Sow these tomato seeds now to grow the tastiest tomatoes this summer!

Sow these tomato seeds now to grow the tastiest tomatoes this summer!

Every year, I trial new plants and products in my quest to discover the top performing composts and the tastiest and most productive edible plants.

Here’s my QuadGrow Self Watering Planter, as pictured on the 6th September 2020.

Last year, the Quadgrow Self Watering Planter performed exceptionally well in my Trials.  Growing tomatoes is easy with the Quadgrow; simply top up the Quadgrow’s 30l reservoir with Nutrigrow and water and the planter will automatically water and fertilise your plants for around two weeks.  My Quadgrow-grown tomato plants required less effort and they also produced the largest harvest in my Tomato Compost Trial.

Of the traditional composts in this Tomato Compost Trial, Dalefoot Composts triumphed taking second, third, and fourth place; hot on Dalefoot’s tails, Melcourt SylvaGrow® took fifth place.  While New Horizon lagged further behind, producing the lowest harvest and taking sixth position.

These ‘Honeycomb’ tomatoes were grown in Dalefoot Composts Wool Compost for Vegetables & Salads, for my Tomato Compost Trial. Pictured on the 13th August 2020.

I grew a wide range tomato varieties last year.  I scoured the seed catalogues and grew all of the tomatoes that were described as having the best or most pronounced flavour.  In my taste tests, I was surprised by the delicious flavours that a number of my trialled tomatoes were blessed with; just as I was disappointed by the bland taste of some of the other tomatoes I grew.

The best tasting cherry tomatoes from my Tomato Taste Trial were….

Tomato ‘Honeycomb’

‘Honeycomb’ (from Burpee) is an orange cherry tomato with the perfect balance of acidity and an intense, sweet and tangy, fruity flavour.

‘Honeycomb’ is a sensational orange coloured cherry tomato with an absolutely fabulous flavour! This was another of the best tasting tomatoes from my Tomato Taste Trial.

Tomato ‘Rosella’

Tomato ‘Rosella’.

‘Rosella’ is a deep burnished burgundy coloured, sweet and juicy cherry tomato with a fresh grape-like flavour and the distinctive aroma of wine.

This is ‘Rosella’; Rosella was one of the best tasting tomatoes in my Tomato Taste Trial.

Tomato ‘Flamingo’

Tomato ‘Flamingo’.

‘Flamingo’ is a red, mini plum tomato with a sweet and tangy flavour.  This meaty tomato has a delightfully smooth texture.

This mini plum tomato is ‘Flamingo’ – it was one of the best tasting tomatoes in my Tomato Taste Trial.

Tomato ‘Irish Gardener’s Delight’

‘Irish Gardener’s Delight’ (from Real Seeds) produces handsome, glossy red cherry tomatoes with a sweet and fruity, tangy flavour, and a definite citrus twist.

Tomato ‘Irish Gardener’s Delight’ produces these incredibly shiny red cherry tomatoes. This was one of the best tasting tomatoes from my Tomato Taste Trial.

Growing tomatoes

Tomatoes are tender plants, they need to be grown in a warm environment, a glasshouse, polytunnel, or conservatory is ideal, but you can also grow tomatoes on particularly bright and sunny windowsills.

There are various methods you can use to sow tomato seeds.  Traditionally, a seed tray is used, but seeds can also be sown together in bulk, in one small container of compost.  The seedlings grown using these methods will need to be separated and potted on into fresh compost, within a few weeks of germination.

Tomato seedlings growing in a 40 cell seed tray, inside my Access Garden Products Exbury Classic Growhouse.
These tomato seedlings are ready to be potted into small pots. Tomato plants grow well in peat-free composts.

Alternatively, use a small pot, add a base layer of peat-free compost (I use Dalefoot Wool Potting Compost), and a top layer of peat-free seed compost (I use Dalefoot Wool Compost for Seeds) and sow one seed per pot.  This method will save you needing to pot your seedlings on again for six weeks.

Here are some of the tomato plants I grew last year. My tomato seeds were all sown in these small pots, which were filled with a base layer of Dalefoot Composts Wool Potting Compost and a top layer of Dalefoot Wool Compost for Seeds. All of my tomato plants were raised in my Access Garden Products Exbury Classic Growhouse.
These tomato plants are ready to be potted into larger pots of fresh peat-free compost.

Tomato seeds can be expensive.  Once your tomato plants get going, you can increase your stock by using the side shoots as cuttings.

Tomato side shoots make superb cuttings!

This article was first published in the March 2021 edition of Vantage Point Magazine.

For more gardening advice for March, please click here.

To see all of my Tomato Trials, please click here,

To read about my mini glasshouse, please click here.

For tips on growing a wide range of vegetables, please click here.

For tips on growing fruit, please click here.

To see my Outdoor Trials, please click here.

To see how the Quadgrow Self Watering Planter works, please click here.

For more articles about edible gardening, please click here.

To see all of my Compost Trials, please click here.

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One thought on “Sow these tomato seeds now to grow the tastiest tomatoes this summer!

  1. Roger Crookes

    March 30, 2022 at 10:13am

    Hi Beth – thanks for this and all the other great stuff you are doing

    Reading the above ‘tomato story’ I am keen to know which was your number 1 compost in the trails – I see that Daleford got 2nd, 3rd, and 4th but cant see (unless I have missed it – which is often the case!) which compost took the number 1 slot?

    Thanks again

    Roger

    • Author

      Pumpkin Beth

      March 30, 2022 at 10:27am

      Hello Roger

      In this Tomato Compost Trial, the Gardman Country Smart Multi-Purpose Organic Compost (peat-free and organic) used with the Quadgrow and Nutrigrow fertiliser (peat-free) in the Quadgrow significantly outperformed the plants grown in the Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters.

      It’s the fertiliser and Quadgrow that is the key to the success – not the Gardman Country Smart Multi-Purpose Organic Compost – another low nutrient compost used with the Quadgrow and Nutrigrow fertiliser would give very similar results.

      I hope this helps you and answers your questions. I hope you achieve a fantastic tomato harvest this summer!

      Best wishes
      Beth

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