Thursday, 18 August 2016
It's been the best year yet for tomatoes. Every February I plant a variety of seeds in pots of compost on the windowsill. Some years the plants really don't do well. I don't have a greenhouse and I find that they are happier in the garden than down at the allotment, so I put them in one of my 4' x 8' raised beds. If it's a cool damp year then I find they don't grow and ripen fast enough and I mostly end up with lots of green tomatoes.
This year I experimented with putting the plants closer together. I squeezed in 4 plants along the short edge and 7 plants along the long edge. 21 plants in total as there are a couple of patches of sorrel in there as well and one plant was lost.
The plants did well and by the time the fruits were swelling there was a huge amount of foliage. Because of the amount of plants in the small space there wasn't much light getting in to the centre of the bed, so I cut off most of the foliage. As I say, a bit of an experiment. I usually remove many of the leaves, but later in the season. This was back in June and I wasn't sure if it would affect the plants.
In fact they continued to do really well, and a couple of weeks ago I removed a lot more of the new leaves. I've pretty much just left one or two at the top. I've also pinched out the tops of all of the plants except the Sungolds ones, which are small cherry tomatoes and ripen quickly.
The other varieties I've grown are Ferline, Orkado, Nimbus and Golden Sunrise. Ferline are a good size and have some blight resistance. Orkado were new to me last year but I'll definitely be growing them every year now. They were voted best tomato by Which? Gardening and have a good early healthy crop. Nimbus were a free trial pack of seeds and have done okay, although one or two of the fruits are small and not good quality. Golden Sunrise ripen quite early and have a nice thin skin. The flavour is light and sweet and they look lovely in salads. And Sungold never let me down. Loads of cherry tomatoes from early in the season until autumn. They just go on and on and on.
This year I finally have a pretty good crop out there. It's something I always hope for but tomatoes are tricky in our climate and I'm often disappointed. If you're growing tomatoes this year, how are they doing? And do you have a variety you swear by?
Labels: Allotment and garden, Food
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I've grown a variety of beefsteak tomatoes from Heligan called Brandywine. They are very tall; in fact we have renamed them triffids. Sadly blight has not been our friend this year. We've had a few ripen, the best being gardeners delight. I will give some of yours a go next year. Thanks for the recommendation. B XReplyDelete
What a wonderful crop. The first couple of years I grew tomatoes I had a bumper crop but have failed every year since!ReplyDelete
I have to admit to been a tad envious of your tomato crop, mine this year are abysmal. Usually I have an abundance of tomatoes by now and making chutneys and sauces ready for the Winter store cupboard. Well done.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful harvest! I've more or less given up on tomatoes except for one bush variety in a hanging basket. So glad you have 'cracked it' this year :)ReplyDelete
We've always found blight is more likely to strike on the plot than in the garden. When few plots on our site were gardened we never had blight problems.ReplyDelete
Well done, you've certainly done a lot better than I have. I grow Golden Sunrise which generally do well and the ever popular Gardener's Delight. Flighty xxReplyDelete
I'm very much regretting planting fewer tomatoes this year. I buy mine already started by a greenhouse and usually put in 18 plants. This year I put in 8. All of the fruit is small but I have been eating tomatoes for a week or two now as the odd one ripens on the vine. Seeing your bounty of tomatoes makes me realize I so enjoy having an abundance of tomatoes to process for winter. I'll be planting 18 again next year ;)ReplyDelete
What a great crop. Thanks for sharing. I shall try some new varieties next year.ReplyDelete
Your tomatoes are gorgeous, CJ! I love the look of the plants all growing so tightly together. Ours are partly in buckets and partly in the ground. I think the ones in the buckets actually have done better so far. I was surprised. I hope you enjoy all those wonderful tomatoes, they look fantastic!ReplyDelete
I'm so envious - our tomatoes have been decidedly poor this year. Enjoy! xxReplyDelete
wow!! a bumper crop indeed!! well done!!!ReplyDelete
we won't talk about my tomatoes.
thankfully, my Grandad had a good crop so we haven't been deprived. xo
Oh you're so lucky...we didn't get a single tomato here in north west France...terrible blight this year right tthrough the stalks and everything....yours look delish....we did get a great crop of mini cucumbers though...and another lot to come....happy gardening x x. Kathy, FRANCEReplyDelete
I have never heard of those varieties (but I'm not a tomato expert).
