Thoughts on Tomato Varieties for Next Season
With space at a premium, which varieties will you be growing next season and which ones will you not be growing?
It’s good to take note of the ones that have done well and remember to forget those that have been a waste of space!
For many gardeners, growing large varieties is often disappointing, with only a few tomatoes on each plant – so cutting back on these could give more room for varieties that do better.
Many cherry tomatoes produce an amazing crop, unless the summer has been particularly poor, so taste may be a guide as to which cherry variety you might grow next season.
Sungold, Golden Cherry, Gardener’s Delight and Black Cherry all do consistently well in my garden.
Red Alert and Maskotka are outstanding among bush varieties. Then there are the Tumblers such as Tumbling Tom and many others too.
Heirloom & Heritage Tomatoes
I like to grow a few heirloom varieties and Beam’s Yellow Pear has always performed very well. It’s fleshy with good keeping qualities and its shape alone makes it a good addition to the list.
Inside or Outside
Sometimes varieties growing outdoors can do better than those growing inside a greenhouse or polytunnel!
While some varieties need to be pampered under cover, others enjoy more light, more air flow, better pollination from insects and aren’t so fussy about cooler temperatures at night.
Whenever I grow Red Alert under cover, it never gives me the yield or taste that I get when I grow it outside!
Getting to know a variety well, and its peculiarities, takes several seasons, but is well worth the effort. It’s a good reason to take notes and experiment a little – a few changes can make a lot of difference to the results.
Lessons & Tips for Next Season
There is no doubt that the way water/nutrients are delivered has a big effect on plant growth and the quality and amount of tomatoes produced.
The Auto pot system and the Quadgrow planter both allow plants to absorb water and nutrients whenever they want (24/7), keeping a healthy and well aerated root zone.
The Root Zone
Oxygen is the key here … watering valves, reservoirs, perlite, fabric pots and air pots all contribute to increased oxygen for the roots, which helps increase the health of plants, yield and quality of the fruit.
Plants grown using the Autopot and Quadgrow systems, always do better than those grown in ordinary pots with 100% soil. That’s been my experience since I started using these systems.
One issue that I regularly hear about is that fruit taste and shape often vary from season to season. It’s commonly thought that some seeds that are sourced from China may not be the traditional strains of the old varieties we have become so fond of. It would be great to have the country of origin on seed packets and the name of the seed producer!
Saving our own seed from open pollinated plants that have produced good results is one way to avoid the problem.
For suggestions on which varieties to grow this coming season: tomato seed choice for 2017