Our heritage tomato guide
It’s all about flavour, productivity and versatility for the kitchen. That’s why tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables grown in the home garden. No bought tomato compares to one fresh from the vine. Flavour, essentially a balance between acidity and sweetness, is determined by several interacting factors and can vary depending on the season, variety, maturity and even the time of day when picked. Many growers say it is good practice to err on the side of under-watering. Over-watering and over-feeding are some of the main reasons for loss of flavour. Tomatoes love a warm, sunny sheltered position, and need at least eight weeks frost-free from planting to maturity. Most varieties benefit from some form of support, such as staking or trellis. You can have a long harvest if you plant different varieties. An early fruiting variety such as Tommy Toe produces fruit 60–70 days after transplanting; an attractive mid-season example is Green Zebra, which fruits after 90 days; and later, one could look to something like Mortgage Lifter, which will be ready to harvest after 110 to 120 days.