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Growing tomatoes: best tomatoes for flavour


by Kate Bradbury

This year I'm determined to only grow one variety of tomato. This is because my garden was overrun with tomato plants last year and I couldn't get onto my patio for growing bags...


Freshly harvested tomatoesThis year I'm determined to only grow one variety of tomato. This is because my garden was overrun with tomato plants last year and I couldn't get onto my patio for growing bags and poorly staked cordons. So 2011 will see a more streamlined effort, albeit with slightly fewer tomatoes.

But which which tomato do I choose? There are so many varieties out there, I'm a bit stuck. I've not been bowled over by the toms I've grown so far: 'Moneymaker' lacks flavour, 'Gartenperle' tastes good but the cherry-sized fruits don't look real to me - I think of them as 'toy tomatoes'. 'Maskotka', 'Shirley', 'Minibel', 'Tumbling Tom' - they're all fine, but they don't excite me. And I'm quite bored of 'Gardener's Delight'. I did enjoy 'Tigerella', which I grew for the first time last year, but the yield wasn't great. Is there a tomato out there that has it all?

I've heard great things about heirloom variety 'Brandywine', and cherry cordon-type 'Sungold', and a quick poll around the office confirmed 'Sungold' as a favourite for flavour. 'Brandywine' looks great but it doesn't seem like the sort I'd want to put in a salad. Plum type 'Roma' has had mixed reviews, but I'm tempted to try it as it's has a semi-bush habit, enabling me to grow it in troughs hung from trellises so it doesn't clutter up the patio. It has a thick flesh though, making it more suited to sauces than salads, so I'll need to grow a salad type, too. 'Ailsa Craig' and 'Inca' were also given the thumbs up, while good old, reliable 'Gardener's Delight' attracted the highest number of votes.

I have a few 'Losetto' seedlings on the go, which my partner sowed a couple of weeks ago. It's a relatively new bush type that promises sweet, juicy flavour and good resistance to blight (we'll see). I've decided we can grow one variety each, without causing too many problems. So I think I'll pick...




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Gardeners' World Web User 10/03/2011 at 15:08

Yuk, tomatoes, yuk yuk yuk.The food of Satan. You can keep 'em, blurgh yuk...

Gardeners' World Web User 10/03/2011 at 15:25

Sungold are my favourites - very sweet and flavourful but the skins can be a bit tough. Last year I think Toby recommended Rosada a small plum which was also very tasty and prolific with abundant trusses. I grew both in greenhouse last year but Sungold has done well outside in the past.

Gardeners' World Web User 10/03/2011 at 15:27

Thank you for your constructive comment, Mr Spud.

Gardeners' World Web User 10/03/2011 at 15:38

Got to be Sungold. I keep trying different varieties but this one is just always the best. Gardener's Delight pretty good too. And Black Krim, picked before it gets squishy, has a lovely crunchy, sweet-saltiness. But if you're only choosing one, my vote goes for Sungold x

Gardeners' World Web User 10/03/2011 at 15:41

Roma are pretty good. Grew Costeluto Fiorentino last year - good flavour but not massive yield. Do quite like Gardener's Delight - sorry! This year I'm trying St Pierre and Cuor di Buo from Mark Diacono's Otter Farm - anyone know about those? They sounded tempting to me!!

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