A huge jammy and very beautiful beefsteak Tomato. These, cooked, with scrambled eggs for breakfast are absolutely delicious!
I have chosen this particular variety for its ease of growing. Sitting between a ‘Bush’ and a ‘Cordon’ you do not ‘have’ to remove the side shoots. You will get a better yield if you do, but its not essential and not the end of the world if you forget! Hooray!
Tomato ‘Marmande’ has also won a RHS Award of Garden Merit winning for its succulent, fleshy fruit, exceptional flavour, high yield, reliability and good performance.
How to grow:
Sow seeds from late March to early April if you will be growing the plants outdoors or in patio pots.
If you have a greenhouse to grow them in you can start sowing seed earlier in February.
Tomato ‘Marmande’ will do best in a greenhouse (or a Tomato Grow House). The fruits are larger so will take longer to ripen. A sun-baked wall in a sheltered spot will help provide extra warmth to aid ripening.
Sow 3-5 seeds in a 9cm pot of compost and cover lightly with compost. Place in a warm spot, a heat mat or a windowsill indoors (21°C is ideal).
Once seedlings emerge move pots to the best-possible light you can (such as a greenhouse).
Tomatoes originate from Central and South America so keeping this in mind, a growing temperature of around 21°C will make them feel right at home.
I just leave them sitting on a warm propagator mat (leave any propagator lid removed). With lots of plants clustered together they make their own little ecosystem. During cold snaps cover plants with horticultural fleece to trap the warmth.
Once plants have a couple of sets of ‘true leaves’ pot on into their own 9cm pots burying plants deep if they have got a bit leggy. Tomatoes uniquely grow more roots from a buried stem!
Once you start to see flowers on your plants move them to their final position planting 45-60cm apart or one plant per in 15L sized pots, Grow Bags are also excellent plant 2-3 plants depending on size.
A well ventilated location is essential for successful pollination. Tomatoes are self pollenated so you need low humidity and gentle breeze and insects buzzing around. You can help things along by gently tapping or shaking flowers to aid pollen drop and setting.
Plants will need a support, tie the main stem to a vertical bamboo cane or wind it round well-anchored but slack sturdy twine.
Remove the side-shoots regularly when they are 2-3cm long. If you need to, remove the growing point of the main stem at two leaves above the top truss to stop plants growing any taller and focus instead on ripening the fruit.
My biggest piece of advice is to water Tomatoes regularly and consistently. Problems occur when plants are allowed to dry out then over watered as compensation. This can cause ‘blossom end rot’ and ‘fruit splitting’
Blossom end rot shows as a circular patch of rotting brown flesh at the end of the courgette that is the furthest from the plant. As this patch increases in size it becomes sunken so that the fruit has a flattened appearance.
Simply remove any effected fruits and then maintain a consistent watering regime keeping the compost or soil moist water more than once a day (little and often) during heatwaves.
Tomato blight (late blight) is a disease caused by a fungus-like organism that spreads rapidly in the foliage in wet or humid conditions causing the foliage to collapse and decay. Its not as common in greenhouses and another good reason to ventilate!
Variety: Solanaceae lycopersicum
Type: Half Hardy Annual
Position: Full sun
Sow: Spring – Summer
Pinching: Not required
Germination: Up to 15 days
Seeds per packet: 45
Start picking when the fruit is ripe and fully coloured.
At the end of the growing season place any green fruits in a drawer next to a banana to ripen.