Allotment Adventures: Alas poor tomatoes, we knew you well

We’re at that weird point in the year when we should be overloaded with summer product and the autumn leaves are starting to come in. We still haven’t had a summer squash and I fear that I’m hoping in vain for the tomatoes but the greens have started and the plums decided to have a great year.

yes that’s a full 15 litre bucket of chard thinnings

We were at the plot at about 8:30 and home at just gone 1pm, by 5pm, we had sorted cleaned and bagged most stuff. On Sunday, I made a batch of pesto and green tomato chutney.

All that’s left to do now is eat it!

We also did quite a bit of weeding. I try as much as I can to be no dig, and it’s pretty successful, it does cut down on the weeding but it doesn’t eliminate all weeds. The new beds we built this year were cardboarded, woodchipped, carboarded again and then filled with compost, some beds like the current squash bed, were cardboarded and mulched last year and then cardboarded, woodchipped, carboarded and mulched this year. We are still seeing bindweed pop up in them. Also despite the mesh nets, there is still whitefly. I don’t mind a bit of whitefly but last year it was a nightmare on the brassicas and I’m not anxious for a repeat performance.

So Ma and I tackled the beds, I dusted the plants with diatomaceous earth and Ma weeded the beds. We did all of the brassica beds, I figure that it’s best to tackle it early as I found some aphids on one of my carrots and as I said a little bit is fine but I don’t want the plague we had last year.

Dusted with DT

Then Ma got on with weeding the back, and I attended to my tomatoes. The blight has been really bad this year and all of the plants are sick to some degree. I grow outdoors and it’s always a risk (next year, I will grow one of each type in the polytunnel and think about spraying with asprin) but I’ve only ever had blight my first year. That year Joe and Dennis my lovely old school plot neighbours advised me to cut back everything I could and hope for the best. That’s what I did this year. I pulled up all the plants with fruit that didn’t look like they would ripen or only had a couple of tomatoes on. I removed all of the leaves and chopped the top of the plant off, in the hope that the plant will put some effort into ripening the fruit before the blight gets them. My tomatoes look massacred but if it can stay warm and not rain (I won’t be watering them this week either), we might get a ripe tomato.

My poor massacred babies

About nicdempsey

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6 Responses to Allotment Adventures: Alas poor tomatoes, we knew you well

  1. Sharon says:

    It’s been a slow start for tomatoes in the polytunnel but I am getting ripe one just not the usual glut, which is a good thing in some ways. The slugs and snails are out of control this year, they regard any seedling as a gourmet treat…
    Your plot is looking good.

  2. Tabula Rasa says:

    If blight is already on your plants then you are best taking all the fruit off and washing in a light bleech solution to get rid of any spores on the flesh not yet infected the plant then rinse and dry well and leave in a sunny spot to ripen.

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