Home Vegetables New blight-resistant tomato and double poppy

New blight-resistant tomato and double poppy

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Blight-resistant tomato Oh Happy Day F1. Picture; Thompson & Morgan
Blight-resistant tomato Oh Happy Day F1. Picture; Thompson & Morgan

Thompson & Morgan announces two new seed varieties

Gardeners who have to deal with the problem of blight on outdoor tomatoes will be itching to try a new resistant variety from Thompson & Morgan.

Oh Happy Day F1 follows on from Losetto and Mountain Magic – it’s a cross between a very blight-resistant North American line and a French Marmande type.

In trials, Oh Happy Day resisted late blight infection for three weeks longer than Mountain Magic. The round, slightly flatter, 150g tomatoes grow in clusters of 3-7 fruits which have a superb taste balance of acidity and sweetness.

Colin Randel, Thompson & Morgan’s vegetable expert, said: “The high late blight resistance of Oh Happy Day means that these outdoor-grown tomatoes will have longer to ripen to their full potential and to provide the superb flavour that only comes with sun-kissed, outdoor-grown tomatoes.”

Poppy Supreme. Picture; Thompson & Morgan
Poppy Supreme. Picture; Thompson & Morgan

Poppy Supreme

Living up to its name, poppy Supreme’s double flowers are three times larger than those of similar Papaver rhoeas varieties.

It has crinkly petals with picotee edges in pink, cherry and orange tones with white centres. At 75cm tall, Supreme is long-flowering and multi-branching, making it ideal for direct sowing.

Six years ago, Charles Valin, head of Thompson & Morgan’s plant breeding team, spotted some plants in a batch of double Shirley poppies that had extra-large flowers.

Two generations of selection later, Charles’ team has managed to ‘fix’ a giant-flowered mixture in double picotee bicolours.

Charles said: “All the hard work that we’ve put in to create this stunning poppy has been worth it! The flowers are huge and yet they retain their elegance and are in perfect proportion to the overall plant size.

“We discovered that Supreme has a very robust constitution and blooms for twice as long as traditional poppies. Supreme was a real hit with bees in our trials and I think gardeners will love them too!”

Poppy Supreme (£2.49 for 300 seeds) and Tomato Oh Happy Day (£2.99 for 8 seeds) will be available from mid-December, visit www.thompson-morgan.com.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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