The end of another tomato growing season and, for those of us in the UK, one that has been very successful!
It’s funny how our interest in growing tomatoes varies. Some of us are mainly interested in the tomatoes, some are mainly interested in eating them and others are interested in growing the plants. I guess that I’m most interested in the tomato plants – how they function and what makes them grow to their full potential. if you take care of the plants, the plants will take care of the tomatoes.
Last season’s poll
At the end of last season we took a poll to see which varieties were the most successful among the newsletter readers.
- In the cherry category Gardener’s Delight was first, closely followed by Sungold.
- Of the medium/salad varieties, Moneymaker came first, Alicante and Shirley a close second and third.
- Marmande came first of the beefsteak tomatoes by a mile.
If you have a star performer this season it would be good to hear about it in the comments below!
One of the challenges of the season is to see how early it’s possible to grow the first ripe tomato. The bush varieties Red Alert and Maskotka do it for me. However, early bush varieties have usually petered-out later in the season, when the traditional and reliable Gardener’s Delight, Moneymaker and Alicante come into their own.
When planning which varieties to grow next season, it’s a good idea to grow early and later fruiting varieties for a cropping period that is as long as possible.
Changes to the website
I think it’s been twelve years since I started the website in its present form. During that time I’ve learned lots, as we all have from each other, and I continue to be an enthusiastic student of the tomato plant.
In 2015 the newsletter will be changing. Those who receive an email link each week now, will continue to receive a newsletter next season on a monthly basis. This will contain basic tips about growing tomatoes and be mainly aimed at those who are new to the subject.
The Tomato Growing Club
There will also be an opportunity to join the “Tomato Growing Club”. Members will receive a weekly newsletter that contains all sorts of information at various technical levels. There will also be a weekly webinar – a bit like a radio broadcast – where members will be able to ask questions live online and share in a weekly conversation about growing tomatoes. Members will be able to email me directly to ask questions whenever they like and there will also be a members forum.
These are just some of the changes for next season and I hope that you will join me in the “Tomato Growing Club” in 2015. I will mention that to join the “Tomato Growing Club” will require a small monthly subscription of £5.00 per month. But you can still receive the monthly newsletter for free.
New products for growing tomatoes regularly appear on the market – some good, others not so good, and I’ve been in a fortunate position of being able to try out and test some of these and pass on their advantages and disadvantages.
Among the most useful, in my opinion, are those that save time with watering and help keep plants in tip-top condition and helping to prevent disease.
Fortunately, this season was mainly free from the fungal diseases that are so damaging in a wet summer, so the products that help prevent blight and similar problems were unable to be tested.
Next season there will be an area of the website specifically about controlling diseases and the new products that help prevent them.
Until next season …
That’s it for now …. I’ll send out an email over the winter period with more details about next year’s Newsletter and Tomato Growing Club.