Last year I grew lots of odd tomatoes and fine and dandy they were but it seemed to take forever for any to ripen. It was August before I picked any and I knew I had to do better than that this year. So I grew quite a few F1 hybrids and a lot more cherry toms that should ripen early.
The plan worked because the first tom was just about ready on June 28th. And the winner was ……. ‘Sungold’. Is there nothing that variety is not best at?
But a close second was ‘Gardeners’ Ecstasy’ (above)**. This was obtained from Real Seeds, which I have mentioned before and to quote their blurb – ‘This is a new variety bred a few years ago by Tony Haig from a cross between our Irish Gardeners’ Delight and Dr Carolyn. We think it combines the best qualities of both, with excellent flavour and good productivity‘
Over the years the ‘trueness’ of the popular ‘Gardeners’ Delight’ has been questioned and most strains produce bigger fruit than people remember. So many prefer the ‘Irish’ strain which has smaller fruits. ‘Dr Carolyn’ is named after Dr Carolyn Male who wrote the book ‘100 Heirloom Tomatoes’ in the USA and is a keen tomato expert. She is pale yellow, sweet, juicy and very productive – well the tomato is!*
‘Gardeners’ Ecstasy’ seems to ripen to an orangey red but I will leave them on the plant to see how red they go. So far they taste good but I still prefer ‘Sungold’ – that is how I am able to wait to see how red ‘Gardeners’ Ecstasy’ will get.
* There appears to be two tomatoes (at least) called ‘Doctor Carolyn’. The one that Real Seeds offer is a ‘large red cherry of good flavour’.
** Why is it that no matter how often you take the sideshoots off the tomatoes there are always more! I thought I had done a good job till I looked at this photo!