Saturday 12 September 2015

More Tomato harvests

With blight creeping into several of my tomato plants now, I am picking the tomatoes early. I would love to leave them to mature on the vines, but if I did I would probably lose most of them, and anyway the temperature outside is so low that it would take ages. When I bring indoors a tomato fruit that is just showing some colour, it normally ripens with 3 or 4 days.

These are a mixture of "Black from Tula" and "Cherokee Purple". I find it hard to tell them apart.

The topsides have a lot of green on the shoulders, but the undersides are a deep "mahogany" red colour, which darkens as they ripen. These are very attractive fruit!

When they are fully ripe I plan to make them into a sauce, without mixing them with other varieties, which will hopefully produce a much darker colour sauce than normal. Maybe I'll use one or two in salads though, because they not only look nice, but they also taste good.

I'm fairly sure this is "Cherokee Purple"

I THINK this is "Black from Tula"

My biggest individual tomato so far has been this one:

It is a "Giant Delicious", weighing-in at 470 grams. Not pretty, but certainly delicious. I have nicknamed this one "Crinkly Bottom" (UK readers above a certain age may remember the source of this!)

I am also harvesting some of the "Possena del Vesuvio" tomatoes. These are the ones grown from seeds sent to me by my friend Enrico in Italy. This is real heritage variety - handed down through friends and family and not widely available.

Their parent plant is heavily laden with fruit, but it is ripening progressively, one or two at a time rather than several at once. I had not expected this. They are very firm fruits, even when ripe, with not many seeds in them. Good for making sauce. The very pronounced "spike" at the tip seems to be common to almost all of them, though one or two are more heart-shaped, like the one at the left below.

Well, despite not keeping records of the harvest weights of my tomatoes, I know for sure that this year has been a much better year than last - if only because the freezer now contains a healthy number of containers of Tomato Sauce! There are still lots of green ones on many of the plants, so the tomato season is far from over.


  1. Given the weather we've had this year, I find it really hard to understand why I've had one of my best tomato years yet. Not only have the plants produced such a good crop but they started ripening early and I'm still harvesting. I like the look of the tomatoes in your first few photos, they're very attractive and all the better if they taste good too.

  2. I remember your last tomato year. It was pretty sad with all the deformed plants. This year seem very very good for you.

  3. Congratulations on such a successful tomato year. Those fruits are so beautiful. I love the dark colored tomatoes, I think they're more flavorful than most red varieties and they do make a beautiful dark sauce.

  4. Like Jonwe seem to have had the best tomato you this year thanfor a couple of previous years we put it down to better compost and of course we have had no blight.

  5. A surprisingly good year for outdoor tomatoes (only just starting with blight now) with the big beefsteak type tomatoes doing much better than all the varieties of cherry tomatoes. Have needed to bring them all indoors to finish ripening due to lack of sunlight, but at least there is a good crop.

  6. Congrats for your nice harvast!!! It seems that you like a loke Possena fruits, I like them too!

  7. I know you're considering a garden make over - is there no way you could fit in a small greenhouse? I know you have wonderful harvests anyway but you would have more opportunities. I've been pleased with our tomatoes this year considering the weather I thought they would struggle.

  8. Unlike in your garden, our tomato season this year has been much worse than last, quantity wise anyhow. I read an article last year about one of the varieties I grow, Costoluto Genovese, where it said that although it was good for fresh eating, where it really shone was in a sauce. It got me wondering about the different sauce potential of the various varieties I grew. So this year, I decided to make variety specific sauces instead of jumbling them all together. I'll be interested to hear what you think of your 'dark' tomato sauce.


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