Thompson & Morgan promises best year on the vegetable patch with host of innovative growing concepts for 2016
2016 product developments from the specialists at Thompson & Morgan are paving the way for the easiest ever route to fresh home grown produce this season. Whether you’re short on time, space or knowledge, there’s now an easy solution for you.
Following success with our groundbreaking Tomtato®, a hand grafted plant producing both potatoes and tomatoes, T&M has launched Egg & Chips®, a world first in duo grafting. Gardeners can now grow aubergines and potatoes on the same plant. What’s more the potato ‘root stock’ gives the aubergine part the extra energy needed to crop successfully under UK conditions. You don’t need a greenhouse to grow Egg & Chips®, a large pot on a sunny patio will produce perfect plants. £14.99 for one Egg & Chips®, £19.99 for two.
Egg & Chips®, Tomtato®, and Pea ‘Terrain’
Staying with the grafted concept a new Grafted Summer Vegetable Collection has also been launched for the season, made up of Cucumber ‘Mini Stars’, Pepper Orlas, Tomato ‘Solena Red’ and Tomato ‘Sportivo’, promising to increase yields by up to 75%. Joining a fruiting variety to a more vigorous rootstock has brought massive benefits to commercial crop production. Now T&M customers can bring the goodness of grafted veg to their own pots or plots.
Vegetable Grafted Collection
T&M Vegetable Expert, Colin Randel said: “Some vegetable varieties produce fantastic fruit but are weak growers, others are vigorous growers with poor fruits. We’ve selected the best grafting matches to bring you the best possible results from a single plant. Spend a little extra on our grafted plants and reap the rewards right through the season.” 4 plant collection £19.99.
Changes in EU regulation mean that for the first time in a long time, Thompson & Morgan is now able to offer mixed vegetable seed varieties in the same packet, creating the easiest route to success on the veg patch and the longest harvest, with no need for successional sowing.
The All Season Collections take the hard work out of crop planning. Each is made up of several toptasting and top-performing F1 varieties that can be sown in one hit, but will crop at different times to give a harvest window of up to 36 weeks. The All Season Leek Collection for example, offers a nine month harvest from a single sowing of three trusted varieties – ‘Lincoln‘, ‘Oarsman’ and ‘Below Zero’. The collections have been based around the most popular crops grown by British gardeners, including peas, beans, broccoli, sweet corn and cabbage. The collections are the perfect solution for novice gardeners and those without the time (or skills!) for detailed crop planning at the start of the season.
All Season Leek Collection
Stand out vegetable seed introductions for the season include Pea ‘Terrain’ and Tomato ‘Mountain Magic’. The T&M trials team was stunned at the results of new Pea Terrain in 2015 and are heralding the variety as the most exciting introduction since the launch of existing bestseller Hursts ‘Green Shaft’. Paul Hansord said: “We’ve been truly amazed at the outstanding performance of this powerhouse pea. Yield, pod quality and taste – Pea Terrain couldn’t be beaten in our 2015 trials, but most impressive was the resistance to both downy and powdery mildew. In a field surrounded by a dozen infected varieties, only Terrain stood clean and green, making it the best pea for late harvesting. A final sowing on 31st July lead to a mildew free harvest at the end of October. Plants would have kept going if it had not been for a frost.” 99p for 300 seeds.
Tomato ‘Mountain Magic’ and Potato ‘Jazzy’
Similarly, Tomato ‘Mountain Magic’ has shown full resistance to all blight strains currently prevailing in the UK, making it the best option for outdoor growing and late cropping. Thompson & Morgan is so impressed with the performance and flavour of the new variety, it is championing Mountain Magic as its Vegetable of the Year for 2016. £3.99 for five seeds or £9.99 for five plug plants.
Trial results and customer feedback for Potato ‘Jazzy’ have been so impressive it now comes with a Double Money Back guarantee if T&M customers fail to produce 35 potatoes or more from a single tuber. This new second early potato can be grown in small 8 litre pots to easily achieve this number, so is a great space saving option. Pricing for ‘Jazzy’ starts at £3.99.
Many of the varieties are available from selected garden centres now. All are available for order at www.thompson-morgan.com
Fully resistant strain for blight-free tomato growing in 2016
When it comes to blight-free tomato growing, Thompson & Morgan has it covered. Having promoted the world’s first late blight resistant outdoor cherry plum as Vegetable of the Year 2015, the mail order specialist has named fully blight resistant Tomato Mountain Magic F1 as its Vegetable of the Year for 2016.
Blight is a rising problem for UK growers, especially for plants raised outdoors, due to increasingly wet and humid summer weather – conditions the fungal disease thrives under. Mountain Magic F1 has been developed with outdoor growers in mind, meaning gardeners don’t have to invest in costly greenhouses to carry on growing the nation’s favourite grow-your-own vegetable.
Mountain Magic F1 is a cordon-trained variety ideal for sunny veg patches and borders, as well as grow bags and patio containers. Combining the rich flavour of heritage varieties with modern F1 hybrid disease resistance, this tasty tom has everything going for it! Not only does it have good resistance to early blight, it carries the late blight-busting Ph-2 and Ph-3 genes, giving it protection against all current British strains including Pink6 and Blue13, the most virulent to hit UK crops. It also has in-built genetic resistance to both verticillium and fusarium wilt as well as skin cracking.
The variety joins last year’s introduction, Romello F1, a compact, blight resistant baby plum variety. Fruits weigh 16-18g and grow towards the outside of the plant for easy picking. Romello F1, makes the ideal cherry tomato for salads or picking straight from the vine, alternatively treat it as a mini plum for the perfect pasta sauce. Romello F1 retails at £3.99 for six seeds.
