No rain, beautiful blue skies….what are we complaining about? Like farmers, gardeners are never really happy unless we have something to moan about. This month, we will be mostly complaining about beautiful blue skies with no rain in it. Week one was bliss, week two was also great and led us into Easter thinking joyfully of visitor numbers, week three… losing our nerve a bit, now into week four and no rain forecast and the grass is beginning to turn brown…
The Royal Wedding is British, the street parties are British but… no rain… its not even local, let alone British.
We grow a fair number of tomatoes at Easton and have been growing sweet cherry and big fat cheeked beefsteak varieties for some time. We use them in the tearoom fresh and roast the glut for using in soups overwinter.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Tomato ‘Cuor di Bue’:
Also called Tomato ‘Bull’s Heart’ – we grew this last year under Paolo’s instruction (he runs Seeds of Italy
) We weren’t excited by the first fruits but as they ripened they were spectacular! Big beefsteak type tomatoes, virtually seedless, make the perfect salad tomato or for passata. Needless to say we are growing it again this year.
Tomato ‘Black Cherry’:
A regular with us. Really long trusses of smallish dark pink/black tomatoes, easy to eat whole or halve for salads or cooking. We grow it undercover with Cuor di Bue.
Tomato ‘Principe Borghese’:
This fantastic tomato is a vine tomato suitable for outdoor growing. It’s egg shaped fruits are good with salads and then, at the end of the season can be dried. Lucy, our florist used them like this last year.Lucy cut the toms in half, laid them out flat on baking tray sprinkled with salt and pepper and olive oil. She put in the bottom oven of an Aga or plate warmer overnight until semi-dried then put into air tight jars with olive oil.Summer in a jar!
Tomato baby plum ‘Red Cherry’:
This is new to us this year. The description from Seeds of Italy describes it thus ‘produces sweet long oblong fruits, is ideal for containers and can be grown outdoors.’
Tomato ‘Cumulus F1’:
An early ripening variety with typical tomato shape fruits that has good resistance to disease. Can be grown in or outside.
Tomato ‘Gardeners Delight’:
Well named, this is a cherry tomato with trusses of sweet tasting tomatoes on a compact bush that can be grown inside or out.For us, this grows better outside than in and produces a heavy crop of medium sized fruits with very little side shoot removal required. Easy if your whole world doesn’t revolve around growing perfect tomatoes.
We have some of these for sale in the shop as young plants or seeds at the time of writing. The fruiting plants can be seen in the greenhouse or cottage garden with chillies and spaghetti squash from May onwards.