The season is beginning to come to an end. We’re still getting tomatoes (another 9kg since our last post) but the plants are looking decidedly sickly with botrytis/grey mould killing off the ends of the plants, the leaves and (more frequently now) the fruit. It looks like the problem has affected even the fruit that is ripening with grey streaks in the fruit which seems to make them taste bitter.
Obviously its affecting the beefsteak varieties more than the cherry tomatoes as they take longer to ripen.
The courgettes are also finishing with the plants drying up and few or no flowers to set new fruit. The beans are also “over” whereas a couple of weeks ago we were getting a kilo a week, its now down to less than a third of that. However, we’ve made relish which will see us into the winter and has used up much of the excess.
The carrots and cabbage are adding to the choice and the peppers (sweet and chilli) are ripening to give us an extension to the overall season, the raspberries are giving a breakfast quantity each day and the physalis are getting close. I find that there’s no point in trying to pick them off the plant, better to wait until they fall off naturally, that way you know they’re ripe.
Its now a matter of working out what to grow next year. I’ve been going through the seed catalogues but whilst there are (as always) new varieties that could be grown, the basic mix of crops doesn’t seem to change. Spring cabbage and broad beans to start the year (we’ve already bought our cabbage plants, there’s no point in trying to grow them from seed). I’m half tempted to give tomatoes a miss but I don’t know what I’d grow in the greenhouse instead. Maybe the thing to do is to grow only a few plants and give them more loving care. I somehow doubt it but it is worth a thought.