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March 29, 2010 / Malcolm Dalebö

Sowed this years tomatoes

I have been intending to sow the tomato seeds for the last two weeks, but each time more important work intervened. However, today, I got around to planting four pots of seed.

Our seed selections are Tomato ‘Moneymaker’, see left, (a solid producer, just what we want after the pathetic results of last year), T. ‘Brandywine’, T. ‘San Marzanno’ and T. ‘Suncherry Premium’. Not a lot of varieties, but these are some of our favourites and will give us what we want for the summer. Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants and are rich in Vitamins A and C and lycopene, all helping to stimulate the body’s immune system.
T. ‘Moneymaker’
Cordon (Indeterminate). A well-known and much loved variety for the allotment grower, equally good for the greenhouse or outdoor. Tomato ‘Moneymaker’ produces smooth, medium-size fruit on heavy trusses with a fine agreeable flavour. 

With indeterminate tomatoes, such as Brandywine right, it is wise to remove side shoots as they appear and pinch out the growing point when 5-7 trusses have been formed. Feed regularly once the first truss has set. To grow outdoors, gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions and plant out after all risk of frost, 45cm (18in) apart in a sunny spot on light, rich, well drained soil. Stake side shoots regularly and pinch out the growing point after 4 trusses have set.


T. ‘Brandywine’
A contrast to Monemaker, this cordon (indeterminate) variety, see right above,  dates back to 1885 and is regarded as one of the world’s finest flavoured ‘beefsteak’ tomatoes ever offered, perfect on a ham sandwich. Tomato ‘Brandywine’ yields a heavy crop of firm, clear skinned, light rosy pink fruits on plants with potato like leaves, and can grow up to 3m (9’9″) tall if allowed. 

‘San Marzanno’

The indeterminate tomato T. ‘ San Marzano Lungo’ is the number 1 cooking variety and unsurpassed for sauces; dry and meaty, larger plum tomatoes of deep red skin colour. San Marzano is early to ripen and crops well over a long season.
In very warm areas or under cover, cropping can be extended well into autumn by planting late crops in June-July. 


T. ‘Suncherry Premium’

The sweetest tasting, shiny red skinned cherry variety available. This tomato ripens early and produces a huge crop of tasty bite sized red fruits throughout the summer. T. ‘Suncherry Premium’ is best for greenhouse, but will grow in a sunny spot outdoors.


Sowing Instructions for all varieties
Sowing time: February to April. Sow seeds 6mm (¼in) deep in pots or trays of good, free-draining, damp, seed compost and cover with a sprinkling of vermiculite or compost. Place containers in a propagator, or seal in a polythene bag, at a temperature of 18-21C (65-70F) until after germination, which takes 7-10 days.
Growing Instructions
Transplant seedlings, when large enough to handle, into 7.5cm (3in) pots. Plant in the greenhouse in individual large pots, or 3 plants per growbag when 20cm (8in) high. Can be planted outdoors. 45cm (18in) apart once all frost risk has passed.
Aftercare
Plants require sideshooting and support for the best yields. Water and feed plants regularly with a high potash feed once the first truss has set.
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