Wednesday 8 August 2012

Taking it easy

At this time of year there is not a huge amount that needs to be done in my garden except sit back and wait for things to mature, and then harvest them when they do.

The big Tomatoes are just turning colour now, so it won't be many days before I'll be picking them. These ones are "Orkado".

I have two plants of this variety, and they are the biggest, strongest and most fruit-laden of all the 9 varieties I have in my garden this year. They have each set fruit on 6 trusses (fruit clusters), with a seventh one just forming. If the flavour of the fruit turns out to be any good, this one is a strong contender for replacing "Ferline" which I have grown for several years now as my main cropper.

The smaller tomatoes types are much further ahead - probably past their prime now. Despite the blight they have produced a reasonable amount of fruit. This one is "Maskotka", an old favourite of mine, which produces fruit that are at the top end of the size range for "cherry" toms.

Fortunately I have not lost many tomato fruits to the dreaded blight. For some reason this time, once the blight had taken hold it just slowed down and has amazingly not had the usual catastrophic results. Just a few of these horrors:

Blighted tomatoes

The "Iznik" cucumber plants have more fruit on them that is nearly ready.

There's lots of lettuce. This is one of the "Marvel of Four Seasons", growing at the base of the Runner Bean poles. I think this particular specimen is just about to bolt, so it had better be picked soon.

Some of the "Hot Portugal" chillis are nearly ripe now. My goodness, it has taken a long time!

On the other hand the Aubergines are growing very rapidly. They seem to expand by about an inch a day. I'm wondering now how I will know when they are ready for picking. This variety is called "Pingtung Long". But how long? I suspect they will get to be about 12" long, perhaps more.

I even have one "Patty Pan" squash forming now. This one looks as if it has been successfully fertilised, so I am hopeful that it will grow to a useable size at some stage. It will probably be the only squash of the year for me, since the "Butterbush" and Autumn Crown" plants have not deigned to produce any fruit at all.

I hardly dare mention Runner Beans again. They are coming in thick and fast. We love them, so the more the merrier.


  1. Wow, that tomato plant looks wonderful. I am about to pull mine out and start something else. I do still have the two in pots on the porch but they need to be staked up.
    Love that lettuce too. You always have such pretty lettuce!

  2. It never ceases to amaze me how much produce and the variety that comes out of your veg patch, they should film Dr Who there.

  3. Those beans look perfect. I picked just a small handful the other day. I hope my beans get with it soon.

  4. So many great things coming along in your garden! Very jealous of your tomatoes, mine are resolutely green.

  5. I admire your ability to civilize tomatoes. Mine never look as neat as yours.

  6. Beautiful - it's all starting to happen now. I love the courgette flowers, so hard to find, but wonderful stuffed with ricotta and deep fried. Lovely runner beans, too. Hope your garden is starting to enjoy some of the warmer weather now.

  7. How beautiful vegetables. Please, send me some rain!!!

  8. Everything looks just fabulous, but now I want to look up the Maskotka cherry toms. How prolific!

  9. Things are looking great and glad that you are getting tomatoes even of the blighted plants. As for eggplant - I wouldnt rely on size to know when to pick... no its not the beginning of a joke about 'size'.

    I grow a lot of eggplant and I determine if they are ready to pick in this way. How do they feel when you give them a light squeeze with a fair bit of your hand around them (this all sounds a bit suspect - I do apologise!). Do they feel very hard? Then they are not ready. Do they feel firm with a little give? Then pick them. If they feel softish or have quite a bit of give, then they are too far gone and you will generally find that they are quite seedy and the seediness means less usable flesh. Seediness can also vary with variety.

    The other thing I go on is sound. How does the fruit sound when you feel it... but that is a little too hard to describe in words.

    Not sure what method others use but this helps me.

    1. Thanks for this advice. I shall try to follow it - though I am intruigued by the thought of judging the ripeness of an aubergine by its sound!

  10. The Orkdo look really good! Do you prune your tomatoes?

  11. Everything seems to be taking its time ripening - perhaps the nice weather over the last couple of days will help.

  12. Wonderful Mark from Doreen Wardle

  13. Really impressed with your potted tomato - really vigorous and productive.

  14. ALl looks really tasty Mark - will wait to see what you think of the taste of 'Orkado', but impressive crop.


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