Saturday 20 July 2013

Tomato progress report

My tomatoes are a long way from ready, but they are looking good at this stage of the game. One or two of the plants are well advanced, such as this "Cherokee Purple":

This plant will produce a small number of large fruits, but at the other end of the scale is this "Sungella" one, which has hundreds of flowers. Will it produce hundreds of fruits, do you think?

Do you know, I half suspect that this plant is not "Sungella" at all. I grew some with that name a couple of years ago and they were very different. A bigger plant, and a lot fewer fruits, each a lot larger than these are going to be. Very strange.

This is "Orkado", a hefty plant that is going to produce some big fruits - smoother than the "Cherokee Purple", and bright red. I had some of these last year, and they were very good. This variety is probably going to take over from "Ferline" as my staple tomato.

Have a look at the bottom left-hand corner of the pot in which it is growing. Do you see the small plant? I tried an experiment. I had heard that if you plant the sideshoots that you pinch out they will send out roots and grow into new plants. It's true. Not that I need any more right now, but it's a tip worth remembering for the future...

This is another of my favourites - a bush variety called "Maskotka". It produces masses of red fruits about the size of a small Apricot - certainly bigger than a Cherry. Very popular with the kids! (And the Grand-kids...)

I have three plants of this variety, growing in my Woodblocx raised bed. They are obviously enoying their home, because they are really huge - much bigger than normal:

This is "Sungold", which has big trusses of gold-coloured cherry-sized fruit. It is reputed to be the most flavoursome tomato EVER. I'm not sure I agree on that, but it's certainly good.

This is the well-known "San Marzano", supposedly the best for making tomato sauces and passata.

Actually, that is two plants, growing together in the same large container. It is not what I would consider to be an ideal site, being under the shade of a tree, but in our present very hot weather, it's perhaps the best place of all right now!

Growing (good) tomatoes is not easy. There are lots of pitfalls along the way, and they do require more care than many other vegetables. Right now the biggest challenge is to keep them hydrated. We are experiencing very hot temperatures for this part of the world (30C plus) and the plants need watering at least daily, sometimes twice daily. The big plants use a lot of water, and I'm very glad to have some self-watering pots for them. As finances allow, I think I will gradually re-equip so that I have enough for all my tomato plants. Of course, the biggest challenge is the fungal disease Blight, but I'm trying not to think of that just now. With a bit of luck the hot dry weather will not permit the disease to thrive!


  1. Looks like you will have tons of tomatoes!

  2. Your tomatoes are looking great Mark! Hoping mine will be the same when I get back from my holiday. Looking forward to seeing what recipes you will create out of these!

  3. Our tomatoes are at about the same stage. If it stays dry at least one advantage should be no blight!

  4. Looking good! Growing the Sungold here as well for the first time. It has loads of sprays of fruit.

  5. My tomatoes are behaving very strangely this year - not many trusses and the stem is splitting into two with trusses on each, instead of just one main stem. None of them are showing any sign of ripening yet despite the warm weather.


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