Trial tomatoes and leeks update

Kate Collyns - 14 June 2013

So I've finally remembered to note down how many of each trial variety of tomato I planted at the beginning of the month. Jens Tangerine: 13 plants. Galina: 15 plants. Stupice: 15 plants. Chocolate cherry: 2 plants. Then the following from my usual varieties, to compare to the trialists: Tigerella: 27 plants (the best germination). Gardener's Delight: 7 plants (I already have a lot of these already growing outside the trial). Golden Queen: 15 plants. Black Cherry: 6 plants. Overall, the number of plants put in reflects the level of germination, other than as mentioned above. So Chocolate Cherry's germination was not great.

I side-shooted the trial plants for the first time today: and noticed that Stupice and Galina were taller than the others, but that could partly be due to plant habit – more potato-leaved and upright, compared to the others which have larger leaves and more foliage generally. Stupice and Galina also needed more side-shooting because of their height: average of 6-8 tiny side-shoots per plant to pick off, compared to the 4-6 of the others.

I'm also keeping an eye on the leeks which were drilled in half a 18 x 52ft polytunnel on 22nd March in 9 rows: 3 Bandit, 3 Hannibal, 1 Axima, 1 Zermatt, and 1 of the trial variety Long de Mézières. These were all double-drilled via Earthway seeder, in order to get more seed in less space. I'm hoping to transplant them to the field in the next few weeks; so far there is little obvious difference between varieties, and germination was very similar.

Kate set up Grown Green @ Hartley Farm in 2010, a two-acre market garden in Wiltshire between Bath and Bradford on Avon, selling to farm shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants. There are three polytunnels, herb beds and a small field for other vegetables and flowers.

The seed variety field lab is looking into Open Pollinated (OP) seed varieties available to non-organic growers and trialling them in organic systems with a view to either creating a demand for them organically or saving them on farm for use in subsequent years. The field lab is part of the Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme which is aiming to improve productivity, quality and environmental performance in organic and low-input agriculture.

Long de Mezieres.jpgGardeners delight and Tigerella.jpg

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Peter Brinch
17 July 2013 10:57

Hi Kate,Good to read your notes on the tomatoes. I assume from the record sheet that you have noted the sowing and planting dates of your toms. Are you happy to share that now? We didn't put in the record sheet first harvesting date and last harvest dates. Any chance you can note when you make your first harvest from each variety and again when the variety has finished. That will give an idea of timing for earlyness from sowing to picking and length of season for picking. That would be great,Peter

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