Thank you to all those who commented about their best and worst varieties of 2017.
This week I’ve put together a list, from your experience and mine, of the best performing varieties of 2017. It should help us when Choosing Tomato Varieties for 2018. They have been chosen for earliness, reliability and taste.
Best Cherry Varieties
Tall, Cordon, Indeterminate
Gardener’s Delight – Old and reliable with a true old fashioned taste of acid/sugar balance.
Sungold – Modern type and very sweet
Sweet Million – Good cropper as its name suggests with good cherry taste
Suncherry Premium – Modern sweet variety
Black Cherry – A favourite of everyone who grows it – lovely taste.
Black Opal – Similar to Black Cherry
Mountain Magic – Not quite Gardener’s Delight but good taste with resistance to Blight!
Rosella – A modern variety highly rated for its taste
Sakura – Long vines of tasty cherry tomatoes and reliable
Maskotka – Reliable with excellent taste and very early
Red Alert – Very similar to Maskotka especially for earliness and taste
Best Medium Varieties
Shirley – Traditionally, this is a show variety for its consistant size toms and great taste
Alicante – Better than Moneymaker for taste and just as reliable and a great cropper
Best Large Varieties
Super Marmande – A beefsteak that will grow well in a reasonable summer, very reliable
Black Russian – A large, juicy, deep purple tomato with a great taste
Brandy Boy – A modern big juicy hybrid
Oregon Spring – Old bush variety bred for outside
Crimson Crush – Give this one a try if you suffer from blight – good taste too!
A few lesser known varieties of various sizes include:
Japanese Black Trifele
Berner Rose (aka Rose de Berne)
These are all recommended by Newsletter readers and will grow in the UK – given half a chance!
Best Growing Method/System
The Quadgrow Planter
There are two growing systems that I use and highly recommend – the Autopot system and the Quadgrow Planter.
The Quadgrow is probably the best value for money and produces just as good results as the Autopot system in my experience.
If you grow tomatoes to save money, the Quadgrow is possibly not an option. If you grow tomatoes as a hobby and want the best crop possible (notwithstanding the weather!), you should consider a Quadgrow for next season.
It will double your crop season after season!
The Best Seeds
The best seeds for next season are the ones you are eating right now – in a manner of speaking!
Save seeds from your open pollinated varieties (non hybrid) and you will have vigorous seeds for next season.
Although some seeds remain viable for up to ten years, they do lose their vigour. You’ll get the best results from the freshest seeds.
Keep them cool and dry.
Tasteless toms can be cooked to increase their flavour – it is amazing the amount of dishes tomatoes can be added to when cooking.
My favourite way is to cut them in half and fry them with egg and bacon – better for my eyes and taste buds than my tummy – but you have to live a little!
Choosing Next Season’s Tomatoes
A good tip when choosing tomato varieties for 2018 is … don’t put all your eggs in one basket!
In other words …
- Choose a blight resistant variety just in case we get a wet summer.
- Choose a good beefsteak variety – if we get a good summer in 2018, it will show off its flavour.
- An early cherry tomato such as Maskotka will be first in the kitchen.
- Grow a traditional and a modern tasting cherry variety such as Gardener’s Delight and Rosella and get the best of both worlds.
- Alicante outdoors, Shirley best in greenhouse.
All of the varieties above have been recommended by Newsletter readers – choose from this list and next season should be a great success!
It’s the last Newsletter of the season next week – doesn’t time fly!
I hope that your kitchen is jam packed with tomatoes.