It's not all bad news though, because the drop in temperature has prompted some very rapid ripening of my tomatoes and chillis. These "Marmonde" tomatoes went from green to red more or less overnight.
This is them in the basket, alongside some of the "Cherokee Purple". Actually, the three fruits with very dark shoulders are from the unidentified plant grown from seeds which the person who gave them to me simply labelled "Oxheart". I had anticipated that they would be red ones, but I was wrong!
The "Marmonde" tomatoes are a lot smaller than the ones I grew last year, but to be fair there are more of them, so I'm happy with that.
"Marmonde" produces very firm fruits, which are ideal for grilling, especially if harvested slightly on the unripe side.
My chillis have been very slow to ripen this year. So far I have not picked a single ripe one (though I have pinched a couple of green ones for dishes that required them). However, it won't be long now. The first ones to ripen are these "Golden Cayenne":
Yesterday I noticed the first red "Cayenne Long Slim", and today it has been joined by a second one. Once they start to ripen, they usually turn colour pretty rapidly.
I even detect a hint of ripeness in the "Aji Benito".
And that slight tinge of yellow is not just a result of proximity to the big cluster of Rudbeckia "Goldsturm" seen in the background!
One of the chillis I am most happy to see ripening is the "Hungarian Hot Wax" (you may remember that it was hard hit by the weedkiller problems earlier in the year). Now each of my two plants of this type is carrying a respectable half-dozen or so chubby fruits:
Nice as it is to see a plethora of ripening tomatoes and chillis, I'm also conscious their presence is my cue to start thinking about plant protection for the inevitable cold, wet, windy weather that will surely be with us before long. Time to dust off the cloches and mini greenhouses that have been stored in the garage for the last three months.