Wednesday 31 January 2024

In My Seed Box for 2024 - Cucumbers


In the pastI have grown a number of different cucumbers but the ones I keep coming back to and grow each year are Burpless Tasty Green and Marketmore. In 2018 I was introduced to Esmarald from Mr Fothergills as John had started off a load of cucumbers and was looking to distribute the love, by giving his babies to anyone on the plot that was happy to give them room rather than compost them. 

I have to say Esmarald out grew Burpless Tasty Greens but I was not able to get hold of the seeds again from Mr Fothergills, so I was very happy that I saved seeds and have continued to do sow annually. 

Burpless Tasty Green were grown in 2021 along with Swing F1 which was a cucumber with a nice girth only four slices needed per sandwich one in each quadrant of the bread, and quite a nice taste and texture . 

Cucumber seeds if kept in ideal conditions should last between 10 - 15 years, so there is no rush to plant too many varieties, however now having the Climbing Frame Greenhouse on the plot (shown above) I will be looking to maximise the new resource and grow more varieties than last year.

Cucumbers were originally found in India around 4000 years ago, and they have since become the fourth most widely cultivated vegetable in the world. Cucumbers found their way to England during the 14th century, but were not at all popular, they did become more widely eaten from the 17th century.

The species grown for food are Cucumis sativus (cucumber) and Cucumis anguria (West Indian gherkin). In the UK, cucumbers are generally grown to maturity in a greenhouse or polytunnel, although ridge cucumbers and some varieties of gherkin are a little hardier and can be planted outside when danger of frost has passed. All of my cucumbers have been grown out on the allotment plot, as space in the greenhouses is valuable. 

Bought and grown in 2023

Crystal Apple                    - 5 Seeds -      49p - Seeds To Suit - Sow By 2024
Crystal Lemon                  - 5 Seeds -      49p - Seeds To Suit - Sow by 2024

I've saved Crystal Apple & Lemon seeds from the cucumber grown so still in my seed box.

Sow By 2024

Burpless Tasty Green F1 - 20 Seeds - £2.79 - Suttons - Sow by 7/2024
Suprina F1                        - 5 Seeds - £3.49 - D.T.Brown -  Sow by 2024
Passandra F1                   - 4 Seeds - £3.99 - Organic Gardening - Sow by 2024

Sow By 2025

Hopeline F1                     - 5 Seeds - £3.99 - Dobies - Sow by 7/2025
Party Time F1                   - 5 Seeds - £3.65 - Mr Fothergills - Sow by Dec 2025
Emilie F1                          - 6 Seeds - £2.99 - Dobies - Sow By 2025 

Sow By 2026

Burpless Tasty Green F1 - 10 Seeds - £1.50^ - wilko - Sow by 7/2026
Lunch Box F1                   - 10 Seeds - £4.89   - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2026

^ Bought in the 50% sale for 75p

Sow By 2027

New for 2024 Lunch Box F1 - 10 Seeds - £4.99  - D.T.Brown - Packed Year Ending Sep/2024

Cucumbers In My Seed Box And That I Have Grown Include:   

Socrates F1
Swing F1    

Tuesday 30 January 2024

Blight Resistant Tomatoes

This post was updated on the 13th February 2024

On the 21st May 2015 I was one of the lucky few that got a couple of the then new variety of what was announced as the first completely blight-resistant tomato called 'Crimson Crush' at this stage there were no seeds only a limited quantity of plants.  Seeds followed the following year. 

'Crimson Crush' was developed as collaboration between legendary British tomato breeder Simon Crawford, who developed 'Red Alert', the first bush tomato worth growing, and a PhD student at Bangor University. It was first spotted in a glasshouse in Yorkshire but then in a trials field in North Wales it stood out as a shining green and red beacon surrounded by blight infested tomato plants.

Since 2016 further Blight Resistant F1 Tomato seeds for outdoor cropping with the Crimson name have been developed however the description as to the degree of blight resistance has been down graded and the note below appeared as other forms of Crimson plants arrived.

Please note: With regards to the nature of the blight resistance, plants can still show infection (up to 10-15%) of leaves, stems etc. without effecting fruit quality or yield. The plants having the resistance to be able to grow away from the attack.

