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I am  itching to start growing this year as it's the first time for me with a green house I normally have tomato plants donated June July but would like to start my own now from seed.  What is a good choice cherry or standard and when should start

I have grown money maker salad tomatoes for many years now as they are very reliable, cheap seeds and crop well. Also have found maskota or tumbling tom cherry tomatoes both are compact plants for hanging baskets and planters good.


Susan have ideas about what I'll grow but can't get my head around sewing tomatoes until late Feb / March. I'm sure by then we will have loads of opinions about toms on here

Think main thing is to decide if you want full sized or cherry ones, or a mixture.  

Thankyou for the responses


Shirley and gardeners delight as grafted plants for me.

Got some unusual varieties from Italophile that I am excited about growing from seed too.  And with this long hot summer I'm optimistic about a bumper crop 


I grow a slection of both and try a few new one's each year. Tumbling toms -in hanging baskets, last year, did well. Golden Sunrise do well but can sometimes be a little watery. Cerise is a good one. This year's new one's are tigerella - a stripped tom, prune noire - a black tom and Ildl - a yellow grape tom.      

I going to try not to sow until late March

Tigeralla is good one. Always reliable.

I'm also going to try some of the yellow ones. Just bought a job lot of 12 different varieties on ebay to expand my repetoire. Shirley is one of them-said to have great flavour.

I've always fed mine with tomorite or my own seaweed/nettle drink. Apparently Bob Flowerdew doesn't feed his toms apart from the compost they sit in. He maintains lack of feeding enhances flavour.

One thing I noticed on the gw newsletter list of jobs is to start of, at least some, now. Seems awful early to me. But I'll try anything at least once!  Indoors in a heated propagator/unheated propagagator or simply a pot covered with a platic bag placed on a sunny windowsill.

I tend to do the sowings. However, no later than May for me, otherwise later in the year I can't get them to ripen.


Thanks guys it is always helpful to get feedback for us new to gardening.


Have been growing tomatoes in hanging baskets - garden pearl, maskotka. Also in pots, costoluto fiorentina, tigrella.

I will be growing the costolutos again, along with black krim.

My granpa in law always used to grow these and did well with them - Alicante, Gardeners Delight, Moneymaker and Shirley


For many years I have grown Moneymaker, Alicante, Ailsa Craig, Shirley, etc. etc and have found them all to be tasteless or only slightly flavoured. I object to having to grow these `Cherry` varieties as I cannot accept them as real Tomatoes although yes, they have a sharp flavour but try to make a sandwich out of them!

I also, thanks to Italophile,  will be sowing the seeds he sent to me a few weeks ago on my usual date of January 20th. The individual varieties will be sown in 4 inch pots in our heated conservatory, germination should be 5-7 days and when the first `proper` leaves appear in early to mid February, pricked out in to individual 4 inch pots. About 3 weeks later moved again in to 5 inch pots until early March and then moved in to the heated GH (55-6- degrees) Yes I know it is expensive but with our stunning Cheshire climate what else can you do? I want to be picking ripe Toms in mid June, not September! I do not know of many hobbies which are inexpensive these days with the cost of heating, etc!!

I will keep you informed of success or difficulties and hope to see any of your comments during the Spring and Summer so that we can compare notes.

Will be interesting Bigolob.  Always chasing that elusive delicious tomato taste myself


spottedray, I'm with Bob Flowerdew on the feeding aspect. Not necessarily in terms of improving flavour because there's no real scientific reason for it.

But, as I've suggested here many times, toms thrive on controlled neglect, particularly in production terms. The flowers, hence fruit, are the plant seeking to reproduce itself. A plant is more likely to seek to reproduce itself if it feels threatened. A plant stuffed with water and fertiliser doesn't feel threatened. Toms are unbelievably sturdy plants. The last thing they need is pampering.


bigolob and verdun, good luck fellas!

I always start a few tomatoes off in a heated propagator in January, along with the hottest chilli varieties. I like to grow lots of different tomatoes but think Sungold are one of the tastiest cherry toms, and Russian black do well and fruit early for me in Sussex.

I make my main sowing mid - end of February but put those early plants into the polytunnel as soon as i can, around the first week in  April, no matter what the weather, drapped in fleece. Tough blighters, they always survive and give me fruit in June.

Hi Louise.

I also find toms tough little blighters.

It makes me smile when they spring up in my tub of home made garden compost.

I've grown on a couple of them. Only problem is I don't which variety they are.


Can anyone comment on eating qualities/or not/ of any of these varieties-


Ailsa Craig

Red Cherry

Shirley f1

Tumbling Tom Red

Principe Borghese

Sweet Million f1


Roma vf-




spottedray, others will be able to bring you up to speed on most of the varieties. The Roma, though, is a plum variety, best suited to sauces rather than nibbling on.


I've always sown mine early March, last year because the weather was so bad I ended up potting on 3 times before they went into unheated GH. Couldn't move for them in conservatory. Fine big healthy plants, treated them Italophile method, great crop, but they didn't ripen any earlier. This year I'm not sowing until start of April.

KEF, for the very best tomatoes evidence shows they germinate inside a day if sown on April 1 at 1.30 am 


On the naughty step Verdun.