Tag Archives: moneymaker

Early-I know-Tomatoes 2015

early tomato varieties
early tomato varieties

Since we are sowing seeds. Why leave the tomatoes out? I have sown them at time of the year before. Only to have wiry, gangly leggy creatures that I didn’t pot up quickly enough. I’m not very good at both potting on, or pricking out for that matter. I stood in Dad’s loft, it was cold up there, rooted in the seed stasher to pull out the seeds. I didn’t have as many as I had thought, but that didn’t make the selection of seeds any easier. Laying out the packets, it was a cross between laying out solitaire cards and X factor selection. You might think, that a tomato is a tomato. Not quite. Trust me, there are people out there who will have strong views on that matter. There are quite a few heritage/heirloom varieties in this particular experiment. Last year, I had a few that were shop brought plants. Wiry and tall to begin with, with slightly odd leaves. These did actually take sometime to get growing. The plants did grow large well, but were slower to produce the bigger, beefsteak fruit.

The varieties are:

  • Yellow stuffer-This made the lovely yellow chutney last year, so same again, please.
  • Marmande-big beefy beefsteak. Very productive last year, knobbly decent sized tomato.
  • Cream sausage-hilarious name, but actually yellow.
  • True black brandywine-another beefy beefsteak. But what looks likes like a Gothic fruit. Did have a shop brought Brandywine last year, the name escapes me.
  • Moneymaker-I have to have one bog standard red tomato, so mum doesn’t protest. It was toss up between this variety and Gardener’s delight.
  • Cherokee purple. I brought one of these last year as a plant, from a local greengrocer. Big plant, big fruit, but not bad.

I do have a sense of trepidation about sowing this early. Not least of all because they all might germinate like triffids and become leggy.Must keep an eye on them, make sure that they get potted up as soon as possible. Seeds were modularised, twenty four modules. But not a lot of seeds, at this stage. Plus, I have to consider window sill space. If they all do come off, then there is the small matter of them ripening.

Tomato explosion

20140725-091625 pm-76585147.jpg

20140725-091626 pm-76586951.jpg

20140725-091622 pm-76582657.jpg

20140725-091628 pm-76588805.jpg

The heat and light has caused something of an tomato explosion. There have been increasing number of yellow flowers. Some of they quite dainty, others such as the beefsteak are fuzzy little things. The citrina tomatoes are cute. Little lemon shaped things, compared to the beautifully ugly marmande ones.

Self healing tomatoes

20140707-071805 pm-69485932.jpg

Nestled in a raised bed are two very small tomato plants. Up until a few weeks ago, these were gnarled sticks that had been gnawed about by slimers whilst in open ground. Not wanting to give up on them, I transplanted to a raised bed.

They may not be as tall or leafy as their big brothers and sisters. But I do hope that that continued to flourish.

Never ever give up on a plant!

Tomato, tomayto

The tomatoes are at assorted levels of development. Some are doing well in the raised beds, others are a bit more developmentally delayed in the clay. Whilst they ones in the open ground are flowering, are getting more foliage, they do seem a bit behind. All of the plants are being watered and fed so that they can all catch up. I have never knowingly sown and grown beefstake tomatoes. So would really like these to come off this year. There is also some brandywine and cherokee plants dotted around too. The yellow stuffer tomatoes are looking quite leafy as their flowers start to form.

Go, little greenhouse

Finally, the cover for the 4TB has arrived. A little bigger than expected, but that is a lot better than smaller. I had purchased one that did turn out to be smaller, and of no use. This may be bigger, but it is also made of the same reinforced material as the wendy house and the poly tunnel. I am hoping, therein, that it lasts a while. That said, the cover that was replaced is in fact five years old. Apparently, the shop that made the 4TB has changed the dimensions, so I couldn’t an appropriate replacement. That said, to their credit, the company was very good about making amends. In the poly tunnel yesterday, it was a rather balmy twenty degrees. The best thing, that it was still there, and hadn’t floated off. The wendy house was there also, for which we are also thankful. The lyon prizewinner leeks are still there and quite snug too.

Tomatoes aren’t doing too badly at the moment. The vast majority of the seeds that were modularised have come through. The module was sat on the not very warm window sill, and so they did take their time. The babies were also a little leggy, which resulted in them having to be demodularised and then potted up. No mean feat, as I am not very good at pricking out and potting up. Which is why, I only sank singular seeds to begin with. In essence, at the moment, we have the same number of tomato plants as we did last year. It remains to be seen, if these will all achieve maturity.

On the next window sill, we have the the aubergines. Dancer, diamond, tres hative de barbentane  and black beauty have all come through. I am still waiting for early long purple to germinate. There was a pleasant surprise in how quickly the aubergine seeds have come up.

Of the chillies and superhots, I have yet to see any of yellow scotch bonnet and orange habanero. Fire has been temporarily written off in failing to come off entirely. The dorset naga looked a bit precarious, having caught a cold; it looked as though it was going to keel over. I checked this afternoon, and it did appear to have rallied. I’m not hedging my bets. I would like it to survive, one has a dorset naga chilli challenge to try! Have resown some california wonder, as i had somewhat neglected to re-sow a sweet pepper. All those hot chillies, and no sweetness. One is thinking of all the possible chilli jam to be made.

I have kept all the babies in foodbag cloches. Mainly, as they are on window sills that don’t always stay warm. With some heat and light trapped, the cloche offers something of a security blanket. I am conscious that a sudden drop in temperature could wipe everything out. I would like to place the tomato babies in the 4TB, under a fleece. Just not sure if they would survive, would be a tragedy for them to be annihilated after being pampered for so long.