The crimson collection includes:-

  • Tomato 'Crimson Crush' - The fruits are particularly large for a salad variety, with an exceptional flavour.
  • Tomato 'Crimson Plum' - Good crops of ‘Roma’ style plum tomatoes throughout the summer.
  • Tomato 'Crimson Cherry' - The small cherry fruits have glossy, red skins and a sweet, juicy flesh with a superb flavour.
  • Tomato 'Crimson Blush' - Large beefsteak fruits with the sweet flavour of a cherry Tomato!
  • Tomato 'Crimson Cocktail' - small cocktail-sized fruit with an excellent flavour that has a good balance of sweetness and acidity.

Pot up, and grow tomato plants on in warm frost free conditions until large enough to plant outdoors. When all risk of frost has passed, gradually acclimatise them to outdoor conditions over a period of 7 to 10 days. 

Choose a sheltered position in full sun on fertile, reliably moist, well drained soil, and transplant at a distance of 60cm (24") apart. Alternatively grow tomatoes in patio bags and containers in good quality compost such as John Innes No. 2. Drive a (5') cane into the soil adjacent to each plant to support them as they grow, and tie each main stem to its support with soft garden twine.

These cordon varieties are perfect for containers or planters outdoors or in the greenhouse, and cope well with periods of wet weather. Height: 200cm (79"). Spread: 50cm (20")    

As well as its ability to shrug off even the worst blight, Crimson Crush will provide great yields of exceptionally fine tasting, large, round tomatoes (each weighing up to 200g). 

Bred for outdoor growing, it's the tomato that everyone should be planting this year. (Cordon variety - one stem grown by pinching off side-shoots as they appear, needs staking and tying in.)

The Crimson Plum is the first blight-resistant plum tomato from seed. Great for both indoor and outdoor growing, it is the ideal tomato variety to be grown outside in the UK. 

This remarkable fruit is ideal for pots, baskets or any containers, reaching heights of 150-200cm (59-79"); spread 40-50cm (16-20").

Support with a cane and remove side shoots regularly. Feed regularly with tomato food 

The Crimson Cherry is the first blight-resistant cherry sized tomato, making it the perfect variety to be grown outside in the UK. This remarkable tomato variety is ideal for small pots, baskets, or any containers, reaching heights of 151-200cm (59-79"); spread 41-50cm (16-20"). 

Extremely versatile, this tomato plant shows good resistance to Fusarium, Verticillium, and both early and late blight! Crimson Cherry tomatoes are deliciously sweet (9 Brix). Its fruits have a satisfying 'tang' which makes you want more. These tomato plants will keep cropping until the first frosts outside and longer if grown in a greenhouse or tunnel.

Exclusive to Suttons, this blight resistant beefsteak tomato is sweeter than other beefsteak varieties. In fact, it tastes more like a cherry tomato.

This tomato variety has been bred for growing outside and is able to stand up to periods of wet weather. Expect an abundance of stunning large, crimson fruit. Harvest July-October. Height 150-200cm (59-79"); spread 40-50cm (16-20"). 

Crimson Cocktail is the first small tomato that's resistant to early and late blight. A new addition to the 'Crimson Family' producing cocktail-sized fruit with an excellent flavour that has a good balance of sweetness and acidity. 

Suttons £4.49 for a pack with 10 seeds in 

Green shoulders which fade to red as the fruit ripen. Ideal to grow outside or in a tunnel/greenhouse. A cordon variety. Harvest July-October. Height 150-200cm (59-79"); spread 30-40cm (12-16").

Growing Information

Sow March/April for greenhouse growing (or April for outdoors) in a propagator on a windowsill or pots or trays in a greenhouse at 18-21°C (65-70°F) using a quality compost. Cover seeds with 6mm (¼") sieved compost. (Germination 7-14 days). Transplant seedlings singly into 75mm (3") pots. Grow on, finally planting into large pots, grow bags or direct into the greenhouse border; or outdoors 45cm (18") apart when frost risk has passed. Feed regularly and side-shoot as is necessary.

Sowing Information

Sow March/April for greenhouse growing (or April for outdoors) in a propagator on a windowsill or pots or trays in a greenhouse at 18-21°C (65-70°F) using a quality compost. Cover seeds with 6mm (¼") sieved compost. (Germination 7-14 days). Transplant seedlings singly into 75mm (3") pots. Grow on, finally planting into large pots, grow bags or direct into the greenhouse border; or outdoors 45cm (18") apart when frost risk has passed.

