I had a lot of hope for my tomatoes this year. I would sown them when the conditions were useful, plant them into the poly tunnel. Take on board on the learning from the last few years. See if I could really maximize the potential crop.
As I write, there are still tomato plants in the poly tunnel. Whilst the weather is starting to turn, and the plot now dons it autumn winter apparel and has a rather miserable visage; I am hanging onto the tomatoes to see how far they go.
It feels a distant memory, but planting out the growing plants was the start of the possible adventure. Positioned in the poly tunnel, I aimed for two things. First, ripe tomatoes; they were all planted under cover for that very reason.In previous years, whilst there was an abundance outside, they were all green. Second, green tomatoes would be a bonus.
So the things grew. I had a number of different varieties. Some were new, the heritage brandywines and cream sausage. There were also some staples, I had stuck with yellow stuffer.
The tomatoes grew like triffids.
There is a bit of confusion, that I will gladly admit to. To defoliate or not to defoliate. There are some varieties that do need the side shoots removing, some that don’t. Also, the argument for photosynthesis does make sense. So where do you draw the line? How far you go in removing foliage, if you remove foliage at all? There were times, where it near enough impossible to move in the poly tunnel without having a yellow flower or green leaf tickle your nose.
The key at all points in the process was fruits.
In previous years I have been swimming in green tomatoes. Naturally this has lent itself to chutney. So there was something of a disappointment in not having many fruit and even then, not many green ones.
I am not sure quite sure what went wrong this year. There are a number of variables that need reflecting on. Was having slow maturing beefstakes a step too far? Was the poly tunnel too congests, or did the weather scupper all hope.
Shall be looking at the seedboxes to make a decision about what varieties will be sown next year. To think tomatoes are meant to simple.
Far from it.