Sunday, 3 July 2011

Tomato update: early July

Time for an update on the tomatoes, as in the two weeks since my previous in-depth roundup, they have made enormous progress.

They were rather overshadowed by the soft fruit harvest, which continues to amaze me, but now they are asserting themselves more - the last plantings must be made in the next few days, and those already established are flowering freely, and setting fruit without too much difficulty.

I have just tended to them - a really pleasant job, especially on a day of blazing sunshine like today, where the heat outside is in the high teens to low twenties, and has exceeded 35ºC in the greenhouse this afternoon. I pinched out all the sideshoots, tied in any loose stems, and fed the older plants in full bloom. As tomorrow is set to be dry and even warmer (low-to-mid twenties), I will water the rest later, although they show no signs of wilting.

I'll do a run through below in the same style as before, but just the basic facts of how the plants are getting on, and a few pictures. Some of the plants look a little yellowish-green, but most (especially those outside) are the colour and shape they should be - rich green, stocky, and untroubled by pests or disease (there are a very few aphids on some of the plants, but nothing to concern me).

Black Cherry

planted 1* • largest plant 40cm flowers open fruit set

Cherokee Purple
planted 3 • largest plant 36cm flowers open fruit set

Costoluto Fiorentino
planted 6 • largest plant 78cm tall flowers open fruit set

Cream Sausage
planted 3 • largest plant 60cm flowers open fruit set ✘**

Gardener's Delight
planted 7 • largest plant 60cm tall flowers open fruit set

German Orange Strawberry
planted none yet

Great White
planted 1***

Green Zebra
planted 3 • largest plant 50cm flowers open fruit set

Jaune Flammée
planted 6 • largest plant 88cm tall flowers open ✔ fruit set

planted 1 • all plants <30cm flowers open fruit set

planted 4 • largest plant 76cm tall flowers open fruit set

Sub Arctic Plenty
planted 2 • largest plant 34cm flowers open fruit set

Summer Cider
planted 4 • largest plant 60cm flowers open fruit set

Sun Belle
planted 3 • largest plant 106cm tall flowers open fruit set

Super Marmande
planted 4 • largest plant 60cm tall flowers open fruit set

You can see how much they've grown - the biggest change I think it 31cm - over a foot in two weeks! Some have raced ahead, with 'Super Marmande' flowering and starting to set fruit, 'Jaune Flammée' and 'Costoluto Fiorentino' swelling into recognisable tomatoes. Some have been slower - 'Sun Belle' has grown and flowered, but not set any fruit yet. With the exception of 'Great White' and 'German Orange Strawberry', which have mostly languished on the windowsill, I can now believe I'll harvest every type, although I suspect some will abound, while others may be a rare treat. I still want to plant a total of at least 60, and have found plenty more healthy plants indoors and in the greenhouse to make up that number. I hope as much progress is made by the next update in the middle of the month!

*It seems I'd counted two in the last update, but the sheet I use to keep track says one. I've no idea where the confusion arose!
**These figures only cover the plants in their final positions. I have discovered, however, a 'Cream Sausage' plant on the windowsill with tiny fruit forming, even though it's growing in a plastic cup! Tomatoes continue to amaze me.
***I couldn't find this plant anywhere! Either I made a mistake, and haven't planted it, or it's lurking somewhere - when you get to 48 plants, it's easy to lose track! Especially as the labels tend to be hidden under lots of foliage. I need to plant more of these anyway, if there are any left.


Anonymous said...

Wow, those Costoluto Fiorentino tomatoes look weird (and fun).

48 plants - are they all in your greenhouse? I'm impressed, i just can't get them to grow and fruit.

Scyrene said...

They are - the one in the picture is a 'normal' one, but there's one that seems to be a fused multiple flower (something commoner in larger tomatoes), which is fairly monstrous!

There are around 15 in the greenhouse, most in grow bags and pots outside, some in the ground. Wherever I could fit them! :)