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Grow Unusual Tomatoes!

I think the tomato is probably the most popular crop for home-growers, with good reason. What beats the delicious taste of a freshly-picked, sun-ripened tomato? Yet too often we grow the same old varieties and miss out on new flavours.

Thanks to the internet, we can buy seeds from companies based outside of the UK and try new varieties that you’ve never seen before. One of the leading European suppliers, based in Poland, supplies seeds and garden sundries across the world – including the UK, of course. For garden seeds they have a fixed delivery charge of just £2.45.

Greenhouse European Tomato Varieties

Their range of tomato seeds is impressive at over 150 different varieties. Specifically for greenhouse growing, these varieties are all worth trying; Bekas F1, Dafne F1, Julia F1, Perkoz F1, Pink Wonder F1, Remiz F1, Slonka F1, Tukan F1.

Pink Wonder Tomato

Pink Wonder Tomato

Bekas is an early, fast-growing, highly-productive cordon variety often grown commercially that’s well worth a try for fans of traditional shape and flavour but with hybrid vigour.

One of the big advantages of the Perkoz cultivar is that it develops fruit even when there is little light. Useful if these cloudy, grey summers we’ve suffered are to continue.

Pink Wonder is a disease resistant variety that produces a large raspberry-shaped fruit. It’s considered one of the most delicious varieties with intensely coloured pink-red flesh that is thick, fleshy and rich in sugar. It stands out with a characteristic, excellent sweet-savoury taste. Tomato flesh of this cultivar contains large quantities of the anti-cancer lycopene, pectins, lipoic acid and vitamins (C) and minerals, such as kalium.

Slonka (Lycopersicum esculentum) harvests medium early and is a sought after hybrid cultivar that’s resistant to diseases such as tomato leaf mold or green mottle mosaic virus. Slonka produces quite large (ca. 125 g), round fruit with shiny, dark red skin.

Raspberry Tomatoes

Particularly popular in central Europe, are the sweet, aromatic raspberry-type tomatoes with thin skins – such as Rodeo, Retro, and Zorza Torunska

Rodeo Tomato

Rodeo Tomato

Rodeo is a medium early variety that is intended for amateur cultivation. It may be grown outdoors but will benefit from growing under fleece. A determinate (bush) variety, it does not require topping nor staking. Fruit of this raspberry-type tomato grow large and may weigh up to 500 – 650 g. The heart-shaped berries do not develop greenback and take on a wonderful pink-red colour. Their surface may be delicately rippled. Rather hard and firm fruit taste great and are very juicy.

In contrast, Retro is a cordon variety produces round, large, smooth, fleshy fruit with a thin, delicate skin. They have an attractive raspberry colour to the flesh and an exceptional, refreshing taste.

Tomato Zorza Torunska is a great variety producing extremely valuable, large fruit with a characteristic, “raspberry” peel and delicious, sweet flesh with small cores. Round, slightly flattened, rippled tomatoes of the Zorza Torunska variety weigh 150 – 200 g in crop maturity.

Oxheart Tomatoes

Malinowy Olbrzym Tomato

Malinowy Olbrzym Tomato

Malinowy Bawole Serce, Malinowy Olbrzym, Cuor di Bue are all names unknown in the UK (except to expatriate Poles, I assume) but popular in central Europe.

Malinowy Olbrzym is a vigorous medium-late variety which grows best when cultivated staked in the soil. This plant is highly valued for its large, slightly flattened red fruit, which have a very juicy flesh. Tomato Malinowy Olbrzym, whose name means “a cherry giant”, produces giant fruit indeed – not only are they considerable in size, but also taste wonderful.

Cuor di Bue tomato is a cordon variety intended for outdoors cultivation. It grows quite large (up to 200 g in weight), firm and fleshy fruit of the ox-heart type. The exceptional taste makes this an ideal salad variety and it makes delicious preserves.

Outdoor Tomatoes

There is a large range of tomatoes that should do well outside although they’ll benefit from protection in the north of Britain. They have slightly thicker skins to protect them from rain. Alka, Beta, Bohun, Denar, Frodo, Hubal, Ikar, Kmicic, Płomien, Promyk, Rumba Ozarowska, Samuraj, Zlatava, Złoty Ozarowski.

Extremely Early Outdoor Tomato Varieties

The extremely early outdoor tomato varieties, such as Beta, Harzfeuer F1 and Promyk can be sown as late as May and still produce a crop.

Tomato Faworyt is a medium-early cordon tomato that produces large fruit, which grow up to half a kilogram in weight. The fruit grow slightly flattened with a thin skin. The juicy flesh contains few seeds and has a wonderful flavour.

Tomato Alka

Tomato Alka

Alka is a dwarf, determinate field variety perfectly fitted for small gardens. It is supplied as a coated seed, ideal for sowing directly in situ. It shows rapid growth and forms a nice, compact, bushy habit. Alka is an extremely productive variety that develops fruit even under adverse weather conditions, in the rain and cold. Its fruit grow quite large and weigh 90 g on average.

Tomato Denar is a determinate field variety producing firm, pear-shaped fruit. An easily cultivated plant that yields rich crops. Since the strong and compactly growing stems reach only 60 – 80 cm in height, it does not require staking. The fruit take on a shape resembling pears and weigh 90 – 110 g at harvest time. Perfect for salads and as addition to sandwiches.

Hubal is a medium early variety that shows high productivity. This determinate plant grows rapidly, developing slender stems. The fruit are gathered in clusters, a few per each, and may reach average weight of 120 – 140 g. They are round, regularly shaped and smooth with a faint rippling. The berries retain excellent quality and freshness for even 10 days after the harvest.  Hubal tomatoes store well and do not become soft nor lose their taste. They are widely used in processing industry for juices and concentrate.

Patio Tomatoes

Patio growers aren’t left out, there’s a wide range of cherry varieties – ideal for pot growing. Suggested varieties to consider; Aztek, Bajaja, Cytrynek Groniasty, Malinowy Kapturek, Malinowy Smaczek, Perun, Sungella, Venus, Vilma.

The names may be unfamiliar but growing methods are just the same as we use for our better known types. For more information visit and try something different for a change.

Further Information: Tomato Growing Guides

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