My toms for 2019 are ‘Red Robin’, a tiny little plant little more than 30cm high but gives lots of delicious toms all season!, ‘Alicante’ , this produces salad tomatoes of a decent size & grow very well here in the UK, & finally, ‘Black Cherry’, which I grew for the first time in 2018 & the plants did very well for me & the fruit tasted very nice. But they are VERY vigorous plants!
I sowed the seed fore these 3 varieties on 21st March 2019, now they have their first true leaves & I’m going to prick them out this week. It will still be another month before they can stay outside permanently on the balcony.
Unfortunately since I pricked out the Tomato seedlings everything has gone downhill! I’d bought a more expensive compost than I normally use to give the seedlings the best possible start to life that I could. I put them in to individual pots of which about 15 fit in a standard seedtray/flat.
For the first few days they looked fine but as we had a few cloudy days they started to look decidedly unwell! I had them as close to the window as was possible in the kitchen as it was still too cold to put them outside on the balcony. As the days went by they started to shrivel up & eventually many just dried up completely. Perhaps I firmed the compost around their delicate little roots too much, it was a compost that contained John Innes as well as peat free compost.
I originally sowed the seeds in Coco fibre compost, which comes in a compressed block to which water is added. This is extremely light & porous so perhaps the change to loam based compost was too much for them. I have never used either compost previously so perhaps I made mistakes.
After about 2 weeks I moved them (the survivors up till that time) onto the windowsill itself after having emptied it of the Amaryllis plants that had been growing there. I was a bit remiss about doing this as the window faces Southwest & gets very strong sunlight for a good many hours as I thought it might be a case of “out of the frying pan into the fire”!
A few more have since died but the remaining seedlings are showing some signs of growing once again. Normally they would be big enough to go into growbags on the balcony by the end of May or beginning of June – not this year though!
Now the 3 varieties have become mixed up though ‘Red Robin’ is easier to distinguish from the others. There is no way I can tell ‘Alicante’ or ‘Black Cherry’ apart for the time being. If they survive & end up in growbags on the balcony I will soon find out which is which!