Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Tomatoes I grew this year

The tomato plants are beginning to run out of steam now, although there are still some to harvest for the time being. There has been a good crop this year. We have enjoyed fresh home grown tomatoes since the middle of June and also have had plenty for soup, freezing and for turning into jars of passata - enough for using in cooking for the months ahead. 

Inevitably thoughts begin to turn to considering what to grow next year and what seeds to order. As far as tomatoes are concerned it is time to evaluate the varieties grown this year. 

I grew five varieties of tomato this year. Here are my thoughts:- 
Outdoor Girl. I wrote about this one a few weeks ago here. It is an old fashioned variety which, as its name suggests, grows very well outside. It's other great virtue is that it is a heavy cropper and fruits surprisingly early for an outdoor tomato. I'll grow this again next year for it's reliable heavy crop.

Outdoor Girl
Sungold. This is an orange cherry tomato. It is best grown indoors as a cordon variety but can grow okay outdoors in a decent summer. This is one of the sweetest tomatoes I've come across and I grow this every year. Next year will be no different.

Shirley. This is another old fashioned variety which produces traditional deep red billiard balls; the archetypal tomato. It is recommended for growing indoors but I find it does pretty well outside too in a sunny spot. I've been alternating Shirley with Alicante each year but I might try something completely different next year.

Roma. An attractive plum tomato with firm flesh which makes it ideal for cooking  and for making into sauces. I grew this for the first time this year. The seed catalogues describe it as semi-bush (semi-determinate for those with nerdish tendencies) but I found that Roma grows quite strongly and the bush got a little too scruffy for my liking, so I think I will grow it as a cordon next year.

Pear Drop. At a produce show last summer I saw some small bright yellow tomatoes in the shape of pear drops. I thought they would look very nice in a salad mixed with red cherry tomatoes. The seed catalogues advertised a variety called 'Pear Drop' which sounded self-explanatory. However, the fruits were indeed bright yellow but were not particularly pear shaped. More of an oblong. The taste was a little disappointing too with not much flavour. There is another  variety I've come across called 'Yellow Pear' and the images all show it with a distinctive pear shape, so I might give that a go instead. This is all for the sake of the appearance of a salad. But that is a good enough reason for me.

I grew this...

...but wanted this.



  1. I grew yellow pear this year and it is exactly as described, there is a red pear also, they do look lovely in a salad and taste good.

  2. Thank you for that confirmation Sandra of what variety to look out for for next year.

  3. When we grew in polytunnels to sell we always had Shirley as it was pretty reliable and always a plum sort for chutneys - Andine was huge and very good. Now I only have room for a few I grow plum and mini plum as the skins are so much softer - can't bear tough tomatoes.

  4. Never grown Andine before. I might give that a try. Which ones did you put out on your vegetable stall? (I miss your record of takings from your old blog).