It's this time of year when I'm usually thinking about starting off some seeds, my fingers are always itching to get the seed packets opened and kick off the growing season, however, having given up my allotment at the end of last year, there truthfully isn't all that much to do this year. I do still want to grow things in the garden but until I've given it a bit of an overhaul and decided how and where I'm going to grow everything, I'm keeping things simple. There really needs to be some planning done but having given the allotment up due to lack of time, it's going to have to wait. Instead, my growing plans for this year have been cut down to the bare minimum.
I usually grow a selection of tomatoes but even if I wasn't looking to simplify things because of lack of time, I'd already decided that I would whittle down my selection to the two varieties I'm most impressed by at the moment and those are Bloody Butcher and Maskotka.
I grew Bloody Butcher for the first time last year, I'd come across some young plants in a local garden centre and though I usually grow my tomatoes from seed, I just couldn't resist this name so a plant ended up coming home with me. It's an heirloom variety and produces tomatoes in a range of sizes from very small to beefsteak size, though the ones on my plant last year were mostly a decent salad size.
They have good firm flesh and I was very impressed with the taste.
I think you can tell how juicy they are by this next photo.
Instead of buying a plant as I did last year, I've bought a packet of seed from Simply Seed, an online company which I haven't used before, but I have to say that I was very impressed with their service, the seeds were delivered with superfast speed. It's more economical buying seeds than buying plants, but I find it more fun to grow things from seeds anyway.
The second variety of tomato I'll be growing this year can't, in my opinion, be beaten. I discovered Maskotka two years ago and I think it will be a tomato which I always grow from now on.
They're a bush type plant but not compact by any stretch of the imagination, they still need staking and they tend to sprawl all over the place but they're heavy cropping and taste absolutely delicious so I'm inclined to forgive them their untidy habit.
The fruit is cherry size and has a wonderful taste, sweet and thin skinned. I usually keep them in a bowl on the worktop in the kitchen so that I can snack on them throughout the day, it's like popping sweeties in your mouth.
I wrote an earlier post about the potato varieties I'm growing and apart from them, the only other thing I shall be growing this year is cucumbers. I've gone for my favourite snack sized variety, Mini Munch. It's going to be very different this year without the allotment.