Cannot believe that the weeks have gone by so quickly from when I first planted the tomato seedlings outdoors to picking my own tomatoes! Tomato seedlings that were all started from seed indoors were hardened off gradually in spring. This means that they were gradually introduced outdoors but still brought inside at night to protect them from frost.
Some tomato plants were planted in wooden planters by the kitchen wall where they could catch the best of the afternoon sun.
They became very comfortable easpecially with chilli plants as their neighbours!
Some were planted in the raised beds too as I wanted to see how they would fare there. I am happy to say the plants have done well in both places and grown taller than I had imagined. They were trained and well supported as they grew.
Summer well and truly began with the hot days in June and so did the arrival of little yellow flowers! Bees buzzed in and out of them and the bright green jewel-like baby tomatoes were everywhere I looked!
So beautiful to look at with the promise of a great harvest of ripe tomatoes!
August is now unravelling their warmer colours and it is so exciting to watch them ripening on the plants!
Even on dismal cloudy English summer days, the almost ripe red of tomatoes certainly brings a lot of joy!
My biggest struggle however has been in supporting the tomato plants particularly now that the fruits are getting bigger and heavier in size. Although I had managed to secure the main stem with bamboo canes and hessian string, I had not anticipated the level of support the branches would need in summer. On looking back, I perhaps have positioned them too close when I planted them. So points I must remember from this year’s experience: Give each plant more room to spread and plan how the branches will be supported once they have fruit.
Gardening is certainly a learning game!