Gardening Magazine

Autumn - a Change of Gear

By Mwillis
Last week it seemed like Summer still, but this week it's definitely Autumn! The temperature has dropped - especially at night - and the air just feels different. In the garden many of the trees and shrubs are already losing their leaves. This year they have had to put up with some very extreme weather, and I think they have just "run out of steam" a little bit earlier than usual.
It's not all bad news though, because the drop in temperature has prompted some very rapid ripening of my tomatoes and chillis. These "Marmonde" tomatoes went from green to red more or less overnight.
Autumn - a change of gear
This is them in the basket, alongside some of the "Cherokee Purple".  Actually, the three fruits with very dark shoulders are from the unidentified plant grown from seeds which the person who gave them to me simply labelled "Oxheart". I had anticipated that they would be red ones, but I was wrong!
Autumn - a change of gear
The "Marmonde" tomatoes are a lot smaller than the ones I grew last year, but to be fair there are more of them, so I'm happy with that.

Autumn - a change of gear

Mostly "Marmonde"


"Marmonde" produces very firm fruits, which are ideal for grilling, especially if harvested slightly on the unripe side.
My chillis have been very slow to ripen this year. So far I have not picked a single ripe one (though I have pinched a couple of green ones for dishes that required them). However, it won't be long now. The first ones to ripen are these "Golden Cayenne":
Autumn - a change of gear
Autumn - a change of gear
Yesterday I noticed the first red "Cayenne Long Slim", and today it has been joined by a second one. Once they start to ripen, they usually turn color pretty rapidly.
Autumn - a change of gear
Autumn - a change of gear
I even detect a hint of ripeness in the "Aji Benito".
Autumn - a change of gear
And that slight tinge of yellow is not just a result of proximity to the big cluster of Rudbeckia "Goldsturm" seen in the background!
Autumn - a change of gear
One of the chillis I am most happy to see ripening is the "Hungarian Hot Wax" (you may remember that it was hard hit by the weedkiller problems earlier in the year). Now each of my two plants of this type is carrying a respectable half-dozen or so chubby fruits:
Autumn - a change of gear
Nice as it is to see a plethora of ripening tomatoes and chillis, I'm also conscious their presence is my cue to start thinking about plant protection for the inevitable cold, wet, windy weather that will surely be with us before long. Time to dust off the cloches and mini greenhouses that have been stored in the garage for the last three months.

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