Monday, September 30

The race is on!

You may remember that we had very mixed results with our tomatoes this year.

The ones growing in the garden greenhouse produced very few fruits unaffected with blossom end rot. So much so that we are considering not growing tomatoes in there next year.
Our garden greenhouse is a fairly large (10'x20') made from cedar. The tomatoes only occupied a part of the space. 
They were watered and fed regularly and the greenhouse door was left open during the day.
The tomatoes in the smaller (6'x8'), aluminium, plot greenhouse produced healthy fruits but these have been very slow to ripen. They were watered when we went to the plot which wasn't on a particularly regular basis - sometimes there would be a few days between watering and the greenhouse was shut other than when we were at the plot. There is one working automatic roof window which was the only regular means of ventilation. 


The plot tomatoes had the greenhouse to themselves.

Our first ripe, disease free tomato was harvested on 18 August! The fruits are at last ripening quickly but it's a case of can the tomatoes ripen before the fruit starts to spoil? 


I've cut off most of the foliage to allow the fruits to take maximum advantage of light or even sunshine! 


We don't want to remove the green tomatoes sooner than we really need to so fingers crossed that we get our timing right and can continue to enjoy 'sun' ripened tomatoes for just a little while longer.


Better late than never but let's hope next year the tomatoes get their timing better and produce ripe fruits when they should!


28 comments:

  1. You should have a good crop - eventually - it has been a funny year for tomatoes hasn't it - who would have thought that a sunny, warm summer should bring so many problems.

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    1. I just wonder whether the late start due to a poor spring just put things back. Maybe they need x number of weeks from when they start growing properly.

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  2. I've had the best year yet for tomatoes purely because I've grown some outside in the garden. It would have been a different story if I was relying purely on the greenhouse grown ones as they've performed really badly this year, and also if there was any blight about. All years are different. It's beans I've got a race against time with.

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    1. Our beans did OK in the end - a bit late but made up for it. You can never be sure what will happen n gardening can you, Jo?

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  3. That blossom rot isn't a pretty site. You've loads of tomatoes and most look healthy. Hope you get a good crop and they ripen well.

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  4. My tomatoes were very late to ripen this year and even now they haven't produced the quantity or quality that I'm used to. None the less, I do have tomatoes and for that i am grateful as I can make some lovely tomato sauces and soups!!

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    1. We just have to be happy with what we manage to achieve don't we Tanya. Every years there is something that fails.

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  5. The season never seems quite long enough for tomatoes does it? There are always so many green ones left at the end. I'm still picking mine - Sungold, Ferline and one Arctic Plenty - but they are outside and they're ripening really slowly now.

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    1. Let's hope they continue for a while longer CJ

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  6. Tried to leave you a comment this morning, but Blogger had other plans! Have you come to any conclusions about what has caused the Blossom End Rot to be so much worse in your cedar greenhouse? Do you think the presence of other types of plant has been a contributory factor? All my toms are grown outdoors and I seldom get much trouble with BER. This year I think I have have only had literally two fruits affected by it. No blight either - hooray!

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    1. Blogger often does Mark. No conclusions - this is the first time we have suffered from BER other than with an occasional tomato. The reasons that it is usually a problem don't seem to apply. It has been a good year for mussing blight both for tomatoes and potatoes.

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  7. Not having a proper greenhouse I am still amazed to get ANY ripe tomatoes. This year I went with the best performer from last year: Sungold. 6 plants two growbags. I maybe got a bit carried away with the watering and they started to split before I could pick them this. On that basis that doing something, however unproven, is better than not bothering at all I add epsom salts to the water about once every two weeks. BER probably not likely with a cherry tomato. Despite misgivings I've already bought seed for even smaller tomatoes next year. A glutton for punishment?

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    1. We are thinking of growing Sungold next year Mal. Are you going for currant sized next year?

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  8. We grow tomatoes only outside but we had a bit late ripe too. It's because of the weird spring we had so I'm sure it's the same reason with your tomatoes. Tomato needs a full sun day and temperatures over 25°C to ripe, maybe the ones in cedar greenhouse didn't get enough warm weather to heat the greenhouse. They look exactly like mine do in September when it gets too cold and too moist for them.

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    1. The greenhouse was often too hot to stay in for more than a few minutes Leanan so I don't think it was that. They have also ripened quicker in worse summers when they will have been struggling to get up to 25°C on most days.

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  9. Sue your Toms look amazingly healthy, I do hope you manage to get a decent crop for all your efforts. The days are certainly getting shorter but we seem to be getting a bit of an Indian summer in the UK so hopefully the extra warmth will help to keep them ripening.
    After my dire attempts at growing Toms again I was tempted to give up on them entirely but I think I kept the PT too humid for the Cucumbers and that's what weakened the Toms and let the blight take hold. Next year I shall try the greenhouse but it's really my last attempt if I don't get a decent crop.

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    1. Do you leave the ends of the PT open Linda? They often reckon tomatoes and cucumbers don't make good bedfellows.

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  10. My crop suffered pretty badly from BER this year as well Sue. It's a physiological problem caused by environmental conditions rather than any pest or disease - basically a lack of calcium. The main cause is uneven watering as the plant receives the calcium from the soil/compost dissolved in the water it takes up by the roots. High humidity in a gh can prevent the plant taking up water (even if the growing medium is damp) as can an acidic soil (pH or 6 or lower). I don't think the presence of other/different plants can have an effect unless they're all planted together in a small container competing for the same resources. Outdoor toms don't often suffer as they're more likely to be planted in open ground or receive extra container irrigation from rain.

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    1. This is the strange thing though Jules. If anything the plot greenhouse should have suffered more being shut up most of the time and also watered irregularly. The garden greenhouse had the door open all day every day as well as four roof vents.

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  11. Hi Sue,
    I think I've had different experiences for each and every year I've grown tomatoes. I only grow the cherries, mainly Sungold, and only for other half because only he eats them. They've done OK this year in an aluminium greenhouse like yours. Plants outside were only just beginning to show a decent quantity of fruit and have now succumbed to blight. I think the West Country may be just too wet.

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    1. We stopped growing outdoor tomatoes because of blight, Rusty. They started to get it every year before we had chance of a decent crop, Maybe this year we would have got away with it. Often we even get blight in the plot greenhouse too

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  12. Beautiful tomatoes in the greenhouse!
    I added crushed egg shells (to add calcium to the soil) to my tomato garden spot in the spring, and had only a few tomatoes with Blossom End Rot. I'm saving my egg shells to do it again next year.
    Happy Gardening!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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    1. Were your tomatoes grown outside Lea?

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  13. Immaculate looking plot toms. I think I will be making green tomato chutney again this year, despite doing as you have and removing most foliage. Such a shame about the blossom end rot.

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    1. The plants grew well in the plot greenhouse this year Janet - last year was a different story. I think the weather may be on the turn jere so maybe we will have to ripen the rest indoors.

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  14. What a shame about the rotten ones, but you do have plenty healthy looking ones to enjoy. Mine have been slow to ripen too but now I'm getting a good twenty plus each day. Today I roasted about fifty with home grown chilli, courgette garlic and spring onion. The smell was gorgeous, but the taste was even better.xxxx

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    1. According to today's weather forecast we should have a good weekend so hopefully ripening will continue, Snowbird

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