Other Aspects of Gardening

Beefsteak Heirloom Tomatoes

‘Sioux’ was developed by the University of Nebraska from seeds grown by the Sioux Indians. They don’t genetically modify them but grow the seeds in the best possible conditions to produce the strongest issue.

This pre-1890 Cherokee heirloom called ‘Cherokee Purple’ has superb old fashioned flavour. A purple pink coloured Beefsteak with red flesh and sweet taste.

One of the most fascinating things about growing heirlooms is the story of their origins. I already have next year’s seeds as I believe there may be a shortage. Amongst the varieties are, ‘Hillbilly’, ‘Mr Stripey’, ‘Amish Paste’, ‘Black Krim’, ‘Kelloggs Breakfast’, ‘Omar’s Lebanese’, ‘Carbon’, and ‘Bear Claw’. Another variety has an interesting background to its name. It was bred by an American and the seeds became so much in demand that this ordinary gardener was able to pay off his mortgage with the proceeds of his seed sales. Understandably he called the variety ‘Mortgage Lifter’!

David Downton

Syrian Giant Stuffer Tomato
from seeds brought out of Aleppo

My six seeds all germinated. I kept one and gave the five others to friends.

They have all been outside for some time and are growing well.

Delighted to give away over one hundred and fifty Heritage tomato plants, many to my son’s colleagues at Dorchester Hospital.

Have just planted out some quite rare heritage plants that I have not grown before: Black Krim; Paul Robeson; Black Mountain Pink; Austins Red Pear; and Brandywine Orange.

Gardening with new varieties is so much about anticipation!

Syrian Giant Stuffer Tomato

David Downton

Does a Gardener Ever Retire?

David Downton writes about his new found interest in growing Heritage Tomatoes

Click on the ‘Heritage Tomatoes’ link above to download the article as a pdf.

Heritage Tomatoes

David Downton

Groves mentioned in The Sunday Times 19 April 2020

Club members show their Appreciation of Groves’ Continued Service during the Covid-19 lock-down