Waiting for the sun – growing tomatoes in Ireland

Tomatoes. Everything about them screams sunshine and deliciousness. And while I know it’s not to everyone’s taste, I absolutely love the smell of tomato plants – which is just as well, because I decided to go for it with bells on this year and sow eight different varieties, most of them heirlooms.

Grushovka tomatoes - a bush variety that's doing really well for me in this Irish summer.

Grushovka tomatoes – a bush variety that’s doing really well for me in this Irish summer.

The Irish weather being what it is, I decided to hedge my bets and raise about half my plants indoors in pots. The ones that got the outdoor treatment are in raised beds – Moneymaker, Costoluto Genovese, Gold Medal and Grushovka. A lone ‘100’s & 1000’s’ plant swings from one of those upside-down planters on a tree in the back garden. Inside, I’ve got more Costoluto Genovese, Marmande, Gardener’s Delight and Red Zebra. All I need now is enough sun to ripen them all.
In terms of reward, I’ll have to wait for a taste test to decide which of the varieties I chose will make it back onto my list for next year. But if the unripened fruits are anything to go by, the biggest winners – certainly in terms of volume – are the Grushovka and Marmande.

Both of these were grown from heirloom seeds – according to the Real Seed Company (source of the Grushovka seed), the Grushovka tomatoes are a very rare variety, producing large pink tomatoes, halfway between a plum and an ox-heart type, ‘with an excellent flavour’. Their claim that this bush variety is ‘prolific’ certainly seems a good one, if my two plants are anything to go by – hardly surprising when you learn that Grushovka originated in the Altai mountain region, on the Siberian-Chinese border. If these babies turn out to taste good, they’ll be perfect for growing next year.

For tips on growing tomatoes from seed – and looking after them once they’re off and running, click here.

Grushovka tomatoes are hardy enough to be productive in an Irish summer.

Grushovka tomatoes are hardy enough to be productive in an Irish summer.

2 comments for “Waiting for the sun – growing tomatoes in Ireland

  1. Karen
    October 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Very impressed!!

    • pamelaweaver
      October 11, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      Thank you!

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