What size do Shirley Tomatoes grow to.

Harvesting and preserving your fruit & veg

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MikA
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What size do Shirley Tomatoes grow to.

Postby MikA » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:45 am

I chose Shirley as from the descriptions on the seed company websites I thought they would be a pretty standard medium sized tomato for sandwiches but they have turned out to be quite big and very little flavour. They are averaging around 130 gm each fruit.
Fortunately the Gardeners Delight are doing the job and the Shirleys are being used for cooking.
:?: Is this the normal size for this variety?
:?: Is there a better variety for cooking use to complement the cherry toms?

MikA
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Re: What size do Shirley Tomatoes grow to.

Postby Nature's Babe » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:55 pm

Hi MikA, wondering if you want them dual purpose for eating and cooking or just for cooking? A few suggestions for you to consider...
San Marzano, good for cooking but not so good for eating.
Consoluto fiorentino huge crops of irregular shape tasty fruits.
Jersey devil, jersey know a thing or two about producing tasty toms.
Incas, a modern f1, quite tasty,good early crops dual purpose.
Amish paste dual purpose good acid sweet balance, but later cropping.
Italian gold,F1 early, productive, tasty, cooks well
There are some nice modern varieties of small plum toms, orange yellow and red too.

Overwatering can affect flavour, toms are tastier if watered less, Shirley are usually pretty reliable, mine had been neglected a little lately regarding watering but have quite a nice sweet sharp flavour.
Sit down before a fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconcieved notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.
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MikA
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Re: What size do Shirley Tomatoes grow to.

Postby MikA » Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:11 pm

Thanks N.B.
Incas sounds good from the Dobies description. As a bush does it grow very wide - I would be growing it in the greenhouse?
Nature's Babe
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Re: What size do Shirley Tomatoes grow to.

Postby Nature's Babe » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:05 pm

:oops: Rather red faced here - I think i took the sideshoots from mine and they grew up to the greenhouse roof, they still produced an excellet crop and were the first to ripen. The fruits were large and plentiful so although it says they don't need staking i would if only to support the heavy fruit which were plum shaped and some with an amusing little nipple on the end. Next year I will remember not to sideshoot them. :lol:
Sit down before a fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconcieved notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.
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FelixLeiter
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Re: What size do Shirley Tomatoes grow to.

Postby FelixLeiter » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:11 pm

The unfathomable and continued rehabilitation of Shirley as a worthwhile tomato variety for the amateur is a particular hobby-horse of mine. It is a variety that has been around for a long time, and in the eighties and early nineties was almost solely responsible for the decline in quality of the British glasshouse tomato that is now, thankfully, just a bad memory. I was hoping that it been consigned to history until mumbling Monty Don (who, when it comes to gardening, doesn't know nothing about anything, but he's on the telly isn't he, so he must be right) resurrected it: it's the one he always recommends. I guess he likes tomatoes that taste of cotton wool and are difficult to grow: Shirley is bred for heated glass and intensive, carefully controlled growing conditions, the kind of conditions only commercial growers can realistically provide.
None of which is at all constructive advice, for which I apologise, but I feel a duty to other gardeners who might be hoodwinked by posh blokes on the telly into growing something worthless. Me, I've had success with Matina in the past, which has a proper old-fashioned flavour, fragrant and with depth. My gran grew superb Alicante every year in the old whalehide pots. The first-picked fruit was always exhilarating.
Having poo-pooed Shirley, it is very true of tomatoes that it's not necessarily what you grow (the variety) but how you grow it. So temperature, available light, available water and so on all contribute to a tomato's makeup.
Allotment, but little achieved.
MikA
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Re: What size do Shirley Tomatoes grow to.

Postby MikA » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:45 pm

Felix

This is my first year with the new greenhouse and I picked Shirley by going through the catalogues to find one by description not by recommendation. Hence my question about size as it is much bigger than I expected.

I only have a cold greenhouse and Shirley has been the best grower of the varieties I've grown this year and the only one not covered in the strange leaf mottling which I asked the forum about earlier in the year. Shame about the flavour but ok for cooking.

Next year I am going to grow Herald which my wife remembers as having a fabulous flavour from when we had a greenhouse in a previous life.

Gardeners Delight will be the cherry tomato - good flavour and crop this year.

Sun Cherry has also grown very well this year but I probably won't grow it again as the flavour is disappointing.

Sweet Olive has been a bit of a disaster - leaves almost totally ruined by whatever the mottling is and the fruits are nothing like the ones we grew outdoors last year which unfortunately got blighted, or the two plants I gave to a friend which are perfect so is also a no go for next year.

What tomatoes are you growing for cooking / salad use? It sounds like you are not currently growing Matina.
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Re: What size do Shirley Tomatoes grow to.

Postby Nature's Babe » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:38 am

MikA, are the mottled leaves sticky, it might be aphids, I hang those yellow sticky things, which attracts any aphids away from the tomatoes.
Sit down before a fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconcieved notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.
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