Saturday, 5 September 2015

Nearly ready

My big tomatoes are nearly ready. They ripen considerably later than the little cherry-type ones.

Caspian Pink

Maskotka, Primabella and Primavera have mostly been picked now. We have eaten loads of them, but I still have some ripening indoors:-

One disadvantage of my favourite Maskotka is that it is a trailing type, apparently bred for growing in hanging baskets, so when grown in tubs its branches do tend to rest on the ground, making them vulnerable to slugs. This is why I often pick fruits that are not fully ripe, and finish them off indoors. The slugs seldom attack any fruit that is less than fully ripe (fussy little things!).

Since the outdoor temperatures are already pretty chilly by tomato standards (about 15 Celsius during the day and 8 or 9 at night), I may soon bring some of the big tomatoes in too. For now though I'll just regale you with a few photos of them on their vines:

Giant Syrian

Cherokee Purple



Black from Tula

Chocolate Stripes

Giant Delicious


 Unfortunately the Larisa fruit seen in the last photo was not edible. It had gone completely soft, rotting from the inside. I think you can tell that from the photo. A real pity, because it had the classic heart shape of this variety and was looking good until a couple of days ago.

Many of the big beefsteak varieties have ugly, misshapen fruits, often with dry patches on their shoulders and around their stems. This makes them a bit less attractive as salad tomatoes, but I plan to use most of them for making sauce anyway, so looks will not be important. Having said that, you couldn't ask for a more regular tomato than this one:

Syrian Giant
It's hard to get an idea of its size from that photo, but it is pretty big. I would say it's likely to weigh more than 250 grams. When it is ripe it will be a good one for slicing.


  1. What a shame about Larisa - as I scanned through your photos, that one really caught my eye, so beautiful. The only named tomato I recognise is Maskotka which I'm also growing. I didn't realise that it's a tumbling variety, having been sold it as an indeterminate tomato. Perhaps that's the same thing? Anyway, I've staked mine up as with all my toms so that the light can get at the fruit. I've only had a few Sungold toms, a couple of small Tigerella and a Crimson Crush. I'm still waiting on all the others. I may have to adopt your method of growing in containers so I can move them into the sunshine next year!

    1. Indeterminate toms are the ones that grow really tall - normally grown as cordons, whereas the determinate ones (sometimes called Bush tomatoes) are short and "bushy". Maskotka is definitely one of the latter.

  2. It looks like you're having a good tomato year in spite of the rainy weather. My big tomatoes often get misshapen also, I still use them in salads, just cut in chunks rather than sliced.

  3. So many wonderful varieties - Cherokee Purple was on my grow list this year too, but in the rush to get my seeds started after returning from vacation, I missed it together with a couple of other varieties. I'm wondering how productive it is for you - I enjoyed the flavour last year, but only harvested 8 tomatoes from the plant (mind you, it wasn't in an ideal spot in the bed).

    1. Cherokee Purple has been OK, but not very special this year (along with most others), but in the past I have had very good yields from it. I think it is a very beautiful one too, and would be worth growing because of that alone.

  4. It is a shame about the Larrisa one, it looks an interesting variety to grow. I've only grown 4 main plants & was disappointed with the crop this year until I found out that Mike was eating them in the garden!

  5. I found blossom end rot on a few Romas today. If that continues, I'll have to bring in a lot of tomatoes to ripen indoors. I hope the weekend heat will help burn off any remaining hints of rot.


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