This week we are looking at some of the best & worst tomato varieties Of 2017.
Looking back on the season so far, it has been the cherry varieties that have provided the most taste and quantity from my garden.
Not only are cherry tomatoes easier to grow than many larger toms, some of the bush cherry varieties are very early. Eating your own tomatoes in June (in the UK) is a treat!
In order to experience full tomato taste from large tomatoes, we need a lot of sun and in my part of the world, it has been in short supply this season. Instead, a wet summer has led to a number of outside growers experiencing blight – a common problem in the UK.
Home-grown vs supermarket
There was a time when every home-grown variety would taste much better than every supermarket tomato, making growing your own a good investment of time as well as money.
These days, the supermarkets have much improved the quality of their more expensive tomatoes, so that we now have to choose the varieties we grow wisely, in order to get that real home-grown taste – even in a poor season.
It’s great to grow big tomatoes but if their taste is watery and flavourless, is it really worth all the time and effort?
Varieties to avoid
A few seasons ago I grew Indigo Rose. This is one of the best looking purple tomatoes I have ever seen and the most disappointing for flavour. All the tomatoes i grew were very hard, even when ripe and the taste was very bland – a total waste of time!
When every seed packet and catalogue description sings the praises of its variety, you have to go on word of mouth or personal experience.
If you are looking for a variety that tastes bland and will only grow in perfect conditions, buy this one. We can guarantee you will be disappointed all summer long!
I joke of course, but descriptions on seed packets and in seed brochures have a lot to do to gain my confidence.
The truth is that every variety (except Indigo Rose) will grow well in perfect conditions and taste fine with enough sun.
I should say that I only grew Indigo Rose one season and maybe had a bad packet of seeds.
This brings me to ask …
Which variety has been your best or worst this season?
For me it has been Tumbler and several other cherry varieties for taste and earliness. Red Alert, Maskotka and Gardener’s Delight are hard to beat.
The variety with the poorest taste grwing outside in my garden has been Brandywine – usually a great tasting variety but needs plenty of sun.
Cooler climate varieties
One larger variety that I can recommend, especially for a poor summer is Oregon Spring.
It looks rather like Marmande but was bred for a cooler climate. It also has a good taste even when the sun doesn’t show up too often!
If you would like to mention your best or worst variety of this season in the comments below, it may help us all when choosing seeds for next season.
Please mention your area and whether you are growing outdoors or in a greenhouse.