Thursday, 28 August 2014

Tomatoes - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Posted by Rosie

One of the advantages of living here is that with our large polytunnel we are able to grow a wide variety of tomatoes.  It means we can afford to grown some varieties that are perhaps less productive but are most certainly very tasty and quite possibly not for sale in the local shops.

Tomaotes grown at Eco-Gites of Lenault - 2014

L-R from top row:

Coeur de Boeuf, Potiron Écarlate, Green Zebra
Black Cherry, Roma, Noire Russe
Harzfeuer, Mirabelle Blanche, Yellow Perfection

I also grew Marmande and Tigerella and bought an unknown cherry tomato and unknown bog standard red tomato as seedlings from the market.

So, how have they all fared?

Coeur de Boeuf

Wonderful large heart shaped tomatoes with a fabulous taste either raw in salads or cooked.  No one plant has huge numbers of fruits but as they are each so big this is not a problem.  One to grow again and again in  my book!

Potiron Écarlate

Another large tomato, this time slightly flattened and oddly shaped. Really quite an ugly looking tomato however it has a very unusual almost pinkish tinge and again a delicious flavour. Will grow again! 

Tigerella (not pictured)

These tomatoes are small to medium in size, red in colour with yellowish stripes.  Of all the tomatoes I have grown this year they are one of the most productive, but not the most tasty.  I may grow tigerella next year but probably less of them.  However for a stripy tomato I would really recommend:

Green Zebra

As the name suggests this tomato is in fact greeny/yellow when ripe with dark green stripes.  It is tasty, it is productive and it is on my shopping list for nest year!

Black Cherry

A friend gave me some seedlings of these last year and I very nearly missed harvesting them as I looked at their dark red colour tinged with dark green near the stalk and thought they weren't ripe.  No such problem this year and I have harvested loads of these absolutely delicious tomatoes.  Small enough to pop into your mouth in one and they explode with sweet tomato gorgeousness.  If you want to grow a cherry tomato I would certainly recommend Black Cherry.


An average cropping plum tomato that are rather susceptible to blossom end rot but one I grow because they make the best passata.  

Noire Russe

These are like a large Black Cherry and have been very productive this year.  Love them.  Great colour and really tasty.


These are one of only 2 "normal" tomatoes I have grown this year (the other being the unknown red tomato I bought at the market).  Neither are the most tasty compared to some others but both are still far better than many that supermarkets sell and both are also very productive.

Mirabelle Blanche

This has turned out to be the most disappointing of all my tomatoes this year.  Small, whitish yellow cherry sized fruits, really rather unproductive and with a thick skin and weird almost mushy flesh.  I will not bother with these again.

Yellow Perfection

In the past I have grown lovely yellow tomatoes but I have not been able to find which variety they were.  Yellow perfection certainly isn't the perfection it's name suggests although it is better than Mirabelle Banche!  I won't grow them next year as there are more yellow varieties to try and with luck one may be the great yellow variety I have previously grown.

Marmande (not pictured)

I had trouble getting these to germinate so they were very late growing and rather poor cropping. In previous years they have however been very productive and tasty.  The jury is still out as to whether I will grow them next year.

Who said tomatoes have to be red?

Have you grown tomatoes this year?  What are your favourites and have you any tomatoes you would not grow again?

Linking up with Manneskjur's How Does Your garden Grow Blog linky so do pop on over if you fancy reading some more garden related blog posts. 



  1. Yummy! We have had cherry toms and 'yellow ones' (try not to be baffled by my technical speak!) Although it's not been without trouble sadly. A week or so ago many of them developed lines around them, like spiral splits. I picked as many as I could early and popped them in the sunny kitchen window spot. Yesterday I went outside and the ones with the line had exploded, burst open and spewed seeds everywhere - looked really odd!
    We've used up loads in salads so far and I've a brie and tomato pasta dish to try out tonight - it's a hard life ey?
    Loving the variety you have grown, your polytunnel is awesome *stares into garden and tries to make room for one*
    Thanks for joining in again Rosie !x

    1. Sorry to hear about the splitting - it is probably caused by too much water or watering too irregularly. If they are ripe and split they are fine to eat but won't keep for long. I do love the polytunnel but it is a lot of work especially in a hot summer. Watering and working in somewhere probably hot enough to bake meringues is not fun!

  2. You've got some beautiful tomatoes! I'm only growing cherry tomatoes this year - most of them were gifted to me so I don't know much about the varieties. The drop in temperature here is making ours very slow to ripen. I'm keen to grow some heirloom varieties next year.

    1. Heirlooms are great although generally less productive ... a friend has given me a seed catalogue with literally PAGES of tomato varieties so I should have even more to try next year!

  3. I love the different colours and flavours of tomatoes-I often find them much more interesting than 'standard' ones. And don't they look so beautiful?!

    1. The different colours can be so flavoursome ... I was so disappointed with the Mirabelle Blanch being poor as they look lovely.

  4. yes! we grew tomatoes this year and last year! i love tomatoes and miss having them in our garden. summer is way too hot for them but the good thing is we can start planting them again in october :)

    1. I have friends who grow French beans over winter as they are in Australia and like you it is warm enough for tender crops. Here we can get down to -12ºC (10ºF) in winter so no chance!

  5. Wow what a lovely range of varieties. I've only grown cherry tomatoes. One of my sons isn't bothered about flavour, just the colour. He will only eat orange tomatoes #HDYGG

    1. Thank you - now I'm off to source an orange tomato to grow next year!

  6. I love tomatoes but the rest of my family aren't keen which is probably why we only tried to grow them one year, with some very poor results. You've got some fantastic and unusual ones there - love all the different colours! #hdygg

    1. Maybe your family could be tempted by a sweeter home grown variety - I really recommend Black Russian and Black Cherry for flavour.

  7. I love Roma. They are what we use at home in the Philippines. I dont have tomato but I have eggplants and they are on pots so I am not getting any yet. I think the pot is too small for them to get the right amount of nutrients they need as the flowers just fall off.

    1. My Roma did OK this year but I don't think Normandy is hot enough to get a really good crop.

  8. I'm amazed at how many types there are! One day I shall have to try eating one

  9. Unfortunately ours haven't done very well this year :-( the black cherry one sound great, I haven't seen them before, thank you for sharing x #HDYGG

  10. What a fabulous looking selection that is. Feeling extra super jealous of your polytunnels having seen this pictures! *Calculates how many different tomatoes could be rammed into a greenhouse*


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