Amongst amateur gardeners Alicante is the most frequently grown variety of the traditional sized tomatoes Its popularity is easy to understand, bright red juicy tomatoes, full of flavour and freely produced are just one benefit. Good disease resistance, excellent grower both outdoors and in the greenhouse are other attractions. The price of seeds is extremely cheap and because this is an open-pollinated variety you can save your own seeds and they will grow true to type next year.
BUSH OR CORDON?
Alicante is a true cordon type tomato and produces the best tomatoes when pruned that way. However if left to its own devices without any pruning it will still produce lots of fruits but slightly smaller and later in the season.
APPEARANCE AND TASTE OF ALICANTE TOMATO
The Alicante tomato
SUMMARY CHARACTERISTICS OF ALICANTE
F1 OR OPEN POLLINATED?: Alicante is open pollinated and will grow true from saved seed. Click here for clear instructions on how to save seeds from Alicante tomatoes.
GROWTH TYPE: Cordon, vigorous grower
WHERE TO GROW: Outdoors does very well and also in a greenhouse.
USE: Salads, sandwiches and as a cooker
SKIN COLOUR / TEXTURE: Deep red, medium thin skin
FLESH COLOUR: Red
TASTE AND TEXTURE: Typical traditional tomato taste and texture. Cuts well
STORAGE: Exceptionally good for ripening on a window sill
TOMATO SIZE: Medium
REGULARITY OF CROPPING: Regularly produces a good yield
AWARDS: RHS AGM
SPECIAL FEATURES: Why buy an F1 variety when Alicante is everything a top quality tomato should be at half the price.
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WHEN TO SOW ALICANTE SEED
The key dates for sowing and planting out Alicante 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 ALICANTE TOMATOES
This variety is a cordon type tomato and if they are pruned in that way you can expect to be picking your first Alicante tomatoes in the first week of August
BUYING ALICANTE SEED / PLANTS IN THE UK
Seeds for Alicante are available from almost all online seed merchants, garden centres, diy stores and several of the supermarkets. The cheapest seem to be Wilko at £0.80 for 80 seeds There is no advantage we can see to paying the high prices charged in many garden centres and some online seed suppliers.
Alicante is also widely 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.