Saturday, 12 September 2009

Late Season Success & Disappointments

It is at this time of the year when I'm pleased to have grown a few varieties that mature towards the end of the season. Of course, if we get a poor summer ( a bit like we've just had in the UK) most varieties will mature late.

Anyway, Tumbling Tom yellow is still going strong, First in the Field (last in the garden) is beginning to do its thing and New Yorker looks as if it might produce a ripe tom before the end of the season - if I'm lucky!

I can't believe that Garden Pearl has taken so long to mature and that the taste of my Red Alert toms were not as good as they have been in previous seasons. Never mind, The Santa - red and yellow - tomatoes are producing well and they taste really nice - a bit like grapes actually.

I've still got a few varieties with only green tomatoes on them but the sun we're having at the moment should help a lot. A tray of tomatoes that are almost ripe are in the windowsill warming in the sun - it is difficult to throw away toms that are perfectly ok even if they are green - I must get a recipe or two for fried green tomatoes!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The Weather Is On The Turn

The temperature is dropping and it seems as if the Autumn is here. This is the time when the tomatoes slow down their ripening and I still have a few plants that haven't even started to produce fruit yet!

The large varieties are usually the last to ripen but there is still a Garden Pearl, in the greenhouse of all places, that has just started to fruit.

The Red Alert, Tumbling Tom red, and the Maskotka are on their last, but the Tumbling Tom yellow is still going strong and the First In The Field (I call it last in the garden!) has just come into its own.

My favourite large variety, Oregon Spring, didn't perform well this season, and neither did Gardener's Delight which is an old dependable - usually - but tasted watery this year.

There are a number of things that affect tomato taste:
  • The variety.
  • The amount of water a plant has received.
  • The way a plant has been fed.
  • The amount of sunshine.
I think that the last one, the amount of sunshine, has been the most significant in the UK this summer - I've had quite a few reports of poor taste in varieties that would normally shine :)

Still a few weeks left - and all those green tomatoes yet to ripen!