Tasteless tomatoes will soon be a thing of the past with new technology and breeding to bring you fat plump trussed fruit, and others that you can plant for a perfect crop.
The old field-grown variety, Grosse Lisse Lycopersicon esculentum, is known to be picked green and gassed to give colour. Hence you get a tomato that holds up well post-harvest and can last long distances to finish up at the supermarket.
I don’t know about you but I don’t like my tomatoes that crunch, especially when you look at them and think “Can’t wait to sink my teeth into that” and find it is almost the texture of an apple.
Tomatoes that are referred to as “truss” refer mostly to the number of fruit that appear on truss (branch) of the plant. Supermarket “truss” tomatoes is also the technique of growing tomatoes under cover in a substrate (soil) of well drained granular soil that is regularly fed with a hydroponic mix. Truss tomatoes are soaring well past any other tomato sales at supermarkets.
Take a look on Google Earth and see just how much of Southern Spain is dedicated to glasshouse truss tomatoes that are fed by hydroponics.
Homegrown always has a flavour of its own. The fresh smell of tomato leaves and the touch of the vines is all part of the experience.
Grosse Lisse is the old Australian salad favourite and will grow to about 2.5m. Roma, the egg-shaped tomato is a bit hardier and more of a shrub or bush tomato and will grow well in a pot and doesn’t need as much staking as others.
If you like the burst in your mouth of a cherry tomato, try Sweet Grape Lycopersicon esculentum or the easy-to-grow cherry Tom Thumb, which is as perennial as grass and takes so little effort to eat a handful off the bush. Give tomatoes plenty of food. Cultivate the soil before if you are ground growing, or use a quality potting mix for a container, add blood and bone, seaweed and fish fertiliser then and after.
Don’t be stingy with the pot size if you want a courtyard plant as tomatoes like some space in the soil to grow well. Use a pot about 400mm in diameter. Removal of some of the side shoots isn’t necessary and is simply done for the reason that the weight of the fruit can damage the bush and to keep some air going around the leaves.