The Square Tomato

I recently had an email from a fellow tomato grower – Ben who lives in Cyprus. The email is entitled The Square Tomato and is very interesting and amusing. So I asked if he would mind if I put it on the website – thanks Ben!

“The Square Tomato” by Ben from Cyprus

I live in Cyprus, so once the weather settles here, there will be no such problem as frost to worry about. I was stationed out here in the Army in 1956 and as we were all billeted under canvas, I had a patch of ground, just behind the tent, which I cultivated and grew tomatoes.

The Square Tomato

Don’t know the variety because the seed was given to me by one of the local Turkish villagers but the produce was medium sized and the taste I have never forgotten!

Here goes! By the way, I am planting in large containers, about 30/40 litres size, Marmande and Moneymaker. I live on my own so a few plants will supply what I need.

Forty years ago, I lived in the West Midlands and built a beautiful greenhouse with all mod cons. The produce was very popular with my colleagues at work but one smart arse complained that round tomatoes didn`t fit his square bread slices.

I had previously read an article from some man who had grown a square cucumber and I thought “I wonder?” So I told the chap that I would grow him a square tomato but it would be very expensive. I bought some clear, plastic tubing about 50mm square and experimented. Fitting the tube in place on a growing tomato was fiddly but it worked!

The result was a bit like a square Italian plum tomato but I took one of them to work and told the bloke that if he wanted it the cost was 5 bob. Bearing in mind I was selling a bagful for half a crown, it was expensive but I found out later that he made a small fortune in bets down at the local pub with his square tomato!

Ben goes on to say about growing Moneymaker – an English variety in the Cyprus heat …

I haven`t grown any here before this batch. I have been here since January 2013 but have moved house in that time also. I am told that because we get 326 days sunshine a year, two or three crops are possible. When I get organised, I will let you know.

Years the seventies, I did some experimenting in my greenhouse. All toms were grown in their own tubs. You are probably familiar with the coloured card that is available? the stuff they use for craftwork? I bought some sheets of that, bright red, and cut it to fit on top of the tubs when the fruit started to grow.

I forget the theory but apparently, the colour is influential to the ripening. Try it.

Before I forget, the bloke who bought my square tomato, was the foundry shop steward and he knew it all. One day, I was late in because my car wouldn`t start, battery had conked. As soon as he knew, his brother could get any make of battery for a tenner.

I asked him to get me one because a spare is always useful. I am still waiting!!!!

Best Wishes,


The Square Tomato Article