Saturday, January 31, 2009

Who Dares Wins - Autumn Planting

After the heat this week, I've potted up the 10 seedlings of 'Little Heart' tomato (shown two posts earlier) which I will attempt to grow as an Autumn crop, mostly in the hothouse, but some in the garden as normal tomatoes would be grown. Joining them are 3 x 'Siletz' plants (in the background of the photo) and 5 x Struck Cuttings from various plants I had growing at the time. My objective is to try and get at least one ripe fruit from these small seedlings which will put me ahead by one generation with this variety and anything else I get will be a bonus, with late fruit.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Peppers soon

It won't be too long before the Peppers are starting to mature on the plants, with lots of fruit showing some size at present. I like to try different things each season and this year is no exception with two types I'm hoping perform well, although some seed would be nice - in the first instance.

Here is a fruit on one of my Cappia Peppers from Turkey, these I'm led to believe are a nice sweet fruit.

Another is this, one of 5 plants of this variety I'm growing.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Second Season Tomatoes

I'm going for a second season growing this year with about 20 tomato plants in total which I hope to grow until the cold weather stops them. I've grown 10 seedlings for Little Heart and they're approaching 10cm high at present, plus I have 25cm high seedlings as well as plants from struck cuttings which will make up the numbers.

Here are a couple of photos of the seedlings and plants, so far.

'Little Heart' seedlings

'Siletz' plants

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hot Chocolate

This year when I grew my seedlings for Brandywine Pink tomatoes I found I had one single seedling with a regular leaf, where Brandywine is normally a Potato Leaf variety, so I knew I had a ring in. I planted this seedling in the corner of the vegetable garden in the hope it may produce an new unknown variety.

This plant has grown well and is now producing mature fruit that has an unusual 'brownish' colour to its skin as it ripens, which is most unusual. Could it be a cross with a Brandywine Pink, or just a ring in seed.

Here's one almost ripe on the bush.

The same tomato after being picked for a couple of days and left inside to ripen fully

And finally the same tomato cut ready to be taste tested.

Although not the best tomato we've eaten, it is unusual with its brown skin so we've given it a working name of Hot Chocolate because it was so hot when we cut it - plus its brown skin colour.

The ever reliable UK2000

We like to grow tomatoes here and our all time best favourite is UK2000, a regular plant in our vegetable garden. These tomatoes are quite tasty and actually taste like real home grown tomatoes should.

Here's one on the scales that is 264 grams.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tomatoes - New from Old

We've just had a taste of some hot weather with a couple of days in the 30c+ range, so upon hearing the forecast I decided to take some cuttings from some of the tomato plants in the garden that I haven't yet got seed from, so as not to lose a season if anything happened to any of them. Filling some 3" Supertubes with Propagation Mix and wetting it down, I took lateral cuttings from the plants and stuck them in the tubes. These tubes were then placed in the bathroom, our dullest room for daylight during the day. After 3 days I can feel resistance on the stem which would indicate the presence of roots, so all seems well and I have 5 cuttings which I'll allow to grow inside for another week, then I'll harden them off.

Only leaves that would be below the level of the mix in the tube were cut off and the remainder will be trimmed when the time comes to plant in the garden. This is a good way to get mature seedling size plants going at anytime during the season.

Have you tried New for Old?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Black Russian - A Tasty Tomato

Here's a tomato that is popular with a lot of people and it's something we haven't grown since 1996 - It's none other than 'Black Russian', a great tasting tomato and usually one that the 'B' store has as an early tomato. The truss had about 4 or 5 fruit on it and with high daytime temperatures expected over the next couple of days, anything with any colour is being picked in advance so as not to spoil.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wouldn't You Know It

Just when everything is going good with the tomatoes in the outer garden, what should happen, but Blackbirds are eating the fruit on the tomatoes with any sort of colour. Off to the 'B' Store and got 3 x Rat Traps which I promptly set with cut up pieces of a tomato which they'd half eaten earlier.

More to follow I hope.

All Heart

Just when I thought my Little Heart tomato had settled down with its genetics, what should it throw up at me - none other than a "heart" tomato on one of the plants growing in the garden. The single heart shaped fruit is so much a reminder of what this plant produced for me last year when I first discovered it. I suppose that from the 5 plants I have grown this year, one odd shaped fruit isn't too bad.

I had 4 plants that were surplus to my needs this season and I gave them to my friend Neely to grow as they had a big future ahead of them, but sadly due to unforeseen circumstances, these plants threw odd shaped fruit, so much so they could be described as mutant. Sorry Neely, next year they'll be good - I hope.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Going Banana's

Here's a brand new one for me this year thanks to my friend Templeton. It's called 'Green Banana' until a better name comes forward, these are another of the Spanish tomatoes found in the markets of Barcelona.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Inside the Hat

Here's what the inside of Monomakh's Hat, a very meaty tomato with an average taste that can be used as an all rounder. Probably one that may not make the list next year, but a plant that gives large fruits and would be good for the home garden.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Seed Save Begins

I started washing tomato seed saved from bagged blossoms today and also saved more seed from collected fruit. In my laundry cupboard I now have plastic cups containing seed from Black Cherry, Sprite, Lime Green Salad and more Little Heart. All this seed will be used next season for my plant sale, but there are a lot of varieties still in the garden yet to ripen that will be added to this list.

I sowed the seed today for the F3 generation of Little Heart, which I'm expecting to grow as my hothouse Autumn crop, along with a few 'Siletz' which are currently just getting their first true leaves.

Here are some 'Nicoleta' seeds from last season.

A Top Hat

Well we finally picked our big pink heart tomato called 'Monomakh's Hat' and it's a beauty, a whole 327 grams which is 11.5 ounces in the old scale. I hope this is a nice sandwich tomato and I'll probably find out within the next few days.