Mountain Magic F1 is truly all-purpose – eat it from the vine, slice for salads, salsas and sandwiches, or use as a cooker or sauce base. Mountain Magic F1 retails at £3.99 for five seeds.
Both blight resistant varieties are ideal for an April sowing under cover, for planting outside in early June.
Thompson & Morgan Vegetable Product Manager Colin Randel said: “These two tasty toughies cover a range of kitchen uses as well as offering the antidote to blight problems on the veg patch. There isn’t a better duo for risk-free outdoor growing. Mountain Magic certainly deserves its title of Vegetable of the Year for 2016.”
Find out more about Tomato ‘Mountain Magic’ F1 Hybrid by clicking here
We were extremely happy to be selected as a TomTato® trialler for Thompson & Morgan. To grow an innovative and inspiring plant is such a great opportunity and I am here to share the journey with you. When our TomTato® arrived safe and sound I was incredibly excited to begin the growing process. The plant was packaged extremely well for transit and did not suffer from the journey at all. By the following morning he had straightened up and was reaching out for the sunshine.
There was a squash in the cardboard outer at the top from rough handling in transit, but this had no ill effect at all and the container inside was fine. We were quite surprised to see how big the plant was, we were expecting something tiny! A good drink and he immediately flourished, bright green and desperate to grow!
We have planted him in a large tub in an outdoor plastic tent style greenhouse. He looks really healthy and has shot up, and about a week ago we were rewarded with the first flower sprigs appearing. They are now revealing yellow and will be fully fledged flowers very soon. The whole family are following his progress very closely, particularly as my daughter is now starting a growing project at school and having to keep a diary for a sunflower – well homework has got a lot more exciting lately! We will be introducing the class to TomTato® in the coming week or so.
The plant has a great following, particularly at work where I am asked several times a day for progress reports. I have also spoken about him on our international company staff website, where we are holding a gardening forum as part of stress management and relaxing with nature project. Everyone is enthusiastic and amazed, and there is a great interest to see the end results as well as the growing process.
I am keeping a detailed record of everything as we go along, and we are truly thrilled with this amazing plant and thank you for this opportunity to grow with you. No problems at all so far, he is a fantastic high quality plant, really healthy and eager to grow and we are very excited to see his progress!
Tonight on BBC Two, we watch the remaining 7 pairs of allotmenteers make their own chutney. Cooking is the perfect way to make use of any left over produce in your garden or allotment. Belinda Estell brings us her sweet hot chilli and tomato chutney recipe, a fabulous recipe to use up a glut of tomatoes!
- 4lb red, green or a mix of tomatoes
- 2 large onions
- 1 large green salad pepper
- 12 apache chillis (use less if you don’t like too much spice!)
- 1 large cooking apple
- 1 heaped desert spoon of dried oregano
- 1 level teaspoon of saffron
- 1 heaped teaspoon of paprika
- Olive oil
- 400ml red wine vinegar
- 600g sugar
- A good slug of worcester sauce
- Cut the tomatos in half, place in a roasting tray with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, roast for 15 minutes.
- Take out, allow to cool and remove skins (easy!).
- Finely chop onions, chillis (without seeds) and pepper, fry in a little olive oil until soft.
- Pour in the roasted tomatos and add oregano, saffron, paprika, salt, pepper and worcester sauce. Bring to a simmer.
- Peel, core and finely chop apple and add to pan.
- Add red wine vinegar and bring back to simmer.
- Slowly add sugar, continually stirring. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove lid and simmer vigorously, occasionally stirring, for 15 minutes.
- Spoon into warmed jars and seal.
Send us your recipes and help a fellow gardener make use of their spare produce
World exclusive TomTato®
Harvest potatoes AND tomatoes from the same plant
Thompson & Morgan announces another major horticultural breakthrough. Specially hand-grafted plants producing potatoes AND tomatoes are now available to UK home gardeners for the first time.
More than 500 sweet and juicy tomatoes on one plant!
Above the ground – gardeners can pick more than 500 cherry tomatoes with a Brix level of 10.2 – that’s sweeter than supermarket varieties. The fruits also have just the right level of acidity that only the very tastiest tomatoes can boast. They really are delicious.
And that’s not all!
Below the ground – gardeners will find a nice big crop of delicious white potatoes which are incredibly versatile. They can be boiled, mashed, roasted or made into chips.
It sounds incredible, but it’s true. Home gardeners really can grow tomatoes and potatoes on one plant. This concept has been worked on for over 15 years, but this is the first time that plants have been successfully produced commercially. Tomatoes are members of the potato family (Solanaceae) and are therefore naturally compatible with potatoes. Each plant is hand-grafted to create this unique double-cropping feature. There’s no genetic modification – it’s an all-natural and completely safe process.
Above ground – tomatoes, below ground – potatoes
As is the case with all of Thompson & Morgan’s plants, TomTato® is dispatched with full growing instructions. However these are hardly necessary as the plants are so easy to grow. TomTato® can be grown inside or outside, in a large patio pot or 40 litre bag, on the allotment or in the vegetable patch. Thompson & Morgan is expecting huge interest in its innovative new ‘veg plot in a pot’ , so place your order early to be sure to get your hands on these unique plants.
Paul Hansord, T&M’s horticultural director, is understandably excited about bringing TomTato® to UK gardeners: ‘When I first saw this plant, I was amazed! Potatoes and tomatoes on the same plant? You really have to grow TomTato® to believe it’.
Please note that TomTato® plants are only available to UK customers and will be sent out in time for planting in spring 2014.
Find out more about growing TomTato® by watching this tutorial video:
TomTato® – best grown in a 40 litre pot
TomTato® – tomatoes and potatoes on the same plant!
Michael Perry with a TomTato® plant