of Leeds in West Yorkshire. I've been married to Mick for twenty six years and we have a son, Daniel, who's twenty two and a daughter, Eleanor, who's eighteen. I gave up work in 2010 and now have more time to indulge in my hobbies of knitting, crochet and gardening. I hope you enjoy reading and will follow along with my adventures.