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Dobies of Devon would like Allotment holders to try their new blight resistant tomato so are giving away 2,000 plant  packs so they can see for themselves how good it is.

Crimson Crush Tomato

Crimson Crush Tomato

In recent years blight has become more and more a problem both for potato growers and tomato growers. In part due to wetter, more humid summers giving the perfect conditions for blight to take hold and grow and due to the blight mutating and becoming more difficult to resist. Many allotment holders have given up growing outdoor tomatoes because of the problems with blight and even greenhouse grown crops suffer.

Dobies think they’ve found they answer in a revolutionary new variety, Crimson Crush, which has been bred to shrug off even the worst tomato blight making it ideal for allotment holders.

These new tomatoes are the result of eight years of research and development between breeder Simon Crawford and Bangor University PhD student James Stroud. A cordon variety it provides great yields of exceptionally fine tasting, large round tomatoes.

They state that Crimson Crush is fully blight resistant, and indeed in trials it is, but it is not immune – these two things are very different.

In trials when a solution of blight spores are applied to the plant 10% of the plant may be affected, but this does not mean that 10% of the plants will die. For example the plant will lose 10% of its leaves, and therefore 10% of its photosynthetic ability which will not prevent it from cropping or kill the plant, but a few leaves will show some signs of infection.

Blight Trial

Blight Trial

As Simon Crawford the breeder states

“Crimson Crush remained relatively free of blight but it is not immune, showing around 10 percent of infection when controls such as ‘Ailsa Craig’ were 100 percent infected”

In blight trials it is the percentage of leaf infection that is tested so the quote above shows the difference between a non-resistant variety “Ailsa Craig” which was wiped out and “Crimson Crush” which sustained a very small amount of infection and continued to grow and fruit.

I confirm that in the trials at Bangor University, none of the Crimson Crush tomatoes were killed by blight and all of the plants went on to produce fruit with no problem”.

Sign up here to register for your free plug plants. But hurry – plants will be sent out on a first come, first serve basis (UK ONLY) so when they are gone they are gone!

The response to offer which was also in a newsletter special has been far more than expected and stocks (2000 free plants) have run out. You can still buy plants here: Crimson Crush

 

 

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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