~ VINE TOMATO SEED part 2: - LARGE FRUITED TYPES ~
These are our large-fruited vine Tomatoes. See the index on the left for other types.
We really like tomatoes - and grow loads of them every year - but only the very best make it into the catalogue!
For an explanation of the differences between bush & vine plant types, click here.
Screen is too small to display the sowing calendar. Try turning your device sideways.
= normal sowing & harvest time = also possible depending on conditions
Doctor Carolyn GOOD FLAVOUR
We’re pleased to offer what may well be the best tasting tomato there is, named after tomato breeder Dr Carolyn Mayle.
This is a medium height vine with spherical, glowing round pink tomatoes about 2” in diameter.
The flavour is fantastic and this is a special strain we have reselected ourselves for bigger, fruit. Interestingly, several years after we chose this in our taste trials, we discovered that it was in fact bred from our other very good flavoured tomato, Galina.
Not the highest-yielding tomato, but the flavour when ripe is very good indeed. Lots of good feedback from people.
18 seed £
An extremely tasty and very rare beefsteak tomato grown since the 1850s (!) by generations of the Wentzell family, who were the original homesteaders of what is now Windhorse Farm in Lunenburg County, Canada.
From Annapolis Seeds’ collection of northern-adapted tomato varieties - the large red-pink fruit have an excellent flavour, one of the best we have, and grow really well for us.
Short vines to about 4ft, tolerant of shorter/cooler summers.
18 seed £
This variety is one that we would really recommend. An incredibly productive plum tomato, it makes loads of large orange-coloured fruit.
Unusual and tasty, this has been a favourite of ours for many years – ideal for both salads and cooking. It makes great ketchup and sauces, and is one of the highest yielding plum tomatoes we have grown.
We got crates and crates of fruit from just 12 plants this year. We also find it much less prone to blossom end rot than many plum varieties.
Orange tomato, Medium Vine.
22 seed £
Gigante Liscio (Maincrop Salad type)
This big round tomato from the 1920's comes from a cross of 'Ponderosa' & 'St Louis' in an effort to create the ultimate salad tomato.
Constantly popular, since then it has been continually reselected for good flavour, strong plants, and large red fruit. Sadly now it is getting harder to find and it is not always available.
We really like this one, as it is one of the best flavoured of the big-fruited tomatoes - it has a particularly good balance of sweetness and acid.
Maincrop red tomato, Medium Vine.
20 seed £
Peche Vilmorin NEW
An ancient variety, long thought lost, this was bred by Henri Vilmorin of the famous Andrieux-Vilmorin Seedhouse in France. Henri was the author of the invaluable reference book 'The Vegetable Garden' that was published in English in 1885 - and it's been in print ever since.
This unusual variety has a large hollow seed cavity - ideal for stuffing like a pepper, or just use as normal - and is one of the prettiest tomatoes we have grown, with a true peach-blush on the skin. Highly productive.
Passed to us via Owen Bridge of Annapolis Seeds. They ripen from the orangey colour in the photos to a deeper red-pink, and make large number of fruit over a long season.
18 seed £
Feo de Rio Gordo
This is a really massive tomato - we've included a picture of it next to a (rather large) mug here to try to give you an idea of the scale.
Kate came by a selection of interesting tomatoes from a small local seed company on a visit to Seville a few years back. This variety proved to be a real stand-out both in terms of earliness (only the super-early varieties ripened before it) and flavour. It makes lots of fruit too.
The name translates as 'ugly, from the wide river' - well they may not be the prettiest of tomatoes, but in this case looks definitely aren't everything!
Very, very large red tomato, recommended for a greenhouse or polytunnel.
18 seed £
A wonderful tomato from the Ukraine,this is a tall vine that starts to fruit early, tastes great, and carries on long after the others have given up. The tomatoes are a beautiful translucent pale yellow, with a hint of orange blush depending on temperature. The flavour is really good both raw and cooked.
This variety is consistently one of the longest-cropping; ripening fruit long after others have given up. In an unheated conservatory we have picked the last tomatoes on Christmas Day.
Really good, a new favourite. Seed crop produced by Tao Wimbush, as part of of our Seed Growers Training Programme.
18 seed £
This is a very sweet, tasty and early-fruiting oxheart tomato.
The fruits are medium-large, and have a delicious, complex flavour.They're good raw, but really come into their own as a variety to use cooked.
Another excellent ex-USSR variety from Andrei Barawovski in the Ukraine, this was one of the best tasting in our 2018 trials.
18 seed £
A delicious Italian variety ideal for salads or cooking.
Tall, vigorous plants start to fruit early, and it's a steady producer, cropping over a long period. Gives a heavy yield of huge, juicy, ribbed red fruit over a long season.
