For me, this is always a strange time of the season.
One or two varieties are already producing ripe tomatoes but others – I wish I hadn’t given them room in the pollytunnel. I guess the only way to know how reliable a variety is, is to grow it yourself.
Of course each season is different and this one has its challenges – namely the wet and dull weather!
Wet weather causes fungal diseases and low light levels delay flowering in many varieties.
If it wasn’t for Red Alert, I would still be a week or two away from eating my first ripe tomato. Instead, Red Alert has been producing ripe toms since the middle of June and so far, I’ve picked between sixty and seventy tomatoes from one plant. Tumbler F1 is another variety that will produce the same results.
Oregon Spring is well on the way to ripe fruit, and for a big tom variety, is hard to beat for earliness and dependability.
I guess you could say that these early and dependable varieties are my insurance policy – if the weather is terrible, I will still get an early crop.
Let’s hope that in a week or two, the wet weather will be forgotten and we’ll be experiencing dry, warm and sunny conditions. I may have to find a few tips on how to shade tomato plants from the sun – hopefully!
If you have a water butt and managed to save some of the rain, your tomato plants will love it (see tomato plants and pH) – however, tap water should be stood overnight to allow the chlorine to escape.
Chlorine kills bacteria – the friendly ones too!