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Magnificent Magnolias for our April Banner

Tomatoes at Downside as of 5th April 2022

We are growing 15 varieties this year – more than ever: something for everyone.  Alas, two old favourites are missing: Gardener’s Delight and Tumbler.  There is simply no seed available this year, so you are unlikely to find them elsewhere either.

To replace Gardener’s Delight, we are growing Sweet Million – very similar in fruit size and habit, but with the great advantage of being blight resistant.  Brix 7.

Instead of Tumbler, we are offering Cherry Falls. An exceptional early basket variety. Brix 7. We shall also have the tried and tested Maskotka.

If you are impatient for the first tomatoes of the season, it is well worth growing some basket plants to start off with. It need not be a basket – they will do well in a pot with a few flower canes for support and will crop 3-4 weeks earlier than maincrop varieties.

For outdoor cropping, we have Divinity – a blight-resistant bush variety needing only a little support.  Good for patio containers.  Not available with our first batch of tomatoes now, but will be available towards the end of April to be planted outside mid-May.

Whichever kind you choose, remember to keep them in their 9cm pots until you can see yellow on the first flowers. This will result in an earlier, lower first truss. Planting out earlier just results in tall leafy growth. Start feeding when the first fruit reaches the size of a marble.

Our tomatoes are now available (5th April) but MUST be placed under heated glass for now whilst the night-time temperature lows are as they are.  Do not put them outside yet!  Divinity is not available for another couple of weeks.

If you have any queries please email us at or call the Nursery on 01225 862 392.  

VarietyCordon, Bush/BasketBrixDescription
AlicanteC3.5Old favourite, indoor or outdoor. Early maturing producing an excellent crop of medium sized fruits with a fine flavour
Black CherryC7Small, sweet fruits, with black-purple skin and dark red flesh. Wonderfully sweet and juicy flavour.  indoor or outdoor.  
Cherry FallsBasket7Early maturing deep red cherry fruits variety grown best in hanging baskets or patio pots.   Exceptional flavour. Replaces Tumbler & Tumbling Tom)
Crimson Crush F1C7Large round fruit, each weighing up to 200g. Blight resistant in or outdoor Which 
Divinity F1B6Has a bushy habit and evergreen genes. Medium, round, fruit, blight resistant, Which Outdoor. Perfect for containers on the patio. Excellent yield – up to 4kg/plant (not available for another couple of weeks)
Floridity F1C9.5Sweet red teardrop-shaped fruits borne on large multi-clusters. Cherry Plum (replaces Rosada) Crunchy texture & outstanding flavour, fleshy & juicy 
MaskotkaB Sweet, dwarf, cocktail variety that will thrive in small gardens and can also be grown in containers. Produces an early heavy crop of vivid red fruits
MoneymakerC3-4Classic Heirloom variety, in or outdoor. Popular crop for commercial growers and a favourite of home gardeners.
Mountain Magic F1C6.5Blight resistant in/outdoor. Good flavour.  Which. All-purpose – slice or use as a cooker or sauce base.          
Olivade F1C5Early hybrid variety, medium attractive red plum tomato, excellent quality Which AGM. Excellent flavour & heavy cropper
Shirley F1C Glasshouse, cold-tolerant, high quality Which AGM. Large trusses of medium size fruits on strong plants.
Sugargloss F1C12Extra sweet cherry tomato produced on double trusses. High yielding
Sungold F1C9.3Outstanding golden-orange cherry variety. AGM. Thin-skinned fruit, ideal for salads or a snack. 
Supersteak F1C5Beefsteak variety producing jumbo fruits with excellent flavour and perfect for slicing. 
Sweet Million F1C7.1Blight resistant cherry variety, extremely hardy producing a large crop of red, moderately sweet fruit early on.

Brix, Cordon or Bush?

The Brix value measures the sugar content in the fruit. The higher the value, then the higher the sugar content and the sweeter the fruit will taste.
Here is a general scale to provide a reference point for Brix measurements of tomatoes, with thanks to BAll Colegrave:
Brix 4-5: the majority of commercial tomatoes seem to fall into this range. Sometimes lack a distinguishing flavour.
Brix 6-7: this is where the tomato starts to really taste like a tomato
Brix 8: A denser, more intense and concentrated flavour. A noticeably good tomato.
Brix 10 +: A tremendous varietal flavour –  a truly great tomato.

Cordon/indeterminate tomatoes – these varieties of the tomato plant are the most common and are grown as cordons (single stemmed plants with side shoots removed). Cordon varieties require support as they grow, using stakes.
Bush/Determinate – these varieties stop themselves naturally with a truss and then develop more trusses on the side shoots. They generally crop sooner than cordons. Easy to grow and do not require cutting or staking

Location: Our tomatoes, peppers and herbs are just inside the main greenhouse, immediately on your right.

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