Monthly Archives: September 2017

(Blight) resistance is not useless!

It’s been a pretty dreadful summer for blight on outdoor tomatoes – there was such a lot of rain all through August, and blight thrives in damp conditions.  So it was good timing for my trial of a new blight resistant tomato – Mountain Magic.   They did really well – when other outdoor tomato plants have long-since died a horrible death, the Mountain Magic plants are still thriving and perfectly healthy!    Their tomatoes have a pretty good flavour too, so I’ll definitely be growing more Mountain Magic plants in future years, for customers who can only grow their tomato plants outside.

An outdoor-grown Mountain Magic tomato plant, September 2017 – thriving, with no sign of blight long after other outdoor tomato plants have died of it.
A very sad looking outdoor-grown Sungold tomato plant, September 2017.  Plant and fruit destroyed by blight.

In a dryish summer, ‘normal’ tomato plants can fruit well outside in a warm sheltered spot such as against a south-facing wall.  But on the basis of this year’s experiment, I think it’s well worth growing a mix of Mountain Magic and other tomato varieties, in case the blight strikes early as it did this year.   Fifty percent Mountain Magic would probably be my recommendation.

If you grow your tomatoes in a greenhouse or polytunnel, of course you don’t need to worry about blight, as indoor tomatoes are rarely affected (their leaves stay dry, so the blight spores don’t multiply on them).

Here’s looking forward to the introduction of other blight resistant outdoor tomato varieties –  a cherry tomato would be nice, as Mountain Magic produce small-ish full sized fruits, later to ripen than cherry-sized fruits would be.    If you’re wondering about blight resistant potatoes, the family of Sarpo potatoes, such as Sarpo Mira, are pretty good in my experience – mine are still healthy and flourishing in mid-September after a very wet summer… and they’ve grown some really massive potatoes thanks to all the rain!