This year’s tomatoes

It feels like we are having a pretty mild summer this year, according to The Age newspaper the second coolest in the past decade, although still above the long term average.  What we have definitely been spared so far this year are the extended really hot periods.  Last year we had spells when the temperature was over 40 for 4 days running whereas this year I can only remember a solitary day when the temperature hit 40.

Of course a hot February may change all this but so far its all been very civilised and it isn’t just the residents who are happy – the tomato plants also seem very grateful for it.  They seem healthier than in previous years and they have set a good amount of fruit.

Black Cherry plantThis is a Black Cherry, the most vigorous of the varieties I am growing this year.

Other than Black Cherry I am also intentionally growing Tigerella and Grosse Lisse.  I wanted to limit my tomato plants this year because I haven’t had huge amounts of success with them in the past few years.

But this year is different (maybe because of the weather) so I am glad that as well as the intentional plantings I have a few volunteers around the garden.

Of the volunteer plants I think I’ve identified two as Broad Ripple Currant and Principe Borghese but the other’s are unfamiliar so far.

Fruit has yet to ripen on a couple of the volunteer plants so may things may be clearer when it does.  Which leaves one with ripe fruit remaining unknown.  It appeared in the chook area and is bearing slightly stunted (but then I haven’t fertilised it or anything) orange coloured fruit.  There are 3 in the basket below, the small orange ones that aren’t the larger Tigerella or the smaller yellow Broad Ripple Currant (or the clearly purple Black Cherry):

2015-01-20 13.08.02 (1280x848)

This lot vanished approximately 3 minutes after this shot was taken.  I think Black Cherry remains my favourite, although I am partial to the (more than) occasional Tigerella.  Now I am looking forward to the Grosse Lisse, a week, perhaps two and I reckon its fruit will be ripe.

YAY for mild weather and ripe tomatoes!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to This year’s tomatoes

  1. Roger Brook says:

    Your pictures make my mouth water and think of my own crop here in the UK fruiting in five months time. Sowing soon!

  2. 40 degrees doesn’t bear thinking about for me as well as tomatoes

  3. Mark Willis says:

    I have SO MANY tomato seeds at present that I am going to be really pushed to decide which ones to grow. Last year I had an appallingly bad tomato harvest because of the contaminated compost issue, so this year I have to do better! I have several new varieties to try – such as “Corazon” and “Fenda” from Marshalls.

    • Liz says:

      I think I’ve decided to just grow Tigerella and Black Cherry plus one other in future. Although I like the idea of experimenting they often just disappoint.

  4. Maree says:

    I agree, I think I will definitely be in for a glut down the track! I have never had any success with black cherry which disappoints me. My favourites this year are the Periforme Abruzzese, they look like a little drawstring purse and feel so ‘Italian’. Can’t wait to see how they taste. You know it’s because I spent hours covering everything with shade protection before we went away that the weather is cool don’t you. Lost heaps last year. Passata on the vine it was! Cooked before picking.

    • Liz says:

      Ah so I shivered in the surf because of your shade cloth – oh well at least it was in a good (albeit uneccessary this year) cause. Black Cherry is probably my most reliable performer (along with Tigerella). I wonder why you get such a different result.

  5. Sarah says:

    I’ve grown Black Cherry the last couple of years, but they’ve never looked as healthy and huge as your plant! I’m just starting to think about this year’s tomatoes – it’s still a bit (a lot) too cold to do any more than think about them yet.

  6. We only planted a few varieties this year as well, as like you we have had a couple of bad years. We really only put in salad tomatoes so have Tigerella and Tommy Toe as we know these perform, and a few others but the tags have been lost already so I have no idea what we have. Like you we had a cool start to summer, and the tomatoes were going gangbusters. But we have been away for two weeks and we have had hot days at home so I dread to think what we are going back to.

  7. Black Cherry does well for me and I am a big fan of them. Principe Borghese always got blossom end rot though and I quit growing it. It must like your climate better, or perhaps your strain is better adapted than mine was.

    • Liz says:

      I’ve never had issues with BER on Principe Borghese, but I do know that there are a couple of different strains here that go under that name so it wouldn’t surprise me if yours is different again. I think Black Cherry is my fav tomato – the other plants are dying back a little at the moment but it still looks super healthy.

  8. Bek says:

    You make me want to prioritise tigerella. It’s been on my tomato agenda for a while but I’ve not yet got around to it. Could the orange self sown variety be juanne flamme? Or it may just be a new variety you’ve bred.

  9. Melissa says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with volunteer tomatoes simply because I *want to know what to expect and plan for (I know, not very exciting). Truth be told, though, I’ll take any tomato because…well…it’s homegrown and fresh off the vine! Now, sitting inside while the earth is blanketed in snow, you have me longing for fresh-from-the-yard tomato! Enjoy them all 🙂

  10. Melissa says:

    These look great! Looks like you managed to scare off those rats – or at least share in a bigger proportion of your tomatoes with them. I’m having awful difficulties with the rodents and have only managed to grab a handful of slightly orange tomatoes before they take the rest. I think I will have to pick green and ripen slowly in paper bags with banans inside. It will be the only way!

    • Liz says:

      I feel your pain Melissa. We set snappy traps for the rats and eventually caught a lot of the babies. I think this has helped but it took 2 years. At the same time one of our neighbours cleared their backgarden which was very overgrown and it may well be that they destroyed their nests in the process. I think your green tomato strategy is probably the right one.

Leave a Reply

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