Brought to you from the gardeners of Florence in Italy, where they know a thing or two about tomatoes.
Fat, red & gently ribbed fruit, tall vine.
25 seed £
'Rose de Berne' Large Pink Salad Tomato
This was sent to us by Frank Kiersblick, as one of his favourite and heaviest-setting traditional tomatoes. He was right! It was one of our best performers in our 2008 trials.
The tall vines make glowing-pink tomatoes. The fruit are quite large, but not quite as big as a beefsteak type.
It is a high yielding, juicy, and particularly tasty variety from the continent with very heavy trusses giving crops of several pounds per vine.
20 seed £
Ethel Watkins' Best
A large early tomato that did very well in our 2012 trials. Good sized fruit, set very early.
The key thing about this is that the vines are not very tall - about 4ft - & it fruits really quite early, making generously-set trusses of large round red tomatoes (tennis-ball sized).
Variety first reccommended to us by tomato collector Bill Minkey - seed crop grown in Wales.
18 seed £
Buckflats Wonder NEW
A really attractive med-large red salad tomato that was bred by Andy Pollock in northern Canada. It has a good flavour and what is special about this one is that he selected for years for the fruit not to be damaged in light autumn frosts.
Like any tomato, it still needs warm weather to grow well, but this one is helpful if you are in a marginal area where autumn can sometimes come early.
This is a short-vine plant; grow as a vine, but dont expect it to get too tall. Great for an extended harvest in short-season areas!
20 seed, £
A good early plum type tomato, this was originally from Irma Hemkel in the Ukraine.
It does really well in the UK, (even in endless grey weather!) , making tall plants that soon set trusses of really large, deep purple plum tomatoes the size and shape of a goose egg.
The tomatoes are both beautiful and delicious in salads, but they are also tasty cooked. The foliage is very attractive too, with dark green leaves and an interesting 'feathery' appearance.
Purple, great for cooking & salads, extremely productive.
18 seed £
Green Zebra is a very special tomato, created in 1983 by Tom Wagner of 'Tater Mater Seeds' - a flavour-obsessed tomato and potato breeder who has worked all his life creating new varieties.
It is thought by many people to be one of the tastiest tomatoes ever. Don't be put off by the colour, it really is ripe when bright green, there's been 30 years of breeding to make it that way! And the flavour is fantastic.
Ben met Tom in Oxford in 2009 and they spent a happy couple of days discussing tomato varieties and potato breeding, so we're really pleased to offer Tom's tomato in the catalogue now.
20 seed £
Nice tall vines, this is a very rare variety with round red tomates that develop lighter golden zebra stripes as they ripen, with a particularly good flavour.
Red Zebra was discovered by Jeff Dawson in the late 1990’s, when he spotted just one different-type plant in his huge field of Green Zebra tomatoes.
Like all good farmers, he always tried out any unusual plants that chance brought his way, and this one was indeed a lucky find - it still had the great taste of the original, but with a beautiful red-gold colour. After a bit of selection to stabilise it, he first offered the new variety via a seedsavers network in 2003.
A great flavour as well as being very pretty.
20 seed, organic £
Czech Breast NEW
An excellent heirloom tomato, bred and named "Dívčí Prs" many many years ago by ethnographer and botanist AV Frič. It is a family heirloom from Klára Marková, who got it from her great grandmother, and remembered picking them as a child at the family farm.
She wrote in Czech: "I have a variety of Girls Breast tomato from my great-grandmother and I have been growing it since 2005. Before, we have grown it in our family for another 35 years (maybe more). I saw it with my great-grandmother and we had it at home in the garden. It is yellow, and had an interesting shape - I & my brother as a child, liked to eat them raw, or with lettuce, and they can be hollowed out, stuffed and cooked."This is another fantastic tomato given to us by Marek of Permaseminka Seeds, who has been researching and collecting old european tomato varieties for several years now. He thinks it is one of the best in his collection, and after our trials in 2020, we agree. It is productive and has a great flavour, even though (as with most breast-shaped tomatoes) the original Czech name is a bit dodgy.
18 seed, organic £
Skykomish REALLY GOOD FLAVOUR
A beautiful orange tomato bred by Tom Wagner, Skykomish was designed to be resistant to blight. It has done well for us in our trials, and has had good feedback across the country.
The tomatoes are quite large, a very pretty orange-yellow colour, with a good flavour. Kate's parents always grew lots of tomatoes outdoors in their garden (and got issued with our new varieties to try!) - they picked this one out as their definite favourite for taste.
A new tomato, with some blight-resistance, very good flavour, and a great colour.
