End June 2020: The Tomato Journey so far

Surprisingly its now 106 days since I sowed most of my tomatoes. Fruit is now set on all but six of the thirty or so cultivars that I sowed but there’s no reason to suspect that the rest won’t set in the next few days.

Based upon past experience, its still a couple of weeks or so until the first fruit will be ripe and (my guess) is that it will be a race between Bloody Butcher and Quedlinburger Fruhe Liebe for the Indeterminate varieties and Maskotka and Kibits Ukranian for the Determinate varieties. Its not a fair comeptition between the two different types as all my Determinate varieties are outdoors and all the Indeterminates are in the greenhouse. Anyway I’m always keen to get the first fruit as they always taste the best.

The slow cultivars are (as one would probably expect) the beefsteak varieties with little sign of fruit (although lots of flowers) on Pink Brandywine or either of the Mortgage Lifters. However Summer Cider (my favourite tomato) looks to have a reasonable crop forming.

The weather this year has been a bit up and down with a hot spell in May followed by a cold & wet spell in early June and the last few days up in the high 20’sC. High temperatures are never good at this time as they discourage fruit setting on the tomatoes as the temperatures in the greenhouse hits 40C and there’s nothing I can do about it.

In the rest of the garden, other vegetables are beginning to show with courgettes, french beans and swiss chard starting to crop. Lettuces are producing more than we can eat but the “difficult” period where they don’t germinate easily is upon us so sometime over the next few weeks we are likely to have a gap. The sweetcorn are growing strongly as are the carrots, beetroot, and summer cabbage. The spring cabbages have germinated and are growing ready to be transplanted and florence fennel has popped its head above the ground. I have tried this twice before, once with success once as a failure so it will be interesting to see what happens this time they seem to bolt. Radishes are over but (because I’ve lots of seed) I keep sowing. They just won’t heart up regardless of how much I water them.