The last of this year’s tomato plants have been pulled out and some winter crops sowed, but as I’ve mentioned before I’m already looking ahead to what I’ll grow in the spring and summer. The number one plant on the list is tomatoes, but we’re having some trouble choosing varieties, as I’d never realised before how many there are!
We’d already been looking through various gardening catalogues and my copy of James Wong’s Grow for Flavour*, which my in-laws gave me last year as a present. It’s got some great tips on how to make fruits and vegetables taste better, with a helpful section on tomatoes, some different varieties and how these can be used in cooking – which ones are good for salads, the ones that work well for sauces, etc.
Then last week I listened to the tomatoes episode of the podcast Sow, Grow, Repeat; one section had Alys Fowler and Jane Perrone interviewing Craig LeHoullier, the author of Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All Time. After the podcast, I went and downloaded the ebook of Epic Tomatoes*, as he’d mentioned some the different varieties he’d grown over the years and I was hoping to find some recommendations.
Okay. I knew there were a lot and that we’d be spending some time deciding on the right ones for us, but I’d never realised just how many different varieties there were out there (or all the colours!) … and how difficult it was going to be to choose between them all. G is hoping for tomato sauce and sundried tomatoes, so I’m now looking at varieties like Brandywine, San Marzano, Amish Paste and Principe Borghese.
We also still have some Roma tomato seeds and some Oxheart tomato seeds from previous seasons – both varieties can be used for sauces and I’d like to do some taste comparisons, just for fun. But there are still so many other interesting varieties out there that can be used for salads and slicing.
My mum is interested in the sauce and sundried tomatoes as well, but she also enjoys cherry tomatoes, so I’ve promised to have a look for some interesting types for her to grow in her vegetable garden. Then once again there will be the (rather enjoyable, at least for me) problem of choosing which varieties to grow.
*This is not a sponsored post.