It’s been said that if you have ten tomato growers in a room and ask a question, you’ll get ten different answers!
The truth is, each tomato variety has its own growing requirements – one variety may need completely different growing conditions compared to another.
It’s hard to believe that there is so much difference between tomato plant varieties – but there is!
The video below has nothing to do with tomatoes – well almost nothing but I can’t resist it!
An Italian variety like Costoluto needs a heated greenhouse or an Italian’s back garden to flourish.
Stupice, Red Alert, Glacier, Alaskan Fancy and Siberia do very well in cooler areas – given some of these names it’s not surprising!
Q. So what happens if we grow Glacier or Siberia in Italy?
A. The plants will need to be shaded from the hot sun for most of the day.
Q. What happens if we grow Costoluto outdoors in Scotland?
A. Very little unfortunately – you’ll be lucky to get two or three tomatoes that are far from their true taste!
Your Own Experience
My advice is to find the varieties that grow well in your area and from that selection, the ones that are tops for taste.
As we come towards the end of August it’s a good time to save seeds and note down the success’s and failures of this season.
Why Save Your Own Seeds?
It’s not just the cost of the seeds, but knowing that you’ll be growing exactly the same strain of a variety.
Too often I’ve bought seeds from different sources and have experienced different results that were because of the seeds and not the growing conditions.
So when you save your own seeds, you’ll know exactly what to expect next season – unless a friendly bee has cross pollinated your flowers of course!
It’s well known that bees help pollinate flowers but some varieties are more difficult or slower to pollinate and set fruit than others.
This season proved this beyond doubt when Red Alert was setting its fruit within days of flowering, yet Tumbling Tom took weeks for the flowers to set!
This had a negative effect on plans to compare the five Tumbling Toms and their different growing and feeding plans.
The tomatoes on these varieties have only just started to ripen, yet I’ve been picking ripe Red Alert toms since the middle of June.
Nevertheless, one of the main reasons we grow our own is because of the taste.
Red Alert, Maskotka, Latah and Stupice performed tops for taste this season, and the more regularly grown varieties like Golden Sunrise and Moneymaker were disappointing for flavour.
Still, I guess that’s why it’s good to grow a number of varieties – some will be successful and others less so, but you should still get a good crop – hopefully!
That’s it for this week – my thanks to Rosemary and Julian for the seeds … Santa came early this morning – aka the postman!