Table of Contents Hide
- History of the Gardeners Delight Tomato
- Benefits of the Gardeners Delight Tomato
- Negatives of the Gardeners Delight Tomato
- How to Grow Gardeners Delight Tomatoes
- Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s talk about one of the most popular tomato varieties to grow here in the UK, the Gardeners Delight Tomato. A delicious cherry tomato variety that is well-suited to the UK climate and grown by everyone from amateurs to experienced gardeners.
This variety is known for its small, sweet fruit and is a staple in many gardens and kitchens around the world. In this blog, we will explore the history of the Gardeners Delight Tomato, its benefits and negatives, and how to grow it successfully in your garden.
History of the Gardeners Delight Tomato
The Gardeners Delight Tomato is an indeterminate (cordon) cherry tomato variety – meaning it needs to be pruned while it grows. The variety has been popular in the UK since the 1950s. It is believed to have originated in Europe and was developed specifically for growing in cooler climates such as the UK. The Gardeners Delight Tomato is known for its high yield and sweet, juicy flavour, perfect for a summer salad or slow roasting to add as an accompaniment to a steak dish – a favourite here at Wonky HQ!
Benefits of the Gardeners Delight Tomato
One of the main benefits of this variety is its small size – it produces bite-sized fruit that is perfect for snacking or adding to salads. Additionally, the Gardeners Delight Tomato has a sweet, juicy flavour that is perfect for eating fresh – straight off the vine is lovely!
The Gardeners Delight Tomato is a high-yielding variety that produces fruit consistently throughout the summer, making it a great choice for gardeners who want a continuous harvest.
Another benefit of the Gardeners Delight Tomato is its versatility – it can be grown both indoors and outdoors, and is suitable for a wide range of cooking methods.
Additionally, the variety is handily resistant to many common tomato diseases, making it a low-maintenance option for gardeners.
Negatives of the Gardeners Delight Tomato
Despite its many benefits, the Gardeners Delight Tomato does have a few potential negatives. For one, it can be prone to splitting if the fruit is left on the vine for too long, which is a common problem with most tomatoes and can be avoided by even watering and picking fruit when just firm.
Another negative could be that the Gardeners Delight Tomato is a cordon variety, which means it can grow very tall and require support to prevent it from falling over. If you’re looking for a tomato plant that you can grow in small spaces or even on a windowsill, then you’d be better suited to a smaller bush or determinate variety such as the Roma.
How to Grow Gardeners Delight Tomatoes
Now that you know some background to the Gardeners Delight Tomato, let’s talk about how to grow it in your garden or vegetable plot!
The Gardeners Delight Tomato, like all tomatoes really, is a warm-weather plant and needs plenty of sunlight and warmth to grow. It is best grown in a greenhouse or a sunny, sheltered spot in the garden. The soil should be well-drained and fertile, with a pH level of around 6.0 to 6.8. They’re hungry, thirsty plants and will require good fertile soil and plenty of moisture, especially through the hot summer months.
The best time to plant Gardeners Delight Tomatoes is in late spring or early summer after the danger of frost has passed. If you are growing them in a greenhouse, you can plant them a little earlier. Plant the seedlings about 60cm apart, or one plant per container if you’re growing them in pots.
In the UK the best approach is to plant them indoors using a propagator, starting towards the end of February or early March when the plants can reach a sturdy size ready for transplanting outside when the temperature has warmed up. Just be wary of the seedlings going ‘leggy’ as this will hinder them when you plant them out.
Gardeners Delight Tomatoes will need support as they grow, due to their indeterminate growth habit and heavy fruit. This can be in the form of stakes, cages or twine tied to support above. As the plant grows, tie it to whichever support method you pick, leaving enough space for to not restrict growth.
Tomatoes need plenty of water to grow, especially when they are fruiting. Water your plants regularly, making sure the soil stays evenly moist and ensure this is kept up well during the hot summer months but in a consistent manner as inconsistent watering can lead to split fruit or difficult growth. Also, try to water mainly at the base and avoid splashing water on the leaves or fruit as this can lead to disease.
Gardeners Delight Tomatoes are heavy feeders and will need regular feed throughout the growing season. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer or a tomato-specific fertilizer to provide the nutrients the plant needs to grow and produce fruit. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth and poor fruit development.
Pests and Diseases
Like all tomato varieties, Gardeners Delight Tomatoes can be susceptible to pests and diseases. Keep an eye out for common tomato pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. These can be controlled with insecticidal soap or a natural predator such as ladybugs. Common tomato diseases such as early blight and powdery mildew can also affect this variety. To prevent disease, avoid watering the leaves and remove any infected leaves or fruit as soon as possible.
Gardeners Delight Tomatoes will begin to ripen in mid-summer, around 60-70 days after planting. They will continue to produce fruit for several weeks, with each cluster of fruit ripening at the same time. Harvest the fruit when it is ripe but still firm, to avoid splitting. The fruit should have a deep red colour and be slightly soft to the touch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Gardeners Delight tomatoes determinate or indeterminate?
Gardeners Delight tomatoes are indeterminate, often referred to as ‘vining’ tomatoes. This means they continue to grow and produce fruit throughout the growing season until frost halts their progress. They usually require staking or caging to provide support for their continuous growth and fruit production.
In conclusion, the Gardeners Delight Tomato is a delicious and versatile cherry tomato variety that is well-suited to the UK climate. It is a high-yielding variety that produces small, sweet fruit with a juicy, refreshing flavour. While it does have a few potential negatives, such as its tendency to split and its indeterminate growth habit, the benefits of growing Gardeners Delight Tomatoes far outweigh any potential drawbacks.