Feed regularly and side-shoot as necessary.

Following on from the success of the Crimson Collection of tomatoes other Blight Resistant tomatoes have been developed these include:-  

The world’s first blight resistant orange fruited variety. Plants are high yielding, producing a mass of brightly, rich orange toms.

Taste is sweet with a slight tangy flavour, making them perfect for summer salads. Indeterminate.

10 Seeds £2.80

Crokini F1 - Dobies - 5 Seeds - £3.88 
On Sale for 89p packed year End 2024 Sow By Year End 2027

Cordon/Indeterminate Each plant of this award-winning variety yields up to 300 deliciously sweet cherry tomatoes. Winner of the All America Selections Edible Winner 2020, Tomato ‘Crokini’ was recognised for its higher yields, with its in-bred resistance to Late Blight allowing harvesting to continue well into September. 

Fruit is evenly distributed, with up to 10-12 fruits in each cluster, and is a lovely red colour on harvesting. The small, firm fruits have a sweet, slightly acidic taste with a Brix of 8.5, a crunchy texture and good resistance to splitting. 

Height: 180cm-200cm (70-79in). Width: 50cm (20in).

Monday 29 January 2024

In My Seed Box For 2024 - Tomatoes


This collection of tomato seeds has been built over the last 11 years is thanks to a number of seed circles, one that I ran for two years and virtual seed parcels. 

Three New varieties and one additional from a new supplier added for 2024. 

Currently there are 165 varieties of Tomatoes in my Seed Box of which 29 are F1 and 3 new varieties that have been added this year. 

I need to inspect the list below and decide on the 22 varieties that are to be grown in the back garden in 2022. Those that will be grown out on the allotment 3 or 6 varieties and those that will be grown in the greenhouses, 4 in Quadgrows and Mini & Micro's at home and the Allotments. 

That selection process will be a subject of a separate post after due consideration of the list below. Tomato seeds if kept in ideal conditions can last between 5 - 10 years, so I need to see which varieties are getting old and sow them to replenish the seed bank.   

Alisa Craig - Mr Fothergills - Sow by 2019 
Alicante - Sow by 2017
Alfresco - Mr Fothergill's - Sow by Dec 2026 
- Tomato Seed Swaps Saved by Col Pope 2022 
Arielle F1 - Marshalls - Sow by 2019
Artisan Pink Tiger 
- Tomato Seed Swaps Saved by Col Pope 2022 
Amish Mayberry - Saved 2013 - Self Saved 2016
Angelle - Grapevine 2018
Arnyalma - Grapevine 2016
Arrat Flamed - MYP&Q 2019

Attraction - Marshalls - best by 2017 
Aztek - Joe Mills Grow With Me 2022 -  Sow By 2024 
Bajaja - Thompson & Morgan Sow by 12/2019 
Balconi Red - Thompson & Morgan Sow by 12/2020  - Self Saved 2018
Balconi Yellow F1 - Seed Megastore - Packed 2019 - Sow By 2021 
Berkeley Tie-Dye - Grapevine 2016
Big Yellow Zebra - Grapevine 2016 
Blaby Special - Saved 2014
Black Cherry Tomato - Grapevine 2018
Black Krim - S.Bassett MYP&Q Seed Circle 2018

Black Icicle - Grapevine 2016
Black Russian - Grapevine 2018
Black Sea Man - Grapevine 2016
Black Trifele - Grapevine 2018
Black Vemissage - Grapevine 2018
Bloody Butcher - D.T.Brown 2020 
Blush - Grapevine 2016
Blush Yellow Plum - MYP&Q 2018
Brown Sugar - Grapevine 2016
Buffalosun F1 - Suttons - Sow By 2026 
Burlesque F1 - Suttons - Packed 2022 - Sow By 7/2024 

