Sunday 30 October 2011

Tomatoes on the turn

Having lost the bulk of the outdoor tomatoes to blight, it was left to the Sungold plants and a single potted Marmande in the patio greenhouse to provide us a with a crop this year. The Sungolds didn't last much longer before the leaves started looking sooty and black blotches appeared on the stems. Stripping the plants of their leaves meant we managed to salvage a small crop, but by the beginning of October the plant was fit only for the incinerator.

Strangely, the Marmande plant, not hitherto known for its blight resistance, soldiered on unaffected. I almost forgot about it. Then, in the last week, just as I was beginning to think I should dig out my stand-by green tomato chutney recipe, I noticed two of the fruit just beginning to ripen. The weather has helped: sunny days and cold but dry nights.

I doubt these Marmandes will be bursting with sweet sun-warmed juice as they might have been in August, or in the south of France, but a few ripe tomatoes - in November - will be a welcome end to what has been a pretty poor tomato season this year.

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