RED ALERT TOMATOES
An unusual variety because it's a bush type and the seed merchants would have you believe that needs no support. In theory that's true but another virtue of this tomato variety is that it can produce a very heavy crop in many conditions and the sheer weight of the tomatoes often breaks unsupported branches.
Red Alert is very well adapted to growing outside (and in a greenhouse if you must) and is especially suited to containers and grow bags. If true to type most of the tomatoes ripen within a week or two of each other.
BUSH OR CORDON?
Red Alert is one of the few popular bush type tomato varieties. It requires no pruning other than removal of dead or decaying leaves. There is a key reason that bush tomatoes are not very popular with British gardeners and it's because the tomatoes all mature at the same time often resulting in a glut. Fine if you want to freeze them but not good if you want to ea them off the vine over a couple of months.
APPEARANCE AND TASTE OF RED ALERT TOMATO
The Red Alert tomato
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SUMMARY CHARACTERISTICS OF RED ALERT
GROWTH TYPE: Bush type, need no pruning
WHERE TO GROW: Outdoors does very well and also in a greenhouse.
USE: Salads, and by itself
SKIN COLOUR / TEXTURE: Deep red, medium thin skin
FLESH COLOUR: Red
TASTE AND TEXTURE: Sweet normally but very variable taste depending on the soil it is grown in
STORAGE: Average ripening ability on a window sill
TOMATO SIZE: Cherry tomato sized but very variable depending on growing conditions
REGULARITY OF CROPPING: Regularly produces a good yield
SPECIAL FEATURES: None other than its variable taste and size.
WHEN TO SOW RED ALERT SEED
The key dates for sowing and planting out Red Alert seeds are:
Sow seeds in pots indoors
Second week of March
Pot up young plants
Second week of April
Harden off young plants
First week of May
Plant out young plants
Third week of May
WHEN TO HARVEST RED ALERT TOMATOES
This variety is a bush type tomato and if they are pruned in that way you can expect to be picking your first Red Alert tomatoes in the last week of July
BUYING RED ALERT SEED / PLANTS IN THE UK
Seeds for Red Alert are available from many online seed merchants and a good number of garden centres. They tend not to be available from the discount stores and supermarkets. The cheapest we could find was at Buckingham Nurseries.
Red Alert is also sometimes available as pot grown tomato plants. Taking into account postage it is probably cheapest and easiest to buy them from your local garden centre.
If you need any more information on growing this variety, click here to go to our main tomato page.
Other varieties which may also be of interest include:
COMMENTS / QUESTIONS LEFT BY OUR READERS
Sometimes our readers ask specific questions which
are not covered in the main article above. Our
Outdoor Tomatoes comment / question and answer page
lists their comments, questions and answers. At the end of that page there is also a form for you to submit any new question or comment you have.