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Toms results from this year


By balcony


Toms results from this year

I’ve only grown two varieties this year – ’Gardener’s Delight’ (I grow a few plants every year as I love their taste & they are prolific!) & ‘Sunstream’ (a small heart shape/plum type of tomato).

I got the seeds for this variety from some tomatoes that were substituted in our online shopping just before Christmas. I liked the very sweet taste of the tomatoes & decided to save the seeds from one of them. These I sowed in the greenhouse on the allotment, about March time I think, & they germinated very well indeed. From the start I could tell they would make strong plants & so it turned out to be.

Instead of going through the usual process of transplanting the seedling into ever bigger pots before planting out I did only one transplant later putting the (slightly) bigger plants directly in the prepared beds in the first days of June. Both varieties took to the change quickly & soon got under way I put this down to the warmer soil than normal after a mild winter. They very quickly grew into big plants, especially ‘Sunstream’ proving to be exceptionally strong plants.

I harvested my first tomatoes from this variety a full week at least before ’Gardener’s Delight’! They were firm, sweet fruits. I noticed that as the plants got higher the trusses became ever longer!!

I was very pleased to see just how many long trusses I was getting on both varieties – that is until those couple of very cold weeks in August came along to ruin the “fiesta”!

The plants started to show the first signs of blight! I picked off leaves as I noticed them with the first signs but it just got beyond my control.

Last Friday (6th Sep) I picked as many green tomatoes as I reasonably could find free of blight the rest, including the very small forming fruit on the higher trusses, I had to leave on the plants.

It practically broke my heart to see so much fruit going to waste! There was at least as much left on the plants as that which I’d already picked, including the green ones.

Last year I grew some beefsteak ‘Marmande’ at the top of my plot, about 6-8 plants. I also grew one plant in the greenhouse on the allotment plus 4 or 5 on my balcony at home. Well a seed from the ones growing on my allotment germinated & bore 4 big toms. But they all caught blight & the plant & fruit had to be disposed of over a week ago.

The curious thing about this plant is that the one seed germinated & grew to produce full size fruit in much less time than the other two varieties started off weeks earlier.

I also found another plant of ‘Marmande’ growing on my balcony.

I’d sown seeds of ’Gardener’s Delight’ on my balcony & up till the moment they flowered I thought they were all ’Gardener’s Delight’ but one at that time behaved exactly the same as ‘Marmande’ did last year, that is it produced a VERY thickened stem at the time of flowering from which a mass of flowers appeared. Once a few flowers set fruit the plant continued to grow as any normal plant. It has only four big tomatoes with all the other flowers not having been fertilized but continuing on the plant.

It hasn’t produced any more flowers/fruit since then though now I’ve just noticed some flowers forming way up high just below the point I pinched out the growing tip a couple of weeks ago!

Most of my ’Gardener’s Delight’ have up to six trusses filled with fruit though not nearly as good as on the allotment. In fact, yesterday I let our 2 grandkids pick the first of the (very) ripe tomatoes of this year on the balcony. They should have been picked at least a week ago but I was saving them so they could pick them when they came on Saturday (6th Sep) I wanted to get a couple of photos of them doing so & they like to “help” me on the balcony when they come round.

I’ve picked all the fruits I could save on Friday (5th Sep) even though the majority I would have waited another week or two before picking them so as to give them time to ripen a little more.

Next time I go down to my plot I don’t expect to find any fruit unaffected & in fact I’ll be going down just to pull the plants up & take them to the heap at the top of the allotments field where our green waste is collected by the council – maybe twice a year – if we are lucky!

The plants by all rights should be burned to kill the spores but the rules & regulations that govern our use of the plots won’t let us light bonfires. So they will rot away on the heap & spread millions of spores all over the country to make sure that no member of the potato or tomato family can escape their insidious infection!

More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: Gardener's Delght?

Next post: Giving up!



