Sowing Tomatoes

Without a doubt  the vegetable I am asked the most questions about is the tomato what makes this interesting is in fact the tomato is technically a fruit.

The commonest question is

“why dont tomatoes I buy taste like they used to ?”

and the short answer is they are are most likely a variety whose breeding program was designed to meet numerous criteria but “taste” wasn’t high on that list

Growing your own is the best way to rediscover those tastes and the film below shows you how to start your seeds

 

The latest scientific  research even backs up the belief that home grown tomatoes taste better

At the world famous Kew gardens they have been researching “taste” and interestingly this is what they found

Professor Monique Simmonds, Deputy Director of Science at Kew, said, “Tomatoes grown at Kew had a much higher level of complexity of chemicals than supermarket tomatoes, which are picked early and not matured on a vine.”

Not only did the produce grown at Kew have a greater depth of flavour, but the experiment suggests that  could be healthier too.

“The complexity of chemistry suggests that they are likely to be healthier,” said Professor Simmonds. “We found higher levels of lycopene, which is known to have health benefits and contain antioxidants.”

Lycopene has been shown to help unclog blocked arteries and is thought to be one of the major reasons the Mediterranean diet  is so healthy.

My own experience would back this up totally and below are the varieties I grow, I may not grow all of them each year but they all feature

Green Zebera — The flavour is exquisite one of my absolute favorites and looks pretty in the salad bowl. Med sized 85g, round, smooth fruits ripening to a beautiful chartreuse with deep lime-green stripes & yellow background the  stripes cover more than 65 percent of the tomato

Cuor di Bue —  ‘Ox Heart’ beef tomato, so called because of its size and shape. A lovely slicing tomato due to its meaty flesh, and few seeds.  Strong flavored and can make a delicious sauce so real duel purpose tomato. Normally 150-180g  but can get much larger.Has lower acidity than most reds

Rose di Berne —  Excellent sweet/tart flavoured deep glowing pink with high yields, can be large but not s big as a ‘beefsteak’ type .112- 228g real tomato taste

Rosada — Elongated baby cherry plum with superb flavour always performs well, prolific cropper with large trusses of vibrant red colour and great straight from the vine .

Bottondoro — Orange cherry with great taste and high sugar and Betacarotene content real favorite with children as sweeter than more traditional varieties.

Green Grape — Bush. Small, slightly grape-shaped cherries are ripe when they have a green chartreuse colour. Great  rich, sweet and zingy flavour, but untidy plant which can be grown in large pot

Black Sea Man — beautiful tomatoes that are rich mahogany colored with olive green shoulders when mature. Inside of tomato is deep, reddish green and loaded  with excellent, full-bodied, complex, intense, creamy tomato flavors. This is a potato leafed variety with large tomatoes of 340-455g. Can split but grow fantastically with careful watering

Black Plum — Very attractive, small garnet-coloured plum. Not brilliant raw but it makes a fantastic wonderfully scented sauce and worth growing just for this and a very heavy cropper

San Marzano — The archetypical  plum tomato from Italy that is regarded by many chiefs as the best tasting tomato for cooking in the world.Thinner skinned than most commercial  varieties with a dry, meaty flesh,but with a sublime tomato taste.

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2 thoughts on “Sowing Tomatoes”

  1. This is great , I am going to get some seeds and try to germinate them in the airing cupboard, when they emerge i shall take them out and put on window sill only if sunny if not just somewhere warm , then when about 5 or 6 cms I can get one of those cloche things from aldi and put in there , removing the cover to the sun , is this correct do you think at what stage would i plant them outside and do you put canes in the ground to support them . I really am a beginner but would just love to produce my own tomatoes, thank you so much for this video. Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy

      Firstly if you are growing your tomatoes on the window sill you will need to construct a light box just using some tin foil to get reflected light as there will not be enough from the window alone. Tomatoes really do like the heat and the earliest I would plant outdoors in the UK would be May and then I would only grow bush varieties outside, those should not need staking.

      Kind regards

      Mark

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