I would like to start this week’s newsletter by congratulating Rhys on his success …1st prize for his Alicante tomatoes in a horticultural society show!

First Prize Alicante
First Prize

Rhys, has been a major contributor to the newsletter this season, suggesting many helpful tips by sharing the progress of his tomatoes.

If you would like to find out more about what Rhys has been doing this season, here’s a link to a series of short videos where he explains his thoughts on the varieties he has grown.

Rhys’s Video Journal

Thoughts on 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 forget those that have been a waste of space.

For many gardeners, growing large varieties is often disappointing, so cutting back on those could be a good idea.

Cherry varieties almost always produce an amazing crop, unless the summer has been particularly poor, so taste may be a guide as to which cherry varieties you might grow next season.

I would recommend, Piccolo, Sungold, Golden Cherry and Black Cherry for tall varieties.

Red Alert, Tumbler and Tumbling Tom for bush varieties.

I like to grow a few heirloom varieties and the past two seasons Beam’s Yellow Pear has done very well. It’s fleshy with good keeping qualities and a good sweet taste.

Beam's Yellow Pear
Beam’s Yellow Pear

Interestingly, some of the bush varieties growing outdoors did better than many of those growing inside the polytunnel! Of course, had the weather been similar to last season, the situation would probably be reversed!

A combination of colours … Black Cherry, Sungold and Tumbling Tom Red, Piccolo or Gardener’s Delight is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds!

Tips taken from the experience of this season

Access 24/7
There is no doubt that the way water/nutrients are delivered has a big effect on the way plants grow 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), without losing a healthy aerated root zone.

The Root Zone
Oxygen is the key here … perlite, fabric pots and air pots all contribute to increasing air in the root zone which helps increase the health of plants, yield and quality of the fruit.

Plants grown using the methods above, far exceeded the results of those grown in ordinary pots with 100% soil. That’s been my experience this season.

Free Seeds
Steve from North Shields, has kindly offered to give away seeds from his Tumbling Tigers. These plants have produced a great crop this season of a good size tomato that is well worth the space you give it.

You can contact Steve through me, or by leaving a comment below. Seeds are limited, so it’s first come first served while stocks last!

Tomorrow (Sunday) could be a windy one, so batten down the hatches if you live in the UK – the thought of chasing my polytunnel across the neighbours gardens isn’t my idea of fun!

The last newsletter of this season will be Saturday 5th October.

I hope your tomatoes continue to ripen.