Gardening Magazine

Tomatoes - Past the Critical Point??

By Mwillis
With blight nibbling away at my precious tomato plants leaf by leaf I'm experiencing some anxious moments. Will any of the tomatoes ripen before the plants succumb? Indeed, will the plants succumb? We have had several days of hot dry weather, which blight does not like, so maybe the disease can actually be halted before it becomes catastrophic. My feeling is that some of the fruits are probably mature enough to ripen now, even if I have to pick them to avoid the blight. They mostly look very green still, but I know from experience that even fruit like that will eventually ripen.
I would like to be able to publish loads of photos of ripe tomatoes, but I'm afraid I can't. Well, just a few of the "Maskotka", the first of which are nearly ready:
Tomatoes - past the critical point??
Tomatoes - past the critical point??
However, see what you think of the other varieties. Every plant has at least a few reasonably advanced fruits. Despite being badly hit by the weedkiller contamination, "Stupice" is doing surprisingly well. Every truss (and it has 5) is well-filled. Almost every flower has set, to produce a fruit.
Tomatoes - past the critical point??
This is "Tigerella", whose fruits are now very stripy. Again, this plant has three well-filled trusses of fruit, with more coming on.
Tomatoes - past the critical point??
This is "Costoluto Fiorentino". I have removed lots of tiny fruit from it, because I don't want it to get overloaded. I think a small number of good fruit is better than lots of indifferent ones, and this variety produces big fruits if given the chance.
Tomatoes - past the critical point??
Here is "De Colgar" the Spanish "Hanging tomato". The idea is that you hang up the ripe fruits (still on their trusses) in a cool place, which will allow you to keep them for ages - long after all the fresh ones have finished. Allegedly these will last throughout the Winter if you let them. They have thick skins and are really only suitable for cooking, not eating in salads or anything.
Tomatoes - past the critical point??
Here is "Primabella", one of the new generation of blight-resistant varieties developed in Germany. My plant has grown very tall, but it was very late developing fruit-trusses. In terms of yield, it may therefore not be so good, but its blight-resistant qualities may still redeem it.
Tomatoes - past the critical point??
This next one is "Supersweet 100", which is setting some enormous trusses of tiny fruits. Probably about 100 fruits per truss, I suppose!
Tomatoes - past the critical point??
The last one I want to show off today is "Grushkova", a compact bush variety which produces medium-sized ribbed red fruit.
Tomatoes - past the critical point??
The fruit set has again been pretty good on this one. No ripe fruit so far, but several that look as if they would ripen if I had to remove them from the plant in an emergency.
I'm beginning to think that there is still a chance of a reasonable tomato crop this year!

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