Red (and gold) alert

Suncherry Premium F1 hybrid
Suncherry Premium F1 hybrid
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THIS weekend’s tomato-sowing time, if you follow planting by the phases of the moon, that is.

Now this may seem to be nonsense, but many old-time gardeners swear by it, so I thought I’d give it a go.

I usually sow tomato and pepper seeds for under glass mid-February anyway, as I’ve got a heated propagator and being in a conservatory, seedings have a good light source when they germinate.

If you’re using a windowsill, or your tomatoes are outdoor varieties, wait until March when the days have lengthened a bit and the light intensity is brighter.

Leggy seedlings are worse than useless.

According to my latest book purchase, The Gardener’s Folklore, (see panel left), the majority of horticulturalists following the practice of sowing on a “waxing” moon (getting bigger, towards full).

There was a scientific study carried out in the 1930s by a Dr Kolisko, who studied the effect of the moon on plant growth and confirmed that the best time to plant most seeds was 48 hours before full moon.

As it’s full moon on Monday, I thought I’d give it a go on Saturday – it costs nothing and doesn’t do any harm! Luckily, being such a geek, I kept records last year of how long things took to germinate, etc, so I’ll let you know if it’s mumbo jumbo or not.

After trying new varieties last year and being quite disappointed by them, I’m going back to tried-and-tested favourites.

Suncherry Premium F1 is expensive (Thompson and Morgan, six seeds for £3.69) but to me is the best cherry tomato by a mile, with superb flavour, a heavy crop and shiny skin.

Its companion (often sold together as a duo pack) is Sungold, an orange cherry tomato that looks as good as it tastes.

The bulk of the crop will come from old favourite Gardener’s Delight, a slightly larger red tomato with characteristic “home-grown” flavour. People tend to describe it as tasting like tomatoes did when they were a kid.

It’s on offer at the moment with Thompson and Morgan, at 99p a packet for 65 seeds.