End of the Tomato Season

OK, so that’s it, the season has ended. The last of the tomatoes were picked yesterday, the plants removed and today was spent tidying and sweeping to make sure that everything is neat and tidy for the winter.

The total crop wasn’t that large (about 40kg) from about 30 different cultivars. I didn’t spend as much time as I have in previous years sorting them out so the greenhouses got to be a bit of a mess really.

I suppose I could choose varieties that grow more weight of tomatoes but I grow for a combination of interest, taste and variety. This year, most of what I grew came from a seed swap and I’ve saved seed so I can grow them again next year (if I want). My plan has always been to find enough varieties that I like so that I can cover all the colours and sizes with tomatoes that taste nice in salads, sandwiches and cooked.

If you look at my list, you’ll see that over the years I’ve grown a total of about 160 varieties and I’m always on the lookout for new, non F1 hybrid, varieties out of the 6000 or so that I’ve seen listed around the Web.

So, what did well and what did badly. Let’s start with the good news:

I loved Darby Striped, smaller than most of the red/yellow striped tomatoes and with less definition in the stripes but it had a rich flavour and cropped reasonably well so that goes on the list for futures.

Carotina was a good orange small beefsteak (similar to Jubilee and Moonglow) but was possibly edged out on the flavour stakes by Big Rainbow although that’s very similar to Marvel Stripes and possibly won’t quite make the cut. If I want a small orange beefsteak, its Moonglow or Jubilee although they both give way to my favourite tomato of all – Summer Cider.

Jaune Flamme is probably also a keeper, I don’t think there’s anything quite the same. Its a mid-sized orange tomato but the flesh is nearer red and its pretty sweet although its got an acid background.

Large Pink Bulgarian was an odd (heart) shaped large Pink tomato, but there are lots of similar things out there which don’t suffer from damage in quite the same way so, they go further down the list of things to grow.

Finally there’s Pink Tiger, one of the Artisan set of tomatoes with a strange shape but excellent flavour. The right size and shape to attract youngsters (grandchildren) to think outside the box of round, red tomatoes. That goes on the list but has to go up against Blush from the same family that we grew last year.

Then we get to the “won’t grow again” list which starts with Peacevine. This rambled all over the greenhouse, getting in the way. It was too small to pick sensibly and split as soon as look at you. Whilst I’m still looking for a pea sized tomato, this isn’t it. The pea sized ones seem to be too thin skinned to pick sensibly.

On the list for a different reason goes Gazzi Yellow Egg, it split all the time but did at least seem to heal. Orange Banana is up for question because it got Blossom End Rot badly, as did White Zebra. I don’t know if it was the season or the variety so I might give them both a second chance – they both had reasonable taste but not much in the way of crop.

Then there’s the “don’t really know” list in which I find Taiko (yellow, plum but a bit floury), Green Velvet (more difficult – looks fun but don’t cook with it it sends the sauces a funny colour), Vince (too dry – who needs a bell-pepper shaped tomato), Lima Korai, Radana, Halina, etc., all of which were pretty forgetful.

So, another year over and three or four tomatoes rising up the list. Have to wait and see what comes in this years swap to see how much space I’ve got to add to the list.