That's heartbreaking Balcony, what a shame. There's a limit to how much green chutney you can eat! You can ripen some off in the house but ripening all those would be something of a challenge! My Gardeners Delight have been good too - not as big as yours but keeping us going all summer. I bought a grafted plant of Indigo Rose to try - a very strange variety that turns almost black on top and a sort of pale orange underneath - but it doesn't seem to want to ripen. Made a very robust plant but only had one tomato ready so far! Lots of trusses but the fruit is small - it could be my fault for poor watering and feeding but I hope not - did my best. I have had more off the two Gardeners Delights.

7 Sep, 2014


Since the weather, especially the nights cooled during august my toms slowed up considerably in the gh, only 7c here this morning and clear skies, looks like a lovely day

Sorry you have so msny green ones, in the gh I just leave them and hope for the best.
its wrong isn't it about allowing the blight to just sit there in a heap.

8 Sep, 2014


It makes very interesting reading although growing tomatoes is not my thing, thanks for posting

8 Sep, 2014


Thanks for your comments everyone! :)

I had to pull up the plants on Monday & consign them to the rubbish tip at the top of the allotments field, beside the entrance gates.

There were many more plants there from other people's allotments as well. Some had enormous tomatoes but riddled with blight! ;-(( Just this evening I pulled up all the tomato plants on Gerry's 2 plots! :'(( We didn't get a single tomato that could have been eaten from any of the plants.

I think it was the cold, wet couple of weeks we had in August that produced such a devastating outbreak of blight so early in the season.

We don't make chutney as my wife (as well as her sister) has never been able to put up with the smell of vinegar. No vinegar has entered in our house in the 40 years of our marriage! She has only partially relented when our granddaughter asked for tomato ketchup! Even so I have to put it on her plate & my wife stays well away! I like vinegar by-the-way.

Does anybody know of a recipe for green tomatoes that doesn't include vinegar? We'd appreciate it if you could tell us.

10 Sep, 2014


Whe I worked in a schol library there waws a French cookery book that had a recipe for green tomato jam. Jus thad a quick look on he net and there are heaps of recipes for it! I'm with your wife on the vinegar.

11 Sep, 2014


Thanks for that, Stera, I'll have a look online to see what I can find.

11 Sep, 2014


Sorry to hear the tom woes . I had the same thing with the rain in August so feel for your loss there
As well as all the toms in my polytunnel I grew a few plants outside in my new raised beds so i could see the difference in growth. we had a good steady long hot spell and they did well but them they took ages to ripen and then we had the rains. Just as some were looking ready I noticed some blight and had to pull the lot.
I did try before outside for a couple of years a few years ago and got blight then so I know its about here on the patch.
In the poly I can keep the plants really dry so no probs.
I wont be bothering with outside toms again, funnily enough though my potatoes were not affected

24 Sep, 2014


Thanks, Stevie, it was a shame the cold wet weather we had in August - ruined many a good crop! I removed leaves at first at the first sign of infection but it was a losing battle from the outset!

Strange but I don't remember seeing many potatoes growing on the allotments this year. I, myself, didn't bother to plant main crop potatoes this year & our earlies finished just today - the first day of autumn! We had to BUY potatoes for the first time today in more than 3 months!

We have so many onions I think we may be self-sufficient till next summer - if I can keep them from rotting off over winter!

The tomato plants on my balcony have escaped blight - like they do most years - & I've been able to harvest quite a few small 'Gardener's Delight', a tomato I like very much! I have just one plant of 'Marmande', a seed that somehow got into my other tomatoes as I didn't sow any this year! Until it flowered I had no idea it wasn't one of the others! It also has escaped blight.

24 Sep, 2014


I certainly agree there on growing 'Gardener's Delight', they do very well in the poly and give loads of lovely small very sweet tasting toms, certainly my main choice for now.
Also good this year were the one or two cherry toms I grew, just very handy to pick at : )

25 Sep, 2014


They are handy to pick - & pop straight into your mouth! I eat them like sweets! I can never eat enough! The ones on my balcony are not nearly as big as those on the allotment but I still have enough to keep on harvesting till the first frost kills them perhaps in 3 or 4 weeks time!

28 Sep, 2014

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