These toms will beat dreaded blight!
Nothing beats a home-grown, sun-ripened tomato, so to pick those luscious red fruit as early start sowing seed under glass now to April.
While there’s a wealth of tomato varieties available there are far fewer resistant to blight disease, the scourge of gardeners trying to grow tomatoes outdoors. Recent years has seen a few F1 resistant varieties introduced, with two new ones launched this year, ‘Summerlast’, a dwarf patio variety, and ‘Crimson Blush’, a beefsteak variety. You can grow these varieties indoors too, although glasshouses offer protection from blight spores landing on foliage.
While early blight in June can be problematic, late blight in July and August quickly shrivels leaves and damages fruit. Spread by wind currents, blight spores can be carried on hands and equipment, so hygiene is key and growing resistant varieties boosts success.
Sow seeds either in modules, 2 per unit or in a 7cm (21/2in) pot in a general-purpose compost. Sow expensive varieties singly. Cover seeds, water in and germinate at a temperature of 21C (70F) lowering to a growing temperature of 18C (65F).
Prick out seedlings individually into (7.5cm) 3in pots, transferring into a 13.5cm (5in) pot as they develop. Transfer to growing bags or 30cm (12in) pots if growing indoors, or harden off before planting outdoors in late May.
Here’s some varieties to try! Click the images to find out more…