Friday, 31 January 2014

Tomato Newsletter 2014

The Tomato Newsletter 2014 begins February 1st at Tomato Growing.

If there's nothing like the taste of a home grown tomato, there's also nothing like the taste of one that's been grown without spending a fortune on equipment.

The newsletter includes money saving tips - also great for those who like to recycle - and tips on growing tomatoes organically to name but a few of the subjects covered.

If you would like to sign-up, please go here.

Week one also includes a list of varieties that grow well in the UK.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Choosing The Tastiest Tomatoes

Perhaps the main reason why we grow tomatoes is for the taste. There's no doubt that a home grown tomato is a treat for the taste buds.

However, some home grown varieties taste better, or are sweeter than others.

The sweetness of a tomato is measured on the Brix scale. For example, Gardener's Delight has a rating of 7.0 and Sweet Million rates at 7.1.

There are varieties that rate higher including Sungold at 9.3 and Rosada at an amazing 10.5!

Of course there's more to tomato taste than sugar content alone. Gardener's Delight is well known for having a good balance of sugar and acid which enhances it's traditional flavour.

I guess that a high sugar Brix rating with an acceptable amount of acid content should produce an excellent flavour.

Here's a list of varieties and their Brix rating worth trying this season.

Piccolo, Sungold and Black Cherry Tomatoes
Three of my favourite varieties for taste are Piccolo, Sungold and Black Cherry (left) which I grew last season.

As always, I shall be trying new varieties and definitely ones from the list with a high Brix rating.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Last Season - This Season

Last season was the best tomato growing season I've had for about six years. The wet weather stayed away and there was plenty of sunshine - very unusual for a summer in the UK!

Instead of blight and the numerous other diseases caused by damp weather and cold conditions, stress caused by high temperatures and supplying enough water was the main concern.

Container growing has come on in "leaps and bounds" with the introduction of air pots and smart pots that allow much more oxygen into the roots than a conventional plastic pot or container.

This allows plants to grow with more vigour and reach maturity sooner - especially if watered and fed consistently.

So last season was spent optimising growing conditions rather than struggling against the weather.

I guess the challenge is being ready for whatever the weather throws at us!

Let's hope that the season ahead (2014), is as good for growing tomatoes as last season was.

The Tomato Newsletter begins again in February 2014.