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Tomato choice 2018

2018's tomato seeds - a colourful lot
2018's tomato seeds - a colourful lot

All cherries of various colours

Like most of us, I’m way behind my usual schedule of sowing, thanks to the terrible weather.

The cold, wet and corresponding low light levels overtook my natural desire to rush ahead with sowing.

I used to sow tomatoes early February with a grow light but this year March 5 was the date – that extra light makes all the difference.

Avoiding leggy seedlings

People think tomatoes need heat – they do to germinate (approximately 21C) but keep them at that temperature and you’ll end up with leggy, drawn seedlings that are more likely to fall victim to damping-off disease.

Once you see them poking through, I turn down my heat mat to about 15-16C and make sure they get the best light possible.

I cover my seed trays with Perlite, which is white and every little helps in the good light stakes. For more on growing tomatoes, click here.

I always go for cordons

This year’s choice is (all indoor and indeterminate/cordons – need staking and side-shooting):

Garnet: A dark bronze cherry producing long trusses with fruits of up to 15g each. Sweetness/acidity balance is supposed to be good, with Sweet Aperitif as one of its parents. Good germination rate.

Santonio F1 Hybrid: An improved Santa type, glossy red cherry plum with 8g fruits. TMV and Fusarium resistant. Acidic bite and lingering sweetness. Good germination rate.

Unusual rosy flesh and skin

Rosella: A favourite of mine. Dark rosy flesh and skin with a green crown, with 15g fruits. Superb flavour – high sweetness/acid levels with smoky overtones. Good germination rate.

Sungold F1: Another longstanding favourite. Golden skin, bite-size tomatoes with reliably sweet flavour. Heavy cropper over a long period. Medium germination rate.

Suncherry Premium F1: Another regular. very shiny, red, sweet bite-size cherry, early ripening.  Flavour exceptional. Medium germination rate.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I love Sungold and grow it every year. Another favourite is Azoychka, a yellow beefsteak type tomato.
    Isn’t that Perlite in the pics? Vermiculite isn’t as white and is flat and scaly, not like Perlite’s more round structure.
    I just wish we had some warmer weather so we can get stuff growing this year ?
    Jeanette

    • Hi Jeanette – you’ve got a keen eye – keener than mine! It is Perlite, just been up to check – the bags sit next to each other and I randomly grabbed a potful and didn’t engage brain when writing it up! Yes, sick of this cold, another ice warning out until tomorrow here – I fear for an expensive Acer I planted in January.

  2. Hi Mandy, sorry about that, it’s just that my preference is for Vermiculite.
    I find Perlite a bit hard to the touch and Vermiculite is softer.
    I hope your plants come through this cold spell ?
    Jeanette

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