So far so good – Tomatoes

I feel like I constantly need to touch wood writing this post.  After last years less than spectacular efforts with my tomatoes I am a little on the paranoid side.  This year though my tomatoes seem to be coming along very nicely (touch wood).

In my beds I am growing one plant each of:

  • Burnley bounty
  • Yugoslav
  • College Challenger
  • Yellow Boy
  • Black Krim
  • Beefsteak
  • Tommy Toe
  • Unidentified ‘tomato’
  • Broad Ripple Currant

and 2 of

  • Rouge de Marmande and
  • Black Cherry.

All the above were from seed sown between the 30/06 and the 14/07.

Of these Rouge de Marmande, Black Cherry, ‘tomato’, Black Cherry, Yellow Boy, BRC, and Black Krim have started the set fruit and the remainder have a reasonable number of flowers on them.

This is what these plants looked like mid November;

and here they are at the end of the month:

I wasn’t organised enough to take the photos from the same angle but I think you get the impression of rapid growth regardless.

I am also growing Tigerella (thankyou Bek or was it L for the seed – they have remarkably similar handwriting), Yellow Currant (thankyou to Diana for the seed) and KY1, all of which were sown during August.  The 6 week gap (plus a bit longer stuck in herb pots) is currently equating to a good 2 to 3 foot worth of growth.

I am only growing one tomato variety in pots this year – Tiny Tim, and they are coming along brilliantly.

Heaps of fruit set, heaps of flowers, now I’m just awaiting the first ripe ones.  These plants were grown from seed sown in May, potted up in June and left on a sunny windowsill for most of winter and moved out into the mini greenhouse in August.  I should get my first ripe fruit before Christmas….touch wood.

This entry was posted in Tomatoes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to So far so good – Tomatoes

  1. Barbara Good says:

    Wow those Tiny Tims are spectacular and the growth on the rest are very impressive. I’m having another dud of a year with tomatoes I think. The ones I bought are doing well, but there’s only four of those. The ones grown by me from seed look lots better than they did, but they are still very small and far from producing fruit yet. It will be a long wait for use I think. I am so dis heartened about growing tomatoes from seed. I’ve decided to give it one more try and if it doesn’t work I’ll just buy seedlings and lose the stress of whether my seeds are going to grow or not. I have the same trouble with capsicums and eggplants as well. You obviously don’t have that trouble!

    • Liz says:

      I think its all in the timing, the ones which are doing best for me i sowed early, potted up as soon as they had four true leaves and then planted out from there. I did spend a lot of time preparing the beds too.

  2. Jules says:

    Your toms plants look fabulous, Liz. And so many varieties listed that I haven’t heard of before. Oh no – I feel another seed catalogue peruse coming on….

  3. Patsy says:

    Those tomatoes look wonderful! Very lush and healthy and I hope they stay that way for you! Every year is different, so I bet you get lots this year. It is all gray and cold here now, so seeing that beautiful green growth in your photos really gives me a lift!

  4. Those tomatoes look great. I hope they produce a huge harvest of tomatoes foe you. I had to pull my volunteer tomato plant. Frost got it.

  5. I bet your tomatoes ripen a lot quicker than ours did this year. Hope the weather isn’t too hot for them.

  6. Leanne says:

    They are looking rather promising tomatoes indeed!
    Love Leanne

  7. Jo says:

    Tomatoes have to be my favourite thing to grow. There’s so many on your list which I haven’t grown before, though Tigerella is one of my favourites, and I grew Black Cherry for the first time this year and really enjoyed them.

  8. Katie says:

    Bad tomato years are so sad and discouraging, aren’t they? I’m glad you’re off to a good start and hope you get a bumper crop!

  9. Michelle says:

    I hope it’s not bad luck, but I touched wood for your tomatoes too! (We’re a little more assertive about it here, we knock wood, just to make sure). You plants look so gloriously healthy. I’ll be pulling out the last of my (definitely not healthy) plants in the coming days. Just as you harvest your first fresh tomatoes I’ll be mourning the last of mine and then you’ll have to endure my remarks about how jealous I am of your tomato harvests.

  10. Louise says:

    Crikey, a tomato forest! That;s wonderful and so many varieties. I cant wait to see your posts on the different types.

  11. Bek says:

    Your tomatoes are looking great! I’ve just got some baby tomatoes on my rouge de marmades. And the Tigerella seeds must have been L – I’ve never grown them! 🙂

  12. andrea says:

    All looking very promising !!! have you given them a side dressing of fertiliser?

    • Liz says:

      I fertlised the bed pretty heavily prior to planting and I have and will give them monthly seaweed fertliser. Enough do you think?

  13. Nina says:

    A great variety of tomatoes, you have there! Would you like some seed of ‘tomato berry’, which I liken to a heart-shaped cherry? I love it and it is just wonderful when oven dried with garlic and herbs. The seed is about 18 months old (I saved them myself) and I expect still viable but it might be a bit late to plant them now, do you think? I intend saving some more from this lot so I can send some of those for you to use next year, if you’d rather.

    I’ve just planted out the eggplant, chilli and capsicum that survived the mini greenhouse disaster and they are looking very healthy. I have great hopes!

