Talkback: Heritage vegetables

I would usually fully agree with you. When it comes to potatoes and carrots, I always stick to my well known and reliable varieties. But I usually try the odd heirloom one, and now and then you'll find a hidden treasure. This year I came across the tomato variety 'sub arctic plenty', which won me over completely with their sweet taste and ability to produce a good yield in a cold climate up here in the North Isles (no, not outside, but in a cold greenhouse). So I would suggest, if you got the space, give some of the old varieties a go!


  • I agree with Adam, I tried some Heritage varieties this year and also had problems. I tried Brandywine and Black Russian. Yields were poor although the flavour of Brandywine was good both suffered badly from blight and rotted before they ripened. Olivade I also grew was a superb cropper, tasted well and suffered no blight problems.
  • I agree with Helen. Like her I have grown Gardener's delight for years. However they were most disappointing this year. They didn't crop well and were quite tasteless. I shall try another variety next year. I also found my Plum variety yielding a small crop this year.
  • I grew gardeners delight for the first time this year and was very dissapointed both by yield and flavour, they were grown both in a cold greenhouse and outsde in the north of england.
  • I have had an allotment in excess of 25 years,this has been an abysmal year,never before have tomatoes performed so badly,heritage and F1s just best to put this year behind us,and move on,its not any variety,just an appalling wet summer,hope things are better for 2008.
  • I think your disappointment over Snow White Cherry might have more to do with the weather conditions this past season than anything elase. I have grow it and I think the flavour is every bit as good as Gardeners Delight which I have also grown. We tried Broad Ripple yellow current this year in a cold greenhouse and when it finally cropped the flavour was excellent. Tomatoes need sun which they did not yet this year.
  • I also agree with the heritage seed, but I myself grew tigrella toms and was dissapointed at texture and taste, I wish I'd grown shirleys
  • Yes, the tomatoes were disappointing this year. However when they did ripen they were great. We grew tigerella (in the greehouse) and tumbling toms (in hanging baskets outside) and they both did surprisingly well, weather considering.
  • Im a new allotmenteer Ive only had mine since April. I tried growing several verieties of toms, inside in a big plastic greenhouse and outside, I was hit by blight both in and out and I lost the lot. Not a good start and not very encourageing but it gave me some hope that it wasnt only me. Keeping my fingers tightly crossed for next year and praying we all have a better year next (surely it cant be as bad as last). The slugs loved the weather and I couldnt even grow a lettuce, well I ended up with the remains of stems, didnt matter what I tried to use as barriers they won.
  • Don't be put off Gaynor. Every new season provides challenges, but also great opportunities. I predict a great year on your allotment in 2008. Don't be backward in coming forward, and ask those experienced people on your allotment site for advice. I'm sure they can help you choose crops that will beat the pests and diseases, and provide you with delicious crops. Good luck!
  • I got my allotment in April 2007 and the carrots beetroot, onions, peas potatoes were brill and even got 2nd for my peas in the annual event. Evan got a cup for the newcommer. So I can not complain about last year. Could be different next year though
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