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Saturday, 10 March 2012

Tomatos - which varieties to grow?

Our ideal would be to begin picking our first crop of tomatoes when our preserved stocks, mostly frozen cooked with onions, garlic and basil, were just about to end. In reality though, in twenty five plus years of gardening, we have only achieved this once. Tomatoes are the base for so many dishes, salads and even juices and we love tomatoes.

Over the years we have tried growing many different varieties. Mostly red but some yellow, orange and even purple. We have grown cherry tomatoes which were tiny and at the other end large beefsteak ones. Some were juicy and some were very firm but there are literally many thousands of different tomato varieties in cultivation today.

If you have been gardening for years, you probably already have your favorite varieties which you save seed from and plant every year and your choice will undoubtedly have been influenced by your own taste buds.

If you have plenty of space, experiment with various varieties and continue with the ones you enjoy the most. If you have a limited amount of space, choose a variety which produces a good crop in a small area such as a bush or tumbling variety.

If you, like us, enjoy saving your own seeds from one year to the next, you should avoid hybrid varieties which will rarely produce an identical plant from saved seed.

We are currently growing the following varieties: gardeners delight, outdoor girl, tumbling tom red, alicante, marmande, red cherry, beafeater and various saved seed over many years which include yellow cherry, plum cherry and plum tomatoes. But there are plenty of varieties and whichever you grow you will not regret it, as the taste of your first freshly picked tomato is one of the highlights of the gardening year.

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