The Tomato Diaries #2

I sowed these tomatoes on 13 March – 1 x ‘Yellow Delight’ and 7 x ‘Gardener’s Delight’ survived and on 20 May, I finally got round to putting them in larger (though not their final) pots. The two not in shot are tiny compared to these – and the tallest of these is only 6-7 inches.

By the end of May, they looked like this – and some of the heritage tomatoes have sprouted too.

After searching in vain for growbags (apparently there is a national shortage), I bought four 60L bags of multi-purpose compost and used one to pot-up these eight tomato plants (seven Gardener’s Delight and one Yellow Delight). There are two to a pot and they are in the Tiny Greenhouse.

The reason I wanted growbags is because I was going to cut them in half across the middle, stand them on end and plant one tomato plant into each. This would have allowed for two ‘pots’ to fill the width of the greenhouse (taking up less floor space) whereas I can only fit in one large square pot, with just enough room for a couple of small pots – which is more awkward.

Gardener’s Delight is also a cordon but can be grown as a bush type. Intructions here, tell me I must remove side side stems, though a viewer’s video on Gardener’s World (4 June) showed that if the removed side shoots are placed in water, they will produce roots and can be potted up to provide a new plant. I assume Yellow Delight is also a cordon type.

A week later (13 June) and they’ve grown. I’ve had to remove all the shelving from that side of the Tiny Greenhouse to allow for expansion. I got round to staking them on 17 June, and removed any unwanted side shoots. I thought I’d try and see if I could get some of the larger side shoots to root in a jar of water, for extra plants.

Heritage Tomatoes

If I manage to grow the heritage tomatoes to a viable size, some of the above pots may have to move outside to make room as Rosella is a cordon tomato and will require string supports from the roof. There’s no rush as these seedling are from a second sowing and are less than 2 inches tall at time of writing.

Rosella tomatoes are a deep pink, cherry tomato supposed to taste of raspberries, blackberries and other summer fruits and can grow to 79 inches tall. If these grow any taller than 60 inches, I will not only be very surprised, but will also be pinching out their growing tips. These are from a second late sowing as the first failed to germinate.

Bloody Butcher tomato is an old German Heritage variety which produces medium-sized red tomatoes with darker red juicy flesh, thin but firm with a sweet, strong old-fashioned tomato flavour. The plants are cordons and grow to about 70 inches (180 cms).

It’s amazing what a few weeks of hot weather can do, as these have shot up. Now in 6 inch pots. Their next move will be their final one

Tomato Plants for Future Consideration

I’m considering moving to smaller plants next year. This site has suggestions for compact and shorter plants that can be grown in hanging baskets and in pots on the patio. More research is required.

12 thoughts on “The Tomato Diaries #2

  1. LOOKING GREAT! I always enjoyed growing several varieties f tomatoes to ty them out, usually heirlooms. The problem is I usually wind up with 20 plants and way to many tomatoes to give away. SO, I only have 8 plants this year. Four Celebrity (of course not an heirloom) and four Brandywine. I haven’t tried Brandywine for many years when I lived in Mississippi so I thought Would give them a shot here in Missouri. Looking forward to seeing how yours do. Take care and thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes, they are for planting in the ground. Some heirlooms, like Brandywine, take around 100 days from transplant to have ripe fruit. When I tried them in Mississippi, the extreme heat and humidity would cause the flowers to abort. Then, when temps cooled down a bit, they would set fruit. They wouldn’t ripen before the first “F” in December. Here in Missouri, the first “F” is in October, but they will still ripen because the flowers don’t abort when it is hot. So, you grow your tomatoes in pots? Are they determinate?

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    2. I’ve grown in pots, growbags and in the ground – it makes no difference – they are always late to germinate (against the average date/time for UK), slow to grow and slow to ripen. This is the first time growing in a greenhouse. I have no idea if they are determinate or not (not sure what that means) :-/

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    3. Determinate vines grow only so tall and the fruit ripens over a short period. Indeterminate types grow taller, flower, and fruits ripen over the entire season. They should be pruned and tied to stakes or hung on a trellis to keep them off the ground. I started hanging mine a couple of years ago and it works better than just tying them to a stake. My dad thought I was nuts. 🙂

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  2. You won’t have any shortage of tomatoes. We have stuck with Gardeners’ Delight this year, a dozen plants, in pots in a small glasshouse and it will be plenty for us. They are about 50cm high at the moment, first flowers set.

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  3. All looking lovely! I grew Rosella for the first time last year and they were wonderful, every bit as sweet and delicious as Sungold. I’m growing 8 other heritage varieties this year (thanks to a gift of seeds from a Finnish friend), Orion’s Belt might be worth considering as it’s a bush variety and compared to the others, really tiny and compact. I’ve got one in the polytunnel and another in a pot by the kitchen door and both are growing very strongly. Will be reporting on the yield (hopefully!) later . . . Happy gardening! 😊

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    1. We had horrendous problems with blight in Asturias so anything was a bonus, I’m hoping to have more luck in our new garden. Fingers crossed you’ll at least have a taste – they are a really pretty colour, too!

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