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I would usually fully agree with you. When it comes to potatoes and carrots, I always stick to my well known and reliable varieties. But I usually try the odd heirloom one, and now and then you'll find a hidden treasure. This year I came across the tomato variety 'sub arctic plenty', which won me over completely with their sweet taste and ability to produce a good yield in a cold climate up here in the North Isles (no, not outside, but in a cold greenhouse). So I would suggest, if you got the space, give some of the old varieties a go!
I agree with Adam, I tried some Heritage varieties this year and also had problems. I tried Brandywine and Black Russian. Yields were poor although the flavour of Brandywine was good both suffered badly from blight and rotted before they ripened. Olivade I also grew was a superb cropper, tasted well and suffered no blight problems.
I agree with Helen. Like her I have grown Gardener's delight for years. However they were most disappointing this year. They didn't crop well and were quite tasteless. I shall try another variety next year. I also found my Plum variety yielding a small crop this year.
I grew gardeners delight for the first time this year and was very dissapointed both by yield and flavour, they were grown both in a cold greenhouse and outsde in the north of england.


I have had an allotment in excess of 25 years,this has been an abysmal year,never before have tomatoes performed so badly,heritage and F1s just best to put this year behind us,and move on,its not any variety,just an appalling wet summer,hope things are better for 2008.
I think your disappointment over Snow White Cherry might have more to do with the weather conditions this past season than anything elase. I have grow it and I think the flavour is every bit as good as Gardeners Delight which I have also grown. We tried Broad Ripple yellow current this year in a cold greenhouse and when it finally cropped the flavour was excellent. Tomatoes need sun which they did not yet this year.
I also agree with the heritage seed, but I myself grew tigrella toms and was dissapointed at texture and taste, I wish I'd grown shirleys
Yes, the tomatoes were disappointing this year. However when they did ripen they were great. We grew tigerella (in the greehouse) and tumbling toms (in hanging baskets outside) and they both did surprisingly well, weather considering.
Im a new allotmenteer Ive only had mine since April. I tried growing several verieties of toms, inside in a big plastic greenhouse and outside, I was hit by blight both in and out and I lost the lot. Not a good start and not very encourageing but it gave me some hope that it wasnt only me. Keeping my fingers tightly crossed for next year and praying we all have a better year next (surely it cant be as bad as last). The slugs loved the weather and I couldnt even grow a lettuce, well I ended up with the remains of stems, didnt matter what I tried to use as barriers they won.
Don't be put off Gaynor. Every new season provides challenges, but also great opportunities. I predict a great year on your allotment in 2008. Don't be backward in coming forward, and ask those experienced people on your allotment site for advice. I'm sure they can help you choose crops that will beat the pests and diseases, and provide you with delicious crops. Good luck!
I got my allotment in April 2007 and the carrots beetroot, onions, peas potatoes were brill and even got 2nd for my peas in the annual event. Evan got a cup for the newcommer. So I can not complain about last year. Could be different next year though
I have grown sweet million for the last couple of years in a cold greenhouse in the north of the country and have found them to be the best small tomato - lovely and sweet and quite a heavy cropper even last summer when other varieties were very disappointing including Gardeners Delight. I also grew a variety called 'Sparta' which was recommended by Pippa it also performed reasonably well and I will give it another try this year. Would certainly recommend you try Sweet Million.
If you are using growbags for your tomatoes ignore the instructions to cut holes out.Instead, shoogle the contents to loosen the compost and then cut the bag in half across the middle.Stand each end up like a bucket and plant one plant in each.The plants will develop a much better root system and you will have a much bigger crop.I always have great success with this method.I also use nettle feed.It stinks but the plants love it!
Surprised to read all your comments about gardeners delight. I grew it for the first time outside last year and got lovely sweet tomatoes in abundance. no blight or any other problems but did use tomato-planters and tomato growbags so maybe this helped? last tomatoes picked in november for green tomato chutney will be growing twice as many this year!


i have sown lemon tree, christmas grapes, banana cream and vintage wine heritage tomatoes for the past couple of years and they produce the most puny looking plants, not as cold weather resistant as other non-heritage varieties and with much poorer tasting fruit, they are only grown for a talking point in my garden. the best yields i ever got were pomodorino.
I haven't tried heritage varieties but I grew Gardeners Delight again this year - have done for several years and I was disappointed with them. They were tasteless and very small. I was planning on growing something different next year like Black Russian.


OK so here we are five years on and if 2007 was a bad year what about this one.

I grew 7 heritage varieties and 3 standard F1 varieties in a cold greenhouse, Green zebra and Amish paste produced less than a kg each, this is the second year I have tried them and the last.

The best yield I had was from one of the standard varieties at just over 6KGs however the next four best weights were from Mortgage lifter, Brandy wine, Black from tula and Paul Robeson all heritage varieties which produced between 5.5 and 6KGS. the remaining standard varieties (six plants in all ) only produced between three and four KGs each which is about 1 KG down on last year, I also grew one F1 cherry in the greenhouse which only produced just over 2KGs again 1KG down on last year, The best tasting for me was the Mortgage lifter which at 800Gms also produced the largest tomato, this was followed closely by the Brandywine and the Black from Tula. The standard F1s tasted OK but lacked any sweetness which may be due to the lack of sun. I always grow a mixture of F1s and heritage varieties and this is the first time the heritage varieties have done better that the F1s.

In the open garden I grew Gardeners delight, Tigerella. and Marmande, they were a waste of time due to blight and splitting

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