18 seed £
Amish Paste (Giant Plum Tomato)
This variety comes originally from the Amish community. It is HUGE - one of the largest plum-type tomatoes we have ever seen.
As well as size and productivity, we are really impressed by its flavour - a new addition to our favourites.
The tall vines set pretty early in the season, and make nice red fruit about the size of an apple which weigh up to 1lb each. Not only was it one of the first to flower, but it just kept on making tomatoes for month after month.
The fruits are good. Very dense fleshed, with few seeds - but still a really good tart flavour, so ideal for cooking, ketchups and bottling. And they cook down to an incredibly rich and sweet sauce.
But our most amusing use is as our customary snack of fried tomato on toast - a single slice will do an entire piece of toast:
Large red plums, ideal for sauces , but actually, they're very nice fresh in salads and burgers too.
18 seed ( it doesn't make many seed at all), organic £
'Mucho Miel' (Giant Salad Type)
A old heirloom variety of tomato given to us by José Confitas, an old gardener in the village in Spain where we used to live. These tomatoes were grown by his family for 'years and years for ever' as he put it, and the name means 'lots of honey'.
The large red fruit are indeed sweet and juicy, and borne on tall vigorous vines. They taste great, grow just as well in Wales as they did in Spain, & are a perfect size for sandwiches and salads.
20 seed £
De Colgar (Storage Tomato)
A traditional class of tomato from Spain that is pretty much extinct now, these are nice round orange-pink tomatoes bred for winter storage.
They ripen a bit later than the others. The idea is that you pick them at the end of them summer and put them carefully aside in your cool larder (much as you would store apples); with a bit of care they keep until January! We have tried this several times and it really does work.
(Just as with apples, you need a slightly humid but well-ventilated store, with a steady temperature ideally about 8-10 C. But if you don't get it quite right they still store better than other tomatoes.)
They are very similar to the old french variety 'Jaune de Flamee'; we think that there probably were versions of this in every country so that there were tomatoes available for winter salads. But with the advent first of bottling, then freezing, and now supermarket-shipped tomatoes from Spain, these are all extinct.
Less juicy than normal tomatoes, with a thick skin, which is why they keep. Vine to 5 feet tall, best grown in a greenhouse or polytunnel.
20 seed £
'Reisetomate' Pocketbook Vine Tomato
Well, how on earth to describe this? We think you'll just have to look at the photo.
This is a rather unusual tomato from central Europe that grows what can only be described as a cluster of cherry tomatoes all fused together.
They can be twisted off from the fruit bit by bit and eaten, or you can just use it to scare your children . . . . As well as looking very, very strange, they taste very nice, sweet and juicy with a thin skin.
20 seed £
In 2007 Frederick Denny sent us seed of several heirloom Bulgarian tomatoes he had collected - local varieties that people were saving at home - and we grew them all in a big trial.
'Ruby' was bar far the best - early, productive, & with a good flavour, so we have offered it ever since.
The vines don't grow too tall for us (so good at the shorter edge of a greenhouse) but make a good crop of really nice rounded red tomatoes for a long season.
Beautiful red tomato from Bulgaria, very productive, tasty.
20 seed £
At the start of the growing season this year I purchased some of the Bulgarian Ruby Tomato seeds. Just a short note to tell you that we believe they were the best tomatoes we have ever grown. They were large, fleshy and tasted delicious especially when fried for breakfast. We had an excellent yield on plants grown in the greenhouse and are still picking them in mid October. ... Thanks for offering these seeds. - Malcolm
Just to let you know how impressed I've been with the Tomato 'Ruby'. My small greenhouse overheated badly in July and all the other tomatoes I grew looked wan and cropped poorly afterwards... Ruby just powered on with healthy dark green leaves producing a steady supply of large, delicious tomatoes. - Stephen
A great new variety from our 2018 Early Tomato Trials. We chose it from a collection of northern-adapted varieties as we were intruiged by the description:
"Twisted Brook says if you only grow one tomato, let it be this one. Super cold hardy Russian variety, productive and great deep and rich flavour. Large slicer verging on beefsteak size. Deep, richly flavoured, red meaty slicer for sandwiches and fresh salsas. Equally perfect for sauces, pastes and canning. Good disease, split and cold resistance. Performed well in the drought conditions of 2016. The parent plants for this seed crop froze solid on a super cold night in spring. The flat was tossed to the side, seemingly done for, and yet came back stronger (and furrier) than its well protected kin who had spent a cozy night under cover."
We found that it was indeed very productive, and also vigorous. The vines are strongly branching so you do need to keep the sideshoots pinched out.
Hardy, northern-adapted medium-sized tomato with a good flavour!
18 seed £
Saving Tomato Seed:
Here you can seed 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 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.