    • Liz says:

      I’d love to try it – but I do think its a bit late now to start seed. If you get some from this year then great – if not then old seed would be much appreciated. I noticed one of my eggplants has a flower on it today – very excited….

  14. Diana says:

    Challenger has always been reliable for 3 years since I grown them before.
    I am still waiting for my seed boxes to arrive by seashipment.
    Looks like you going to have a really big tomato harvest. They look great.

  15. John Cotterell says:

    The tomatoes are looking fabulous but so far no-one has asked the big question “What did you do to and put into your garden bed before you planted?”, aside from a bit of magic, that is?

    • Liz says:

      For the tomatoes I have disobeyed the rules and i am following on from potatoes. They are in a new bed which I used a no dig method for potatoes last year – the method involved a thick layer of straw/hay with layers of cow and poultry manure on top. This left heaps of organic matter in the soil. I added some more poultry manure, a little blood & bone, a little lime, some sulphate of potash and some compost. Unusually for my garden the bed has been pretty much rested for winter (except for some shallots which are still growing in amongst the tomatoes) – in summer it gets the most sun of any of my beds but in winter it is in total shade from the house.

  16. Well done Liz! You’re a credit to tomato growers all over the world. Such a beautiful looking crop. You may need to worry a little about disease if they continue to grow thickly and not get enough air flow – or sun. If that happens, prune the lower laterals so they keep growing upwards. Planting shallots nearby is a great way to help ward off various insects – they don’t like the smell of shallots or chives. If at any time you need any help (and it doesn’t look like it so far!) – then you may find our detailed guide How to Grow Juicy Tasty Tomatoes a useful resource. Comes with a free cookbook and CD database of 1300 varieties. Best wishes for a fabulous healthy crop. Annette Welsford, co-author and publisher.

    • Liz says:

      The tomatoes have a lovely underplanting of shallots – this way accidental but helpful it seems. i do like a happy coincidence. 1300 varieties – that is absolutely amazing!!!! I do like your pruning tip I was wondering if I would have to do that and I suspect I may as they are becoming very jungle like at the moment.

  17. Nick says:

    I had good luck this summer, but I want to reconsider my trellis technique. In boxes, mine have been unruly — at best! What’s your thoughts?

    • Liz says:

      I’m still not committed to a single method – my father employs a 3 stake technique to go effect but I have yet to find the perfect method for me. I do think that tomatoes do quite like being unruly though.

  18. how have the tomato plants faired in the heat in Sydney since your post.I planted only 2 varieties of cherry tomatoes including ” cherry champ ” – after subsequent years of a virus anything bigger is too nerve wracking though I found a clump of very large tomatoes that was from an accidental and doing quite well

    Most of the rest of my plants have succumbed to “that virus” again and some haven’t fruited at all and the plants have just stopped growing at 2 feet . I’ve concluded that the virus must be in the air. I took a picture that I must post on my blog one day but it so embarrassing.

    It’s not all bad … despite the virus i have more tomatoes than i can eat and the few plants that have only partly succumbed to the browning are prolific producers of beautiful tiny explosions of flavor – love going into the warm garden and eating them off the plant (i don’t use any spray so can do this easily)

    • Liz says:

      Actually I’m in Melbourne but its been hot here too. The new growth at the very top of a couple of the plants wilted back during our over 40 days – I find Broad Ripple Currant in particular doesn’t like too much heat. Otherwise they are going well – my major problem this year isn’t weather or disease related – I have rates eating all the green fruit which is annoying and gross so I’m not a particularly happy gardner at the minute. My main crop still hasn’t ripened but even with the rat damage its looking OK for small varieties as they seem to prefer the bigger ones.

      • Have been seeing your January posts. May have missed it but how did the potted tomatoes go. And what do you put in the pot as the growing material? and any ongoing fertilizing?

        Im thinking of trying the winter tomato thing now that most of my tomatoes have finished fruiting – reading about your recent experiment with seeds being sown now. Grew 12 cherry style tomotoes all in the garden and have more than enough for consumption plus a few accidentals that were the bigger variety.

        Even with the virus attack i get have plenty of fruit for myself and some of my friends.

        • Liz says:

          Glad your tomatoes did so well. The Tiny Tims I grew in pots this year have been my best performers (or at least I’ve harvested most from them) due to rats and mice devouring much of the rest of my crop. I put unfertilised potting mix into the pots then added Osmocote. I give them the occasional drink of seaweed fertiliser and they’ve seemed pretty happy in the main. They do seem to have stopped growing now though but perhaps they are just past their best. L from 500m2 in Sydney had great success with Stupice last year – no fruit fly and good yield.

  19. Tuuli says:

    I’m a newbie Melbourne gardener with a new big empty backyard with lots of sunshine to plant in. I’m preparing beds at the moment. Which tomatoes do you recommend to try as a first timer?

    • Liz says:

      Tommy Toe, Black Cherry, Rouge de Marmande & Grosse Lisse. The first two are cherry size, the later are slicing size. All do well in Melbourne, and all are vigorous plants and croppers. Rouge de Marmande is the smallest but all will need long stakes.

Leave a Reply to Liz Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *