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spring flowers from Downside


There have been several warnings in the press recently about the tomato variety “Gardeners’ Delight” having broken down.  As far as we can tell, this is due to just one batch of bad seed from a generally rather unreliable supplier.  So far we have had no trouble with our tomatoes.

An example of tomato rogues

An example of some tomato rogues

All batches of tomato seedlings contain a proportion of ‘rogues’.  Some parts of the country call them ‘jacks’.  These are plants that develop with the wrong number of chromosomes.  They are generally easily identified by their curled seed leaves – most characteristically the seed coat sticks on giving the seedling a horned appearance.  Plants with three seed leaves or irregular leaves also need to be discarded.

Lorraine was pricking out tomatoes yesterday and made a selection of some rogues for you…. (21 April)

All plants on our nursery here at Downside are screened as they are pricked out.  If an odd one gets through they are usually easily seen as they develop in their 9cm pots and discarded.

If you are growing peppers or aubergines, these need to be screened in the same way.


Whether you grow your own or buy them, remember to leave tomatoes in their 9cm pots until you can see colour on the first flower.   This gives you an earlier and lower first truss.  Start feeding when this first fruit is the size of a marble.

Basket (determinate) varieties will start cropping three or four weeks earlier than cordon (indeterminate) varieties.  It is always worth growing two or three plants in a basket or pot for some early fruit.

Check out our vegetable and salad stock available at the beginning of the season here

Tomatoto Plants at Downside Nursery

Tomato Plants at Downside Nursery

Our scheduled tomato varieties this year include

Tomato Alicante 9cm pot Old favourite,in or outdoor.Indeterminate (Cordon)
Tomato Big Red F1 9cm pot Vigorous,very large sweet fruits.Indeterminate (Cordon)
Tomato Black Opal 9cm pot Small sweet fruits, indoor or outdoor Indeterminate (Cordon)
Tomato Olivade F1 9cm pot Plum tomato.Some TMV resistance (Cordon)
Tomato Gardener’s Delight 9cm pot Cherry type,good flavour,in or outdoor.Indeterminate
Tomato Maskotka 9cm pot Basket type,very early tasty good sized fruit
Tomato Matina 9cm pot Potato leaved,in/outdoor,top of Which flavour trials.(Cordon)
Tomato Moneymaker 9cm pot Classic variety,in or outdoor.Indeterminate(Cordon)
Tomato Orange Santa F1 9cm pot Sweet orange version of popular cherry plum Santa (Cordon)
Tomato Outdoor Girl 9cm pot Outdoor bush (Determinate),good flavour and yield
Tomato Rosada F1 9cm pot Cherry plum,very sweet,in or outdoor.Indeterminate (Cordon)
Tomato Shirley F1 9cm pot Glasshouse,cold tolerant,high quality,indeterminate (Cordon)
Tomato Tumbler F1 9cm pot Popular basket type,early fruiting, good flavour

And our aubergines and peppers include

Aubergine Moneymaker F1 9cm pot Early, medium height, good dark fruit
Sweet Pepper Bell Boy F1 9cm pot Traditional, reliable green variety
Sweet Pepper Phoebus F1 9cm pot Yellow sweet thick early fruits
Sweet Pepper Poseidon 9cm pot Vigorous and early fruiting,red fruits

Check out our vegetable and salad stock available at the beginning of the season here


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