Kate Collyns - 04 September 2013
Since the tomatoes are really peaking now, it's interesting to compare how the trial varieties are performing. While it's been a good year for tomatoes (touch wood), and all varieties have been producing pretty well, I've tried out some varieties that I'll not grow again next year, and found some new ones that I will. Here are some thoughts so far...
- Chocolate Cherry - Productive, sweet small cherry fruits, with a great dark purpley colour
- Galina - Bright yellow cherry tomato, pretty but not very prolific, holds well
- Gardener's Delight - Tried and trusted red cherry tomato, very productive, fast-growing, long-lasting and great taste
- Golden Queen - Reliable and prolific medium bright yellow tomato, need picking regularly to prevent splitting
- Jens Tangerine - Medium dark yellow tomato, fairly prolific; but duller colour than Golden Queen can make fruit look over-ripe
- Stupice - Early medium red tomato with green/yellow shoulders; these shoulders remain even when ripe and stay hard, and can make fruit look under-ripe
- Tigerella - Stripey orange/red or green/red tomato, small to medium sized; very productive and consistent; this year's crop does have some white/brown dotting on the skin (could be a soil issue)
Kate set up Grown Green @ Hartley Farm in 2010, a two-acre market garden in Wiltshire between Bath and Bradford on Avon, selling to farm shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants. There are three polytunnels, herb beds and a small field for other vegetables and flowers.
The seed variety field lab is looking into Open Pollinated (OP) seed varieties available to non-organic growers and trialling them in organic systems with a view to either creating a demand for them organically or saving them on farm for use in subsequent years. The field lab is part of the Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme which is aiming to improve productivity, quality and environmental performance in organic and low-input agriculture.
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