Saturday, 8 September 2012

Tomato showcase

This year my tomato plants have been plagued by the blight, but despite this I have managed to get quite a considerable harvest from them.

Even after using huge large quantities of tomatoes in all sorts of ways (including a large batch of sauce which is now in the freezer for Winter use), there is still well over 6kgs of fruit ripening in the Dining Room:

Even though the yield has been much reduced because of the blight and the poor weather, I think my plants have done well. I had a total of 13 plants, of 10 different varieties. In order to "sing their praises" a bit I am posting here a picture of each type:

Star performer: Orkado. Big, strong plants with masses of large, smooth, tasty fruit. Withstood the blight well.

Ferline: good yield, though not on a par with Orkado. Medium to large-sized, slightly ribbed fruit. Reasonably blight-tolerant.

Speckled Roman. A bit of a disappointment. Striped red and yellow fruits look nice, but there weren't many of them. Rather frail plants, which succumbed quickly to the blight. Fruits have few seeds, so very suitable for making sauce.

Speckled Roman
 Roma. A traditional "paste" tomato, mainly used for cooking into sauce. Average in all respects. Modest yield.


Incas. Another plum tomato, rather like Roma. Attractive, distictively-pointed smooth fruits, very pale green right until the last moment before ripening to red.


San Marzano. Distinctively blunt, block-shaped  fruits. Firm flesh, few seeds. Good for cooking. The most prolific fruiter of my four plum tomato types, but set its fruit very late so lost many of them to the blight.

San Marzano
Sungold. Very prolific fruiter. Loads of cherry-sized orange / gold fruit. Very tasty. In fact the best of my types in terms of taste.

Maskotka. My favourite red cherry type. Large fruits for a cherry, borne on straggly but vigorous plants. Very prolific fruiter. Very tasty. Strongly recommended.

Losetto. Mostly fairly unimpressive. Many fruits, but very small, and skins were tough. Recovered well after being "on death's door" because of the blight.

Lizzano. Very similar to Losetto in most respects. In fact I'd be hard pressed to tell them apart!


Next year I think I will probably grow more examples of fewer varieties. Definitely I'll try to get "Orkado" again, though I may not be able to find it since it was billed as an experimental variety. I hope it becomes widely available.

Note: all my tomatoes were grown from seed, and grown outdoors.


  1. I really enjoyed this informative with great description regarding the varieties. Great photos as well.

    Can you tell me please, how did your Sun Gold weather the blight? I found it touched mine but SG has pulled through. One of the few, but there were others like Mexico Midget which the blight didn't touch at all.

    Well fingers crossed for both of us, we have a good tomato year in 2013!

    (sorry you can't post to my blog and I don't know why but appreciate that you tried..thank you)

  2. hey look, it's not too bad, quite a good haul if it was me!... mine are still green on the vine but coming along nicely... thank you again for the inspiration as always!

  3. Wow, ten varieties! I'll probably grow four, maybe five. Could you save the seed from one of the Okardo? It's a bit of a process but not difficult to do. Most of the tomatoes I've grown for the last few years were from seeds I'd saved.

    I must try to get hold of Sungold too, I've heard a few good reports.

  4. Not too bad a tomato haul for the year we've had, I'd be really pleased if I'd managed that. I still haven't had a ripe tomato and the plants have produced noticably fewer fruits this year.

  5. Really impressive variety Mark! I'm a bit disappointed by the tomatoes this year excepting the Roma - which gave about 40kg on 4 plants, but the Celebrity, Old German and Sweet 100 were not great.

  6. That's brilliant Mark- they've done really well. I have heaps of seedlings developing nicely but I'm not sure how many I'll fit in. Where there's a will there's a gap I guess.

  7. love your photo's. I also love to try lots of different tomatoes. I had the same results with the speckled Romans that I grew not a very good harvest but a pretty tomato the plant which has the wilt gene which is found in a lot of the heart and elongated tomatoes always make the tomatoes look kind of sick. My San Marzanos really do well outstanding production I love this paste tomato. Thanks for your post there are some varieties I will try next year.

  8. Wow so many varieties some are new too me. Nice harvest.


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