Tomatoes with Everything7th August 2017 • In The Garden • Stephanie Donaldson
It’s that wonderful time of year when the tomatoes are ripening faster than we can eat them and about the only time a meal doesn’t feature them is our breakfast muesli. Sliced Black Krim or Brandywine on wholemeal walnut sourdough is my lunch of choice and slow-roasted tomatoes, or tomato salad, make a delicious accompaniment to the fish we eat most days. Hastings still has a beach-launched fishing fleet, so buying fresh fish daily is one of the things that make this such a great place to live.
But I digress – back to the tomatoes. Both the greenhouse and outdoor tomatoes are doing wonderfully well right now, although – despite planting blight-resistant outdoor varieties – I am rather holding my breath and hoping that this isn’t a bad blight year when even these will succumb – as they did last year. The last-man-standing then was Mountain Magic, which held out well beyond the others, although I’m not convinced that the flavour is as good as it is said to be. I have started removing the lower leaves on both the greenhouse and outdoor varieties to up the sugars with more direct sunlight and to improve air circulation, thereby reducing the blight-encouraging humidity around the plants. All the leaves are going on the compost heap.
Although we have had some heavy rain, it is currently accompanied by a strong, cool breeze which is good news – it’s those still, humid days that encourage the blight. In the meantime we are feasting on tomatoes – long may it last.