This year, as always, I am growing a wide variety of types of tomato - big, small, round, pear-shaped, red, yellow, stripey, I have something of everything. This is my way of "hedging my bets". Surely, if one variety under-performs, another will excel?
So far, things are looking pretty good, and most of my plants have set lots of fruit. Perhaps the most heavily-populated is this "Ailsa Craig", a good old-fashioned variety that has stood the test of time.
"Super Marmande" is heavily laden too...
I'm not surprised to see this "Maskotka" with its branches bending under the weight of fruit. It always does well for me.
The first plants to deliver ripe fruit are some other Maskotkas, growing in my tall wooden planter so that they can trail downwards.
One of my all-time favourites is "Larisa". When ripe, its huge heart-shaped fruits are pink. Unfortunately it is a tricky one to grow because it has practically no resistance to blight. Luckily there is no sign of blight here yet this year!
This is "Yellow Zebra", seeds for which I got from a Facebook friend in Holland. I'm assuming the fruits will be mainly yellow, but probably with green stripes.
These ones are a similar torpedo-like shape. They are "Artisan Mix" from Thompson and Morgan. The mix contained seeds for two different but fairly similar varieties, Artisan Blush Tiger (pink blush on golden skin) and Artisan Pink Tiger (pink and gold stripes). I have two plants from this mixture. What are the chances of them being one of each type???
Aiming off for the possibility of blight, I sowed some seeds for "Mountain Magic", a variety with strong blight-resistance. It produces small red fruits, bigger than cherry size, but not much. I have two of this type - one in a pot in my main growing area and another (which was intended as a reserve) which has been squeezed in at the bottom of the garden, in the soil in a less-than-ideal spot.
Last year, one of the varieties that did best for me was "Red Pear", so I'm growing it again this year. Actually, it has produced rather less fruit than I had hoped for, but they look as if they are going to be big ones.
Another of the large-fruited varieties is this "Cherokee Chocolate" one. The Cherokees are usually big vigorous and very prolific plants, but this one seems to be small for its kind (which is actually a bit of a relief because it will be easier to keep it under control!)
Tucked away in a corner next to my water-butt (it was another Reserve that I couldn't bear to part with) is "Little Lucky", living up to its name by avoiding being given away! This variety produces golden yellow fruits flushed with pink.
Out at the front of our house, in smaller pots, I have four more tomato plants... This is "Divinity", a very compact red-fruited variety.
Two of the others here are "Montello F1", and they demonstrate very clearly the problems with self-saved seeds from F1 varieties: they seldom come true next time round! One plant has very round fruits:
The other one has very pear-shaped fruits:
To be honest, I don't really care what they look like; I just hope they taste OK! Possibly compounding the error, or maybe seizing a good opportunity, I have found three self-seeded "volunteers" from out there in the front where "Montello F1" grew last year, and I've potted them up to grow on. Two of them are still very tiny, but today the biggest one seemed OK to put into a large pot, one of those recently freed-up by harvesting new potatoes:
|Probably the offspring of "Montello F1"|
Who knows what these ones will turn out like, but hopefully it means that I will be harvesting a late second crop when all the others have finished, which would definitely be a good result!