Camp Joy - No Date
Carotina (Big Orange) - Grapevine 2018
Chiapis Wild - Grapevine 2016 
Cherry Cascade Thompson & Morgan Sow by 12/2019
Cherry Falls F1- Mr Fothergills - Sow By 2020
Cherry Honeycomb F1 - Mr Fothergills 2021 
Cherry Kisses Thompson & Morgan Sow by 12/2019
Cream Sausage - Grapevine 2016
Crimson Cherry F1 - 10 Seeds - Dobies - Saved 2021 - Cost £3.99 
Crimson Cherry F1 - 10 Seeds - Suttons - Saved 2021 - Cost £4.49  
Crimson Crush F4

Crimson Plum F1 (Nagina)  - 10 Seeds - Dobies - Saved 2021 - Cost £3.99 
Crimson Plum F1                 - 10 Seeds -  Suttons - Saved 2021 -  Cost £4.49 
Crokini F1 - Dobies Packed year ending 2024 Sow By 2027 <<<< NEW
Cuban Flower - Grapevine 2016 
Cuor Di Bue Off Magazine 
Dark Galaxy - Grapevine 2016
Delicious - No Date
Delta Dawn - Tomato Seed Swaps Saved by Col Pope 2022 
Early Door Sandpoint - MYP&Q 2019
Ferline F1 Hybrid
Gardeners Delight - Kings Seeds Kitchen Garden - Sow By 2022
Gardeners Delight - Suttons - Sow By 2024  Packed 2021 

Garden Pearl - Sow By 2014
Garden Pearl  - Tomato Seed Swaps Saved by Col Pope 2022 
German Lunchbox - No Date
German Queen - Grapevine 2016
German Red Strawberry - Grapevine 2018
Giallo D'Inveino - Grapevine 2018
Gigantomo F1 - Premier Seeds Direct - Sow by 2021
Green Zebra - Grapevine 2016
Gold Nugget Gelbei - Mr Fothergill's - 2020 Sow By 2024  
Gold Nugget  - Mr Fothergill's  2020 
Gold Rush Currant - Grapevine 2016
Golden Sweet 
- Tomato Seed Swaps Saved by Col Pope 2022 

Halum Gelbei - Grapevine 2018
Harbinger - Sow By 2015 - Grapevine 2016
Heartbreakers Vita F1 - Suttons Packed year ending 2024 Sow By 2026 <<<< NEW
Heinz Soup - Saved 2011
Homosa - Grapevine 2018
Honeycomb F1 - Dobies Packed year ending 2022 
Indian Bush - No Date
Indigo Blue - MYP&Q Saved 2018
Jack Hawkins - Grapevine 2016
Kenilworth King George - No Date

Kibitz - Saved 2016
Latah Bush - Saved 2015
Legend - Grapevine 2016
F1 - Dobies Packed year ending 2024 Sow By 2027 <<<< NEW
Livingston's Favourite - Grapevine 2018
Lizzano F1 - Marshalls - Sow By 09/2021
Large Barred Boar - Tomato Seed Swaps Saved by Col Pope 2022 
Losetto F1 - D.T.Brown 2020 
Lukullus - Grapevine 2018
Marmande - Magazine 2018 

Marvel Stripes - Saved 2015
Maskotka -  Mr Fothergills - Sow by 2021  
Matina -  Thompson & Morgan Sow by 2016 
Merrygold F1 - Mr Fothergill's - Packed Jan 2022 - Sow by 2025
Merrygold F2 - Self Saved in 2023 from a plant grown from the Mr Fothergill's pack <<<< NEW
Merrygold F1 - Suttons Packed year ending 2024 Sow By 2027 <<<< NEW 
Micro Tom -  Jungle Seeds bought 2018 and Self Saved 2018 
Mini Plum - TESCO  - Saved 2014 - get new seed
Minibel - Sow By 2014
Minibel - Wilko - Sow By 2021
Money Maker Speedy Seeds - Sow by 2024
Moscow Long  -Tomato Seed Swaps Saved by Col Pope 2022
Moskow's Ultra Skorospelyi - Grapevine 2018

Mountain Magic - D.T.Brown 2020 
Mrs Rucks - Grapevine 2016
Mountain Princess - Grapevine 2016
Nector Rose - Grapevine 2018 
Nimbus - MYP&Q Saved 2018
Noah's Stripes 
 -Tomato Seed Swaps Saved by Col Pope 2022 
Oleron Yellow Cherry - Grapevine 2018 
One Hundreds and Thousands - Saved 2014 - Saved 2016
Orange Banana 
-Tomato Seed Swaps Saved by Col Pope 2022 
Orange bush -Tomato Seed Swaps Saved by Col Pope 2022 

