At this time of the season, browsing the seed brochures and choosing which tomato varieties to grow is one of the great pleasures for me, and I guess most of us tomato growers.
With lessons learned from last season, avoiding blight and other problems is the key to success this season. However, is that variety really blight tolerant? and is that tomato really crack resistant?
Well, there’s only one way to find out … ask someone who has already grown that particular variety, or grow it yourself and find out first hand!
If you had problems last season with any of the following, here are my suggestions.
Crimson Crush F1, Mountain Magic F1 and Lizzano F1.
- Losetto F1 – cherry/bush
- Legend – large/bush
- Ferline – medium/tall
- Old Brooks – medium/tall
The best way to help avoid Blight is to shelter tomato plants from rain and try not to let condensation build up in the greenhouse.
Blossom End Rot Resistant…
- New Yorker – medium/bush
- Old Brooks – medium/tall
- Most Cherry Varieties – they don’t need so much calcium
BER is caused by a calcium deficiency so I recommend a spray with Chempak Calcium – it works wonders on my plants!
- Golden Cherry F1 – cherry/tall
- Chocolate Cherry – cherry/tall
- Halladay’s Mortgage Lifter – large/tall
Some varieties are more prone to this than others, but keeping plants out of the rain and regular watering helps avoid this problem.
I think one of the slightly misleading claims that is used often in seed brochures is the term “early”. I’ve bought seeds on the basis that I’m buying an early variety and I’m still waiting for the first fruit to ripen in October!
What I do know is, whatever I may read, it is really my own personal experience of growing tomatoes that I can truly rely on, and to be fair, a tomato plant will perform differently in different conditions and in different areas, so it’s how each variety performs in my greenhouse and garden that counts.
Nevertheless, here is a list of my top varieties for this season based on last season’s results.
Red Alert – cherry/bush
Tumbling Tom – cherry/bush
Maskotka – cherry/bush
Tumbler – cherry/bush
Sungold – cherry/tall
Black Cherry – cherry/tall
Gardener’s Delight – cherry/tall
Stupice – medium/tall
Having grown Alicante, Golden Sunrise and Moneymaker for many seasons, I didn’t grow them last year but would recommend them, along with Ailsa Craig and Shirley F1.
Growing large varieties requires some experience in order to obtain a good harvest that matures before the end of the season. If you are a beginner, by all means have a go at a large variety, but to get the best results I suggest you grow a few cherry varieties that mature early like Tumbling Tom (red and yellow), Red Alert, Maskotka and Garden Pearl.
Some cherry varieties are almost cocktail cherry size – like 100’s and 1000’s. Although these are fun to grow and you will get hundreds from a well grown plant, their size makes them more of a garnish to pretty-up a dish rather than the golf ball size of a larger cherry variety that is more versatile.
There are many considerations to make when choosing tomato varieties – not least the taste. There are also many different ways to grow tomatoes that will produce the same results.
See Also: Choosing Tomato Seeds