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).
planted 1* • largest plant 40cm • flowers open ✔ • fruit set ✘
planted 3 • largest plant 36cm • flowers open ✔ • fruit set ✘
planted 6 • largest plant 78cm tall • flowers open ✔ • fruit set ✔
planted 3 • largest plant 60cm • flowers open ✔ • fruit set ✘**
planted 7 • largest plant 60cm tall • flowers open ✔ • fruit set ✔
German Orange Strawberry
planted none yet
planted 3 • largest plant 50cm • flowers open ✔ • fruit set ✘
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 ✘
planted 4 • largest plant 60cm • flowers open ✔ • fruit set ✘
planted 3 • largest plant 106cm tall • flowers open ✔ • fruit set ✘
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.