For the first time in a few years, I decided to grow all my tomatoes inside the greenhouse. It was going well, even with my dodgy watering system used over our three week vacation.
From seeds sown back in March, I grew:
- Sungold x 4
- Brandywine x 3
- San Marzone x 4
- Tigerella x 4
- Ildi x 2
After a great start, and a good middle, sadly, it’s all going starting to go a bit downhill.
Firstly, I appear to have a bit of Blossom end rot in some of my plum tomatoes (the ‘San Marzone’). On reading, it was probably caused by excessive heat during blossom set (which we had) and not very consistent watering, which apparently can cause calcium deficiency, which damages the fruit during formation. I could have fixed this with good feeding and regular watering. I’ll admit, I did very little feeding this year and they didn’t get fed at all when we were away, so it serves me right. Still, it was only one plant that suffered and even on that one, not all the fruit, so not a total disaster.
Next, I went into the greenhouse the other day to find my frame system had collapsed. The above is taken AFTER I’d attempted to quickly get it back into place, before the stems were damaged. I should have done a better job in the first place.
Now, though, my main worry is that the bulk of the crop will not ripen, as our lovely summer has abruptly ended and autumn is here. It is my favourite season, but for the garden it’s all suddenly gone dark and soggy. With luck, I’ll get most of it red, otherwise there will be a lot of green tomato chutney being made around here.
Oh, and to top it off, the white fly arrived, en masse. Seriously, a little cloud of the hideous things fly up each time I open the door (it’s got so cold, I’ve taken to closing it) to water the plants. I know I could probably do something about them, it just feels quite late now, I just need a few more days (weeks?) and then I’ll start clearing everything out anyway.
On the plus side, I made my first batch of tomato sauce at the weekend. As always, we went with our favourite recipe, which is from the River Cottage. Basically it tastes like a very posh and flavoursome version of the kids favourite variety, ‘Heinz’. I’d love to suggest my boys are more adventurous in their tastes, I did used to buy them a tasty ‘Tiptree’ version, that I think is much more homemade tasting but they weren’t having any of it.
With the final ripe batch, I plan to make my own HP (Brown) Sauce and any other fruit, not eaten fresh, will be roasted then pushed though a sieve to make nice sauce for pizza (which I keep in the freezer in little pots).
Not a bad year, but not perfect either. Laziness was obviously the main problem. Live and learn 😉
Also, thanks for all your comments and ‘likes’. I’m afraid I’ve been rubbish at replaying and my general blog visiting, but with the boys back at school, I hope to catch up soon.