Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Affair with the Love Apple

I cannot be the only person who keeps collecting more and more tomato varieties! Nowadays I seldom buy tomatoes except if I want a specific F1 hybrid such as Sungold. I collect quite a few from seed and I have been blessed with some swaps from fellow bloggers. My tomato collection reflects my love of travel, and thus I have seeds from Quebec, Azores and from the Great Wall of China (via West Dean Gardens). There doesn't seem to be the space to grow as many as I'd like. Today I planted a few Ildi, Great Wall of China, Noir du Crimee, Sub Arctic Plenty and Sungold. You can see below that I grabbed a handful of chip forks from my local fish and chip shop while they had their back turned !!! they make wonderful plant labels.
Later in the season I will plant black cherry, Coracao de Boi, Den De Lor, and Golden Gem. And probably some others that I can't resist either! I am particularly looking forward to growing some of the black and purple varieties this year too. And seeing as how we have had sub Arctic conditions here in London, the tomatoes from the Crimea and Quebec should do well.

15 Comments:

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Woodland Fay said...

Amazed you are planting so early. Your part of Hillingdon must be warmer than mine! I also have a passion for the red, orange, yellow, black and striped stuff. I've grown Noir du Crimee and find it needs an early start as it matures slowly but this early? Do I need to get busy? Have you tried www.kokopelli-seed-foundation.com Huge tomato seed collection from around the world. I bought mine at the Loire Tomato Festival see my blog with photos of many wonderful varieties, Regards Fay http://woodlandfay.blogspot.com/2008/11/winter-blues-reds-and-greens.html

 
At 10:37 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Fay - these are planted in a heated propagator inside the greenhouse. There will be enough heat to keep them growing until I start to gradually harden them off.

 
At 11:03 PM, Blogger Woodland Fay said...

Growing my babies in a south facing unheated conservatory, in my own sandy seed compost mix (good for cold conditions) when do you recommend me planting? BTW, do you moon garden? I usually plant out in position first week of May. (Only grow outdoors) End of March, beginning of April? Thanks in advance for your recommendations.

 
At 12:11 AM, Blogger jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

I'll be interested to see how you like Ildi...I wasn't so impressed with its flavour, but it might have been my lack of heat units. Sungold, on the other hand, was awesome.

 
At 1:38 AM, Blogger Dan said...

If you want to see some crazy looking tomatoes check out wild boar farm tomatoes, they are amazing. I was lucky enough to get a few in a seed trade this year. I will be saving the seed from them this fall so I can share some with you later this year.

I am growing two black tomatoes, black zebra & black cherry. I am also going to grow two purple tomatoes, Purple Calabash & Cherokee Purple. I think the blacks & purples have the best deep tomato flavor.

 
At 9:09 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Fay - without artificial heating you have to be sure that your tomato seedlings will not get frosted so make your best guess about where and when to plant tomato seeds. You can start them off indoors for heat but without the light from outdoors or a greenhouse they get spindly.
Jodi - I have grown Ildi before, they are lovely sweet and very prolific. I agree with you about sungold but the F1 seeds are quite pricey.

 
At 10:57 AM, Anonymous easygardener said...

Are you going to grow any outside? I'm finding blight of of a problem each year and have had to give up growing on the allotment. Even the ones grown in pots up by the house suffer to a certain extent. Oh for a greenhouse twice the size of my present one!

 
At 3:22 PM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

That collection just about rivals my own! (To which you have added!)
I don't have a heated propagator - windowsill does for me - and I don't heat my greenhouse either so not much goes in before March. I have sown 2 though - one is Brandywine which I feel needs a longer season than some - and the other is my F2 Sungold seed. We'll see what happend there!

 
At 9:33 AM, Blogger VP said...

Sadly no greenhouse, so tomato sowing's on hold at the moment :(

Like Easygardener, I'm concerned the recent 2 years of blight might mean no more tomato growing for a while. I'm not bothering on the allotment this year, so will concentrate on them here at home.

Here's hoping it's not 3 years in a row.

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger VP said...

Congratulations! You're mentioned in The Guardian's round up of blog posts today :)

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger Nutty Gnome said...

It's still way too cold up North-ish to do any planting in my unheated greenhouse as yet, but I do like the sound of the black and purple tomatoes. I'll have to give them a go in a few weeks.
Love your tit box in your last post!

 
At 5:25 PM, Blogger Red Clover said...

Obsessive, but pleasant. Or so the tomato picture struck me. Ha ha. Jk. It actually looks like a lot of fun, and it makes me wonder if you have different recipe for all of those tomatoes?

 
At 9:48 AM, Blogger lilymarlene said...

Whoops! Better get on with sowing mine.....

 
At 3:29 AM, Anonymous Willi said...

Ooh! Black cherry is my favorite tomato. It does great for me in my garden. What is Noir du Crimee taste like. I'd grow it for the name alone!

 
At 4:53 AM, Anonymous CityGarden said...

it's the first year that I will try to grow many tomato varieties. I think we want to grow all tomato varieties every year :P

 

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