Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tomatoes and Hobart plants.

Greenhouse tomato.

It was a HUGE tomato seedling day today, hopefully the precursor to a huge tomato Summer! Down at the Farm Gate's first birthday market, I was one of at least three stallholders who were selling loads of different varieties of  tomato seedlings. Most of the varieties I had for sale I have not grown in my garden before. The ones I have grown are previously are Stupice, (pronounced stoo-peach-ka) and George. The others are new for me, so any one who wants to share their experiences growing these would be appreciated!

One visitor to my stall bought some  Black Cherry saying they were her favourite last season, which is great to hear. So, please share your thoughts and opinions with us, be they culinary or horticultural, and we can learn together and maybe find Tassie's ultimate tomatoes! And remember Mr Cundall's attempts to dispel the 'show day is sow day' myth, with warnings of possible late frosts. Think about potting your plants on and keeping them on a protected sunny veranda out of frosts for planting out in a couple of weeks. Or like me, clatter out in your party shoes after a lovely night out, and tuck your babies in with a blanket (or some straw or bracken fronds) when you sniff a whiff of frost in the air!

This is why you don't plant tomatoes at Neika, in October!

So here are the varieties I have grown, mostly grown from seed from Phoenix Seed and The Lost Seed, and I sincerely thank them for their noble efforts to give us variety like this to enjoy!

Staking varieties:

Heirloom. Rare, dark mahogany coloured fruit resembling large grapes to 3 cm across, produced in trusses on tall vigorous bush. Sweet, juicy flesh with a rich, smoky flavour. High yields. 60 days.

Heirloom. Purple mahogany coloured fruit to 4cm across with green-orange vertical stripes. Dark, firm flesh, with rich, smoky sweet flavour. 70-85 days.

Small, red, egg shaped fruit with smooth skin to 4cm across and excellent flavour. 95 days.

Ivory fruit ripening to a pale yellow - cream colour upon maturity. Very sweet with no acid. High yields. 55-75 days.

Polish heirloom dating prior to 1900. Dark pink, flattened fruit with thin skin to 500g. Flesh is firm & low in acid. 75 days.

Czechoslovakian heirloom, cold tolerant, with abundant sweet 2-3inch red fruit. Hardy, delicious and productive. *Our most productive here, early and cold tolerant.

The most widely produced tomato in Thailand. Small, pink coloured, 'cherry' type fruit; 3-5cm long, or size of bantam egg. Changes from milky white with slight pink colour when young to darker pink as it matures. Plant 60-90cm. Hardy, disease resistant & resistant to cracking. High yields. 55-65 days.

LEICESTER JONES- Tassie bred by a naturopath 25 years ago. Large pink, ridged fruit, good for Tassie.

BRANDYWINE -American Amish. Large pinkish red, flattened, globular fruit.

GEORGE (that’s not its real name, but I couldn’t understand George through his thick accent when he told me!) Fat field type, from George near Margate, seed scavenged from a sauce tomato. This is a bush variety, I use up-turned pots to keep the fruiting branches off the ground.

The other exciting thing happening here is the birth of many babies (plants that is!) from the bushland surrounding Hobart. This week I hope to finish potting up the first batch of seedlings of local native plants, grown from seed collected in the Hobart surrounds. There is everything from grasses to trees and lots of pretty, shrubby things in between! They should be ready for planting early in the new year. Keep watching this space for a complete list later this week.

And now for some completely off topic photos of things that made us at Provenance happy today!

Sugarbaby watermelon. Maybe this is the year??

The only native hen chick left, out of five that hatched near our dam, due to the presence of an evil black cat. Grr!

Don't put all your eggs in one t-shirt!
One of the egg donors, Dickadee (that's what happens when garden fairies name the chooks!).

We'll be at Salamanca this Saturday, the 30th of October, and back at Tas Farm Gate on Sunday the 7th of November. Please let me know if you want anything brought along!


  1. Hi Paulette, hope your new Wasabi and herbs are growing well - just thought I would add my comments on heirloom tomato varieties; my fav is Tigerella (from the lost seed) and I have tried Stupice which I was very impressed with. This year I am growing Gardeners Delight (Cherry type) and Black Krim (similar to Black Russian). Cheers,
    Tara (from Four Seasons Herbs)

  2. Thanks Tara!

    Your Wasabi plants are looking very happy here, they look pretty similar to mine, it will be interesting to see if they grow any differently over the coming months. The only bad news is that mice ate all my sage seeds after sowing, so I have to try them all again. And now I might have to go and get some Tigerella too! I didn't think of that drawback, if anyone suggests a good variety I'm going to be compelled to try it! And I've got Gardeners Delight from my friend at Island Herbs, she said it's a great early one. Thanks again Tara!!

  3. We love Black Cherry as well. Have grown it the last 2 years and we keep planting more each year as it almost never makes it into the house. Black Russian and Tommy Toe are the other ones we make sure to plant each year. Trying Amish and Brandywine again this year though last year they suffered from yellow shoulder.

  4. Thanks Dave, I have heard a few people who seem to be in love with black cherry, I might have to plant one on the veranda post near the sandpit for the garden fairies to enjoy! We always have trouble ripening Black Russian here, but I guess that's why there are so many varieties, there's one for every climate and soil, we just have to experiment until we find ours. Thanks for visiting.