Hi Italiophile, I agree and grew Stupice last year as a back-up in case we had another rotten Summer in the UK. I won't be bothering with that one again although, as Jim said, they were still better than the average supermarket ones!
I have just bought a new variety of super sweet cherry toms seed called sweet aperitif. I sowed the seed on Saturday last. Saw them advertised in last Sunday week's Times and thought I'd give them a try. Said to be the world's sweetest tomato - time will tell but I have sown seed as late as May before now and it's surprising how quickly they catch up. Sweet Aperitif are supposed to be OK for outdoors as well as in the Greenhouse. (I'll try both & see how they do). John H
Last few years I've sown end March indoors, ahead of them going in a mini unheated greenhouse and ultimately outside. This year, though, I've decided to hold off and just sowed them yesterday. I found last year especially that, with a late, cool spring, my seedlings had to spend a long time indoors and they just weren't getting the light they needed but even the greenhouse would have killed them with the cold nights. I'm hoping now that, by the time they germinate, and with longer days, they won't have to spend too long inside before I can put them into the greenhouse.
Checked my Sweet Aperitif this morning and they have germinated & are about 1/2" through the compost - that's just 8 days. They're sitting in a seed tray on the base of a small electric propagator.
I'm growing some Sweet Aperitif this year (and Black Cherry, Flamingo, Sungold, Katiebell) and it was very noticeable they were the last to germinate - not that I think it matters particularly! They're a similar height to yours - whereas all the others have shot up, 1"+. It's a south facing window but i think the light levels aren't great so I usually have leggy seedlings but I'll bury the stems when I pot them up and that seems to sort them out.
I went to a great nursery last week, they're only open once in a while and grow everything themselves, so I bought a few plants, they were so healthy and such a great price, it's hardly worth growing your own stuff from seed if you can guarantee they'll have what you're after.
I've done both over the years - raised plants from seed and bought small plants. It might just be coincidence but I've found that seed-grown toms are less prone to disease, fungus, blight etc.
John Harding - do you have a photo of your seedlings? I haven't got the same set-up as you but I'm interested in what toms 'should' look like at this stage! I know mine never start out brilliantly as I'm quite limited space-wise inside but they seem to catch up nicely once in their final positions.
Have been out in the GH & taken a few pics this lunchtime - see below:
1. Sweet Aperitif seedlings (tallest is now 40mm)
2. Red Alert tom.
3. Country Taste tom.
4. General view of L/H side of GH
5. General view of R/H side of GH
Strawberry troughs on shelves on pergola
NB. Climbing rose L/H side of Pergola is 'The Pilgrim'
The Clematis on R/H side is 'Elsa Spath'