Otto's Papa - Grapevine 2016
Outdoor Girl - Saved 2015 - Saved 2016
Paoline F1 - Mr Fothergills - Dec 2026 
Patio Plum - Marshalls - 2019
Peace Vine - Grapevine 2018
Piccolo - Saved 2011
Pink Charmer - Marshalls - 2020 Sow By 2022  
Plum Roma - Saved 2015
Polish Linguisa - Grapevine 2018
Pomodore Ciliegla - Sow By 2015

Principe Borghese - Grapevine 2018
Principe Borghese - Mr Fothergills - 2020  
Purple Russian Plum - Sow By 2014
Purple Smaragd -Tomato Seed Swaps Saved by Col Pope 2022 
Rainbow Blend F1 Hybrid - Sow By 2015
Rapunzel F1 Saved 2018
Rapunzel F1 6 Seeds - Suttons Sow By 2025 
Raspberry Oxheart - Seed Parade 2020 
Red Alert Thompson & Morgan - Sow by 2019
Red Bodyguard 
F1 Thompson & Morgan - Sow by Dec 2025
Red Buffalo Horn - Grapevine 2016
Red Cherry - Sow By 2015

(Red Dragon F1Y Ddraig Goch F1 - Dobies - packed year ending 2022 
Red Fox Cherry - Saved 2015
Red Pear - Mr Fothergill  Sow By 2019
Red Pear - Organic Gardening Catalogue Cherry - Packed 2022 
Red Robin - Saved 2015, Self Saved 2018
Red Zebra - Grapevine - Saved 2014, Self Saved 2016, 
Reisetomate - 15 Seeds - Organic Gardening Seeds - £2.99
Roma VF - Multipack 2018
Roma VF - Johnsons - 2018
Rosella - Grapevine 2016
Rosella- Kings Seeds - Kitchen Garden - packed year end July 2021 
Rubylicious F1 - Dobies - Sow By 2025
Sandpipe - Saved 2016 - Saved 2015

Santonio F1 Hybrid - Thompon & Morgan - Sow by 2020
Santarini (Greek Tomato) 
-Tomato Seed Swaps Saved by Col Pope 2022 
Schwarse Weinreich - Grapevine 2016 
Speckled Roman - Grapevine 2016
Stupicke Poini Rane - Saved 2016 - Sow By 2017
Sub Artic Plenty - No Dates
Summer Cider - Grapevine 2016
Summerlast F1 - Marshalls - 2019 Sow By 9/2021
Suncherry Premium F1 -Thompson & Morgan Sow By 12/2020
Sungold F1 - - Mr Fothergill  Sow By 2019

Sunset Red Horizon - Saved 2014
Super Marmande - Thompson & Morgan Sow By 2017
Super Roma - No Dates
Supersteak F1 Mr Fothergill - Packed Aug 2022 - Sow By 2025
Sweet Aperitif - Sow By 2017
Sweet Million F1 - Mr Fothergills - Sow By 9/2022
Sweet Pea Currant - Sow By 2014
Sweet'n'Neat Lemon Sherbert  F1 - Seed Megastore 2019 
Terenzo F1 Hybrid - Sow By 2015 - Sow By 2017
Tigerella  Thompson & Morgan - Sow by 2020
Tigerella  Speedy Seeds - Sow by 2024

Tiny Tim - Grapevine 2018
Tomatoberry Garden F1
True Black Brandywine - Grapevine 2018
Tumbler - Sow By 2014
Totem F1 - Jungle Seeds - Jungle Seeds Sow By ?  
Tumbling Cherry  - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2020 
Tumbling Tom Red  Thompson & Morgan - Sow by 2020 
Vesennij Mieurinsky - Grapevine 2016
White Cherry - D.T.Brown 2020 
Yellow Mimi F1 - Marshalls 2019
Yellow Perfection - Grapevine 2016
Venus Balcony - Russian Seed Company 2018 
Veranda Red - 6 Seeds - Suttons - £4.49
Veranda Red - D.T.Brown 2020 
Violet Jasper - Grapevine 2018
Vilmer - Joe Mills - Grow With Me 2022 - Sow by 2024