Sunday, 25 September 2011


Reading blogs and gardening magazines it appears I am not the only one to have had a dreadful year with tomatoes and other temperature-sensitive crops. That doesn't make me feel any better about taking the decision to clear the entire greenhouse and put everything on the compost heap.

Whilst the plants have grown well, the wide variation between day and night temperature does not make for happy tomato plants, during August I regularly had temps of 7⍛C degrees at night but nearly 100⍛F during the day. Although much fruit has set and is now starting to go red (I won't say "ripen") nothing has any flavour at all.

I made one batch of passata for the freezer which is very ordinary, and the second batch went on the compost heap, I couldn't see the point of using freezer space.

I grew four Heritage varieties, all new to me. It's unlikely I will grow any of them again. In summary,

Pop In: meant to be a plum tomato. Huge trusses of fruit which were very small, thick skinned, no flavour.

Carlton: Beefsteak, some fruit grew far too big - one tomato weighed a kilo on its own. Nice texture but no flavour.

Imur Prior Beta: I had such high hopes for this salad tomato which came from Chile and was raised in Norway to make it suitable for colder climates. Attractive salad tomatoes with a foul texture - like an over-ripe Victoria plum, granular and very unpleasant.

Broad Ripple Yellow Currant: Tiny yellow fruits, sweet and pleasant early in the season, then the plant stopped producing. Whilst not unpleasant, I am a tomato Luddite and like them red, not yellow or any other non-tomato colour. Won't grow again.

Needless to say, my daft idea about using spare plants to experiment with growing outside was not a success .....

Don't greenhouses look sad at this point? The window cleaner has done his best to remove the shading from the roof, I need to give the rest of it a thorough scrub.

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