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Thread: Tomatoes: HSL Varieties

  1. #1
    Chris11 is offline Banned
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    Default Tomatoes: HSL Varieties

    I've enjoyed growing 4 different heirloom tomato varieties from Garden Organic's Heritage Seed Library. I couldn't find any existing thread specifically for HSL tomatoes, so I thought I'd start one

    What varieties have you grown? What does the HSL catalogue say about the variety?
    What other information have you found about the variety?
    What experience did you have growing and eating it?
    Would you recommend or grow again?

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    Norfolkgrey is offline Mature Fruiter
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    You might want to check this thread http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gra...5-a_86401.html Although it doesn't focus on the HSL side of things there are a few that started of there. Is there a reason for you focusing on HSL varieties? (other than you have grown 4 varieties previously)
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    Chris11 is offline Banned
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    Tomato 'Mini Orange'

    HSL 2015 Catalogue says: Indeterminate. Cordon. Introduced in 1988 by Glecklers Seedsmen, Ohio, USA. Produces long vines of small, firm, bright orange fruits with a juicy, mild and sweetly tangy flavour. HSL member John Maillard says "Stars of the vegetable patch! Sturdy plants and a heavy cropper, picked more than a kilo most days from August to the end of September".

    Other information: Mini Orange - Tatiana's TOMATOBase

    Reviews of Mini Orange Tomato | Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

    I grew them in the green house, strong healthy productive plants. Fruits are golf ball sized, so Mini compared to an orange, not because it's a mini-tomato. Attractive tasty fruits, look great on the plate. Great depth of colour.

    Would recommend and will definitely grow again. They've never split or cracked, never got BER, and always seem to be blemish free. Will be interested to see how well they do outdoors.

    Roma tomato in the 2nd picture for contrast.

    Tomatoes: HSL Varieties-picture-020.jpgTomatoes: HSL Varieties-picture-029.jpg
    Last edited by Chris11; 16-08-2017 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Adding Link
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    Chris11 is offline Banned
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    Tomato 'Aranyalma'

    HSL 2015/2017 Catalogues say: Indeterminate. Cordon. Originating in Germany in 1955,
    but with a Hungarian name that translates as Golden(arany) Apple (alma). It produces thin-skinned, bright golden-yellow fruit; cropping over a long period of time, both outdoors and under glass. Sweet and juicy, Seed Guardian Robert Jamieson says it is the best yellow tomato he's grown.

    Other information: Hard to find.

    I've grown them for 3 years, and they've been healthy productive plants. Fruits slightly smaller, more juicy/fleshy and less shiny compared to the widely available Golden Sunrise. Not overly sweet or acidic, a good all round yellow tomato.

    Would recommend if you like yellow tomatoes and will definitely grow again. Keeping a rare seed variety going is a bonus.

    Truss from 2016:
    Tomatoes: HSL Varieties-aranyalma-2016.jpg


    Another review and better pictures here:
    Aranyalma
    Last edited by Chris11; 16-08-2017 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Also 2017 HSL

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    Nellie-m grew Aranyalma this year and reviewed it at http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gra...ml#post1372249
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    Chris11 is offline Banned
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    Tomato 'Spanish Big Globe'

    HSL 2014 Catalogue says: Indeterminate. Cordon. Produces very large, thin-skinned fruits. Guardian Dina Leigh comments, ”The best tomato ever, just beautiful!” Taste tests amongst our staff prompted interesting comments, “Takes me back to fantastic Spanish markets”, “Ugly in an attractive Mediterranean way” and “Put it back in the catalogue please”, so we have!

    Other information: Hard to find.

    HSL Seed Guardian for this variety, Martin Robinson:
    https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/seed-guardians

    And according to this old article, 'just to inhale the scent of a 'Spanish Big Globe' can make grown men weep with pleasure'
    Forbidden fruit | The Independent

    I've grown them for 2 years outdoors, and probably not had the weather or conditions to get the best of them. Not been particularly productive, but what fruits I've had did have a very good flavour.

    Probably can't fully recommend until I've had more success growing them, but will definitely grow again for the flavour, maybe try and find space in the green house and see if they do better. Keeping a rare seed variety going is a bonus.

    2016 Update: Plants grown in greenhouse were more productive as expected, and with larger fruits. Great taste, and worth a try if you like other varieties like Marmande and Pantano.

    Tomatoes: HSL Varieties-sbg-2016.jpg

    2017 Update: Greenhouse plant doing very well. 5 large ripe fruits picked already, with more forming further up the plant.

    Tomatoes: HSL Varieties-sbg-20170816.jpg
    Last edited by Chris11; 17-08-2017 at 03:21 PM. Reason: Adding Pic

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    Tomato 'Transparent'

    HSL 2010 Catalogue says: Indeterminate. Cordon. This variety produces leafy plants followed by an abundance of small and juicy pale yellow tomatoes. It has a mild and sweet flavour with a soft skin. Seed Guardian, and former Head of HSL, Katie Butler describes them as "the most vigorous and leafy tomato I have ever grown".

    Other information: Transparent Tomato | Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co

    http://tatianastomatobase.com/wiki/Transparent

    Transparent Tomato Seeds

    I've also been told by the HSL 'This variety is now back in the European Common Catalogue, so it's one you won't see in the HSL catalogue again'. Sounds like it's been a success story, and an heirloom saved from obscurity, but it must still be pretty rare.

    They've been very healthy productive plants, and were the last variety still alive outdoors and still slowly ripening well into late autumn this year. Fruits are very pale yellow rather than strictly transparent. Good taste, and could be used as either a salad or cooking tomato. Looks especially attractive adding contrast with a mix of other varieties on the plate. Fruits not that small, some larger than golf ball size.

    Would recommend because it's both hardy, productive and distinctive. Will definitely grow again.
    Last edited by Chris11; 16-08-2017 at 01:31 PM. Reason: Adding Link
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    Chris11 is offline Banned
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    Tomato 'Orange Banana'

    HSL 2014 Catalogue says: Indeterminate. Cordon. A Russian heirloom producing trusses of attractive pure orange, 5-8cm long, plum-shaped fruits with pointed ends. Performs best under glass, but fine outdoors in a warm, sunny spot. Sweet, full of flavour and excellent for drying.

    Other information: Vegetable Seeds : Vine Tomato Seed, Large

    Orange Banana Tomato Seeds | Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

    Orange Banana - Tatiana's TOMATOBase

    One of the best tasting tomatoes, in my opinion. Definitely recommended and expect to grow this one every year.

    I've grown them both indoors/outdoors, and agree best results in greenhouse. I had an excellent plant outdoors in 2016 with lots of fruit, but lost half of it to blight before it ripened. Greenhouse plant in 2017 is producing excellent fruit, as pictured:

    Tomatoes: HSL Varieties-orange-banana-20170815.jpgTomatoes: HSL Varieties-orange-banana-20170815-2.jpg
    Last edited by Chris11; 17-03-2018 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Updating links

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