Tomato ‘Red Currant’
My favourite and most fun discovery of last summer! Tomato ‘Red Currant’ produces hundreds of tiny fruits (literally the size of red currants).
No prep required, I simply pick and scatter the intensely sweet fruits straight into salads.
Tomato ‘Red Currant’ is also a bush type so you won’t have to worry about pinching out any side shoots. Perfectly happy growing in a patio pot (I found 15L was ideal).
You will find just 1 plant will completely fill a 15L pot with fruit laden stems cascading down the sides. Incredible!
Plants don’t need staking and they crop abundantly producing ever more fruits as the season progresses
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.
As the fruits are small they ripen much more easily than larger fruiting varieties but placing pots against a sun-baked wall in a sheltered spot will help provide extra warmth to aid ripening or of course you can use your small plastic greenhouse to grow plants over the summer (this will also protect plants from blight. Spores can travel on the wind).
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.
Cherry Tomatoes are a lot less prone to problems and easier to start with.
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: 30
Start picking when the fruit is ripe and fully coloured.