Down on the Allotment

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Earliest Tomato

I am growing 'Sub Arctic Plenty' tomato for the first time this year. It was a freebie packet last year with one of my gardening magazines. I became interested in this area last year when I found out about a tomato breeding project in Quebec, Canada where they have a series of cold tolerant beefsteak tomatoes! A little research has shown me that this variety was developed in the 1940s to enable the US Servicemen posted in Greenland to grow their own vegetables in such a Northern climate in order to stay healthy. Sub Arctic Plenty sets fruit even in cold conditions and is claimed to be the very first tomato to ripen outdoors.
Obviously not frost tolerant, but let's give it a go! I've not grown this one before, has anyone else? Any bloggers out there in Greenland? Canada?

12 Comments:

At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Karen said...

Hm, that seems like a good one for Seattle too - I'll have to ask my mom if she's ever tried it! She planted your Great Wall seeds, by the way! I'll have to give you updates as they grow (hope they do!). A Greenland garden blogger - now that would be quite a find!

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

I've grown these for the past few years. Originally a HSL 'Lucky Dip' packet. I'm not in the habit of saving tomato seeds - I seem to acquire so many different varieties without trying! So it wasn't in the 'tomato seeds' tin for this year.
Maybe I should have kept seed from these as they wee consistently good whatever the weather.

I think you'll like them :-)

Celia

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

I grew it last year - it was a huge disappointment! My Golden Sunrise was earlier by about 3 weeks. Sub Arctic had no flavour to speak of either. I won't be growing it again. Hope I haven't disappointed you.

 
At 8:46 PM, Anonymous easygardener said...

It will be ironic if we finally have a 2009 heatwave when you are so well prepared!

 
At 10:07 PM, Blogger Dan said...

I will have to look into this Tom breeding in Quebec. I am a good 10 hours south of Quebec but could sure use a cold hardy tom. I am growing Siletz as it has large fruit and is supposed to produce in 52 days. After ordering the seed I then found it on other pages listed anywhere from 60-70 days, I'm hoping it is closure to the 52 days.

I was search around the internet and found a page for purple podded snap peas. The man that runs it has breed them himself and is willing to share seed once they are ready. Here is the link to the photos & his e-mail: http://www.omsoft.com/danq/purplepeas/

 
At 9:23 PM, Blogger VP said...

I found them to be middling - good yiled, average flavour, but a good insurance crop as I only grow outdoor toms.

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

A friend in Quebec says that they aren't very tasty - she doesn't blog but she does grow acres of veggies.

 
At 5:22 PM, Blogger Matron said...

All the above comments are really interesting. I will grow some outside this year, but they might be useful as an 'insurance' crop in case of a cold season. I DO insist on a great taste in anything I grow, so if they don't pull their weight they will be going back to Greenland!

 
At 11:30 AM, Blogger clairesgarden said...

I grew them in the greenhouse last year, and thought they had a good flavour, they weren't particluarly early as far as I can remember. anything that went outside here ended up rotting in the rain...

 
At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Marc @ GardenDesk said...

I am growing "Sub-Arctic Plenty" as well, hoping for estra-early tomatoes. I got mine from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and they give it a second name of "World's Earliest". I hope they are right! Good luck with yours!

 
At 6:48 AM, Blogger kennard said...

i grew it about 10 years ago in detroit (zone 6). i normally begin to pick early girl july 10-15. it was very prostrate and pooped out in august when the other tomatoes were in full production. i usually put in plants about may 10 occasionally earlier if the forecast looks good. i thought the taste was very good. it is an acidic tomato which i like. they taste like a summertime tomato. the skin is not thick like a cherry tomato. they are about 1.5-2 inches. i picked my first ripe tomatoes JUNE 20. i've been looking for the plants since to no avail.

 
At 12:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm in Northern Quebec and i have had good luck with the sub arctic. The Sub Arctic is still not as good as the "Sweet baby girl" tomatoe which produces fruits almost as large as the Sub-Actic. The SBG is also more tolerant to sudden weather changes or neglect and recovers quickly as well as produces in many differing soils and produces a staggering amount of fruit. The Sub-Arctic has a more acidic Heinz like flavour. Most hybrid determinant variates are worthless here. Most of the varieties that work best here are heirloom indeterminate staking types that exceed 60 inches such as the brandywine. Although Early girl varieties do well enough.

 

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