Sunday, 28 November 2010


I just did a count up of all my tomato plants and I've got 23. Eight in the garden, seven in the glasshouse and the rest waiting to be transplanted somewhere there is room.

In the glasshouse are Black Krim, Juliet, Amazon Chocolate, Brown Berry (x2), Arctic and Sunset's Red Horizon.

Arctic is a cool-weather variety supposedly bred for the US military, to bear fruit in extremely cold climates. I've grown it before and it does ok, but not as well as I'd expect given that description! Sunset's Red Horizon is new to me this year, an heirloom variety from Bristol Seeds with "proven resistance to frost, blossom end rot and cracking". I like to plant at least one cool weather variety in case we have a cold spring. This year it's been warm and sunny, but even so Sunset is growing taller and producing flowers earlier than any of the others. Sunset and Arctic are the only 2 to have tiny green fruit so far.

Black Krim is a yummy beefsteak type that I've grown before and I love the flavour. The skin is a dark reddish black colour. Amazon Chocolate (also from Bristol Seeds) is also a beefsteak with a "winey, smokey, delicious taste".

Juliet is an F1 variety that I've grown before. It's a steady and reliable fruiter. The fruits are small to medium, oval shaped and very tasty. Brown Berry is also from Bristol Seeds (I like to try at least one new variety every year, so everything from Bristol Seeds is new to me this season), it's a cherry tomato, supposedly vigorous and yielding large crops. Semi-sweet, rich flavours and very juicy. I'm not sure how tall the plants will grow so I've staked them just in case, but I have noticed they look a bit more compact and bushy than the others.

In the garden I have Black Krim x2, Amazon Chocolate, Brown Berry x2, Juliet, Sunset, and Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln (Bristol Seeds) was limited stock and strictly limited to one packet per order, so I had to try it. Anything that limited must be good right? The description says, "High lycopene. Faithfully produces huge crops of meaty fruit." Another beefsteak I suppose. The reason I only have one in the garden and none in the glasshouse is that only one seed (out of 4) germinated, and it grew so slowly that it wasn't ready for potting on when I did all the glasshouse plants. It's catching up now though, so it will be interesting to see what it does.

Also in the glasshouse and just about ready to be transplanted out are another Amazon Chocolate, and some "bite size" varieties which I bought as seeds on sale at Bunnings: Green Grape, Yellow Pear and Red Fig (x5... must be a vigorous one). This afternoon when it cools down a bit I'll find somewhere to poke them in. I've got some pumpkin seedlings that need to go out too.

What tomato varieties are you growing this year?


  1. I like the range you are growing. I am much less adventurous. I got good old reliable Grose Lisse, and some Mortgage Busters (from Diggers Seeds), and another Digger's packet of 'hierloom varieties - mixed' So goodness knows what they are! My count is 25 plants all grown from seed. Our spring has been cool and wet and it took me a while to get them out, but they are going well. I think I need a greenhouse to speed it up a bit..

  2. Looks like your tomatoes are coming on nicely, the warm weather is certainly giving them a boost this year.

  3. Hazel - your mixed pack of heirlooms will be interesting. I've seen ads for Diggers in Aussie magazines, looks like they have some good seed offers! I wish we had them in NZ.

    Kellee - they sure are enjoying this warm spring, as am I!

  4. Black Krim and Subarctic Plenty are the only ones of yours I've heard of so I'll be really interested to see your best picks at the end of the season. I can see why whole books are written about tomatoes and I think I've already limited mine by trying to get the heirlooms to behave like modern single leader varieties. Ah, so much to learn. The brandywine is leaps and bounds ahead of them all. You'll have the added comparison of indoor/outdoor results. I've avoided Bristol seeds because of the small seed count but I will look at them next year. It's a very good idea to try new things in small doses! I see I'm on one of the boys log ins, I didn't kill the dinosaurs, it's Miriam

  5. Hi Miriam, I'm glad it wasn't you who killed the dinosaurs! I have a lot to learn too, I didn't know that heirlooms and modern varieties behave any differently... might have to spend some time on Google looking that up! Oh well, as long as they all produce plenty of fruit for me to eat and preserve and dry and cook with it will be fine :)

  6. Your plants are looking amazing! Can't wait to watch their progress and get your top picks at the end.

  7. I've got Black Krim, Black from Tula, quite a few Brandywine Pink, Roma, Cocktail, Aunt Ruby's German Green (great name isn't it!).



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