Reverse Season Sowing
Last season I started a few seeds and took a few cuttings in August to see how far I could get them through the winter. To my surprise they survived and even fruited in the late winter and early spring. One of the plants is still producing fruit now!
To do this, you will need to grow a small bush variety such as
Tumbling Tom, Maskotka, Vilma, Micro Tom etc.
The idea is to use the relatively long daylight hours of late summer to get the seedlings off to a great start. Then protect the plants through the winter.
They will need to be kept indoors (when the weather turns colder) and in a dry sunny position (windowsill or conservatory), so choosing a small bush variety is a good idea!
Give it a try … it’s good fun!
Trusses and Support
This has been the best season weather wise in the UK for years (about seven actually), and it has meant a big harvest and long heavy trusses.
I love to see trusses with as many fruit on as possible – I don’t even like to pick the tomatoes because it makes the trusses look untidy!
Before they become too heavy and break away from the main stem …
- Support them with string
- Yoyo supports work well too
- Plastic truss supports are also very handy but need to be attached before the trusses fully develop.
Picking tomatoes at first blush
I once has a full truss of ripe Shirley tomatoes that I kept unpicked to photograph. Unfortunately, a squirrel got into the greenhouse and took one bite out of each tomato just before I arrived with my camera!
There are advantages in picking tomatoes before they become fully ripe.
- You get them before the bugs and squirrels do.
- It takes weight off the trusses.
- It encourages the plant to continue to ripen the other tomatoes.
Does early picking reduce the taste? That’s picking when the toms begin to turn colour, then ripening them indoors.
Or, do they taste better when picked fully ripe?
Try it both ways and see what you think … can you tell the difference in taste?
Update to last week’s EC tests: Doff is 1.8 and Maxicrop EC is still to come but I suspect it will be around 1.9.
Next week I’ll have a few tips on how to ripen tomatoes more quickly on the plant.