Thursday, 19 July 2012

More Tomato Talk

If I could grow only one thing it would be tomatoes, even though there's other things which I prefer to eat. I don't know what it is about tomatoes, I just love choosing the varieties I'm going to grow, sowing the seed and watching them grow and produce fruit. The taste of home grown tomatoes is far superior than anything you can buy in a supermarket too, just picked from the plant and warmed a little in the sun.

My tomato growing experience this year has so far been disappointing. I started out with big hopes as this year I was going to have a go at growing lots of plants outdoors in addition to the half a dozen I grow in the greenhouse. The seeds took a long time to germinate, and once they had, the seedlings seemed to stand for weeks without putting on any growth.

The plants are now in their final positions, and the ones in the greenhouse have put on quite a bit of growth since they were potted up but none of my plants look to be really healthy specimens this year, I can only put it down to the weather. I've ended up with just five plants outdoors, I was hoping for quite a few more, but I wasn't going to pot up plants just for the sake of it. There were some really sick looking ones, and when I tipped them out of their pots to put in the compost bin, I could see that they'd hardly made any roots.

So the tomato plants I've ended up with this year are as follows. In the greenhouse I have Tangella, Pannovy, Gardeners Delight, Black Cherry x 2 and Eleanor, a variety which was bred by Kath at Vegetable Heaven. Outdoors in the garden I have Tigerella, Ferline, Pannovy and Incas x 2. The indoor plants have put on more growth than the outdoor ones, but both have just started producing their first flowers. Let's hope it's not too late for them to produce some fruit which will ripen before autumn.

We go away for a fortnight on Saturday to Cornwall so the tomato plants will be left in my dad's capable care. I'm hoping to see some tomatoes on the plants on my return.


  1. I spotted that our Moneymaker tomatoes have a couple of tiny tomatoes on. The first this year.

  2. I think tomatoes have suffered from low light levels as well as the cool temperature.

    By the way - just been to Swillington Nurseries and heard them telling another customer that they were retiring and closing in September. Didn't like to ask anything as it was eavesdropping information - but I'll ask next time I'm there whether they are selling as a going concern or closing altogether. Such a shame if it closes down.

  3. That's a wonderful selection that you're growing, Jo. I can see why you put so much effort into it. It's not been a good year for anything but I think you might just be lucky with your tomatoes, if forecasts are right. It will be something to look forward to when you come home from holiday. Hope you have a lovely time (I love Cornwall so am quite envious!).

  4. I think that for most people tomato growing growing has been disappointing this year. Fingers crossed that we all get some fruit! Flighty xx

  5. My tomatoes are very behind also, we do have tomatoes on the plum & normal in the greenhouse, still green not red. Nothing but flowers on the cherry type outside though. Next year i am thinking of growing the cherry toms in the greenhouse if next year is anything like the last two sunshine wise.

  6. Despite some early setbacks, my tomato plants are quite strong, and have got lots of fruit on them.
    Unfortunately I have found what I think are the first signs of blight on a couple of them. I may have to pick green fruit. :(

  7. Hi Jo, my tomatoes have suffered too.In fact I have only got one plant left now and there arent many tomatoes on it.A bad year I reckon, likewise my carrot crop is very poor. You win some you lose some! Ah well, theres always next year!

  8. They say we will have good weather in Aug and Sept, so hopefully the tomatoes will have time to develop in the end.

  9. It's been a poor year for plants that like some warmth. I don't grow tomatoes at all. 3 years of decimated crops from blight and we vowed to not grow them again. I'd love to be able to grow loads of different varieties. The weather's on the turn though so hopefully it'll be good for your tomatoes and for the holiday. Have a great time in Cornwall. I'm sure your plants will be in safe hands whilst you're away. :)

  10. Your plans for this year's tomatoes sound so like mine Jo and mine have not fared well either. Hope that your plants enjoy the improved weather that we are forecast and that the sun shines down on you in Cornwall throughout your holiday. Have a great time!

  11. You're ahead of me then, Martyn. Let's hope the forecasts are right and we get some sunshine to bring them on.

    I think you're right there, Sue. I didn't know about Swillington Nurseries, it will be a real shame if it shuts down.

    Thanks, Caro. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some much needed sunshine, both for me and my plants.

    We may just be lucky if the sunshine which is forecast arrives, Flighty. Fingers crossed.

    Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, awholeplotoflove. I haven't done bad with my tomatoes in previous years, it just seems that they're so behind this year.

    I'm sure blight will be rife this year, Mark, it's the perfect weather for it. I think I should have stuck to growing my tomatoes in the greenhouse this year.

    My sentiments exactly, Anne. Surely next year can't be as bad as this.

    I hope so, Kelli. A bit of sunshine will also bring on everything else which is lagging behind.

    Thanks, Wellywoman. It can be devastating losing tomatoes year after year to blight. I think you really need a greenhouse in this country to grow them successfully.

    Thanks, Anna. I think we could all do with some sunshine for our plants, especially those of us growing tomatoes.

  12. I've had no success with tomatoes this year Jo. I really wish I had a greenhouse when the weather is like this. Last year was a different matter and I'm sure next it will be different again. I'm having to make do with my veg box for tomatoes but they're nice too.

    Have a great holiday in Cornwall lucky girl and good luck to your Dad in his tomato-sitting duties!


  13. A bad year for tomatoes all round I think - I have put a lot more outside this year than I would normally do - big mistake - I don't think I will see many tomatoes from them.

  14. What a feast of different varieties, despite the crop being less than you'd hoped for.

  15. Tomatoes are my favourite food in all the world, so imagine the general excitement growing them coupled with a fervent desire to eat them - all the time, with pretty much everything...All those exciting varieties of those you're growing I'm only familiar with Black Cherry which I sowed seed of last week.

  16. I've had a terrible time with my tomatoes this year Jo, both inside and out and I fear I won't have the produce to make my pasta sauces I love so much. One of mine in the greenhouse is just starting to produce fruit but that's all and although those planted outside on the plot are looking quite sturdy they aren't very big. Fingers crossed the promised good weather happens and they come into their own very soon!!

  17. Hello Jo, I hope you are having a lovely holiday and the weather improves, as promised. I'm ready to start blogging again after my break, but thought I would visit a few old friends first. Hope you are well. P. x

  18. Not a good year for growing anything really! My tomatoes have very few flowers at all although I confess to starting them late. Good luck for yours.

  19. Thanks, Jeanne. It looks like it's going to be a bad year for tomatoes for me too. I'm glad there's always next year to have another go.

    It's typical that the weather has been so bad when we're both growing tomatoes outdoors, Elaine. I think I'll give outdoor varieties another go next year, I don't think I can come to any proper conclusions about them this year.

    I enjoy giving different varieties a try, Linda. It's amazing how different one tastes from another.

    I hope your Black Cherry does better for you than mine have, Liz. I'm still unsure whether I'll get anything from them yet.

    I was hoping to make some sauces from my tomatoes this year, Tanya. It doesn't look as though I'll get to make a salad with them, never mind anything else.

    We had a lovely holiday, thank you, Pam. I shall be popping across to visit you soon.

    Thanks, Mark. I think I'll need some of that good luck if I'm going to get anything off my tomato plants this year, they're not looking very good at all.


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