Tuesday 23 August 2016

Tomato times

Late August / Early September is probably the peak of the tomato-harvesting season in the UK, and despite some "issues", I am managing to harvest a fair few fruits. First thing in the morning each day I'm out in the garden picking anything that is ripe.

"Maskotka", "Montello" and "Supersweet 100"

The little cherry toms "Maskotka", "Montello", "Primavera" and "Supersweet 100" are delivering a steady supply, but for me the greatest satisfaction comes from getting ripe fruit on the bigger (more difficult to grow) varieties. This one is "Caspian Pink", which I tried to grow last year too, without success - the plant succumbed to blight before producing ripe fruit.

"Caspian Pink"

You might recall that I had to dispose of my "Costoluto Fiorentino" plant a couple of weeks back, on account of blight infestation, but I saved some of the fruit. Some of these also fell victim to blight, but a few have survived and ripened OK, like this pair. They are not Class 1 specimens because they are a bit wrinkly on account of their slow off-the-plant ripening.

"Costoluto Fiorentino"

"Dynnye" is another variety with which I have previously had limited success, but has done better this year. This is the first of its fruits to come to maturity - although at the stage when I photographed it, it was not completely ripe. When ripe this variety is more orange than yellow - like the uppermost section visible in this photo:-


The underside of this specimen is not very pretty! It has a lot of scarring (aka "Catfacing"), which is very common in large Beefsteak-type tomatoes. It certainly presents a challenge when preparing the fruits for eating.


These four are "Stupice". They are about 2 inches in diameter, and very regularly-shaped and uniform in size. Nice tomatoes. They were grown from seeds sent to me in a seed-swap with my friend Dominika in the Czech Republic.


Perhaps the most attractive tomatoes I have grown this year are the "Grushkova" ones. This is a bush variety, but one that produces quite large, pinkish-red fruits. They are mildly ribbed and many of them (like the small one in my photo) are heart-shaped.


My thanks to Alex Taylor in Scotland for the seeds for "Grushkova", which I will definitely be growing again.

In our house the sign that we have "enough" tomatoes is that we start making some of them into sauce for freezing. We don't freeze much in the way of veg, but tomato sauce is one thing that we make as much as possible of. It is a very versatile product to have available, and livens up many Winter dishes for us.

Making tomato sauce

We generally make our tomato sauce very plain - just adding a little chopped onion. We don't include any herbs or garlic, because these can be added later if required, whereas they can't be taken out!


  1. Still a really nice selection of tomatoes, in spite of your blight issues. I too prefer to preserve most of the tomato harvest as plain tomatoes or sauce as you never know what you will use it for, so I prefer to add the appropriate spices and herbs when I'm preparing the dish.

  2. Our tomatoes are starting to ripen now so mayb soon we can make some tomato sauce.

  3. We haven't enough tomatoes this year to make sauce to keep. You have a wonderful selection there Mark.


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