I picked a mixture of beefy-steak type ones, cherry toms, and normal ones, which weighed a princely 1.1kg. When I arrived at the plot to see a good gaggle of ripe red fruit had appeared on my plants, I was not only delighted but relieved too.
I’ve been worrying about my toms for a few weeks now. The foliage on the plants was very sparse compared to ones I’ve grown before, and many of the leaves have turned yellow and died off. Neighbouring plots were suffering this problem too, which is one way was heartwarming as at least it meant it wasn’t necessarily anything I was doing wrong!
As a result, I don’t think I’m going to get anywhere near as many tomatoes as I did last year. I’ll definitely not need a day off work for Tomato Chutney Making Day, as I did in 2010, so with all this in mind, I’m just glad of a harvest.
Slow to Ripen
The tomatoes that are there have also taken an age to ripen. I’m sure I was picking kilos and kilos of fruit well in July last year, but then if I recall correctly the weather was a great deal hotter.
Is It the Weather?
Me and mum were pondering the temperature earlier in the week. Although it has been hot this summer, I don’t remember many full-on sunny days. There has been quite a lot of low-level clouds, and the days haven’t been particularly bright. This is entirely anecdotal, but kind of makes sense to me when I wonder why my toms have stayed green for so long. Around here, it’s been very humid, but I’m guessing that my toms could do with some more actual sunlight (couldn’t we all?).
Not As Juicy
Another thing I’ve noticed with this year’s crop is that they’re not as juicy as usual. I’m putting this down to a lack of water, mainly because of my general bone idolness, masquerading as a How Much Do I Really Need to Water? experiment. I’ve learnt a lesson there: get off your bum and water more.
I really should have got my finger out, as I do know better, thanks to my bush tomato container plants in the garden at home. I’ve grown these three years running, and they’ve always been much drier to taste than their succulent allotment counterparts. I’ve put this down to the containers needing watering much more than I end up committing to.
I’m not sure I’ll grow the container plants next year. My back garden is north facing and doesn’t get a lot of light, so the bushes are not that productive. I might replace them with some chard, and another leafy veg that’s more suited to shady spots.
However, despite my difficulties, I’m counting tomato blessings. Poor old Jo, who I featured as part of my National Allotment Week profiles, had blight at her plots and had to pull all 17 of her plants up. On an allotment level, that’s nothing short of a tragedy, and I was gutted for her when she told me.
So if we could all have a collective ‘chin up’ for Jo, then that would be grand.
As they say down the plots, there’s always next year…