Tasty tomatoes

by Pippa Greenwood

This is the time of year when I go tomato crazy. Suddenly I've gone from eating relatively few tomatoes to buying punnet loads from the shops.

TomatoesThis is the time of year when I go tomato crazy. Suddenly I've gone from eating relatively few tomatoes to buying punnet loads from the shops. There is no doubt that if you go for the British Grown logo on the front of the pack they taste 100% better than most of the others, but it is late July when my tastebuds go crazy for what I call REAL tomatoes, those picked fresh and often a bit warm from the greenhouse, not just in ones and twos as you get at the beginning of the season, but by the bucket load.

Home grown tomatoes, complete with that love-it or hate-it slightly tom-cat-like aroma that you get on your hands as you touch the foliage, are IT!

This year I've got lots of different sorts. These include the candidates for next year's Gardeners' World Magazine article on 'Tomatoes for cooking' and a whole host of extras that I just couldn't resist, including some of my Italian favourites such as the ox heart and some I was sent to trial called 'Piccolo'. There are rarely any of these on the plants when I get there - the smaller gardeners in the family wait for them to ripen like a pair of vultures! Certainly one I'll have next year.

Fingers crossed, none of the outdoor tomatoes have got blight yet, despite the fact that the potatoes went down in style a couple of weeks ago. If they reach ripening point this will be the first year in the last eight that I have actually managed a good crop of outdoor toms with no blight...

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Gardeners' World Web User 03/08/2007 at 22:32

I have grown tomatoes in large pots outdoors and there is plenty of fruit but when should they ripen?

Gardeners' World Web User 06/08/2007 at 11:50

I have already ripped up and binned three tomoato plants (Sungold) which had become infected with grey mould. The leaves turned crinkly and were spotted and then they go black. Then the fruit showed the same black blotches. I think the disease came from my courgettes. Now my ten Gardeners Delight tomatoes are showing early signs of the same problem. Can I treat them with anything to save them - I have invested heavily in care (water, feed and plenty of air around them) but.......??

Gardeners' World Web User 07/08/2007 at 09:00

The tomatoes in my greenhouse have all died. I think it is blight and it even spread to some outside. Has anyone else had this problem and how can I stop it happening next year?

Gardeners' World Web User 07/08/2007 at 18:46

You're lucky you even got some fruit!! Mine went without a fruit in sight. Help!!

Gardeners' World Web User 08/08/2007 at 06:11

I should have said (06/08/07 above) mine are in bottomless pots outside in 3 grow bags with 1 litre upside down, bottomless tonic bottles in the bags to get the water down to the roots. I think we are suffering from too much wet earlier in the season and too little air round the plants. Grey mould/blight/botritis? Can I spray them and what with? There is now a definite slowing in growth both of plant and fruit.

If Marybakers are outside perhaps 5 trusses would be enough and then reduce the size of each truss to 8-10 fruits to encourage ripening. Same for Terry and for Margaret J perhaps a winter wash down of the greenhouse with Jeyes fluid and then plenty of ventilation next season?

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