Bring On The Ladies

At long last I got around to sowing tomato seeds. Unfortunately I don’t have room for all my choice in the greenhouse. I still have to leave room for courgettes, cucumbers and peppers. In spite of trying to reduce the number of tomatoes by not buying any new varieties this year, there are still two seven-tray, windowsill propagators now at work.


I’ve never found growing tomatoes outdoors very successful although I have seeds for Ace, a bush tomato which is apparently suitable for outdoors. It wasn’t the last time I tried it, but perhaps it’s worth another try before I look for a new home for them. There are so many different varieties of tomatoes and most of the ones I have tried would be a welcome guest at my table any time. Home-grown tomatoes are just too good to cook and I prefer eating them fresh off the vine or in salads, so my choice of fruit is with this in mind.

My chosen ladies, all set to be wakened from their slumbers to make their debute and be welcomed into the world. Some are quite matronly, like Shirley, a robust, prolific, good-size tomato and can fit in with any situation. Smooth, round and attractive, Berner Rose, a large pink tomato whose thin skin is not to be mistaken for being of a delicate disposition, it is quite resilient and an absolute delight to eat. The peachy name of Garden Peach only comes from the look of a fine, velvety skin, and has a mild and fruity flavour. These are indeed a Gardener’s Delight and who would refuse a dark, chocolate-coloured Black Opal, the cherry tomato with long trusses of sweet, bite-size fruits. Black Cherry is the darker skinned little tomato, not quite the same flavour as Black Opal but nonetheless, well worth a place in my line-up. I can’t forget Sweet Aperitif, whose own long red trusses come top of the tests for sweetness and just the right size to feast on when temptation gets the better of you. Rosella, the sultry, small, sweet delight which can be cloaked in varying shades of purple, but hiding behind a smokey blush, is a flavour intensely sweet but quite different from the others. 

A late addition to the line-up is the stripey Tigerella, but this is no pussy cat, with its tangy flavour, it can pack some punch as flavoursome addition to a salad. The tiny, dainty, yellow, pear-shaped Ildi, a name meaning secretive and reserved, surrounded by an air of mystery. It is a bush tomato and prolific producer with a delicious tangy sweetness. If you are prone to snacking, this is another one for you. Last but not least is Brad’s Atomic Grape, the colourful hippy of the tomato world and described by the supplier as “Just amazing”, I couldn’t put it better myself.


Most of the photographs are the propagator and seed suppliers own which I have borrowed.


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