~ BUSH TOMATO Seed ~
We like tomatoes a lot, so this is a really important part of the catalogue for us.
We think much of the tomato seed offered commercially isn't really right for home growers.
What we want are varieties that germinate well
in cold conditions,
Vine tomatoes are on another page. For an explanation of the differences between bush & vine plant types, click here.
SUPER-EARLY BUSH TOMATOES:
We have found some very quick-growing varieties, many from Russia. In our trials these had flowered before our others had grown their third leaf! Not only does this help get a better crop in a short summer, but you have more chance of them fruiting before blight strikes. We have listed these in approximate order of ripening.
As always, the earlier varieties have a slightly smaller yield. Grow more than one to cover a longer season.
Latah (Super-early Salad type)
Latah is our most popular bush tomato, and it really is remarkable. The leaves are very far-spaced on the stem - the plants look a bit odd – and this lets in more light to reach the fruit so they ripen even earlier. The fruit are mostly roundish but some are a bit ribbed, with the occasional odd shape too.
The plants are quite untidy. To be honest, you can't really train them or support them in any way – but if you let them get on with it they really will make ripe tasty tomatoes earlier than you thought possible. Fantastic flavour, balanced acid and sweetness, this is just great raw, & nice cooked too.
Absurdly early red tomato. Untidy sprawling bush.
Order ToLA - 20 seed £2.97
CORRECTION: We originally thought this was from Russia, but several people have written to correct us. It seems that somewhere along the line someone got Moscow, Idaho, USA and Moscow, Russia mixed up.
Among others, Bonnie Gomez wrote: "The Latah Tomato is not
from Russia. It was developed in Latah County at the University of Idaho
in Moscow, Idaho in the United States. We have a short growing season
(just over 4 months of the year) in Northern Idaho and have unpredictable
springs (i.e. frost and snow) and that's why "absurdly early" plants
seem like a good idea! Thank you! "
Legend Bush (Moderately early salad type, some blight tolerance)
Legend has done well for us, and we have also had good feedback from last years' trials. It is a medium sized bush that crops quite early, thus avoiding a lot of the blight, and it does seem to be able to hold off the disease longer than many other varieties.
The red fruit are round and about the size of golf balls, with a pretty good flavour. We don't think any tomato is truly and completely blight-proof, so this is not a 'magic bullet' , but it is really worth a try!
Developed by Jim Myers and James Baggett, for cool areas, it will set fruit without pollination and so often fruits well even when the spring temperatures are very low.
Early red tomato with some blight tolerance.
Order ToLB - 20 seed £1.94
Grushovka (Early Pink)
The plants grow to around 3 or 4 foot tall and are easy to manage, they just keep on producing huge numbers of fruit all summer. We have bags and bags of tomatoes off these every time we grow them.
The heart-shaped fruit are shocking pink and have a good balance of sweet and acid. A bit like a plum tomato - good for sauces, but also very pretty in salads, or for making a lurid pink gazpacho soup.
Very prolific, medium sized pointy pink fruit, very tasty .
Order ToGR - 18 seed £2.59
Oregon Spring NEW FOR 2013
It has a good flavour, and can set fruit without pollination, which helps with getting a super-early crop. It is very popular in places with short or cooler summers.
Note: This is unusually tolerant of cold weather conditions, but of course the plants are not actually frostproof. So yes, you can indeed plant it quite early in spring, but don't get carried away and expect it to be indestructable - do beware late frosts and cover with fleece if necessary!
Early producer of round red fruit. Just a few packets this year, get them quick!
Order ToOr - 18 seed £2.42
Urbikany (Early salad type)
Yes – it’s back! A great success from our trials of early Siberian tomatoes, this one has a high yield of 2-inch, perfectly round red fruit. Large seed get the plants off to a vigorous start.
They fruit much earlier than normal tomatoes, and you get a good crop for your salads throughout the summer. The large sprawling bushes only grow about 3' tall, but definitely need several stakes or strings to support the weight of all the tomatoes. We use this as a salad tomato; its juicy with a good balance of sugar and acid.
Tall Bush, juicy and sweet, very early, with very heavy crops over a long period.
Order ToUR - 18-20 seed £2.52
And a final Special Tomato:
We also have an amazing cherry bush tomato on our 'Breed Your Own Vegetables' page.
Saving Tomato Seed:
Here you can see the seed and juice squeezed into a jar & let ferment for 3 days (no more, no less!)
Good seeds sink and bad ones float.
(And, yes, it is supposed to be mouldy & smelly)
Water is added and poured off, several times over, to clean them, the seed is rinsed in a sieve and put on a plate to dry.
Detailed seed-saving instructions are included with your seeds, so you can do this yourself.
And of course this is only possible because these are all real, non-hybrid varieties.