my dad strips off most f the foliage from his plants - they really do look skeletal - as then all the goodness goes into the fruit. and he grows the best tomatoes, so he must be doing something right! so I support your de-leafing experiment :-)
They look fab CJ. I cheat (sort of) and buy plants from the local garden centre. I think a tomato bed looks so pretty but far too cold here to try xReplyDelete
Blight here on the greenhouse ones which is unusual :-(. Yours look fantastic - well done. M is the veg grower here so will pass on your recommendations. XxReplyDelete
Your tomato crop is impressive, and very pretty too. Such lovely colours - they look delicious. In the past I've tried to grow them outside in the garden, but ended up with just a few split ones. Your post has made me want to try again.ReplyDelete
That looks like a bumper crop of tomatoes, fantastic! Nothing beats a freshly picked tomato that still smells of sun and warmth and tomato plant. I don't even bother these days, tomatoes only ripen under glass in my neighbourhood. I would love a little greenhouse and may add one to my wish list for next year. xReplyDelete
What a pretty rainbow of color - yeah for you! I actually trimmed my tomato plants for the first time this year. I had read about it on another blog and then saw several plants pruned that way at a community garden. The plants look rather funny with no leaves, but I think that it helped my tomato plants also. I pruned them hard in mid-July. Our one Sungold plant is definitely the monster in our garden!ReplyDelete
Your tomatoes look amazing. Well done. I planted Sungold only this year because I knew we'd be away. They've grown like mad and need a good sorting out! I'll make a note of your varieties for next year. Hope you're well. Sam xReplyDelete
your tomatoes look amazing - i will be sure to show Rob when he comes home. he absolutely loves them. I am more of a cherry tomato fan.... cherry tomato on homemade pizza!!ReplyDelete
lovely garden - thank you for sharing!
You are very good at growing vegetables.ReplyDelete
A lovely crop CJ. No home grown tomatoes for us this year sadly as they were all wiped out by blight - never had it in the greenhouse before. All is not lost, we managed to get some runner beans going after a battle with the slugs! Have a good week xxReplyDelete
I haven't grown tomatoes for years, and years due to disappointing crops. I used to have them in grow bags outside the back door but getting a crop was so random. I found I did better with the dwarf varieties. I used to pinch out the tops, and take a lot of the side shoots out. I love the smell of just picked tomatoes.ReplyDelete
Your crop looks lovely. Make sure to use them up. I made a delicious crustless Bacon and Mushroom quiche last week, and used lots of ripe tomatoes in it.
Thank you for sharing.
You say tomato and I say tomato. They're looking good! No, my brown fingers haven't even been given a chance to kill off the tomatoes this year. Too much to do elsewhere. And no push from inside to do it, either. Or, in my favourite time management speak, "It wasn't a priority."ReplyDelete
Great job on your tomatoes this year! We have some in pots and have gotten a few but not a big harvest yet. But finally we have zucchinis to eat and make bread with! I'm back from the lake with lots of photos on my blog.. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)ReplyDelete
Wow, your gardening impresses me every time! I literally gasped out loud when I saw the pulled back picture of the tomatoes all together. We got two tomatoes from the one plant I planted this year. One is still growing now, but it has been green for days, so I'm not too sure about it anymore. I bookmarked this post so I can refer to it next year. You deserve a major round of applause!ReplyDelete
WOW! Tomatoes looks beautiful. Beautiful shot of tomatoes. It is beautiful to look the different stages of tomatoes in a same branch of tomato plant.ReplyDelete
Your tomatoes look soo good. I can smell them from here. I love when tomatoes are in season, the tartes, the pasta, the caprese on a stick! Oh so many tasty happenings! Enjoy.ReplyDelete
They look fab, even with a heated greenhouse up here it's always a trial with such a short growing season, and home grown taste sooooooo much better :)ReplyDelete
I'm just catching up with blog reading and could have done with reading this before I posted mine! An awesome haul of tomatoes, congratulations! I'm very tempted to go back to sungold for next year. It's a very good idea to get rid of a lot of the leaves to let the light in but I've read that it's best to tear/pinch them off rather than cutting. Apparently the plant will heal quicker, giving less chance for viruses and diseases to get to the plant. CxxReplyDelete
I love the variety of colour and shape here. They are like rainbows on the branch!ReplyDelete