Wednesday 23 September 2015

Taking down the tomato vines

Well, despite all the trials and tribulations caused by weather, pests and diseases, the tomatoes have given me a decent crop this year.

However, all good things come to an end some time, and for my tomato plants that was last weekend.

After removing all useable fruit, I cut the plants down to a few inches above soil level. I did not compost them because many of them were infected with blight. Instead, they have gone into some sturdy old compost bags, awaiting transport to the municipal Tip.

The wall of the house is visible again!

I left one or two plants for a little while longer, because we have had some quite nice sunny days recently and I thought the fruit would benefit from remaining on the vines for a few more days. The ones spared "the chop" were mostly the blight-resistant ones like this "Ferline" one. Some of its fruit has already ripened and been used, but as you can see there is still a fair bit left.

A bit further along is "Crimson Crush", a new variety also with high resistance to blight. We have eaten some of its fruit and our verdict is that in taste terms it's OK but not as fantastic as it has been made out to be. Still if it will resist blight, it is likely to become popular.

I now have the unlovely task of disposing of the spent compost. I am not going to use it on my garden, because I know that it is contaminated to some degree with weedkiller. Remember this?

More trips to the tip will be necessary...


  1. I always find it sad when the tomatoes come to the end. I've still got a fair few on my plants and they're still ripening too so they've got a little extra time yet before I do the same as you.

  2. I've just been using up the ripest - and the ones with faults - in a sauce to make a ratatouille. I've got a great easy way of skinning the toms - and the skins go to the chickens so nothing is wasted.

  3. Martyn has stripped the tomatoes off the plants in our garden greenhouse today. Autumn is well on its way isn't it?

  4. Sigh... I'll be taking down our vines this weekend too... My first experience with the entire tomato vine life cycle.... including blight!

  5. I've got too many green tomatoes to think about taking the tomato plants off to the compost heap. There's no blight here so it's worth leaving them until any frosts arrive. I noticed yesterday that some of the larger toms have started to ripen so I'm hoping for a few more sunny days. Why do you leave part of the stem in the pot?

    1. Caro, the piece of stem left in the pot just allows me to separate the plant with its roots from the soil / compost more easily. I treat this as a different task to disposing of the stems and leaves.

  6. Took down our vines this weekend. Seems my tomatoes always get blight now, but it doesn't seem to impact yeild to much. I don't compost the blighted foliage either.


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